"Bitte zeige Verständnis."

Translation:Please be understanding.

November 3, 2015

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod

    Literally: "Please show understanding", which also makes sense in English.

    Can you generally use zeigen in this way in German? Like, to outwardly make a characteristic visible? Showing gratitude, showing boredom, showing displeasure, etc?

    November 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/igelchen

    Yes, but it's almost never used in spoken language.
    "Sie zeigte ihre Dankbarkeit" (or "sie zeigte sich dankbar") = "she showed her gratitude"
    "Die Schüler zeigten ihre Langeweile deutlich" = "the students openly displayed their boredom"
    etc. I've added a second example to the first sentence, because next to showing something, you can also show yourself to be a certain way ("sich zeigen"), but that does get very stuffy very quickly. It works for simple sentences like the first but even with an extra adjective like in the second example, re-writing it into "die Schüler zeigten sich..." felt weird.
    The Duden has some more examples (under 4 a) and 4 c), quite far down): http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/zeigen

    November 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
    Mod

      Ok, others have reported that that exact translation is not accepted [EDIT: It is now!]. Is there a difference of meaning? I would say that "please be understanding" and "please show understanding" are slightly different, with emphasis on "showing" understanding if you use that sentence. But then, Duo is currently insisting the opposite. Before reporting it, can you confirm this?

      [EDIT: See my comment below to 'Fuzzymurrey'. I still think this should be accepted, but the difference of meaning is apparently not there in German.]

      November 21, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Doc844077

      As of Nov 1 2017 it is still not accepted.

      November 1, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Kali882931

      If it is almost never used, what would be used instead in for "please be understanding?"

      March 17, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/SB_Mark

      Is "Bitte zeigen Sie Verständnis" correct?

      December 8, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
      Mod

        Yes. That is another sentence using the Imperativ mood, which is used for commands. The imperative mood can be constructed in a couple of ways - including the one Duolingo chose, and this one here which is the polite form.

        January 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/josewilhelm

        I was going to ask the same thing.

        December 17, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Zeljko901738

        can someone explain why is the verb in 1st person if im reffering to a second person, please (you) show understanding, shouldnt it then be, bitte zeigst verstandnis? is it some other form or tense other than present? what am i missing

        December 19, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
        Mod

          Unfortunately Duo doesn't currently introduce the 'imperative' sentence structure properly before it starts using it. You'll have to search for your own explanations around the internet, but this one might help: http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/vimp_01.html

          December 20, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/NikolaSchildberg

          It does now! I met this sentence in "Feelings", quite a while after "Infinitives" (May 5th 2019)

          May 6, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/Zeljko901738

          oki dok thanks a bunch :)

          December 20, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/amit.eytan

          Why "please understand" is not correct?

          January 23, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
          Mod

            That's using "understand" as a verb, so the sentence structure is different. It would be Bitte versteh(e).

            Source: Canoo.net

            January 23, 2016

            https://www.duolingo.com/RachelPun

            But then "Verständnis" is a noun, and "understanding" in "please be understanding" is an adjective, so they are still structurally different, no?

            April 30, 2017

            https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
            Mod

              They are. I still disagree with Duo's preferred answer :)

              May 1, 2017

              https://www.duolingo.com/Fuzzymurrey

              I answered "Please show understanding" also. Is there a reason that it is wrong, or should it be reported?

              November 21, 2015

              https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
              Mod

                [EDIT: It is accepted now.]

                After discussing with a native-speaker, I still think it should be accepted. This sentence would be used for example on a sign when there is an inconvenience: "The toilet is closed. Please show understanding".

                That said, it doesn't explicitly mean the understanding must be outwardly shown like I explained is the case in English in another comment. It's just somewhat idiomatic to mean "Please be understanding". Using zeigen (in the imperative) just allows Verständnis ("understanding") to be used as a noun. The literal translation of "Please be understanding" would be Bitte sei verständnisvoll, which requires the adjective form of "understanding", verständnisvoll. This isn't obvious in English as "understanding" is both a noun and adjective.

                But from the discussion I had, it seems that Duo's phrasing is more common.

                December 20, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/Artist-Engineer

                July 28, 2017

                https://www.duolingo.com/JMBarrett52

                I translated it as Please show understanding and it marked me wrong. This is frustrating. Zeigen is show, ja?

                November 21, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/esgerman12

                What does it mean in English "Please show understanding"?

                December 2, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
                Mod

                  Here's an example: You are the boss of a company, and ten people work for you. But the company doesn't have enough money, and you cannot pay all your workers. You decide to tell one worker that he can not work for you anymore, so that you can afford to pay the others next month. Your worker will probably be sad that he lost his job, and might get angry. But if you say "please show understanding", you are asking him to understand your reason, and to not get angry.

                  "I understand" = In my head, I know your reason.
                  "I show understanding" = Because I understand your reason, I act calm.

                  December 2, 2015

                  https://www.duolingo.com/esgerman12

                  And what's about "Please be understanding"? Are there any differences?

                  December 2, 2015

                  https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
                  Mod

                    The meaning is between those two I mentioned. You understand, and it affects your actions, but it's maybe not so obvious.

                    December 2, 2015

                    https://www.duolingo.com/IanWitham1

                    "Please show understanding" was accepted when I did this exercise. I think it is a more accurate translation than "Please be understanding". The speaker does not merely want me to understand. She wants me to show that I understand.

                    June 2, 2017

                    https://www.duolingo.com/crispybacon4

                    Please show understanding - is accepted now.

                    March 29, 2016

                    https://www.duolingo.com/idkhbtfm

                    I feel like a more natural translation would be 'please understand' because nobody really says please be understanding.

                    January 26, 2016

                    https://www.duolingo.com/ChriS5932

                    I'd rather saying the translation is something like "Please show understanding"

                    March 6, 2016

                    https://www.duolingo.com/slightly-left

                    why is "Zeige" meaning is "be"? isn't it "to show"?

                    June 30, 2016

                    https://www.duolingo.com/VladiTth

                    Would it change a lot if I translated it "please, show some respect"?

                    December 27, 2017

                    https://www.duolingo.com/DoubleLingot

                    bitte zeige Respekt

                    April 21, 2019

                    https://www.duolingo.com/AdamSmithyGirl

                    "Please show some understanding" sounds more natural in English and should be accepted, no? English frequently inserts "some" where German has a noun without an article.

                    March 16, 2019
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