"What is wrong?"

Translation:Was ist falsch?

January 3, 2013



Can someone explain how 'wrong' creeps into what should be literally translated as 'What is?'

January 3, 2013


You ask "Was ist?" when you assume that something is wrong. "Was ist los?", "Was ist denn?" or "Stimmt was nicht?" go in the same direction.

January 3, 2013


But shouldn't we have been told this before a timed practice?

January 11, 2013


Right? They shouldn't make us guess that. There's no way a beginner could tell it's commonly used as a complete sentence. They do that sometimes, though--the trick questions.

May 24, 2013


I think this should be "Was ist nicht richtig?" or "Was ist falsch?"

April 8, 2013


Literally, yes. But if you ask someome "What's wrong?" if you see that they are upset, you say "Was ist?" in German.

April 12, 2013


It should be Was ist Los?

May 9, 2013


I guess 'Was ist falsch?' is 'what is incorrect', right? Could you use it when, say, someone is panicking and you're trying to find out what's wrong?

June 5, 2014


Yes to your first guess. As the others mentioned above, to ask what's up or what's wrong, it'd be "Was ist los?" or just "Was ist?" (presumably just a shortened version of the former).

July 19, 2014


"Was geht?" means "what's wrong", correct?

January 31, 2013


I am afraid not. "Was geht?" is a colloquial expression for "How are you?".

January 31, 2013


Oh! so it looks like "What's up?" :D (I'm trying to connect both languages in a memorizable way) :D

January 31, 2013


Think of "was geht" as, "how's it going" :)

November 16, 2014


I think rather Wie geht's?

May 3, 2015


Isn't "Was ist los" the normal way of saying this?

October 12, 2014


That would be: - What is the problem?

May 3, 2015


Which is what "What's wrong" means in English 95% of the time. If you wanted to ask what was factually incorrect you'd ask something like "Which bit is wrong?". Or can 'falsch' in German also just indicate generally "not-quite-okay"?

June 8, 2015


I (nativ) wouldn't use "falsch" as 'not-quite-okay' generally. It sounds too strong as 'totally false'. If you want to ask what's factually is incorrect, you'd better use these ones: "Was (genau) ist falsch?" (What's exactly wrong?) or even "Wo liegt der Fehler?" (Where is [lit.: 'lies'] the fault?)

September 1, 2017


Who even uses that?? It should be was ist los?

January 16, 2018


Although it has been many, many decades since middle school and high school german class, I do recall that "Was ist los?" was always given to mean "What is wrong?". I will never understand what the goal is here sometimes.

April 25, 2019


What is this verkehrt which translates to everything?

June 18, 2013


Why not "Was ist schlecht?"

June 10, 2014


Falsch is wrong, schlecht is bad. You can ask though "What is bad?" e.g. when you are in student cafeteria, you can ask, which meal is bad and which is good:)

September 25, 2014


Thanks, it was helpful.

September 26, 2014


Why not "was ist nicht richtig"

October 12, 2014


That is: "What is not right?" literally, but can be used also.

September 1, 2017


Makes perfect sense to me. I say "what is it?" when I can tell something's wrong.

July 26, 2015


Does this also translate to "what's wrong?" in the same sense as "what's the matter?"

January 12, 2017


Why is "Was ist?" not accepted? Is this not a normal way of asking what's up or what's wrong?

January 15, 2017


The (short) forms "Was?" / "Was ist?" / "Was ist los?" / "Was ist denn?"... are a kind of slang. They are mainly used if you approach/disturb someone without saying a word. Then he/she might ask you (maybe being nerved) this, meaning "What do you want (from me)?"

On the other hand "Was ist falsch?" / "Stimmt was nicht?" is only used if there is something wrong or you think that or someone gives you a questioning look. However the diffrences are only little...

September 1, 2017
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