"Warum erweitern sie das Gebäude?"

Translation:Why are they expanding the building?

November 9, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Duo says my is answer "why are they extending the building" is wrong, I think its right thou.


Extending makes more grammatical sense in English than expanding.


Extend: To cause (something) to be longer, wider, or cover more area: extended the subway line into the next town.

Expand: To increase the size, volume, quantity, or scope of; enlarge: expanded her store by adding a second room. See Synonyms at "increase".


They look interchangeable enough (in this case at least)


Yes, in meaning they look interchangeable, as you say, but not in usage. I would say it is very rare to talk about expanding a building. "Extending" is far more usual, and after all, we call the result of extending the building "an extension", not "an expansion".


Is the only reason this is not "why are you expanding the building" because the 'S' in 'sie' is not capitalized?


Is the only reason this is not "why are you expanding the building" because the 'S' in 'sie' is not capitalized?

That is correct.

Capitalisation is significant in German. It's unfortunate that Duolingo doesn't treat the German course specially and enforce proper capitalisation (and make sure that it itself always uses proper capitalisation, e.g. with tiles in a word bank).


I agree with you completely. I could care less about capitalization in English, but I think it's necessary in German. Thank you for the clarification.


I agree. I also care a lot about capitalization in English.


Capitalisation of "I" but not "you" in English, for example, is quite amusing for non-native speaker. But those are rules

Capitalisation in German feels much more important (and very helpful)


My answer was not accepted: "Why do they expand the building". The program says "the" is wrong. Why?


I think your answer is correct.


What is the indication that "sie" is "they" here?


The verb ends in -n and not in -t.

"sie" (they) and "wir" always have the verb form the same as the infinitive in the present tense, and this almost always ends in -en. The exceptions I can think of are sein (to be) and that -elen and -eren get simplified to -eln and -ern -- here you have -ern from a verb stem erweiter-.

The "she" verb form here would be sie erweitert.


Why does it end in -n instead of -en?


Why does it end in -n instead of -en?

Verbs whose stem end in -er or -el just add -n in the infinitive (and the first and third person plural): ändern, erweitern; wechseln, handeln rather than *änderen, *erweiteren; *wechselen, *handelen.

Also: with -el verbs, the -e- at the end of the verb stem sometimes drops out in the ich form: for example, both ich handele and ich handle are acceptable German.


I suppose 'widening' would be literal. Then I imagine just a foot or two the whole length. Otherwise, I might prefer (if I understand the German) 'They are adding to the building.'


I would think that 'widen' should work as a translation?


"widen" would be verbreitern rather than erweitern.


Why are they adding on to their house? (American mid-west. Houses aren't elastic.)


Is there a reason why "Why are you enlarging the building?" should be rejected?


The German sentence has sie (= they), not Sie (= you).


Can "erweitern" be used for example in the context of "to extend a deadline" as well?


Can "erweitern" be used for example in the context of "to extend a deadline" as well?

No, because the deadline doesn't become wider when you postpone it.

Also, Germans generally talk about Fristen (the time until the deadline) rather than about the deadline as a point in time, so you'll hear about die Frist verlängern (to lengthen the time until the deadline).


In English the word extending is used for buildings rather than expanding which is used for ideas, objects etc


extend the building - you build an extension not an expansion. Hey Duolingo It's a common collocation!


Why is the sie.... They.. There's nothing in the sentence pointing to it being THEY... It(sie ) can therefore be " why is she expanding"..? I understand the sie is not "you".. Because the Sie is not capitalized.


There's nothing in the sentence pointing to it being THEY

Yes, there is.

The verb form ends in -ern which means that the subject must be either "we" or "they".

So sie must mean "they" here.

(sie ) can therefore be " why is she expanding"..?

No, it cannot.

What would the verb ending be for "she is expanding"? sie erweiter... -- can you answer it yourself?

(If not, please re-read this comment thread from this page: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/11577924?comment_id=17326430)


Thank you. I had understood the word "erweitern " means expand.. So, if I am understanding what you are saying : the actual word is "erweit".. Expand and if it's ERWEITERN... it's plural.. We or They... Did I get that..?


The root is erweiter-.

For the infinitive, we would expect an ending -en, i.e. erweiteren. But -eren gets shortened to -ern, so the ending for sie (they) is only -n here, not -en.

infinitive: erweitern "(to) expand"

first person plural: wir erweitern "we expand"

third person plural sie erweitern "they expand"

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