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  5. "Ich weiß, sie zahlen, wenn s…

"Ich weiß, sie zahlen, wenn sie können."

Translation:I know, they pay when they can.

November 11, 2013



Can't this be the future tense also? "I know they WILL pay when they can"


yes and that actually sounds like correct English. "I know they pay when they can" sounds completely wrong


There's nothing wrong with "I know they pay when they can." For example, let's say my friend gives a poor family some food every day, and only requests that they pay him for the food on the days on which they have enough money to do so. To acknowledge the family's actions, I would say, "I know they pay when they can."


I know they pay when they can, is not wrong.


Could "wann" be used instead of "wenn" here? And, if so, would it change the meaning? I think of "wenn" as "if" so I think this is saying that on the times when they use a service, and have money available, they pay, or "they pay if they can". Is that correct? Thanks!


Yes, kierank2, you've got the meaning of "wenn" about right. My 'rule of thumb' is that you use it where you intend to say "on the occasion that". As for "wann": it won't work here! Only use "wann" to enquire about a point in time. So that's only when you expect a day, date or time as an answer. If you are using "wann" there should be a question mark following pretty closely.


I'd suggest: "Ich weiss, sie WERDEN zahlen . . ." The above implies "they pay WHENEVER they have money".


True, but it can also be implied future, depending on context, right? Like: "Was machst du heute Abend?" "Ich sehe (heute Abend) fern." (Meaning I am going to/ will watch TV...) I just interpreted the sentence to be an explanation of why they weren't paying at this precise moment --the answer being that they will, when they can. (Seems a more natural situation to me)


Ich habe eine frage für muttersprachler: Does the male voice on Duo sound correct? So many words sound very elided / half pronounced. I know this is normal in vernacular speech, but for learning is this too much? I guess I should say, does it all sound completely proper?


For me, quite apart from accent, the new male voice associated with the 'Eddy' figure sounds as if he says 'wie', not 'sie'. Given that seemed to make some sort of sense, it's misleading...


Why isn't the word order changed after wenn? I thought it should be wenn können sie.


I don't think the relative order of the subject and the verb ever change due to the presence of "wenn". What "wenn" does here, in a subordinate clause, is force the conjugated verb to the end, e.g. "..., wenn sie das machen können". But in the sentence we're discussing, there's only one verb in the clause, so it doesn't change anything.

Perhaps you were confusing this situation with questions starting with "wann"?


Aha! I see what you're saying now. The lesson you linked is correct. Here's the deal:

The clause immediately following "wenn" is the Nebensatz (subordinate clause); in this clause, the conjugated verb is always forced to the end. This is true whether the Nebensatz comes before or after the Hauptsatz (main clause). You can see this by looking at the position of "können" in the two examples below.

If the Hauptsatz comes first, then the Nebensatz has no effect on it. (Ich weiß, sie zahlen, wenn sie können.) But if the Nebensatz comes first, the subject and verb of the Hauptsatz switch places: (Ich weiß, wenn sie können, zahlen sie.)

Because of "ich weiß", this example actually has three clauses, though, and to be honest, I don't really know how to classify all of them properly. However, I think you can just ignore the "ich weiß" clause because the rest would still work the same way without it.


or perhaps it's because this sentence lacks an object in the subordinate clause?

[deactivated user]

    Her again! Poor enunciation.

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