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I am German learner at an intermediate level. The superlative sentence should pose no problems to me. However, I can’t translate this following sentence well:

He hurts her more than she does to him.

Should it be translated to:

Er tut ihr weh mehr als sie tut ihm.

or

Er tut ihr weh mehr als sie ihm tut.

Another problem is that whether the German tun can really substitute any verb (as the English do). This confuses me for quite a long time.

  • Just on a note about English grammar: The word does usually only appears in question and answer type sentences. For example: > "Does he hurt her?" > "Yes, more than she hurts him." > "Really?" > "Yes he does. He's quite vicious" Perhaps you are struggling with translation because the English sentence would more often be written as: > He hurts her more than she hurts him. – user5829 Mar 26 '14 at 9:38
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    Interesting aside: it should be "...she does him", the 'to' is incorrect, because the him is dative, not accusative. – Benubird Mar 26 '14 at 15:12
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In German you do not have to repeat the verb in the comparison. A correct sentence is:

Er tut ihr mehr weh als sie ihm.

Since you asked for word order, another correct sentence is:

Er tut ihr mehr weh als sie ihm weh tut.

It is not possible to omit the second weh in this sentence.

13

Try

Er verletzt sie mehr als sie ihn.

The use of the verbs 'tun' and 'machen' in written language is generally seen as an indicator of being in poor command of the language and occasionally of poor cognitive skills in general. 'Machen' is more acceptable as 'tun'. In oral language, both occur more frequently.

  • Thanks. But doesn't "verletzen" mean to hurt somebody, often physically? – Anthony Mar 26 '14 at 7:31
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    'Verletzen' has both meanings, to hurt someone physically as well as emotionally – collapsar Mar 26 '14 at 7:42
9

Er tut ihr mehr weh als sie ihm.

You can just drop the second "tut". "Tun" can be used roughly like "do", but it isn't considered good style and sounds childish.

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    I don't agree with the last sentence. There are many example where one HAS to use "tun" without it being kid style at all. – Emanuel Mar 26 '14 at 16:16
  • Yes that's right I was just referring to "Another problem is that whether the German tun can really substitute any verb (as the English do)." and that is not true. – Portree Kid Mar 27 '14 at 6:34

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