4

I grew up in Germany and although I moved to another country 18 years ago, I still speak German every day. I did not have much contact with German talk radio for these 18 years. Recently I've started listening to German radio podcasts (WDR 5).

I noticed that when two people talk on the radio, the talk often ends with one person thanking the other for their contribution and the response for the thanks is a "Gerne!"

Is that new? I am totally familiar with "gern geschehen", but just "Gerne!" strikes me as odd.

Person A: Danke, dass du dir die Zeit genommen hast, uns davon zu berichten.

Person B: Gerne.

Is that language change in progress? I definitely never heard that when I still lived in Germany.

  • Short: yes. Why? Because it is shorter. Or maybe sounds different/ better then "Bitte [sehr]." Or maybe it is short for "Gerne doch." Or maybe ... I have no other idea. – Shegit Brahm Sep 16 '19 at 6:57
  • Just a remark: As a native speaker: Feel free to ask your questions here in German... – Torsten Link Sep 16 '19 at 7:39
  • 1
    I don't think it's a duplicate for the linked question, as this one does not ask for explanation of "gerne" but a reasoning why the "shortening" takes place... – Torsten Link Sep 16 '19 at 7:54
  • One should note that gern' and gerne are allomorph. That is, this case looks like a simple ellipsis if you will. However, "Sicher", ("aber sicher doch"), "Na klar", etc. are common emphatics. "willst du ein Eis? Ja, Gerne/Bitte" has little to do with "gern geschehen". I don't think it's new, but without an in-depth look, which I wouldn't know how to conduct, I cannot exclude a trend either. PS: It might even be that "gern geschehen" is a later hypercorrection, given that cognate "to yearn" much better fits the expression of a wish, "Ich möchte gern ein Eis" (vgl "ein Möchtegern") – vectory Sep 16 '19 at 21:40

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.