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Red' mit dem Rückspiegel

What is the meaning of this line? is it a phrase?

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  • 1
    "Sprich mit dem Rückspiegel" would be a more concise phrase may be. Where did you get that from? It's not common. Aug 5, 2018 at 10:59
  • from TV series Marie fängt Feuer Aug 5, 2018 at 11:02
  • 3
    Red is short for rede, 2nd person imperative singular. "Talk to the hand."
    – Janka
    Aug 5, 2018 at 11:38
  • 3
    @MiladQasemi could you please edit your question and add the context from that TV series?
    – Arsak
    Aug 5, 2018 at 12:19

1 Answer 1

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In English it is:

Talk with the rearview mirror.

Which obviously is taken from a conversation inside a car between the driver and a person sitting in the back row. One of them doesn't want to talk with the other and ask this other person to talk with an object (in this case the mirror) instead.

The verb »reden« (to talk) has two imperative forms (the imperative form is also known as command form):

Red!
Rede!

This is the command "talk!" in English.

Almost all German verbs have an imperative form that ends in -e, and most of them also have a second form without this ending -e. Verbs where the stem has an e that doesn't exist in the infinitive form, must keep the ending -e in their imperative form. Most other verbs can be used with or without this -e:

  • Verbs with an e in the stem, that is not in the infinte form:

    stem: rechen (Rechenheft, Rechenschieber)
    infinitive: rechnen (omitted e between ch and nen)
    imperative: rechne!

    stem: atem (Atemnot, Atemmaske)
    indikative: atmen (omitted e between at and men)
    imperative: atme!

  • Verbs that to not meet this criterion:

    stem: schlaf (Schlafmangel, Schlaftrunk)
    indikative: schlafen
    imperative: schlafe! schlaf!

    stem: rede (Redewettbewerb, Redefluss)
    indikative: reden
    imperative: rede! red!

But there are even more exotic cases (ask your teacher for further explanation):

stem: ess (Essstäbchen, Essverhalten)
indikative: essen
imperative: iss!

stem: wurf (Wurfgeschoss, Wurfparabel)
indicative: werfen
imperative: wirf!

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    @MiladQasemi, if you understood the literal meaning then you should have said so in the question.
    – Carsten S
    Aug 5, 2018 at 13:44

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