1
  1. Es gibt Zeiten, wo meine Freunde und ich in die Alpen fahren, um den Tag dort zu verbringen.
  2. Es gibt Zeiten, zu welchen meine Freunde u. ich in die Alpen fahren, um den Tag dort zu verbringen.
  3. Es gibt Zeiten, zu den meine Freunde und ich in die Alpen fahren, um den Tag dort zu verbringen.

"There are times that my friends and I will drive to the Alpes to spend the day there."

Which should I use? And is there an alternative for verbringen?

  • Number 1 and 3 are wrong. "Wo" is only used in some dialects in this position. See answer, best is "zu denen". – PMF Dec 30 '13 at 22:01
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    After den has been corrected to denen, the choice between (2) and (3) is a matter of taste. I find welchen a bit stilted, but in non-casual writing it is ok. – Carsten S Dec 31 '13 at 0:55
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    Would "es gibt Zeiten, in denen ..." be acceptable? – persson Jan 2 '14 at 14:28
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Correct is this:

Es gibt Zeiten, zu denen meine Freunde u. ich in die Alpen fahren, um den Tag dort zu verbringen.

This might also be grammatically correct, but I would not use it. Sorry, I have no rational explanation why I would not use it:

Es gibt Zeiten, zu welchen ...

I don't know any alternatives to »den Tag verbringen« that could be used here.

1

In your given sentence 'in denen' would be the best usage.

Compare (I'll link the usage search for each) the following sentences, note that you could technically use 'welchen' in each of them instead of 'denen', but that would sound odd to me.

Die Zeiten, zu denen der Zug kommt, sind ...

This marks points in time, on the scale of minutes / seconds / timezones, so it references the time on a clock. (The times at which the train arrives are...) Larger scales would use "Die Tage, an denen" or similar.

Die Zeiten, in denen ich an dich denke, sind ...

This marks periods of time. (The times in which I think of you are...)

Die Zeiten, an denen dieses Fest gefeiert wird, sind ...

This marks occasions, that may or may not correlate to a clock or calendar. (The times at which this holiday is celebrated, are ...; The times at which you eat; The times at which you can meet me)

Die Zeiten, wo ...

This is dialect and can be used for any of the other uses.

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