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Im having a difficult time with the word "vorliegen". It seems that in most cases, you can translate it as "to be present". I was wondering if the following translation would then work:

I make sure that the right songs are in my playlist.
Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtige Lieder in meiner Playlist vorliegen.

Would this be correct? If not, what would you suggest in this context?

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    You may think of vorliegen as a word used predominantly by bureaucrats. It may be appropriate if you are a civil servant and write an official letter (although even in that case there would be friendlier forms of talking to people). – Christian Geiselmann Jul 12 '17 at 6:23
  • When you hear vorliegen, think of stuff lying on an evidence table: "The prosecution cites exhibit A!" Normal, everyday being-present is much more often expressed as dasein, vorhanden sein, wir haben..., es gibt... etc. – Kilian Foth Jul 12 '17 at 6:28
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    Vorliegen often means that something is present/available at a certain time. E.g. Damit der Artikel gedruckt wird, muss er rechtzeitig vorliegen = For the article to be printed it must be present in time. – RHa Jul 12 '17 at 6:28
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    And yet it has a bureaucratic and unfriendly touch to it. You would write Der Artikel muss um 10 Uhr vorliegen in some official instructions, but you would never talk like that to your colleague. Rather you would say: Der Artikel muss um 10 Uhr da sein / hier sein / in der Redaktion sein / fertig sein. – Christian Geiselmann Jul 12 '17 at 7:09
  • vorliegen is rather formal, but that doesn't mean, it's only used in bureaucratic context. A professional context is suitable as well. – Toscho Jul 12 '17 at 18:56
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Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtigen Lieder in meiner Playlist vorliegen.

Vorliegen sounds very official.

Beweise dafür lagen nicht vor. (There was no evidence.; police jargon)

These are far more common:

Ich sorge dafür, dass ich die richtigen Lieder in meiner Playlist habe.

Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtigen Lieder in meiner Playlist drinstehen.

Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtigen Lieder auf/in meiner Playlist sind.

Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtigen Lieder in meiner Playlist drin sind.

Same with ich sorge dafür. This can both sound very caring or very harsh, depending on the context. If you don't want to be this adamant about your playlist, better avoid that phrase.

Ich passe schon auf, dass die richtigen Lieder in meiner Playlist drin sind.

Don't worry, I take care the right songs are in my playlist.

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  • "auf meiner Playlist sind" klingt ... merkwürdig. Im Kontext "Playlist" empfinde ich "auf" generell als falsch. "Auf einer Liste" allgemein gesehen kann aber durchaus richtig sein. – Em1 Jul 12 '17 at 7:14
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vorliegen

synonyms are vorhanden, dasein, existieren, etc.

In your case you want to express that something exists. A synonym for to exist is to be.

"Be" translated into German is sein.

The correct conjugation for the third person plural is "sind".

Ich sorge dafür, dass die richtige Lieder in meiner Playlist sind.

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Vorliegen is a special case of vorhanden sein=to be present: It has to lie (in a broad sense) somewhere (close). So, the verb may be applied to e.g.

  • a file (paper version) lying on the desk: Die Akte liegt vor.
  • a file (electronic version) being in a storage medium: Die Playlist spielt nur ab, wenn die Musikdateien auf deiner Festplatte vorliegen.
  • a piece of evidence lying on the judges table: Liegen denn Beweise für Ihre Behauptung vor?
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You would not use the term "vorliegen" to describe "dass die richtige Lieder in meiner Playlist vorliegen." If you're talking about something inside your play list, the correct verb is "sein" and "dass die richtige Lieder in meiner Playlist 'sind.'"

Vorliegen refers to something that is outside (whatever), but "lying close by," or "close at hand." For instance, you can use the term vorliegen to describe the relationship of a printer to your computer (lying separately but close at hand).

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