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Deutsch 101

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by scherbchen, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. MajKira

    MajKira King

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    Ich kann auch deutsch neben englisch her
    I would translate
    Original: "Man should be like iron, tempered with virtue which cannot be broken by adversity."

    Der Mensch sollte sehr eisern sein: Voll tugendhaft, das durch nichts gebrochen wird.
     
  2. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    Sometimes though I see "seien" used in a non-imperative sense.

    Can somebody also explain why „Der König ist tot, es lebe der König“ is written that way? Why is "leben" in the ich-form?
     
  3. MajKira

    MajKira King

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    Es lebe der König means
    Long shall live the king
    its not Ich form, its Lang soll er leben meaning

    können you have to leave out
    Man sollte wie Eisen sein not seien; Vergütet mit Tugend, die wegen keiner Widrigkeit zerbrechen wird.
     
  4. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    Kira is right. It's a Konjunktiv 1. :)

    Dritte Person, Singular, Präsens, Aktiv, Konjunktiv 1 to be precise.
     
  5. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    The only occasion I know where "seien" is used is imperative in combination with "Sie" (i.e. the polite 2nd person). "Seien Sie ruhig!" etc. (colloquial language usually contracts the second e here as well, "Sein Sie ruhig"). Anything else seems to be a misspelling of "sein".

    "Es lebe der König" is an somewhat odd construction that's fallen out of use outside this kind of idioms, I'd say. "lebe" is the present subjunctive third person to "leben" here, not the identical first person present. Strictly speaking, "Der König lebe" is the phrasing you're likely to see today.

    I suspect it's that way to keep the chiasm from the original: "Der König ist tot, es lebe der König", but how the "es" comes into play, linguistically speaking, I have no idea.

    Edit: crosspost with metatron again :D
     
  6. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    There are some subjunctive forms, too:
    wir seien & sie seien (1. und 3. Person, Plural, Aktiv, Präsens, Konjunktiv 1)

    Edit: Spectra, you don't have to be able to do Konjuktiv 1 correctly. Many Germans know the correct forms but don't use them correctly in everyday conversation (they just abuse Konjunktiv 2, which is "easier" and sounds less stuffy or they just avoid the subjunctive mood alltogether). And some actually don't know the correct forms in the first place.
     
  7. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    Konjunktiv? I've never seen or used that before. My mistake. I'm just finishing up German 104 now.
     
  8. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    You don't really have to worry about Konjunktiv I, everything I've heard about it is that it is dying out and is normally used in newspapers to create distance between the writer and what is being written.

    Konjunktiv II is much more important. :)

    Alles Gute
     
  9. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    Oh, ok, I just looked this up. "Konjunctiv" is the German word for "subjunctive," which I know. But I was only taught the II-form, so I guess the I-form isn't going to be mentioned until we start reading older German literature.

    Edit:

    I'm trying to teach myself Konjunctiv. I saw this passage in "Das Tagebuch" by Goethe:

    "Sei" is in the Konjunctiv-I form, right? So it should be translated (with the English word order being slightly awkward because I'm keeping it as literal as I can) something like:

     
  10. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    So I'm attempting to say that I caught a bus to the train station at nine o'clock because I had to catch a train. What I've got for that is, "Ich bin um neun Uhr zum Bahnhof einen Bus gefahren, weil ich einen Zug gefahren bin muss." And I'm pretty sure the end of it is a bit of a mess. I'm not sure what order to put 'gefahren bin muss' in. In dependent clauses of the perfect tense, does the modal verb still go last, with the past participle before the auxiliary verb? Is 'muss' even applicable in perfect tense?

    Also, for the next sentence I have, "Als ich zu Zentralbahnhof angekommen bin, bin ich zur Uni einen Bus gefahren." Firstly, the same thing with the placement of the auxiliary verb in a perfect tense dependent clause. Secondly, do I have to use the dative case for 'Zentralbahnhof', and if so, why, and if not, why not?

    And another thing. I'm talking about being in a group of friends, and we're discussing our weeks because we haven't seen each other for a week. What I have is, "Wir haben unsere Woche diskutiert, weil wir nicht uns für eine Woche vorher gesehen haben." Is 'nicht' correctly placed in between 'wir' and 'uns'? Does 'uns' work in that context? Does 'vorher', or is it necessary?

    Something else as well. Does this sentence make sense? "Als ich fertig studiert hatte, bin ich den Bus zurück zum Bahnstation gefahren und nach Hause gegangen."

    Another thing. I'm wanting to say that I forgot it was my sister's birthday and I didn't have a present for her, so I went and bought one, arriving back home before she woke up. Would that be, "Ich habe es meine Schwesters Geburtstag vergessen, und ich nicht ein Geschenk hatte. Ich bin schnell gegangen und habe ein Geschenk eingekauft, und bin ich nach Hause angekommen vorher bin sie ausgestanden"? I get the feeling there should be a 'war' in the first clause of the first sentence somewhere, but I've no idea whereabouts. The second sentence is pretty much a guess, because I've no idea how I should structure it. Multiple clauses with multiple verbs throw me off.
     
  11. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    Ich habe um neun einen Bus zum Bahnhof genommen, weil ich meinen Zug kriegen/erreichen musste.

    -"Kriegen" is rather informal. You would use that while speaking. In written German you'd go with "erreichen" or "bekommen".
    -You could go with "bin [...] gefahren" instead of "habe [...] genommen" if you insist.

    To answer your questions:
    -The modal verb goes last.
    -That modal verb is praeterite, not perfect. (Perfect would be: "... , weil ich meinen/den Zug habe erreichen müssen." which is correct German, but rather stuffy. Nobody would say that.)
    "Nachdem ich am Hauptbahnhof angekommen bin, bin ich mit einem Bus zur Uni gefahren."
    ...or...
    "Nachdem ich am Hauptbahnhof angekommen bin, habe ich einen Bus zur Uni genommen."
    You could stick with "als" instead of "nachdem", it's not a real problem, but this looks better i guess. "Als" would have mor of a "while" character here...

    -This is perfect. The auxiliary takes the verb position (behind the subject) while the infinite goes last with all of the objects acting like...hm... extensions of that infinite. Theoretically you could stick several relative phrases and stuff between "ich" and "gefahren".
    -In my first sugestion Bus is.... not exactly a secondary object, but kind of a tool. So it's dative.
    In the second example Bus is a full fledged primary object. So it's accusative.
    That sounds more easy than it is: As i said before, the whole accusative/dative thing is a mess. There is no single rule. Often primary objects are accusative, secondary objects dative. Some prepositions demand accusative, some dative. Some do demand accusative when describing direction, dative when it's about locality. Often the needs of a preposition change when you exchange the verb (even though the phrase is gramatically the same).
    "zur Uni" (zu der Uni) is dative, even though it's direction (and a secondary object).
    "an die Uni" woulod be accusative, even as a secondary object.
    :crazyeye:
    Anyway, you'll get the hang of it. It's like learning which preposition goes with which verb in what kind of phrase in English. The information about which case to use kind of sticks in the same file in your brain after a while. Hang in there.
    The main phrase is stylistically.... ungerman. But i'll talk about the grammar first.
    "Wir haben unsere Woche besprochen, weil wir uns (vorher) für eine Woche nicht gesehen haben."
    -Technically it's "hatten" for past perfect.* But people use perfect in it's place all the time anyway.
    -You can use "diskutiert" instead of "besprochen". In written German that could look odd. Technically diskutiert requires the preposition "über" (between haben und unsere in this case) but it's fairly common to drop that. Right now i have no idea whether that is actually allawed or people just do it anyway.
    -Vorher does work here, but isn't necessary.
    -Uns works well, "einander" would be an alternative (doesn't change anything grammatically). That would be literally "each other". "Uns" is more commonly used, though.
    -"eine Woche lang" could replace "für eine Woche" (doesn't change the phrase either).

    Ok... i have trouble understanding this in English in the first place: You haven't seen your friends in a week and now that you finally meet up you are telling each other what you did, what you expierienced? In the past week?
    (At first i thought you were planning stuff to do for the next week. I'm sorry, i'm confused.)
    If so, definitly loose the "diskutieren". That has way more a character implying a difference of opinion or a weighting of options or something of the sort in German. Even "besprochen" sounds a bit to stiff and stuffy. Like you were nerds or trophy wifes reporting about their fundraiser for the homeless.
    And having "Woche" in both phrases makes the thing look odd anyway.
    Fairly normal would be:
    "Wir haben über unsere Woche gesprochen, weil wir uns nicht gesehen hatten."
    A different take would be:
    "Wir haben einander von unserer Woche erzählt, weil wir uns nicht gesehen hatten."
    The latter one sounds a bit better. We usually don't call periods of time "our". It's possible and done increasingly often, sometimes it passes unnoticed and sometimes it sounds like a rather weird neologism.

    "Als ich fertig studiert hatte, bin ich mit dem Bus zurück zum Bahnstation gefahren und nach Hause gegangen"
    Wrong case. Otherwise an awesome sentence. With a correct use of past perfect and everything. Sounds completely natural as well.
    You have to do the "studiert" as a tongue in cheek, though. When you'd say studying (meaning doing stuff for an hour... to fix some assignment), we would say "lernen", or depending on what you actually did "lesen", "schreiben", "recherchieren". If you do it at home. If you visited a lecture at the University there is hardly any fitting verb for that.
    Anywho "studieren" usually refers to greater stretches of time and a more general process. You studierst for 8 semesters, or during summer, or game theory, or because your parents force you etc. It usually doesn't refer to the actual process of sitting down an hour and doing stuff. But you can use it that way in a somewhat humorous way.
    "Ich habe den Geburtstag meiner Schwester vergessen, und hatte (noch) kein Geschenk. Ich bin schnell losgegangen und habe ein Geschenk gekauft, und bin zu Hause angekommen bevor sie ausgestanden ist"
    -losgehen could be replaced by a zillion other verbs. Matter of taste.
    -Praeterite of aufstehen would be "[...]bevor sie aufstand." Free choice really.
    -"War" has nothing to do with it. Vergessen uses haben as auxiliary and you allready put that in there. :)
    -You could say "meiner Schwester Geburtstag" instead of "den Gerburtstag meiner Schwester", which would be over the top posh and snooty. I'm just pointing it out to give you a feel for the grammar.

    *As a general note: Don't be too concerned with the tenses. German speakers are incredible liberal about that compared to Anglosphere standards.
    The distinction between praeterite and perfect is allmost completely eroded. You have found one of the rare cases where the sentence structure demands one or the other (the bus thing). Past perfect is rarely used at all. Futur 2 is dead and burried, Futur 1 is often replaced by present tense constructions with verbs like wollen and don't get me started on the cruel stuff people do to poor inncocent cuddly Konjuktiv 1 and 2.
    For the most part German use like two and a half tenses: Present, perfect, Konjunktiv 2, and (rarely) Futur 1.
    Whenever you use one of the other tenses you are allready in the realm of good style.
     
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    "Sei" ist Konjunktiv I, right.

    Your translation is probably grammatically correct (Konjunktiv I can be used to used to express some kind of request).

    It's primary use, however, is to express you're representing an opinion that's not your own, and you don't want to imply if it's true or not. This is very formal, however, so you find it only in written texts and occasions where these distinctions are really important, such as TV news.

    This use seems to be the one Goethe intended. It fits with the sentence preceding it "Wir hören's oft und glauben's wohl am Ende", i.e. meaning that the following sentence states someone else's opinion.
     
  13. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    "Meistens bin ich an um zehn Uhr zur Uni kommt, aber heute habe ich um halb elf angekommen. Ich war spät für meiner Vorlesung, und ich habe gestanden müssen.
    [...]
    Um neun Uhr bin ich das Auto gefahren, weil ich meine Kirche bin gegangen müssen. Nach Kirche bin ich nach Hause gegangen müssen, weil ich habe gearbeitet müssen. Ich hatte um elf Uhr mittagessen, und bin ins Bett geschlafen. Ich bin jetzt wach. Ich habe Hunger, also ich will essen.
    "


    Spoiler Translation of what I intend it to be :
    Usually I get to uni at ten, but today I got there at half past. I was late for my lecture, and had to stand.
    [...]
    At nine I drove the car, because I had to go to church. After church, I had to go home, because I had to do work. I had lunch at eleven, and slept in bed. I'm awake now. I'm hunger, so I want to eat.

    Was that remotely accurate?
     
  14. Gigaz

    Gigaz civoholic

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  15. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    Well, we could stick with all those perfects. Doesn't sound as good as your suggestion, but looks closer to what he wrote:

    "Meistens bin ich um zehn Uhr zur Uni gekommen, aber heute bin ich (erst) um halb elf angekommen. Ich war verspätet in meiner Vorlesung, und ich habe stehen müssen.
    [...]
    Um neun Uhr bin ich das Auto gefahren, weil ich meine Kirche habe gehen müssen. Nach Kirche habe ich nach Hause gehen müssen, denn ich habe arbeiten müssen. Ich hatte um elf Uhr Mittagessen, und bin ins Bett, schlafen. Ich bin jetzt wach. Ich habe Hunger, also will ich essen."

    @Camikaze
    Each alone those perfects are completely viable. "Habe arbeiten müssen" is probably the most unusual one, but even that works.
    All combined they make the paragraph sound rather mechanic and dull. Like something a kid would write on the first day of school in fall: "What i did this summer...".
    Plus: There are fairly strong stylistic conventions regarding eating and sleeping. Usually we would say: Ich hatte um elf zu Mittag gegessen, und bin zu Bett gegangen.
    And putting "jetzt" at the beginning of it's sentence is advisable, but not exactly necessary ("Jetzt bin ich wach.")
    Note that "verspätet" is an adverb here, not a verb. Alternatively you could write: "Ich war zu spät in meiner Vorlesung..." or what Gigaz said.
    I have the feeling that you tried to use the separable verb "ankommen" in the first sentence. That's possible and would look like this:
    "Meistens bin ich um zehn Uhr bei der/in der Uni angekommen..."

    Bottom line: Stick with Gigaz correction. I merely wanted to demonstrate how all the perfects you used could work out gramatically.
     
  16. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Thanks for the corrections. :)

    In the first sentence, I first attempted to write it in perfect tense, and then attempted to quickly edit it into present tense without proofreading. :blush: I had intended what Gigaz wrote. :blush:

    As for using perfect rather than simple past (I assume the 'musste' is essentially the simple past of 'habe...müssen'), I'm doing that because it's what I half-know (that is, we've learned about the perfect tense, but only 'hatten' and 'waren' in simple past).

    Also, I'm curious about how you (metatron) have paired 'haben' with 'gehen'. I thought that 'sein' went with 'gehen', and I also thought that 'gehen' was in past participle form in perfect tense, even with a modal verb present (and same with 'arbeiten'). Why the difference?
     
  17. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    As i said: Gigaz suggestion is stylistically vastly superior. I was only demonstrating how the perfects you used could work. Germans usually use the perfect a lot in everyday conversation (and still they wouldn't do most of what i wrote before) and switch to the praeterite in the same phrases as soon they pay attention to what they say or write. So it's probably sensible that they teach you the praeterite first.
    What you said is mostly correct. Gehen would use sein as an auxiliary, not haben.
    The point is that the haben refers to müssen, not gehen.
    On second thought... just screw that sentence i wrote. It's a very stuffy modal construction people wouldn't use anyway.
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Okay, I have a few basic questions.

    Firstly, 'Ja, ich habe es für meinen Kurs gelernt' oder 'Ja, ich habe es für meinem Kurs gelernt.' It's for the course, so I'm leaning towards dative, but I'm not entirely sure. (Same thing with 'ich soll Deutsch für meine Arbeit lernen' oder 'ich soll Deutsch für meiner Arbeit lernen.') :dunno:

    Other than indicating a rather odd desire, does the following make sense: "Ja, ich habe immer sein einen Verkäufer gewollt und arbeite in einem Laden."

    Is unterrichten the best verb to describe what a teacher does, and is 'auf' the correct preposition for a school? As in, 'Er unterrichtet auf der Schule'?

    'Es ist schwierig lernen'? Does that make sense?
     
  19. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    In both cases the first alternative. I think für always requires accusative.

    almost:
    Ja, ich habe immer ein Verkäufer sein gewollt und arbeite in einem Laden.
    If you have excess verbs, you have to stack them at the end of a clause. A verb cannot randomly appear in the middle of a clause. However in this case the perfect sounds extremely awkward, I would use the imperfect here:
    Ich wollte immer ein Verkäufer sein und arbeite in einem Laden.

    unterrichten is the best verb. The only alternative would be lehren, but that usually comes with the taught subject.
    The correct preposition is in

    There is just a zu missing, otherwise it makes sense:
    Es ist schwierig zu lernen
     
  20. metatron

    metatron unperson

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    "In" is correct too, but i would have used "an" in most circumstances.
     

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