1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Wir treffen uns um halb vier…

"Wir treffen uns um halb vier."

Translation:We meet at half past three.

October 16, 2015



Is the 'uns' necessary for this or could it be 'Wir treffen um halb vier' ?


The "uns" is indeed necessary for the sentence, otherwise you don't have any idea about whom or what you may meet ;-)


Would this only be reflexive in cases like this where you meet each other?? So if i say ich treffe ihn... Is that correct?


Yes, exactly.


I once had to explain in person to a native German speaker the difference between the way that we express time, compared to Germans, They seem to use a different system I gathered the impression that the confusion had made her late for a lot of appointments with an English friend of hers.

'Wir treffen um halb vier' To an English speaker we meet at half Four 4:30PM - The German Speaker would think the meeting was half past three. NATO Time USES the 24 hour clock to limit any confusion. once you account for the differences in expression and just use literal time it limits these misunderstandings.


Does "treffen" mean "to face", then we can say "we face each other" as a translation of "wir treffen uns"?


"We meet around half past three" was incorrect. I had thought that "um" meant roughly / about / around?


Unfortunately not - if you say "um halb vier herum" or "um ungefähr halb vier", then your translation is correct (We meet around/roughly at/about half past three), but "um halb vier" means "(exactly) at half past three".


What is the non-contracted form for "um". I know that "im" is "in dem"…


"um" is a preposition by itself (ie. it's not a contraction)


Has anyone noticed that Google Translator says it should be half past four ?


If it does, that shows how much you should trust Google Translate when learning a language.


Wow, it really does still translate that way, which is a bit sad when it's become a lot better in so many other ways: I suggested an edit for this translation, but it's obviously a systemic change that's required :-(


It seems to do fine with halb vier on its own.

And when I enter Wir treffen uns um halb vier. and then click on the (incorrect) translation, I get two options to pick from, and the other one seemed correct to me.

So it may be the new(ish) full-sentence translator thingy that still has some problems which the older (more phrase-by-phrase) one didn't have.


Yep: I think you're spot on (*): it's an intriguing beast! The correct alternates are sitting there in the background on all such time constructions: hopefully they'll begin to push through to the front in the near future.

(*) Start with "halb vier" or "um halb vier", which are, as you noted, mercifully correct, and then throw something (anything!) to the left or right of those expressions: the incorrect rendering is instantly triggered.


Google translate gives me 3:30 AM, Microsoft translate gives me 3:30 PM. Feb 9,2021.


Google translate gives me 3:30 AM, Microsoft translate gives me 3:30 PM.

Well, halb vier means "half past three".

Both the German expression and the English expression are ambiguous between "early in the morning" or "in the afternoon".

So Google Translate and Bing Translate can both be right or both be wrong.


It now says "We'll meet at half past three" for me.


Yes in German they say it more as half to instead of half past, like we say quarter to. So for them its half to four and for us it's half past three


Thanks for the explanation, it really helps a lot!


Thanks, I was confused at first!


I thought vier was 4... ?


It is, but "halb vier" means half-an-hour before four, not half past four as "half four" would in English.


Hi,In Reflexive verbs the difference in the first and second person in singular and in the other pronouns it is identical between the Dative and the Accusative so ,,How can this difference be detected?,,Thanks


I'm not sure what you mean with detecting a difference -- usually, only one of the cases will make sense since the verb determines whether it takes an accusative object, a dative object, or both.

So if you hear wir waschen uns die Hände, then uns must be dative while if you hear wir sehen uns im Spiegel, then uns must be accusative.

And for verbs that can take one or the other (e.g. glauben: accusative with fact, dative with person) generally only one makes sense: wir glauben uns nicht will have dative uns because wir is a person and not a fact.

If you mean -- when you see a new reflexive verb, how do you know whether it takes a dative object or an accusative one?

Good dictionaries should make this clear, and show that it's, for example, sich (Dat.) etwas leisten but sich (Akk.) etwas trauen. (Or they may just mark sich (Dat.) as sich (Akk.) is the default.)


Hello Dear Mizinamo//Thank you Very much I have another question What is the difference between using reflexive:Lohnt sich and ist Es wert?can be interchangeably//Vielen Dank


That's a good question and I'm not sure I can answer it easily.

My feeling is that das lohnt sich and das ist es wert are not quite the same but I'm not sure how to explain the difference.


Could the difference be the: "das lohnt sich" - 'it is worth it' or 'it has intrinsic value', vs. "das ist es wert"- 'that is worth it' or 'that is its (extrinsic) cost/price' ?


There is a helpful discussion on another message thread from 3 yrs ago. Hope this helps:

BrendanMcKinley: is there a difference between "Es lohnt sich" and "es wert"? thanks in advance

sakasiru: Yes. "lohnen" means you get some kind of profit from whatever you do. "wert sein" just means it is worth the effort in some way. Rescuing a kitten might not "sich lohnen" (and it sounds very cynical to evaluate that), but it is definitely "wert" ;)

az_p MOD: Is sich lohnen explicitly saying that it is financially worth it? Otherwise, I don't get the distinction from wert sein.

sakasiru: No, not necessaryly financially. But you have some benefit from it, while "wert sein" can just mean some moral or emotional value. It can also mean that something has the exact price for its value, while "lohnen" means you make a good bargain in the deal, because you pay less than it's worth.


Always refer to time in digital format and you'll never go wrong. ;o)


In English, we would never say "We will meet us at half three" it's assumed the 'we' implies the do'er and the target. But I guess it's more precise in German.


It's not simply more precise. "Treffen" meaning "to meet" is reflexive in German (requires the "uns" for example), otherwise the meaning is different.


Ah... OK. So just out of curiosity, what would "Wir treffen um halb vier." translate to, literally, in English?


Well, literally it would be "We will meet at half past three", but that doesn't convey the same sense of incompleteness that the German has when you leave out the object.

It feels a bit like "I will wait for in the dining room" or "I will pour the drink into at half past three" -- those scream "something is missing here!" in a similar way to your German sentence.

(At least if treffen is meant as "meet". It would be acceptable if it meant "hit [a target with a projectile]", as in "We've been doing target practice all day already and have been missing the target the whole time, but at half past three, we will hit." In this case, the English sounds odd without an object -- "we will hit the target" sounds better to me -- but the German sounds fine to me without one in this meaning.)


I think that "wir treffen uns" could be translated to "we face each other". That's why "treffen" needs the direct object "uns", it is to show or imply the thing that we are facing.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.