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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, ...
36 votes
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Verb "geeitet" in an old scientific text

This is simply a typo. It should be geleitet instead of geeitet. The infinitive is leiten, and in the given context, it means guide or direct. Der Gedanke hat mich geleitet. → The thought has ...
34 votes

Feminine noun with suffix -ung that is not the result of a "Verb to Noun process"

I wrote a little Python script (see below) to find candidate words. It takes a dictionary and yields all uppercase words that end on ung unless: there exists a corresponding lowercase word ending on ...
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30 votes
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geschafft or geschaffen? which one is past participle of schaffen?

"schaffen" has two meanings: to get something managed, to create, to produce something "geschafft" is the past of the 1st, "geschaffen" is the past of the 2nd
  • 503
30 votes
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Feminine noun with suffix -ung that is not the result of a "Verb to Noun process"

I think that die Zeitung fulfills the criteria.
27 votes
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Does the verb "möchten" exist?

Technically, möchte is the subjunctive II (Konjunktiv II) of mögen. However, mögen is special, as it changes in a different way than other verbs do when put into the subjuncitve mood: While with most ...
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27 votes

Can I use ‘fahren’ when the mode of transport is not decided?

Yes. A common small-talk topic is “Wohin fahrt ihr dieses Jahr in den Urlaub?” and it is perfectly ok to answer “Wir fahren nach Island” even if you have your flight tickets booked already. Same ...
27 votes
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What is the etymology of "Es gibt" in the sense of "There is"?

There is a gradual development from the Germanic and Old High Germangeban in the meaning of to give to the peculiar abstract usage es gibt which only occured in New High German. There is quite an ...
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23 votes
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“To tell” in German

Well, tell has a few differing meanings and depending on what you're going to express, you need to translate differently. Erzählen is to tell a story or to tell a joke, verraten is to tell a secret, ...
  • 38.5k
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 ...
  • 4,760
22 votes

Are sentences such as “wir waren essen” grammatically correct?

This construction is the so called "Absentive", which is still disputed, but can be found in many European languages. Basically "Wir waren essen" means "We were off eating". The trick is the location ...
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22 votes
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Does "wiederhören" really exist?

Yes, it's definitely used when making reference to a telephone call or similar: Wann hören wir uns wieder? Auf Wiederhören, bis zum nächsten Mal.
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22 votes
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Are there any other German verbs besides »sein« that take the nominative case?

This construction is usually called "predicative nominative" ("prädikativer Nominativ", "Gleichsetzungsnominativ"), rather than "nominative object". There are a couple of verbs that have it, in ...
  • 10.4k
22 votes
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Apart from "berlinern", do any other German dialects have a corresponding verb?

Das gibt es auch bei anderen Dialekten: Der Schwabe schwäbelt. Der Sachse sächselt.
  • 11.5k
21 votes
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"Tempel ein" in Die Zauberflöte

Welcome to the wonderful world of german separable verb prefixes :-) "Tempel ein" isn't a phrase but the result of separating the verb's prefix from the main part of the verb. In your ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Why isn't "gehen" in the sentence?

"Müssen" in German can also imply direction - the usage you are expecting is as auxiliary verb, like "können", "dürfen", "sollen": Etwas tun müssen Gehen müssen But you may use it without any ...
20 votes
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Is leaving out prefixes like "rauf", "rüber", "rein" when describing movement considered a big mistake in spoken German?

No, it is not necessary It does not sound bad or unusual if you use the short version. The longer version just puts more emphasis.
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19 votes
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Is "Möchte Sie" acceptable?

Strictly speaking, welche möchte Sie lieber? would mean something like which one likes you better? Meaning Sie would be the object of mögen, and welche the subject. Without any more context ...
  • 1,238
19 votes
Accepted

When to use 'angeboten' and when to use 'bot'?

The verb is, in its infinitive form (the form you need to look it up in a dictionary): to offer = anbieten Like in I want to offer you a drink. Ich möchte dir ein Getränk anbieten. The form for ...
19 votes
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dürfen vs "sich dürfen"?

There is a misunderstanding! The reflexive pronoun sich does not belong to the modal verb dürfen, but to the reflexive verb treffen. Without the modal verb it is something like this: Ich treffe ...
19 votes
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When do we not need 'are' in german sentences?

English: You are crazy. you a subject pronoun (second person, singular) are a copulative verb, a form of to be (second person, singular, indicative, present tense, active voice) crazy an adjective ...
18 votes
Accepted

Why does the German dictionary show only 2nd and 3rd person conjugation?

There are around 200 irregular verbs in German (unregelmäßige Verben or starke Verben) and they usually have changes within their roots only for personal pronouns du and er/sie/es. That's probably the ...
18 votes
Accepted

How to ask for a bank account "upgrade"?

I checked some german banks which offer an upgrade for their accounts. Clicking these links, you get a webpage with a more legal phrasing, where the bank itself uses the word "wechseln", so you could ...
  • 11.5k
18 votes

What does "auf" mean in "aufsperren"?

As pointed out in Kilian's answer, the "auf" prefix here refers to opening something. It does, however, not negate the pre-ixed word in general (e.g. as opposed to how "to lock"/"to unlock" work in ...
  • 8,097
18 votes

<schwitz>, <zwinker> etc. Does German always use 2nd Person Singular Imperative verbs for emoticons? If so, why?

Not imperative: Knutsch mich ab! *abknutsch* The form looks like an infinitive with the ending -en removed and has been given the jocular name Erikativ after the woman who translated Disney ...
  • 22.6k
17 votes

“To tell” in German

Verraten is in the sense of a secret. Tell me your secret. Verrate mir dein Geheimnis. Erzählen is mostly in the sense of a story. Also, it could be used for a request to be told what happened. ...
  • 375
17 votes

Appropriate pronoun for “you” and “someone else who’s not here right now.”

Gehen du und Bob zur Party? Is the right answer here. If they were both standing right in front of you you say Geht ihr zur Party? But one of the people is not there, so you are talking about a ...
  • 1,190
16 votes

Are the two meanings of "kehren" considered related?

To me: Not related at all. But I have a hunch that this is due to two reasons: The verb "kehren" (= turn) alone is rarely used. Typically I would expect a prefix, e.g. umkehren, einkehren, abkehren, ...
  • 23.7k
16 votes
Accepted

Weihnachtsfest begehen

Man kann ein Fest durchaus begehen. Der Ausdruck ist aber sehr "vornehm" und wird immer seltener verwendet. Für so etwas "normales" wie Weihnachten, das jedes Jahr stattfindet, würde ich ihn eher ...
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