5

When I want say: "Will the weather improve?"

Wird das Wetter besser werden?

Do I always need to include the last word, i.e. werden, or could I drop it?

How do forms of werden fit here?

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The last word werden specifies future tense.
If you ask

Wird das Wetter besser werden?

you want to know if the weather will improve in the (near) future.
If you drop the last word the meaning chances:

Wird das Wetter besser?

This question is in present tense and means:

Is the weather currently improving.

Image you are walking outside and it starts to rain and you seek shelter. After a while you might then ask somebody around "Wird das Wetter besser?" because you feel like it is raining less and you want to continue you walk.
An example for "Wird das Wetter besser werden?" would be the news anchor asking the weatherman after many days of rainy weather. Is this case he wants to know about the weather tomorrow or maybe next week.

  • 2
    Well, what about "Was meinste? Wird das Wetter nächsten Sommer wieder besser?"? You're obviously talking about something in the future but there's not the second werden. And the sentence is absolutely fine. I guess if I think the weather is getting better right now I'd say "Ich glaub' es hört auf zu regnen. Wir können wieder weitergehen." Thus, I disagree. – Em1 Jul 22 '13 at 7:12
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    I think your examples are both correct, but I still think my explanation is correct, too. I tried to provide a distinction between the two sentences. By adding nächsten Sommer and wieder the sentence has changed. – hirse Jul 22 '13 at 7:26
  • The sentence "Wird das Wetter besser?" can be read in either way... present and future. It is very well possible that a time indication has been mentioned before in a conversation. Since the question "Is the weather improving at the moment?" is a weird question to ask I personally would interpret the example sentence as a future tense. It definitely does not justify a distinction like the one proposed. Also, I think the first sentence is misleading since the second werden in fact is to become and the first one is the future auxiliary. – Emanuel Jul 22 '13 at 10:59
  • To back my theory: the sentence "Kommt sie?" can also be read either way (future or present) and I think the future reading is the closer one – Emanuel Jul 22 '13 at 11:00
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In my opinion the explanation by hirse is somewhat theoretical. In practice German speakers nearly always drop the infinite part of Future I indikativ of "werden". So

Wird das Wetter besser?

Wie wird das Wetter?

is the widely used form even when talking long term: In 50 Jahren wird das noch viel schlimmer.

I believe this is due to the double use of "werden" (wird werden), which people try to avoid. This does not mean that they use present tense to talk about the future, which obviously is also possible ("Ich gehe nächstes Jahr nach Australien.")

I'm convinced that this is just an abbreviated or elliptical form of Future I indikativ, but I stand to be corrected in that regard.

[EDIT] And I do stand corrected, we're most certainly not dealing with an abbreviation, since we're dealing with a "Kopulaverb" here. But still I think, even if we're talking future, the future tense is most commonly not used, although "Kopulaverben" allow for future tense just like any other "Vollverb".

  • Close to home. - Ich denke aber eher nicht, dass es eine verkürzte Form ist. "werden" ist ein Kopulaverb. "Er wird 18 Jahre alt." - "Er wird Pilot." Oder würdest du sagen "Ich werde Pilot werden." Wenn ja, müsstest du konsequenterweise auch sagen "Ich bin Pilot sein." (<- Nicht allzu ernst nehmen!) (Möglich wäre aber noch "Ich werde mal ein hervorragender Pilot sein). Mein Punkt ist aber, dass die Konstruktion: "Wetter [Kopula] [Zustand]" bereits ein vollständiger Satz ist, und keine Auslassung stattgefunden hat. – Em1 Jul 22 '13 at 8:36
  • @Em1 Gut finde ich, dass du den hier relevanten Begriff Kopulaverben ins Spiel bringst, aber eine Erklärung ist das nicht, insofern Kopulaverben ja in allen Zeitformen verwendet werden können! (Und warum sollte man konsequenterweise falsche bzw. unmögliche Formen verwenden? Das ist Nonsens.) Gib deine Erklärung doch als Antwort ab: "Werden" ist Kopulaverb und deshalb braucht man kein Futur I indikativ bilden, auch wenn es möglich und richtig ist. – bouscher Jul 22 '13 at 8:53

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