"Es" kind of stands for "the act of". With "es" in the sentence, "spazieren zu gehen" becomes one unified object. This way it is a very general sentence. It doesn't ask "do you like walking right now?", but "do you like to take walks in general?".
You can, but it isn't necessary. Verb phrases like 'spazieren zu gehen' don't need to be treated as subordinate clauses.
in addition to fritsvds's explanation i would just translate it with "do you like it, to go for walk". if i'm not wrong, that's also pretty much the same meaning in both languages and "it" = "es".
I like this explanation. While it sounds very odd in English, it does help make the connection as to why the sentence is constructed this way in German.
But that is very unnatural in English. We don't use the word "it" in that context.
It's unnatural, yes, but I think it helps to find somewhat literal ways to translate. I always keep in mind that things don't necessarily sound right when translated literally, but it helps me to remember what I've learned if I can link it to something in English.
It's not unnatural, it's wrong. 'It' can't act as a subordinating conjunction in English like it can in other languages. However, it is a great tool to help translate sentences like this. Just make sure you do interpret them, never say/write them in this form.
another reason mite be, u cant say "magst du spazieren zu gehen?"because u cant use zu as it is (infinitiv with modal). but i think u can say "magst du spazieren gehen? es is added so that u can add "zu". again, not sure.
when "zu" has the meaning of the english "to", before a verb, from what I've seen so far, the only cases in which you do NOT need it are: - "gehen" in sentences like "ich gehe schwimmen" - modal verbs
"zu" can also mean "too" but that's another story.
Zaphod1st should have answered the role of "es". However, I also have the same question about the role of "zu"
"es" -> see my previous comment. "zu" -> to go for walk = spazieren zu gehen spazieren = walk gehen = go zu = to
that's called a "nennformgruppe".
I think a comma should be added... "Magst du es, spazieren zu gehen?"
German grammar is pretty picky regarding commas. :)
Can anybody confirm it? :)
just checked, befor "Nennformgruppen" (spazieren zu gehen, schlafen zu legen, fern zu schaun,...) >can< a comma be set, but is since the grammar reform not mandatory anymore and only used if you wanna emphasice the pause in the sentence. reason for that is, that a comma originally was intended to separate different information in a long sentence. hope this helps and is kind of correct as well. :)
Î guess we all know that es= it(english). But why is used when there si the subject= spazieren ? I think is confusing the statment.
The subject isn't spazieren... the subject is du. Some things in languages just aren't logical in another language and don't translate well. This something that will always be an issue when learning languages. Some things don't have a clear reason or explanation and just need to be learned; I think this is one of them.
Obviouly the person who is doing the action is "du". I meant the theme(or verb) is to take a walk.
My problem is with the usage of the word gehen. I believe that native speakers would use the word machen here. The use of gehen seems very English to me. In the Foreign Service language course, this question was asked this way:
"Machen Sie mit mir noch einen Spaziergang zur Universitaet?"
Translated as "Are you going to take a walk to the university with me?"
As a native I'd say that it's more used with "machen" when you already have a clear destination (like in that case the "Universität") but "spazieren gehen" is often used when going for a walk just for the heck of it, similar to "going around the block". For example "Ich brauche frische Luft, wollen wir eine Runde spazieren gehen?"
When you use 'Spaziergang' you should use 'machen', but you can't 'spazieren machen', that wouldn't make sense. 'Spaziergang' and 'machen' belong together and 'spazieren' and 'gehen' belong together.
can you say "magst du spazieren"
Because it has to be a general question. Your question suggests that you want to go for a walk right now.
It seemed likely to me that es refers to 'it' (e.g. some pet), so it would mean: do you like if it goes walking. Am I wrong?