• Wie kommt es, dass du die Sprache ganz alleine gelernt hast?
  • Wie magst du die Sprache ganz alleine gelernt haben?

The meaning that I want to express: " how have you learned the language on your own?"

Do both sentences have that meaning and may they be used in writing?

Here are my two references :enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    If you have a reference to give, please say the name of the source if possible, so that everyone can profit from it.
    – vectory
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 21:19
  • Website reference : de.thefreedictionary.com
    – Firas97
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 21:23
  • In general it's better to give links or copy and paste text than to embed images; it helps with searching, text readers, etc.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 21:31
  • Correction /edited: Wie mag du die Sprache ganz alleine gelernt haben?
    – Firas97
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


The first one is really good and expresses exactly what you're trying to say, only the verb form at the end should be 2nd person singular ("du hast"):

Wie kommt es, dass du die Sprache ganz alleine gelernt hast?

The second one is completely correct, just the meaning is a little bit off from what you're trying to say imho.

Wie magst du die Sprache ganz alleine gelernt haben?

This is not really a question to the other person, it's a pretty sophisticated way of expressing something you're pondering about. If you directly ask somebody that, they might not even understand what you're trying to ask, because "mögen" can have different meanings.

If you put it this way for example, it becomes much more understandable:

Ich frage mich, wie du die Sprache nur ganz alleine gelernt haben magst.

With this, you're saying that you're pondering about this, and the other person will probably understand that it's a question for them.

  • You were quicker, cuz I am still "researching" and beating around the bush. I deduce one particular problem from the reference's examples, where we see key-words like nur and wohl which mark the tone; the former expresses disbelieve, the other one has sarcastic connotations despite the superficial positive polarity (eg. das wird wohl schief gehen, du hast wohl ne Meise, wirst du wohl; it is also found as synonym to vielleicht in less derisive, but rather uncertain tone). Ganz allein can then be understood in either of these senses (increduluous or sarcastic).
    – vectory
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 22:07
  • The same sentence without those adverbs is comprehensible, but possibly not felicit. It sounds "stilted" (if I read it).
    – vectory
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 22:09

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