I don't understand yet what the difference between "nach", "zu", and "in" in this context? Aren't they all used for to?
Depending on the type of destination, yes :)
Have a look at http://germanisapieceofcake.blogspot.de/2012/04/zu-and-nach.html .
Thanks. I don't understand why there's a difference still, but now I can see what it is.
Is this how you would say ¨We are driving to Switzerland.¨? ¨Wir fahren nach der Schweiz.¨
- I am driving to Swizerland = Ich fahre in die Schweiz (accusative ?)
- I live in Switzerland = ich wohne in der Schweiz (dative ?)
My translation "We are going to France" was accepted. Would "Wir gehen nach Frankreich" express the same thing as "Wir fahren nach Frankreich"?
Wir gehen nach Frankreich = We are walking to France / We walk to France.
In English "going" can mean pretty much any means of travel, but in German, gehen nearly always refers to walking on one's own two feet.
fahren generally involves wheels (driving a car [as a driver], riding in a car [as a passenger], riding a bike, riding a bus, riding a train), though you can also fahren in a ferry.
I'm not sure what you mean with Wir gehen nach Frankreich expressing the same thing as nach -- the word nach by itself does not mean "We are going to France".
Thanks mizinamo, your answer is of great help! :) I also corrected what I meant with "nach", ( wanted to write "fahren", but to avoid confusion I wrote the entire sentence instead)
@philip can you explain me why in this sentence "fahren" means drive and in the sentence before means going to, but it doesn't accept drive..
fahren generally involves moving moving in something with wheels, either as an active controller ("drive" a car, "ride" a bicycle) or a passive passenger ("ride" a train).
It can also be translated as "go", when the movement involves wheels.
I don't know which sentence you saw before this one - the order is chosen randomly.
Alternatives have to be added manually; it's possible that the person who added "the sentence before" forgot to add "drive" as an alternative, or perhaps that that translation made no sense for that sentence.
I always think of "Frankenreich," but that would be the Austro-Hungarian Empire since it was a Frankenstein of many countries
In the popular parlance of today, which set of country-names is more common? Frankreich or France? Österreich or Austria?
Oh! What I meant to ask was whether it's the German names or the English names which are more commonly used among German speakers today. In India, for example we have Hindi names for many countries but we still prefer to use their English names in day-to-day conversation.
So in a nutshell what I'm trying to find out is, are these German country names more common than the English names in everyday usage?
The difference might be that Germany never was an English colony and that English is not an official language in Germany, which both applies to India.
India was colonized by Britain. So were it's languages. Had it been by Prussia instead, you'd be saying "danke Herr" oder "diese Frauen sind aus Pommern, nicht Schottland".
Fahren means driving, so what is the word for ferries? (the kind that take cars across the water.) :)
Ich fahre mit der Fähre, oder ?
Fahren means more than driving. Man kann auch mit dem Zug fahren. I don't know why only 'driving' is marked as right.
Yes "fahren" leans more towards "driving" ...but it seems when a car isn't usef further clarification is used by expressing train, plane, ferry, motorcycle, bicycle...fahre mit dem Zug.
No, because you still reiten (ride) horses, for example.
Germans wonder why in English you "drive" a car when you're behind the steering wheel but "ride in" the car otherwise; it's not a horse, is it? Germans use fahren for both.
Different languages splitting up the possible motion verbs differently -- it's not 1:1 in any direction.
They could, but then they would not say "we are driving" or "wir fahren" (though boats in German fahren as well).
exactly but then we would of been learning fled instead of fahren which I already know
If you want to know such things, there's a great invention called dictionary. The German verb is "fliegen": Wir fliegen nach Frankreich.
Yes, it is a correct sentence, but it means something else than "We are driving to France". (At least for me.)
"to France" implies that you will end up there; "towards France" only talks about the direction that you are currently moving in without implying how far you will travel in that direction.
Danke for the quick response! So you meant "to" shows the direction more precisely while "towards" shows direction more vaguely, right?
We are riding to France was marked wrong?. even if you keep the mouse on Fahren it gives an option of "are riding"... Sometimes you think you are getting the hang of it. Then DUO hits you straight with a brick!
The hover over hints are not context sensitive. IMO "to ride" only means "fahren" in combination with a bike: "to ride a bike" = "Fahrrad fahren".
"to ride" alone (meaning to ride a horse or any other animal) translates to "reiten" in German.
(They're slightly context sensitive, in my experience, in that the system tries to put the hint at the top that matches the current sentence best. But it doesn't even always succeed at that, especially if a word is repeated or if some other word in the sentence matches one of the hints.
But the selection is not context sensitive as far as I know -- you always get shown all the hints that exist for a given word or phrase, whether they make sense there or not.)