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"Aus welchen Ländern kommen Sie?"

Translation:Which countries do you come from?

January 5, 2013

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/megzik

Wouldn't you just come from ONE country? I understand you should translate literally, but the question itself is not very likely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

I assumed this was an idiom or particular usage of some sort because I couldn't see any way you could come from more than one country at a time. Apparently I was wrong. Oh well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Wouldn't you just come from ONE country?

Sie -- like English "you" -- can refer to one person or to many people.

In this sentence, presumably the speaker is speaking to a group of people and asking all of them which countries they come from.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElibeyElili

Actually the plural of Land is Länder. Why Ländern is used here? any idea :'(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElibeyElili

oh got it. Because of aus requires dative and in plural you add 'n' also. "Länder" turns to "Ländern"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neto77

Imagine you are travelling to many countries and then you return to you country, someone could ask you that: "From which countries do you come?" Not usual, though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vereschagin

Back to megzik's comment, which hasn't been answered: Why does this sentence use the plural for country? Would it be incorrect to use the singular?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pax0jara

I suppose because "Sie" in this case is refered to "you" in the plural form , and therefore the question is asked, i suppose, to a group of person all of them from different countries.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hadriano

That would be "Aus welchen Ländern kommt ihr?" Capitalized Sie is always formal form to another person, not to group of people


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClarenBert

Uh, that's just not true. Sie can very well refer to more than one person


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanRobbin1

Not capitalized at the end of a sentence it can't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasYems

'sie' means 'they'. If it occurs at the beginning of a sentence it has a capital letter. 'Sie' means 'you' (formal, singular and plural).

As this 'Sie' is not at the beginning of the sentence and capitalised, it means 'you', but whether it is singular or plural cannot be determined.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

ThomasYems is correct. I checked in the 'Tips and Notes' and Sie can be used for either singular or plural, formal address.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aramishureaux

I know it's been 5 years, but you're wrong. Sie is the formal address for both a single person and a group of people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

No, hadriano... "Aus welchen Ländern kommt ihr?" is addressing a group of people informally. It's the equivalent of the Spanish vosotros form. Pax0jara's explanation makes perfect sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliT.Firef

So, just formalising the place I think this discusison is going: if you are speaking to a group of people, and you particularly want to be polite, can you still use Sie?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gh0st17

Proper English would be, "From which countries do you come?"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/surajramjee

what can't the translation be, "from which countries do they come?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Capital "S" on Sie = formal you.
Small "s" on sie = they/she (depending on verb tense/context)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hwanghaedo

What is wrong with "From which countries do you come. Sie is capitalized consistent with the formal You


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anonyduck

I also entered 'From which countries do you come?'and Duo now accepts it. I believe it is grammatically correct, tho' as Selphie mentions, a bit old-fashioned. Be counter-cultural and embrace the grammatical norms of former times! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SelphieB

In response to both your question and the comment by brucedmclean, 'from' at the end of the sentence is fine - "Which countries do you come from?" - 'from' at the beginning and end is simply wrong, and 'from' at the beginning of the sentence, like you suggested, sounds to me a little stiff and old-fashioned, but I would report it.

You is of course the correct translation for Sie, I don't think that is why you got it wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Italkangoor

thank you very much it is kind of you to take time to point that out ciao and Merci


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tangence

"from which countries do you come from?" is definitely not a good sentence, but I don't think its technically a "wrong" sentence.

I think a lot of the weird feeling of "from which countries do you come from?" comes from the weirdness of "from which countries do you come?"

Until recently, it was considered wrong to end a sentence with a preposition. This means, until recently, starting and ending a sentence with the same preposition would also have been wrong. However starting and ending a sentence with the same preposition now may be a bit of a grey area.

For example if we look at the sentence "In the glass the water was in" it sounds a bit silly but it makes sense and seems to be the only way to express that meaning. "The glass the water was in" has a different meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SelphieB

I agree with karen but I would say it in a different way. I think the weirdness of 'from which countries do you come from?' is jus that both froms mean the same thing, you can drop either from and the meaning of the sentence doesn't change so one of the froms is superfluous.

With the "In the glass the water was in" example, the two ins refer to different things; drop the first in and it changes the meaning, drop the second in and its nonsensical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tangence

Yes, the "In the glass the water was in" example is not in the same class as "from which countries do you come from?". It was only to make one point in a multiple point claim. My logic is as follows:

1) Sentences with the same preposition at the start and the end are allowed 2) Sentences with redundancy are allowed 3) Therefore sentences with both 1 AND 2 should be allowed

"In the glass the water was in" is an example of a valid sentence of type 1. "The running cat is running" is an example of a valid sentence of type 2. Both "running" and "is running" can be dropped with no lost meaning. Neither of these sentences are considered "good", but also neither is "wrong". Therefore "from which countries do you come from?" should also not be considered "good" or "wrong".

The problem is sentences of type 1 have only recently been allowed, and since sentences of type 1 are rare, and of type 2 are rare, type 3 would be very rare. The rareness of the sentence type makes it sound weird, but I don't see any reason to label it as "wrong" just because we don't like it. I can't think of any rules of the English language which it is breaking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karenskywalker

Well, I'm not quite sure about this, cause I'm not a native english speaker and I don't pretend to be good at english grammar, BUT, bro....the senteneces that you brought as examples don't solve the matter again. Here's my logic..... If you use a word in a sentence (a noun, a verb, a preposition ect) with the same meaning and with the same role more than once... it's grammatically incorrect. For example if you say "black cat black" or "running cat running", you can see the incorrectness of those sentences. The sentences that you have brought as examples are not of that type (in the "the running cat is running" the two "running"s have totally different roles in the sentence, and besides if we drop the first "running" the meaning won't be the same as when we drop "is running"), but the sentence "from which countries do you come from" is exactly of that type, cause the two "from"s have exactly the same role. Actually, there is only one "from" which can be placed in the beginning or in the end, but we can never duplicate it and place in two places. So I say: The 1) and 2) points are true, but this case is just grammatically incorrect because the same preposition was artificially duplicated and placed in two places.

I hope you can understand me....And if you can bring an example in which the same word, with the same meaning and role, is used more than once, and which is considered a correct sentence, I will say, that I know nothing of english grammar. )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tangence

@karenskywalker For some reason duolingo won't let me respond to your comment =( Perhaps its too far indented to the right already.

Anyway, I didn't think you required such a specific example. If you google "Run, John, run!" you can see the sentence is commonly used, but more importantly this sentence demonstrates the repetition of the same word with the same role to put extra emphasis on run.

Also, the absence of a nice sounding example is not a proof of grammatical incorrectness. Part of the power of a formal grammar is that there are millions of grammatically correct sentences (actually infinite) that have never been spoken. If you continue to add more constraints, for example like no names in the sentence, then my examples will sound less and less natural.

The main point here is that redundancy is not grammatically incorrect in English, even when taken to the extreme case of using the same word twice for the same role. It just sounds bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karenskywalker

Well, Bro. It seems I can't make you change your mind. And it's pretty possible that you are right in some points, so you better keep thinking your way and I will keep thinking my way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karenskywalker

I don't think those examples are comparable. The example that you have given can be formed like this (without changing the meaning) "in the glass in which was the water". Note that it's the second "in" that comes to the end and not the first "in". But it's not the same with "from which countries do you come from", because it's not a complex sentence like the first one.

Sorry if I didn't understand the matter, but it's the way I think about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frjmsl

I read that duo accepts "from which countries do you come". But the present continuous is not accepted as "from which/what countries are you coming" . Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SelphieB

I think it's just a slightly odd thing to say. The question 'From which countries do you come from' and also the german "Aus welchen Ländern kommen Sie?", mean what is you country of origin, or what country do you live in. To put it in the continuous form, makes it sound like what country are you coming from right now. I can't really think of a case where you'd ask that, maybe if you're waiting for someone at the airport and you don't know where their flight is coming from. From what country are you coming? I suppose it's possible, but it sounds a bit odd, that's all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronMc5

Can Sie be plural here? I think so, but my answer with 'you all' was rejected:

"Which countries do you all come from?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielle959055

Could this question be asking your ancestry? In America it is common to to be proud of where your family came from and many families are blended nationalities. For example, I have both Russian and Italian ancestors.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sinuki

A question, in Spanish how can we translate this, ¿De qué paises viene usted? O ¿De qué paises vienen ustedes? Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

A question, in Spanish how can we translate this, ¿De qué paises viene usted? O ¿De qué paises vienen ustedes? Thanks

I interpret it as ¿De qué paises vienen ustedes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brucedmclean

In English we would not use "from" at the beginning and the end of a sentence. Rarely do sentences in English end in a preposition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nerdator

Actually, they end with a preposition quite often.

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