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  5. "Falls ja, wie?"

"Falls ja, wie?"

Translation:If yes, how?

August 25, 2015



Is there a difference between "falls" and "wenn"?


The basic rule is:

  • when = wenn (has a temporal meaning)
  • if = falls (has a conditional meaning)

The tricky part is that "wenn" can have a conditional meaning as well and is then used just as "falls". Not the other way round, though: "falls" can't have a temporal meaning.

"Wenn" being used as "falls" happens mostly in the spoken language, though. It's a bit more colloquial.


As I understand it, some form of "in case" should generally be fitting if "falls" is going to be used.


"In case" isn't the same as "if" in English. I try to explain this in more detail below.


"Wenn" having a conditional case is similar to English, right? Like, "When that happens, we can go."


But "When that happens.." doesn't have a conditional meaning in English does it? I'd say it has a temporal meaning. To express a conditional meaning you'd say 'IF that happens...' In contrast with German, where 'wenn' can have EITHER a temporal OR a conditional meaning, in English we have to distinguish between 'WHEN' and 'IF'.


I'm now at the stage of grief where I have accepted that there are twenty-five ways to say "if", and I'm ready to move forward...


honestly, it seems like there are 25 ways to say any word in german, I even searched "does german have more words than english", but since I searched in english, obviously, results were "no, english has twice as many words as all other languages combined" (JK). They say that it borrowed bunch of words from Latin, so that's why english has so many words, but my native language has words borrowed from german, french, english, latin, turkish, arabic, and probably some more that I can't think of right now, by that logic my native language should have as many words as at least three english languages.


The reason English is considered so rich in words is because the word "word" has a lot of meanings. If you count lexical entries, indeed, English is the richest language but only because it has the most complete dictionaries as it has been studied a lot through centuries. It also holds the record of language with more morphological roots, which is not a surprise for an analytical language with such flexible phonotactics. However, if you count derived and inflected words, most aglutinative languages have an infinite number of words.


The largest online dictionary is Korean and has over a million words. Comparing dictionary sizes for other languages, Swedish currently weighs in at about 600,000 and English at about 500,000. Nevertheless, I suspect English has more words than any other Germanic or Romance language, because it has borrowed so heavily from those. Most university-educated native speakers of a language know at least 10,000 words, but you can probably read the newspaper with just 2,000 and take care of basics with 400. Obviously, the sum of all words in all languages is huge but finite.

Note: How many words are in {swim, swam, swum}?
How about {run | as in "I run home; the play had a long run; she has a run in her stocking."}?
I'd say essentially 1 in the first set and 3 in the second.


What about "In case yes, how?"


Be careful; "in case" doesn't mean the same as "if". Consider the sentence "You should always wear a hard hat IN CASE you have an accident". It means always wear a hard hat BEFORE you have an accident, as a precaution. Compare that with "you should always tell your insurance company IF you have an accident". That means AFTER you have an accident. So obviously there are two clearly different meanings in English between 'in case' and 'if'. But the problem is the German word 'falls' can be used for both English meanings ( although it should be said that 'in case' can also be translated into German by 'für den Fall, daß ..). So you have to be careful about the meaning when translating between and English and German. For example, compare "Take an umbrella IN CASE it rains" with "Take an umbrella IF it rains". As a rough rule, 'in case' (+ a clause) means BEFORE ('falls' or 'für den Fall, daß') but 'when' (+ a clause) means AFTER ('falls' or 'wenn').

NOTE: However, 'in case OF' (+ a noun) means AFTER an occurrence. For example: "In case of fire, sound the fire alarm, call reception and leave the building". I think this would be "Im Fall(e) von (Feuer)" or "in dem Fall, daß ein Feuer ausbricht," in German.


I put that too and it was rejected :/


While "ob" may be a possible translation for "if", it's really something different. I think the most similar English word would be "wether".

I could come up with some explanation, but I couldn't do it any better than the article about "ob" over here: https://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/tag/difference-wenn-ob/ :)


Probably "whether"?


Yes, clearly he meant "whether".


Thank you for the link


I also found this video. Now I just have to figure out wenn and falls. Other than this sentence, I've been unable to get Google translate to give me back falls. Am I safe always using wenn and just knowing what falls means when I hear it?


(Wether is a ram... Widder?)


Wethers might like to be rams. But they were operated on at an early age and definitely are not....


I wrote "In case of yes, how?", but this was not accepted. Can someone explain the difference to me please?


The phrase "In case of" in English should be followed by a noun phrase, such as "in case of a 'yes' answer"

It doesn't quite make sense otherwise.

I think you have the right idea as far as translating it, but the English sentence doesn't quite make sense.


What does "if yes how" mean?


For example, "Will the recent democratic reforms in [Country X] result in a more responsive parliament? If yes, how?" (Or, "if so, how?") ("Falls / wenn ja, wie?")


"If yes, how?" would be a grammatically incorrect answer in English.


Thanks! That context makes it easier to understand.


I think the only correct translation should be "If yes, how so?". "If yes, how" sounds incomplete in English, and I'm sure some clever person out there can explain why.


I'd tend to disagree; "if yes, how" sounds complete enough to me. Perhaps just a question of preference.


Du bist sehr hilfreich, Tehed. :) Vielen Dank! x N


Is "If yes, what?" acceptable? DL gives "what" as an option for "wie," but I don't know if it is an acceptable translation in this case.


DL might translate "wie" to "what" in a phrase like "wie geht's" as in "what's up", but "wie" still doesn't mean "what". Technically "wie geht's" is "how goes it". Pretty much assume that "wie" is invariably translated to "how"/"like" unless there's an obvious difference in idiom.


Every time I say this into the microphone, it is called incorrect. Is there a problem on your end?


I think people on duolingo fall into two distinct categories. Those who can't get duo to accept their pronunciation as accurate, and those who can't get duo to hear them at all.

I've disabled those types of questions ages ago, they are useless.


Funny, I'm not in any of those categories! Practically the opposite is true: Duolingo accepts almost every thing I say, even when I say words incorrectly. Still, I keep doing these exercises because they force me to speak up which is very important.


I know I am saying this correctly, and yet I am repeatedly marked wrong. Please be sure the computer program is checked. I'm sure I cannot be the only one this is happening to. Thank you.


I encountered this as a dictation exercise first. The audio (female version) made it impossible to guess what was being said, because the intonation was so unnatural. There was virtually no emphasis put on the "wie". And hearing the male version on this discussion page, that doesn't sound too natural either with its rising intonation at the end. [sigh] I know you can't program the automated voices to be perfect, but...


'If yes, then how' should really be accepted. The accepted answer isn't really proper english


Why is 'in case yes, how?' wrong?


I submitted "In that case, how?" It was not accepted, but it seems to be equivalent to "If yes, how?". I have reported it. (30/07/21.)


I thought if was wenn or ob


What about "Suppose yes, how?"

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