I am a beginner in German language, I was trying to make simple sentences for email writing test but when I translate them in translator it gives different answers which are not incorrect but not what I was expecting, so can anyone tell me which version is more acceptable?

Do you have a course for beginners? What I wrote: Haben Sie einen Kurs fur Anfänger? Translator : Gibt es Kurse fur Anfänger?

Do you have a weekend course? What I wrote: Haben Sie einen Wochenendkurs? Translator : Gibt es Wochenendkurse?

  • 3
    Also für or fuer instead of fur.
    – Olafant
    Feb 11 at 9:08
  • @HalvarF what is Anfanger supposed to mean? Feb 12 at 7:19
  • This is for a written test, so the more literal version seems appropriate.
    – tofro
    Feb 12 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


The machine translated sentences are seemingly trying to be more idiomatic and standard German (I'm anthropomorphising here of course), while your translations are more literal. Both yours and theirs are completely acceptable though. I would definitely use either, "Haben Sie ..." and "Gibt es ...". For example, I'd perhaps use them interchangingly to mix things up.

  • What does this number 1 2 or 3 means on the left hand side, It was showing 2 so is it a kind of ranking? Feb 11 at 12:53
  • It is the amount of upvotes that answer or question received @khurramShahzad
    – YPOC
    Feb 11 at 18:07
  • @khurramShahzad Upvotes are a general good way of showing how well received the answer is or if there are multiple answers, it gives you an easier way to decide which answer is better without reading all of them. If there is only a single answer and it has a negative score, it might be better to just move along
    – Zibelas
    Feb 12 at 7:06
  • 1
    This is for a written test, so the more literal version seems appropriate.
    – tofro
    Feb 12 at 13:57

The literal meaning is quite different. The first example means "Do YOU have something", the other means "Does something EXIST."

So it all depends on context. If you ask in a shop whether something exists, they will probably assume that you want to know whether they have it for sale.

If you ask in a baker’s shop whether they have (sell) meat, the answer might be "no". If you ask whether meat exists, the literal answer is "yes".

I can't think of a context other than asking a vendor where the sentences might be interchangeable. There is a big difference between "Do you have (rare illness)?" and "Does (rare illness) exist?".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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