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Old 10-27-2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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Ich weiß nicht!

I hope there are some Germans online in Interference this morning...as I need your help! I decided to take beginner's German in university because I thought the few similarities between German and one of my native languages, Afrikaans, would make it easier. And of course, German is completely different. I won't even start on the gender of nouns (in Afrikaans, everything is just "die," hehehe, no "das" or "der" to worry about!)

Anyway, I've been having some difficulty with sentence structure. The position of the verbs and the nouns baffles me sometimes (probably because I can't differentiate between verbs and nouns...) and negating sentences is a pain in the bum. I don't feel like showing myself up in class again, so I was wondering if someone could check these sentences for me and let me know if I'm at least somewhere close to the right path? I'll provide the questions from my textbook in bold, followed by my answers, which are more than likely incorrect.


Sind 600 Gramm ein Pfund?
Nein, 600 Gramm sind kein Pfund. 500 Gramm sind ein Pfund.

(This one is definitely wrong. I don't know if "sind" should come before "600 Gramm")


Ein Viertelpfund ist nicht 125 Gramm, oder?
Nein, ein Viertelpfund ist 125 Gramm.

(I don't think I answered completely.)


Ein Kilogramm ist ein halbes Pfund, nicht wahr?
Nein, ein Kilogramm ist kein halbes Pfund. Ein Pfund ist ein halbes Kilogramm.


Danke! Any help would be greatly appreciated. I feel so silly in German class!
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:36 PM   #2
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The first and third sentences look fine to me. The verb is simply always the second 'thing' in the sentence and the subject is the first, regardless you put yes or no in the beginning of the sentence, or you're asking a question, so it seems the first one is actually correct.

The only thing I could make out was incorrect was the second sentence. There may be another meaning to it unknown to me, but 'oder' means 'or,' which would mean they're asking for some equivalent to the Viertelpfund (I don't get they they're saying it's not 125 Gramm when it is...).

Sorry I'm not much help. My family speaks German and I took it for a year in college but that was awhile ago.
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fille Friday
The first and third sentences look fine to me. The verb is simply always the second 'thing' in the sentence and the subject is the first, regardless you put yes or no in the beginning of the sentence, or you're asking a question, so it seems the first one is actually correct.

The only thing I could make out was incorrect was the second sentence. There may be another meaning to it unknown to me, but 'oder' means 'or,' which would mean they're asking for some equivalent to the Viertelpfund (I don't get they they're saying it's not 125 Gramm when it is...).

Sorry I'm not much help. My family speaks German and I took it for a year in college but that was awhile ago.
Thank you! That second question really confused me as well, because of the "oder." I wonder if it's maybe just a mistake in the text? I don't know, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either.
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:20 AM   #4
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The way I see it, that particular use of "oder" it's like asking a question (negating something) in English and saying "is it?" at the end. So in that case

"One fourth of a pound isn't 125 grams, is it?" or for example, if you say "That can't be right... can it?"

I'm sure some native speaking Germans can help us...from my 5 years of studying German in high school, I would change the second answer to "Ja, 125 Gramm sind ein Viertelpfund."
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:06 AM   #5
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Like the others said, 1 and 3 are fine.

since 2. includes an "oder", like the english "is it"...

you see the question is: a quarter of a pound is not 125 grams, is it? in german you can´t answer solely with "yes it is", you have to include sth like a "but", implying that what the other said isn´t right (if you only said "yes", you´d imply the other person is indeeed right).. so you´re saying "but yes, it is" in german..

so 2. should be

"Doch, ein Viertelpfund sind 125 Gramm". ("doch", means "but yes", as a reply to "oder?" instead of "ja" meaning "yes")
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