4

During my translations into German language I got confused, when should I use an article and which (definite/indefinite). I have found numerous rules, but maybe somebody can give me a clearer explanation. Here are my translations:

Ich gewöhne mich an feuchtes Klima langsam hier

I think that here we should omit any article. However the person is talking about a definite climate in one specific place (maybe we should use "das")

Ich halte ihn für einen guten Menschen

Same definite or indefinite? The person is definite so?

Wir hoffen auf besseres Wetter

One more time, I can't understand. The person is waiting for one specific BETTER weather. Why no article. Or maybe I am wrong with my translations.

P.S English is not my native language. The one I speak doesn't have articles at all, so maybe that's the reason it's hard for me to understand this stuff, however, it seems in English the situation is much easier.

  • I've found that definite articles we use on certain things, however the certainty is so unclear for me. – Sabine Oct 25 '15 at 11:26
3

"Wir hoffen auf (das) besseres Wetter"

Depends on the situation and meaning. If the person is waiting for a specific weather (for example he watched the news and knows that the weather is going to change and so he is waiting for this specific better weather) than use the article. If he is just hoping for better weather but has no specific expectations use no article.

"Ich halte ihn für einen guten Menschen"

einen/den makes a big difference here. Both can be correct but the meaning changes dramatically.

(...)den guten Menschen. = the ideal human. (...)einen guten Menschen = a good human beeing.

"Ich gewoehne mich an feuchtes Klima langsam hier" "However the person is saying about a definite climate in one specific place (maybe we should use "das")"

You gave yourself the correct answer here, the specific place calls for the article. = Ich gewöhne mich langsam an das feuchte Wetter hier.

Ich gewöhne mich langsam an feuchtes Wetter. = different meaning: I´m getting better at dealing with humid conditions.

  • Thank you for your expanded answer, so there is no light way to determine which article should we use. Everywhere we should keep attention to the situation and meaning. – Sabine Oct 25 '15 at 17:37
  • German is my mother tongue so it is quite easy but for somebody learning the language it has to be very hard. Try to get a feeling for it and don´t overthink it. It is logical but language is more vivid than math or something like that so don´t make yourself too much pressure. – wean123 Oct 25 '15 at 21:14
1

I'll provide the correct phrases and a few counterexamples to see the difference.

Case 1:

Ich gewöhne mich langsam an das feuchte Klima hier.

It's a specific local climate. If you're speaking about your difficulty to adapt to humid climate conditions in general, you might say:

Ich gewöhne mich nur langsam an feuchtes Wetter.

Case 2:

Ich halte ihn für einen guten Menschen.

The person is a good guy, he is not the good guy. If you're speaking about a person that you consider the personification of good (e.g., Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, ...), you might say something like:

Ich halte ihn für die Personifikation des Guten Menschen.

Case 3:

Wir hoffen auf besseres Wetter.

You are hoping that the weather gets better, you are not waiting for a specific weather. An example with a specific weather:

Wir hoffen auf das gute Wetter, das uns in der Wettervorhersage versprochen wurde.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.