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  5. "Ich wollte dir Glück wünsche…

"Ich wollte dir Glück wünschen."

Translation:I wanted to wish you luck.

November 5, 2013



So I've seen "I wanted to wish you luck" translated as both "Ich wollte dir Glück wünschen" and "Ich wollte Ihnen Glück wünschen".

Just to confirm, the first, with dir, is informal, but is the second with Ihnen formal, plural or both?

Still horribly confused by the nine thousand words German uses for "you"...


"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte dir Glück wünschen" (informal singular)

"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte euch Glück wünschen" (informal plural)

"I wanted to wish you luck" = "Ich wollte Ihnen Glück wünschen" (formal singular or plural)

The formal "Sie" and its forms do not distinguish between singular and plural. You cannot tell without context, if one addresses only one or several persons in a formal way.


Why is wollte translated as wanted, not want? And how does it differ from mochte?


wollte is past tense (Präteritum) of wollen. See http://konjugator.reverso.net/konjugation-deutsch-verb-wollen.html (NB: wollte is also Konjuktiv II, and I think that's the tense used in this instance.)

  • wollen ==> "to want"
  • möchten ==> "to wish" or "would like", pretty much the Konjunktiv form of mögen, "to like"

I find them similar & difficult as well.


Is English 'wanted' also in past subjunctive in this sentence?


It's not dich, because dich is accusative, and here, dative (to/for) is what we want. Ich wollte dir Glueck wuenschen = (word for word) I wanted to/for you luck wish, i.e. I wanted to wish luck TO/FOR you.

Whenever there is that sense of "to/for", go with dative. :)


Does this translate the same way as in English? So could it be appropriate in the context of "what are you doing here?", "I wanted to wish you luck"; or must it literally be in the past tense, as in "why did you come to see me off?", "I wanted to wish you luck"?


Yes, I think both situations would work, as both are past tense in English as well


I undestand the meaning and I'm sure it's correct english, anyway hearing "I wanted to wish" is quite funny for a "third party" speaker like me (Italian) :)


"Glück wünschen" means the same time "gratulieren". Nicht wahr?


I'm pretty sure they're not the same. "Glück wünschen" would mean "to wish someone luck". So that implies it's for something in the future. "Gratulieren" would be to congratulate someone. It implies something good has happened (in the past).

For example, someone says, "I just had an interview for a job. I hope I get it." In response someone might say, "Good luck".

Later the person who had the job interview might say, "I got the job!" And your response would be "Congratulations."


Is it like more polite/poetic/indirect way of saying - "I wish you happiness", or is it to be understood literally like "I wanted to wish you happiness, but I got run over by a bus so I never had a chance"?


The person doesn't have to be run over by a bus. Maybe they were going to meet somewhere, but the first person was running late, and the second person left.

Anyway, the Glück in this context is understood as "luck"


I thought Germans always made a big deal out of "Viel Glück" vs "Viel Erfolg". Does the example here not fall under the same ambit?


I think you would need the „viel“ if there's nothing else to the sentence except the actual luck-wishing: "Much luck," "Much success." If you want to say more, the „viel“ would be optional. I'm sure you could say something like, „Ich wollte dir viel Glück wünschen.“

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