11

I can’t find any information on this. Why is sein sometimes not used at the end of sentence, for example:

Es wird fantastisch!

The speaker was talking about a meeting later today. Why is the sentence not the following?

Es wird fantastisch sein! – It will be amazing ?

12

Es wird fantastisch!

The main (and only) verb of the first sentence is werden in present tense. In German, it is quite common to use the present tense to denote the future.

Es wird fantastisch sein!

The main verb of the second sentence is sein in future tense (Futur I, which uses werden as an auxiliary verb).

Thus, both sentences are correct (although the first one is more common), but in the first sentence, werden is the main verb, in the second, it is an auxiliary verb.

Note that this is not an ellipse - nothing is left out, instead these are two grammatically different constructions.

  • Could I also say -> Es sollte gut! Instead of -> Es sollte gut sein! – lwm Nov 20 '12 at 21:04
  • @LukeMurphy No, but it is common to say: Alles wird gut. – Em1 Nov 20 '12 at 21:14
7

German forms the future tense with werden. Werden also means to become. Seeing it that way helps to understand why sein is superfluous here.

Morgen werde ich 20. I'll turn 20 tomorrow.

The literal translation would be:

Tomorrow I become 20.

which is actually a proper statement. German expresses the future that way. It is a different mind set if you will. English uses a verb that is related to wishing things (to will) , German uses a verb that is to become. Hence a sein is not needed.

  • Und neben "to become" hat es auch noch die Bedeutung von "to develop", "to arise", "to result". Also Entstehung, Entwicklung von etwas. For example: "Es wird gut" bedeutet ja, dass es JETZT noch nicht gut ist, aber sich dorthin entwickeln, verändern wird. – Em1 Nov 20 '12 at 21:29
2

Although the similarity might be quite difficult to grasp, the whole thing behaves exactly like in this example:

Ich werde müde.

It doesn't mean that you are tired, but that you are getting tired, and thus you will be tired then.

2

You can translate both versions into english, perhaps you will see the difference then. I add another example with identical construction, where the difference maybe is even more visible:

  1. without »sein«:

    Es wird fantastisch.
    It becomes fantastic. Or: It is becoming fantastic.
    At the moment is is not very fantastic (maybe a little), but there is a clearly visible process which makes it more and more fantastic. At the end of this process you will be able to say truly: »It is fantastic.«

    Walter wird alt.
    Walter becomes old. Or: Walter is becoming old.
    Now he is not very old (maybe a little), but there is a clearly visible process which makes him older and older. At the end of this process you will be able to say truly: »Walter is old.«

    Es wird = It becomes

  2. with »sein«:

    Es wird fantastisch sein.
    It will be fantastic.

    Walter wird alt sein.
    Walter will be old.

    Es wird sein = It will be

In #1 you set the focus on the process that changes the state of the subject.

In #2 you set the focus on the result of this process, without looking at the process itself.

1

As a native English speaker who lives in Germany, I was also looking for an answer to this.

The problem is that "Es wird fantastisch" would ONLY be translated into English as "It WILL BE fantastic" OR "It's GOING TO BE fantastic." We simply DO NOT say "It becomes fantastic. Or: It is becoming fantastic."

In my understanding, BOTH "Es wird fantastisch" and "Es wird fantastisch sein" refer to the future. "Es wird fantastisch" does not refer to the present. That would surely be "Es IST fantastisch" as a statement of present actuality.

So to a non-native speaker it appears as a case of "umgangsprachlich" leaving out the infinitive "sein" for shortness and adding it for emphasis. Oder?

  • Nope. Not necessarily. Ich mache Rosa ein Kompliment. Rosa wird rot. Here, werden is not used an auxiliary denoting future tense, but rather a full verb, and in present tense (and this usage is not the least bit colloquial). But, depending on the context, your explanations might be valid as well. – tofro Feb 16 at 10:17
  • Sein has not been omitted. As pointed out in the accepted answer, werden is used as a full verb. Es wird fantastisch is grammatically present, although it is a statement about the future. It's the same as in "Ich gehe gleich nach Hause", where ich gehe is present tense although the statement is about near future. – RHa Feb 16 at 10:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.