I just came across a sentence in my textbook: "Ich erzähl's dir gleich." As I looked up in the dictionary, there is no such a word as "erzähl's". So I guessed maybe it's the short form of "erzählen es". But I'm not sure. Also, I saw a sentence "Echt? Erzähl." in the script of a conversation. Is this also the short from of something?

  • 1
    This should be two separate questions – PiedPiper Oct 26 '17 at 14:43
  • In the song "Röslein auf der Heiden", there a line "sah's mit viellen Freuden". sah's is the abbreviation of sah es. erzähl's seems the same. – Chan Kim Oct 26 '17 at 15:29

"erzähl's" is indeed short for "erzähle es".

"Echt?" The "Echt?" is equivalent to a surprised "Really?!"

The "Erzähl!" is also short for "Erzähle es". So if you want to know something from a person you say one of those: "Erzähl's mir!" ; "Erzähl!" ; "Erzähle es mir!".

"Erzähle es mir" would be the most "formal" out of the 3.

  • "Erzähl!" is the normal regular imperative of the verb "erzählen" and no short form. – IQV Oct 27 '17 at 5:40
  • I am pretty sure it's both. But you have got a point there. – Neutral Oct 27 '17 at 10:22

"Ich erzähl's dir gleich." is short for "ich erzähle es dir gleich".

"Echt? Erzähl." is very abbreviated colloquial speech, short for something like: "Ist das echt [=wahr]? Erzähle es mir"

  • There are many colloquialisms like that. "Ich sach ma" is very common for "Ich sage einmal". "Sozagn" is very common für "sozusagen". "Buntsreblik" is what you often hear when politicians mean "Bundesrepublik". – Christian Geiselmann Oct 26 '17 at 14:55
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    "Buntsreblik" is not a colloquialism, it's just sloppy enunciation – PiedPiper Oct 26 '17 at 15:24
  • Thank you for your explanation. May I ask one more thing about the grammar? I know that most sentences follow the pattern [subj] [verb][indirect obj][direct obj]. In this case, is it ok to say "ich erzähle dir es gleich?" ? – Dennis Oct 26 '17 at 15:56
  • @Dennis if there are two pronouns the direct object comes first – PiedPiper Oct 26 '17 at 16:15
  • @PiedPiper - How would you exactly differentiate between colloquialism and sloppyness? – Christian Geiselmann Oct 26 '17 at 16:51

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