47 votes

Making sense of the construct “Ich bin der Auffassung”

TL;DR That's the wrong literal translation. Note that Auffassung is female, i.e. die Auffassung. Here it's in the genitive case (der Auffassung). More literal translations would thus be: I am of the ...
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  • 15.8k
26 votes

Can a German sentence have two subjects?

Short answer: No Long answer: These are the parts of this sentence: die Wahrnehmung von Gerüchen Subjekt (subject) Note, that neither Wahrnehmung nor Gerüchen are subjects. The whole nominal group ...
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25 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "und sich"?

Normally, the word und joins two full sentences. However, if the subject or the verb or both are the same, it is seen as elegant to not repeat them in the second sentence. This can become kind of hard ...
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  • 14.9k
24 votes
Accepted

Asking about the weather using 'was'

Wie ist das Wetter heute? How is the weather today? Was für ein Wetter haben wir heute? literally: "What kind of weather do we have today?"
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  • 46.3k
23 votes
Accepted

Was sind direkte und indirekte Objekte?

Die Begriffe direktes und indirektes Objekt entstammen an sich der englischen Grammatik und sind im wesentlichen deckungsgleich mit unseren Begriffen von Akkusativ- und Dativobjekt. Das direkte Objekt ...
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  • 57k
21 votes
Accepted

Why the dative pronoun in "Ich wasche mir die Hände"?

The dative pronoun here means something like "for me". Many German verbs have this sort of construction, more than in English. But English has it too: He made me some soup She bought me a loaf of ...
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  • 1,107
21 votes

Use of the dative on inscriptions

For the same reason you use to in an English dedication: To my father You wouldn't just put 'My father', since you're telling us who you are dedicating the book to, not what it is.
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  • 2,331
19 votes
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SPD-Slogan „Das WIR entscheidet“

Du bist (vermutlich) über einen Rechtschreibfehler gestolpert (gemäß § 57 (3) der Rechtschreibregeln). Eigentlich müsste da stehen: ein Land, in dem das Wir entscheidet Wir ist hier ein ...
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  • 21.5k
19 votes

Use of the dative on inscriptions

It's an ellipsis of „Dieses Parlament ist dem deutschen Volk gewidmet“ (This parliament is dedicated to the German people). Widmen requires a dativ object in German. See here for a detailed ...
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  • 1,000
18 votes

Why the dative pronoun in "Ich wasche mir die Hände"?

Ich wasche meine Hände would be correct, but slightly unusual as long as nothing follows. Ich wasche meine Hände in Unschuld/mit warmem Wasser/mit Seife. is perfect. Ich wasche Hände is ...
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  • 24.3k
18 votes
Accepted

Which genus do I use for neutral expressions in German?

Oh boy, you just opened the box of Pandora as this is part of an ongoing discussion in Germany. I'll give an answer without politics first but I feel that this answer also needs to take a look at the ...
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  • 15.8k
18 votes

Use of "dar" at the end of a sentence

It just is a typo. It is wrong. The correct version is: Dieser Impfstoff kommt jetzt aber auch nicht und jetzt steht die EU eben größtenteils leer da.
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16 votes
Accepted

Is "Guten Morgen" in the accusative? Are all greetings so?

You are correct. "Guten Morgen" is short for "Ich wünsche dir/Ihnen einen guten Morgen". Likewise, "Guten Tag" is short for "Ich wünsche dir/Ihnen einen guten Tag". Same with "Guten Abend". As you ...
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  • 13.1k
16 votes
Accepted

Non-modal verbs as helping verbs (“I hear you coughing”)

The most direct equivalent to such constructions is an accusative-and-infinitive construction (AcI). It can be used with verbs of perception and similar and the subject of the action that is perceived ...
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  • 21.5k
15 votes
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Kommas in »Ein Interview ist, im Vergleich zu einem Hearing, entspannter.«

Wie ist die korrekte Bezeichnung für das fragliche Satzglied? Es handelt sich um eine Adverbiale der Art und Weise, die vom Wort «entspannter» abhängt. Bezugwort der Präpositionalgruppe Dass die ...
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  • 6,445
14 votes

Use of the dative on inscriptions

This is what's called a dativus finalis It tends to denote purpose and thus means "this is for [the benefit of] the German people". Latin knew the same notion, an example would be "tibi laetitiae", ...
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  • 57k
14 votes
Accepted

Articles with professions

This isn't about professions but special magic of the verb werden. It's a so-called copula, a coupler-verb. You know these already: Sie ist unsere Lehrerin. (sein) Es wird Nacht. (werden) Wir bleiben ...
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  • 46.3k
14 votes
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Why "taufet" not "tauft"?

The development of the German language has been characterised by a weakening of unstressed syllables (Nebensilbenabschwächung). Looking at the 3rd person singular present indicative, Old High German ...
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  • 21.3k
13 votes
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"Eines des wichtigsten Amt" oder "eines der wichtigsten Ämter"?

....... ist eines des wichtigsten Amt in Europa. This sentence is not correct. The other version eines der wichtigsten Ämter in Europa is indeed correct. You are talking about one of many like: ...
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  • 671
13 votes
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"Sieben Mann" statt "Sieben Männer"?

Das ist kein Singular, sondern die zweite Pluralform von Mann. Es gibt eine Reihe von Wörtern, die zwei verschiedene Pluralformen haben. Ein paar Beispiele: das Wort die Wörter wenn sie bloß eine ...
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13 votes

Why "taufet" not "tauft"?

Same reason why it's "thou shalt not steal" and not "you shall not steal" in English. Just an archaic form of language that's still often used in religious texts.
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  • 1,011
13 votes
Accepted

Definite article used in beginning of a sentence

One characteristic of German has been called Klammerstruktur: the phenomenon that words belonging together can be separated and occur at a vast distance from each other, which often poses problems for ...
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  • 21.3k
12 votes
Accepted

What construct is “zu tun ist”?

"Ist" is the verb (more precisely, the finite verb) of the subordinate clause. Because it is a subordinate clause, the verb has to be at the end. Es ist zu tun. "It has to be done.&...
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  • 13.1k
12 votes

What's the purpose of “die” in this sentence?

In this instance, die is a relative pronoun ('that'/'which' in English), not an article -- and so is the die before deshalb later in the sentence. The two clauses 'die nur über einen Privatweg zu ...
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  • 525
12 votes
Accepted

How can we build a sentence for presumed past in German?

You need the subjunctive, in this case the Konjunktiv II: Hätte ich vor 10 Jahren im Lotto gewonnen, hätte ich meine Mutter vor Krankheit bewahrt. Wäre WhatsApp 30 Jahre früher erfunden worden, hätte ...
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  • 4,368
12 votes

What does "können" refer to in this sentence?

The structure is ...Versuche ... zeigen ..., dass auf ... nicht verzichtet werden kann. The second sentence, as a main clause (Hauptsatz) would be Auf ... kann nicht verzichtet werden. The ...
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  • 2,485
12 votes
Accepted

What does "können" refer to in this sentence?

You are searching in vain. There is no subject. The third-person singular form is the result of a semantic-structural necessity, not of agreement between verb and subject. For verbs with an ...
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  • 7,543
12 votes

Identifying the subject of a sentence

The subclause Dass bei diesem Interesse vor allem auch die Frage, (...) eine Rolle spielte is the subject of the sentence. This is called Subjektsatz in German. Subclauses can be subject or object of ...
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  • 13.1k
12 votes

Why is the verb in 3rd position?

The verb is still in second position. Sogar is a particle which modifies the subsequent part of the sentence. So it should be regarded as [Sogar meine Tante] [hatte] [einen Ausdruck]. This is the ...
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  • 15.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Function of a past participle in a German sentence

gesucht is the past participle ("Partizip II") of suchen. It is the same construction as in english wanted, needed, or appreciated in the following sentences. I am wanted dead or alive. ...
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