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  5. "Bisher waren alle Schüler Ju…

"Bisher waren alle Schüler Jungen."

Translation:So far all the students have been boys.

November 18, 2013



"So far all students were boys." Somehow this doesn't seem right for English. "So far all students are boys," is good. But for past tense we would probably say something different like "Until then all students had been boys," or "Thus far all students were boys."


This happens quite a lot... when you translate sentences literally, they often don't sound entirely natural in the other language. There's nothing grammatically wrong with "So far all students were boys". It sounds fine in German, where the tenses are used slightly differently than in English, although direct equivalents exist, in terms of grammatical construction.

The preferred choice of tense can also vary depending on the type of English, might I add. A Brit, for example, would never say "I already ate", but rather "I've already eaten".


All the students were boy up to now. Why is that not correct?


So why don't you use a past perfect tense in German for this? I.e., Bisher sind alle Schüler Jungen gewesen?


Both tenses are equally valid.


Why is "previously" not a good translation of "Bisher"?


I think they simply don't mean the same thing. "Previously" would be "vorher" or "zuvor", and "bisher" means "up until now".

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