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Is this incorrect?

Es steht keine Frage darüber.

or should it be:

Es besteht keine Frage darüber.

which would be consistent with most of the usage in DWDS, except for:

Symbol OCR Deutscher Bundestag: Plenarprotokoll Nr. 07/225 vom 20.02.1976, S. 15670. Damit stehen keine Fragen der Nivellierung, der Rentenkürzung oder sonstiges zur Diskussion.

How should one view the differences in this usage? One is standard German and the other not? Or one is more common usage and the other less common, but still standard?

3 Answers 3

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There is a difference in meaning

Es steht keine Frage darüber

There is no question above it (e.g. on a sheet of paper)

Es besteht keine Frage darüber

It is not in question

Es stehen keine Fragen [...] zur Diskussion

There are no questions up for discussion

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In this context you actually need "bestehen" and not just "stehen". The example you quoted from DWDS is a bit misleading in this case, because it actually doesn't use "stehen" on its own as one might think. In fact, it uses the set phrase "zur Diskussion stehen", "to be up for discussion":

Damit stehen keine Fragen [zu diesen Themen] zur Diskussion.
With this, no questions [on these topics] are up for discussion.

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Please note, that without "zur Diskussion" the verb "stehen" does not make much sense in combination with "Frage":

  1. Es stehen keine Fragen zur Diskussion.
    There are no questions for discussion.

  2. Es steht keine Frage darüber.
    There is no question above it.

  3. Es besteht keine Frage darüber.
    There is no question about it.

#3 is possible, but weak style.

The word "stehen" in #1 is part of the fixed phrase "etwas steht zur Diskussion" = "something is up for discussion".

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  • But "Es steht außer Frage," makes sense. So why not, "Es steht keine Frage?"
    – user44591
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:53
  • @user44591: The multi-word expressions außer Frage stehen and zur Diskussion stehen are fixed phrases that are often used. But "keine Frage stehen" is just wrong. Sorry. Feb 25, 2023 at 18:02
  • What rule establishes that "keine Frage stehen" is "wrong"? Is it impossible to understand? Does it violate a rule of grammar? If the rule is, "Germans just do not talk that way," since I am not German, that is a rule I cannot hope to achieve conformity with. The best I can hope for is to be understood, even if not respected for the attempt.
    – user44591
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:15
  • @user44591: The rule is the most powerful rule of all living languages. It is the main rule that is superior to all other rules: it is the actual usage of the native speakers. All other rules are only the weak attempt to interpret logic into a system, which in reality is not based on logic, but on custom. Feb 26, 2023 at 8:15
  • Btw: You wrote: "Germans just do not talk like that". That's like talking about the peculiarities of the English language and saying, "People from England just don't talk like that." English is also spoken outside England, and German is also spoken outside Germany. 5 million people in Switzerland are native German speakers, and about 9 million Austrians (including me) are native German speakers. You can really piss off Swiss and Austrians by calling them "Germans". Feb 26, 2023 at 8:20

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