Questions tagged [verb-usage]

Questions about how to use verbs, from a grammatical, syntactical and stylistic point of view.

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4
votes
1answer
357 views

Verbs with current Subjunctive II Usage

Okay so in a previous question: Difference between "Ich möchte" and "Ich hätte gern(e)" and "Ich würde gern(e)" A reply to an answer by Jan brought up a ...
2
votes
2answers
375 views

Two non-modal verbs in a single sentence

Abends gehen wir alle spazieren. or Abends spazieren wir alle. Which one is correct? I think second one is correct because in the first sentence gehen, is used like a modal verb due to which the ...
21
votes
8answers
28k views

Difference between “sollen” and “müssen”

I can’t quite grasp the difference between sollen and müssen. They both express a duty, something that has to be done. In Italian, my native language, we just have one word for both, and so I can’t ...
20
votes
5answers
10k views

What's the difference between "öffnen" and "aufmachen"?

Meagan opens her car door and gets in. Meagan macht die Wagentür auf und steigt ein. Can I also use öffnen in this context? What's the difference between aufmachen and öffnen?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use the preposition “zu” together with “passen”

Another confusing word + preposition combination to me, please could someone clarify the usage of: Das passt mir sehr gut or Das passt zu mir sehr gut? Wir passen zueinander sehr gut or Wir ...
8
votes
5answers
747 views

Meaning and usage of "aufarbeiten"

So I was given an example sentence from Baron's 501 German verbs … It goes as follows "Er denkt daran, seine Kriegserlebnisse zu einem Artikel aufzuarbeiten." The translation says "He's thinking of ...
7
votes
1answer
740 views

Wann sollte ich „passieren” und wann „stattfinden” verwenden?

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen „passieren” und „stattfinden” oder sind das Synonyme? „Das wird nicht passieren” und „Das wird nicht stattfinden” bedeuten doch das gleiche? Falls es keine Synonyme ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Must vs. need to vs. have to

In English, there is clear difference in the meaning of the following expressions: I must know the law I need to know the rules I have to know the recommendations But in German, as far as I can see ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Why use the plural conjugate of the verb in this case?

A German text contains the following sentence. Und das Beste an den Alpen sind ihre Hütten. Clearly das Beste must be a singular quantity given the article. So why is sind used and not ist?
3
votes
1answer
908 views

Difference between “schicken”, “abschicken” and “zuschicken”; similar verbs?

Like many students of German, I guess, I'm having trouble distinguishing verbs with different prefixes. My teacher says “schicken”, “abschicken” and “zuschicken” are close synonyms with subtle ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

A plural verb with a singular subject: Is this like the royal "we"?

Quoting from a novel: Sie haben Glück, mein Sohn. Seine Magnifizenz der Hochsekretär geruhen, Ihnen ein Paar Minuten seiner kostbaren Zeit zu widmen. This seems to be a singular subject with a ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

The role of "sein" with a verb in "infinitive"

I’ve recently come across a sentence: Einmal war ich nach einer Party um zwei Uhr morgens Döner essen mit Jamaal, einem syrischen Freund. What I didn’t understand is what war is doing here? When I ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between “fühlen” and “sich fühlen”?

What is the difference between fühlen and sich fühlen? I thought both mean to feel: Ich fühle traurig. Ich fühle mich traurig. And why don’t we use sich fühlen in these two sentences? Viele ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Die Ersetzung des Tätigkeitswortes "anlegen" mit "installieren"

Ich bin über die beiden Verben "anlegen" und "installieren" verwirrt, da die zwei "to install" bedeuten. Ich bilde für jedes Tätigkeitswort einen Satz: Der Techniker hat die Heizungsanlage im Hause ...