"Falls ja, wie?"

Translation:If yes, how?

August 25, 2015



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

August 25, 2015


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.

August 25, 2015


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

September 23, 2015


I agree.

April 13, 2019


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

April 8, 2018


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...

August 16, 2017


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.

January 14, 2018


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.

June 6, 2018


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.

April 22, 2019


What about ob?

September 2, 2015


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/ :)

September 3, 2015


Probably "whether"?

May 24, 2016


Yes, clearly he meant "whether".

October 16, 2017


Thank you for the link

September 3, 2015


What about "In case yes, how?"

March 2, 2016


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

May 3, 2018


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.

May 4, 2018


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

September 17, 2015


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.

March 18, 2016


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.

March 19, 2016



March 19, 2016


What does "if yes how" mean?

September 29, 2017


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?")

September 29, 2017


Thanks! That context makes it easier to understand.

September 29, 2017


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

October 10, 2017


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.

January 14, 2018


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.

August 19, 2018


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.

October 14, 2017


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.

September 7, 2018


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

September 8, 2018


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...

October 21, 2018


I thought if was wenn or ob

November 11, 2018
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