5

The English statement How is the weather today? is translated to Wie ist das Wetter heute?. We can ask the same question using what in English by What is the weather like today?

How can we say the same thing using was in German? I mean using literal translation.

Is Was ist das Wetter so wie heute? correct? I think so, because ... sein so wie A means ... is like A sounds probable.

  • 1
    to translate 'What is the weather like today?' literally you'd have to say "So wie was ist das wetter heute?" but that doesn't make any sense in german. – ths Jan 8 at 12:32
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    If you want to translate the "like" directly, you would put the "so" at the end of the sentence: "Wie ist das Wetter heute so?" – Lichtbringer Feb 7 at 3:49
23

Wie ist das Wetter heute?

How is the weather today?

Was für ein Wetter haben wir heute?

literally: "What kind of weather do we have today?"

  • 2
    Ah, danke schön nochmal. I have to get used to that expression "Was für", a peculiar German expression. – Chan Kim Jan 8 at 7:57
  • You can even say (colloquially), when looking out of the window: "Was sagt denn das Wetter?" – tofro Jan 8 at 9:53
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    Oooh, gute Antwort! Ich hatte ganz übersehen, dass es tatsächlich eine fast vergleichbare Konstruktion gibt. – Kilian Foth Jan 8 at 10:06
  • I think there is missing a "do": "What kind of wheather do we have today?" – rexkogitans Jan 8 at 12:13
  • You are right. . – Janka Jan 8 at 14:27
10

If you translate entirely literally, what you get isn't German. It's English with phonological substitutions applied to it. But that isn't what distinguishes languages from each other.

In this particular case, English happens to have alternate ways of expressing "wie". One is how, and another is what ... like. There is no corresponding alternation in German, so cannot find an appropriate translation using "was".

  • 1
    The other answer gives a good translation using was – PiedPiper Jan 8 at 13:21
2

Another possibility to ask about the weather using was:

A: Was bringt das Wetter heute?
B: Morgens Schnee, dann Regen.

This is different from the other answers because the weather remains the subject of the sentence. In the other answers, the subject changes to Wetterbericht, wir etc.

2

There is another, probably more colloquial, variation of was für, where ein is dropped, and instead of haben wir we simply use ist. The word order is quite flexible:

Was für Wetter ist heute?

Was ist heute für Wetter?

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    I never heard this construction before. Could it be regional? – infinitezero Jan 8 at 18:56
  • @infinitezero Possibly it's more common in the southern part of Germany? – mkrieger1 Jan 8 at 19:43
2

Here is the link of the answer already given:

https://woerterbuch.reverso.net/deutsch-englisch/was%20haben%20wir%20heute%20f%C3%BCr%20ein%20Wetter

But don't confuse or mix it up with the inversion (what is a kind of interjection):

"Was haben wir heute für ein Wetter!" which means "Was ist das (wieder) für ein Wetter, das wir heute haben!!!".

Maybe in English you would add: "Isn't it? It is!"

2

I don't really recognize the motivation of the question; but one example is:

Was hat der Wetterbericht für heute gemeldet?

(What did the wheather report announce for today?)

  • (annunceannounce.) – Peter Mortensen Jan 9 at 4:29
  • Hi, I justed wanted to know if there is the exact 1 to 1 expression for "What's the weather like today?" using "A is like B" as in English. – Chan Kim Jan 9 at 9:26

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