70 votes
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What is the linguistic necessity for the letter 'ß' in German that can't be expressed with 'ss'?

You can't call it a need, since Switzerland dropped ß at the beginning of the 20th century and has, apparently, not yet collapsed. But ß does have a function. In intervocalic position, there is a ...
David Vogt's user avatar
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53 votes
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Is German a VO language or an OV language?

English is a SVO language. SVO means: Subject, Verb, Object(s) in exactly this order. But English is the only Germanic language with this word order. German and all other Germanic languages (Dutch, ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
34 votes
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Is German on social media very distinct from standard German?

I grew up near Graz, in the south-east of Austria. The first language that I learned when I was a little child was the local dialect. This dialect has no genitive case, dative and accusative case are ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
29 votes
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Reading a Swiss newspaper as a German learner

Yes, you will. Not only in the Swiss dialects, but also in written Swiss standard German (as used in the press), word and expression usage can differ so significantly that even a native German speaker ...
jarnbjo's user avatar
  • 2,075
28 votes

When we will use "Halli-Hallo" Word?

Halli Hallo is a joyful informal expression to greet someone. The Halli does not have any special meaning. I think it's very rarely used, especially among adults. Children might use it more often. If ...
infinitezero's user avatar
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27 votes
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Is the word "Unterlagen" masculine or feminine?

The das in the first example is not an article since an article would have to come just before a noun. It's a demonstrative pronoun roughly translatable as "that", although "this/these&...
RDBury's user avatar
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23 votes

Is beeilen always a reflexive verb?

Yes, beeilen is always reflexive in modern usage. You cannot say *er beeilte or *sie beeilte ihn. The counterexample you gave is a different word: herbeieilen. This consists of the intransitive verb ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
  • 5,317
21 votes

What is the linguistic necessity for the letter 'ß' in German that can't be expressed with 'ss'?

Your reference to ſz is somewhat misleading, since this is more a typographical aspect, how ß is represented, in the age of Unicode surely not a problem. From purely practical point of view, ß is a ...
guidot's user avatar
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20 votes
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What does the word "wähh" mean?

"Wäh", or "wähh" or similar is a colloquial term for expressing disgust. The talker means that the fish looks disgusting.
PMF's user avatar
  • 3,516
18 votes

Reading a Swiss newspaper as a German learner

You will encounter vocabulary that isn't widely understood in Germany or Austria. But it's the same the other way. German speakers have to live with that. The worst thing which could happen is that ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 60.3k
17 votes

Why Bette in the first quatrain of the nursery rhyme "Müde bin ich"

The final "e" in "Bette" indicates the dative case and is not a plural form. It normally isn't used in contemporary German anymore, however there are some fixed expressions like "zu Hause" where it is ...
fragezeichen's user avatar
  • 2,205
16 votes

Is German a VO language or an OV language?

In main clauses, German uses V2 (the verb is on second position), and that means VO most of the time. German (V2 -> VO): Julia ruft den Hund. English (VO): Julia calls the dog. Latin (OV): Iulia ...
HalvarF's user avatar
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15 votes

Is beeilen always a reflexive verb?

In contemporary German beeilen is always reflexive in usage. This was not always the case. When reading literature from the 19. Century you may come across rare sentences like this: Es wird Gewitter, ...
Takkat's user avatar
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15 votes
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What is the correct way to say “and the last is“?

The expression the last is, or in German der/ die/ das letzte ist, is an elliptical expression, in which the noun was omitted. Therefore, the question is: The last what? And depending on the noun that ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
15 votes
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How to describe the location (North, South, East and West) of a country/city with respect to another country/city

liegt – ist German has a couple of verbs that do not describe an action, but the kind of being located somewhere. English has such verbs too, but in English they are mainly used to describe positions ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
14 votes

When should you use "du" instead of "Sie"?

You never ever siezen family members, regardless which grade. It would be very rude, as if you aren't related to that person. The only excuse is not knowing someone is a family member. Children are ...
Janka's user avatar
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14 votes

Why "eine Kind" and not "ein Kind"?

Eine is not an article here, but behaves like an adjective (or numeral) meaning "one", since dieses already fulfills the article role. Compare: dieses/das/jedes eine Kind -- this/the/each one child ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
  • 5,317
13 votes
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In der Zukunft oder in die Zukunft?

Antwort auf Deutsch Sowohl in die Zukunft als auch in der Zukunft sind grammatisch korrekt, sie bedeuten nur etwas verschiedenes. In in die Zukunft steht Zukunft im Akkusativ, sodass eine Richtung ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
12 votes

Lernen bei jdm. vs Lernen mit jdm

It's a bit different from English, where all the following cases would translate into "with": If you learn something "mit jemandem" - Both are learning, that is, you learn "together with someone", ...
tofro's user avatar
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12 votes
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What is the origin of the "-ingen" suffix in town names in Europe, particularly Germany?

The suffix "-ingen" describes the affilation to a leader or a person in general. So in Sigmaringen lived the relatives of Sigmar. This is not a swabian thing, as you can find many town names with ...
IQV's user avatar
  • 11.5k
12 votes
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Are there places in Germany where Standard German completely replaced local dialects?

Yes, in large parts of Northern Germany (also well south of Hanover), people nowadays can neither consciously switch between standard German and a local dialect (although they frequently do so ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 9,177
12 votes

Is German on social media very distinct from standard German?

Nach den langen und sachkundigen Beiträgen oben, hier eine Antwort, für die fünf Zeilen ausreichen: Es kommt darauf an, wer schreibt! - Es gibt nicht "das Deutsch in sozialen Medien". Gebildete und ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Why is ‘eines’ used in the sentence ‘Eines gleich vorweg’?

Here eines is not genitive and not an article. Instead "eines" is a pronoun, and its neuter form is eines. You can translate this sentence as One thing right from the start ...
IQV's user avatar
  • 11.5k
12 votes

Reading a Swiss newspaper as a German learner

Reading a Swiss or Austrian newspaper will increase the likelihood of encountering constructions that may be rejected by Germans as not conforming to the standard. For instance, note the position of ...
David Vogt's user avatar
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11 votes
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When to use separable verbs and normal verbs to express an action?

No, there is no rule that requires you to differentiate in use. Your examples are mostly interchangeable. There are some subtle differences in meaning, particularly stornieren and absagen, but that ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 4,438
11 votes
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Should the German ä be ë?

Phonetics of ä vs ö and ü Like other vowel letters, ä in German represents two sounds, a short vowel and a long vowel. The short ä sound is not a "modification of" the short e sound. They ...
sumelic's user avatar
  • 684
11 votes

Is the word "Unterlagen" masculine or feminine?

The das in the first sentence is not the article going with Unterlagen, it’s actually the subject, like for example in Das ist schön. The Unterlagen shows no article because the indefinite article “...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24.1k
10 votes

Why Bette in the first quatrain of the nursery rhyme "Müde bin ich"

Summary: In über meinem Bette sein the word Bette is not plural. It's an antiquated dative singular often found in poetry. Wikipedia quotation: (from the wikipedia article about Dative case, ...
Frank from Frankfurt's user avatar
10 votes

Double-nominative constructions and “von”

The von construction can be used with indefinite number adjectives, such as but not limited to "dutzende, hunderte, tausende, ...". But it is optional. Thus, both sentences are grammatically ...
infinitezero's user avatar
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