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"Often it is the fear of the new."

Translation:Oft ist es die Angst vor Neuem.

January 12, 2013



Is "Neuem" maybe an adjectival noun ? http://german.about.com/od/nounsandcases/a/Adjectives-As-Nouns.htm

Btw I found on duden that "die Neue" = freshly fallen snow :)


yes, it appears it is used this way (hence the capitalization). When using any adjective as a noun, it must be declined as an adjective before a noun.

So, for example, “ich bringe der Blonden Blumen”—the adjective “blond” is declined with the “-en” ending, as though we were saying “der blonden Frau”.

Another example: “das ist mein Teuerstes”—the adjective “teuer”, using the superlative form “teuerst”, is declined with the “-es” ending, as though we were saying “mein teuerstes Ding”.

In this case, “neu”, when used as a noun, would be “vor dem Neuen”. If, however, the article “dem” is missing, you would have to use strong declension, which would render it as “vor Neuem”.

So, “vor Neuem” is the proper declension when using the adjective “neu” as a noun in the dative case with no article (and, hence, strong declension). That said, though, “vor Neuem” would translate to “from New”, which really makes no sense grammatically in English.

Not being a native German speaker, I can only wonder if “vor Neuem”, i.e., referring to that as a noun without a definite article, is grammatically correct in German being that it isn’t in English….


Thank you for answering my question in such a detailed manner.

btw I presume you meant to write "vor dem Neuen" http://www.wordreference.com/deen/Angst (Angst "vor" = fear of)


Oh, silly me… with all that, I lost sight of the original phrase lol. But, yes, as I pointed out to someone else earlier, vor and von are two different prepositions and, in this case, vor is the correct one to use with Angst. I just edited my post to correct that—thanks for calling it to my attention!


i would think of is von and not vor as in a sentence before "muss ich es von neuem machen? i had seen translated vor as "in front of, ahead, before, aloud, above", but not as "on". Please any explanation


I'm not exactly sure what you mean The phrase "von neuem" means something like "to start again" For example "Muss ich es von neuem machen?"="Do I have to start again?"

in "Angst vor", the "vor" stands for "of" Vor example "Angst VOR Spinnen"="fear OF spiders". Did this help you? Else, maybe post another example and I'll try to explain it


Is "Neue" a "weak word" for inflections? I wrote "dem Neuem", and it was correct, the same as just "Neuem". Would I also have been right if I wrote "dem Neuen"?


dem Neuem is never right, because it should be dem NeueN.


Yes, totally agree. 'dem Neuem' is wrong.


In which case, why is the correct answer given here, "Neuem?" Am I missing something here or has duolingo not got round to correcting this one? (Which would be surprising...)


"Die Angst vor Neuem" is fine. "Die Angst vor dem Neuem" would be wrong, though.


It's actually quite simple. There are three declension classes for German nouns (although most textbooks seem to mention only two of them), namely strong nouns (the 'normal' ones), weak nouns (the real exceptions) and nominalized adjectives. The one thing to remember is that nominalized adjectives get inflected exactly like attributive adjectives (although they are nouns). So, the form to use - apart from case, number and gender - also depends on the preceding article. And that's where most of the confusion arises from. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives EDIT: to answer your question in more detail: "vor dem Neuen" is correct, because it's dative singular neuter and the definite article tells you that you have to use weak inflection. "vor Neuem" is also dative singular neuter. It's correct because there is no preceding article, so strong inflection applies. "vom Neum" doesn't make any sense in German. Perhaps you've a typo in there.


Then just mentally add an appropriate noun after 'Neuem' and handle 'neuem' like an adjective. E.g. 'Die Angst vor neuem Ungemach' -> 'Die Angst vor Neuem' vs. 'Die Angst vor dem neuen Ungemach' -> 'Die Angst vor dem Neuen'. Works like a charm ;-)


@pmarking: Because duo is wrong.


Just to recapitulate: If i understand this 'rule' correctly, it can be one of either: "....vor dem Neuen"; or, "....vom Neum." Is this correct? (my understanding of this 'rule' is based on what I read elsewhere here on duo this afternoon.)

if so - wow! - (i had never come across this rule before today ). German declension is mad crazy!

EDIT: Having hastily written the above, I just read siebolt's post and am wondering now whether this isn't an even more exceptional exception in the German language than I had expected....


thanks a lot, wataya! I'm familiar with the declensions of adjectives, however, am still getting to grips with the exceptional declensions of nouns. Your comment and edit, i think - and hope, have cleared things up a bit for me.


Then why is it showing one of the correct alternate solutions as being: "Oft ist es die Angst vor dem Neuem”?


Well, thanks for clearing that up wataya :)


well, sometimes it is right: it can be " vor neueM" as"vor dem neueN" (also "vorM neueN" is possible too)


"dem Neuem" is a wrong translation, although it is grammatically correct if you wanted to translate "Often it is the fear of the new one", which is not the case. So "Neuem" w/o article and "dem Neuen" are the only valid options.


my mistake... sorry.


Is "Oft ist es die Angst des neues." an acceptable translation?



  • you can't use the genitive here to express the intended meaning

  • genitive would be 'die Angst des Neuen' (which means something completely different)


What does "die Angst des Neuen" mean?


The fear of the new one (e.g. a new member of a sports team).


The German sentence is perfectly all right. If you look at the English phrase you will see "of the new" In my opinion this "new" is used as a general category like "milk". Another way of saying it would have been "of new things". "von Neuem" is a singular noun without an article and takes its endings from adjectives. A pecularity of German in some situations.


Is the substantive assumed to be singular or plural ? The assumption in the answers given is that 'new' qualifies a single object, not multiple ones. Thus, it might be fear of the new ((idea or ideas), (man or men), (concept or concepts), (unknown or unknowns)). I don't think we know from the sentence. So the translation could be 'vor dem Neuen or vor den Neuen, and dative in both cases. So there could be two answers? No, not yet. We'd need to know the gender of the noun that is being described. It seems as though the noun is presupposed to be masculine in the answers given. If we accept that then we have 'vor dem Neuen or vor den Neuen.


should't also "die Angst VOM Neuen" accepted? Vor + dem = vorm or vom


Be careful not to confuse vorm with vom. Vorm is “vor dem”. Vom is “von dem”. Von and vor are two different prepositions!

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