"Du kannst gut tanzen!"

Translation:You can dance well!

December 20, 2013

92 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddPhillips

It ought to accept "You can dance GOOD" since this is acceptable (although not traditional) American English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/multikev

I'm pretty sure "You can dance good." is not correct English, on either side of the Atlantic. Would you say "You dance bad?" No, you say "You dance badly." Well & Badly are opposites.

You can say: "You are a good dancer."

Full info here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/good-versus-well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlm5095

Yeah, but come on. We're here to learn German not English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stevenwmatt

I was once told that when you learn a foreign language, you also learn about your own. To understand a foreign language, you have to understand your own...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malik449009

This quote is from the most famous German poet Goethe


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamLilja1

Doesn't Duo accept "Ya'll"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muhmd16

I completely agree with the one who told you that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PENNYWISE1973

I think thats absolutelty right!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bynny2015

dlm5095, you're right of course, that we're here to learn German, not English.

But, I try to keep in mind, that a lot of students in this course are not native English speakers. I think clarifying what is correct grammar, and what is poor grammar but is commonly used would be very helpful to some of our fellow language students.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tryingveryhard

True, but you should still enter correct English. Suppose you need to translate for others?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddPhillips

That is true, but language is always changing and the use of good instead of well or bad instead of poor or badly is becoming more popular and more accepted by grammarians. You don't need to convince me that it's not traditional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LadyGilrean

Just because the rest of the population doesn't know their grammar is no excuse. Adjectives and adverbs are two different things. It's important to know the difference especially when learning another language!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdultRefre

I am a grammarian. Please, speak well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryand530

Well and poor are opposites, good and bad are opposites. You would say "You dance poorly."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gnorian

Um... I hear that sort of grammar all the time. I use it, too, because that's the way so many people I know speak.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Would you say "You dance bad?"

I actually know plenty of people—though not me personally—who would say this as well as "You dance good" (AmE).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArvindhMani

"You dance bad" would not be too outta place right now either..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stevenwmatt

"You dance badly" is correct, but you cannot justify every answer wrong answer. If you cannot use correct grammar in English, you will have more trouble in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArvindhMani

A little sarcasm don't hurt nobody ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerLangueNerd

The speakers of the language define how words are used not dictionaries. Besides, the whole point of language is to communicate ideas to each other, and if you can do that, that's what's important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

Sorry, but I disagree. Following your opinion, we could learn sentences like "Yo, quidd bitchin' an' run by ya momma, liddl mothafugga" in English class.

There are just too many people on this planet who don't treat their own native language with any of the respect it deserves. Be it out of lazyness or pure stupidity.

So no, we're here to learn proper languages, not some street slang.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NiklasSalz

nope it does translate to that even though gut can mean well too it generally means good even in this form of question/statement


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/progambler

"You're a good dancer." is the most common way to express this. "You dance good" might also be said often, but it sounds ignorant. However, although grammatically correct, nobody says "You dance well" to flirt, unless they're flirting with an English professor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siebenundzwanzig

I disagree. I'd say "You dance well", and I'm certainly no English professor. I just think "You dance good" sounds horrendous, whether common or not. I'd feel embarrassed saying "good", to a woman, in all honesty. Granted, I am a bit pedantic, and my being 27 might have something to do with it, ... perhaps it's more acceptable for a younger person to say stuff like that, I don't know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomi_tomi

Here is what Duo says: "The adverbial use of "good" is too colloquial for us to accept. Use "You can dance well" "

He is literally talking to us now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spazderp

I always think of it this way: superman does good but you do well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SanaBau

Without much further ado, I give you...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stevenwmatt

No, that is incorrect. You need to understand why this is not acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FINNYBOY803647

Yeah I wondered too. SPLLPS (4:8:5)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarrenRdz

In this context, would you really use "Du" instead of "Sie" when you're flirting with someone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MauricioBa704851

Yes, you are correct.. In this context, "Sie" is more common..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

Depends on how far you have already gone in your flirting. Normally, one of the first questions after the iniatial "ice breaker talk" would be: "Wollen wir nicht Du sagen", and (if accepted) you'd be per Du from this point on.

On the other hand, if you are dancing with a foreign princess at a state dinner, you would naturally stick with the Sie - maybe even the next morning, after having had sex with her (just kidding!)

On the hand again, teenagers in night clubs generally tend to adress each other with "Du", even if it may seem to sound rude to older guys like me sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ImTonyScep

To be fair Duo i dont see myself using this to pick up hot german chicks. And no i cant say that again in Spanish. LET MY FAMILY GO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Willow_Moore

It's flirty, sure, but how about "I like the way you dance". That sounds a little sweeter and more personal but that might just be me. Any German equivalent? "Ich mag wie du tanzen"? (I like how you dance). Or even, "I like dancing with you" "Ich mag tanzt mit du"(?). Correct me if I'm way off because I doubt my own sentence construction abilities.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

Some variants on (or corrections of) your sentences:

  • I like the way you dance – Ich mag die Art, wie du tanzt; Ich mag deine Art zu tanzen.
  • I like how you dance – Ich mag es, wie du tanzt; or better: Mir gefällt, wie du tanzt.
  • I like dancing with you – Ich mag mit dir tanzen; or better: Ich tanze gern mit dir.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanieC627553

Suggested translation: You've got some sweet moves!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricaMinton

It did not like "You know how to dance well." How did I mess up?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiroFlare

If you haven't looked it up already (I don't know when you posted the question), Können (kannst) means "to be able to" or "can". The word "know" isn't in the sentence that you are translating. It means practically the same thing, but duolingo is picky sometimes. Hope that helps!


[deactivated user]

    I tried "you can dance good" because I thought it wouldn't accept "well" ;–; silly duolingo


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aviya.Cohen

    Would "du kannst tanzen gut" word order work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MauricioBa704851

    The second verb in German is ever at the final


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aviya.Cohen

    Yup. to anyone who's following up. First verb would go in 2nd position in sentence. 2nd verb would assume its infinite form and go to the end of the sentence.

    Examples:

    "Ich mochte ein Kaffee trinken."

    "Du brauchst Schuhe für rennen"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

    Let me put some little corrections here:

    "Ich mÖchte einEN Kaffee trinken."

    "Du brauchst Schuhe ZUM Rennen."

    Otherwise, regarding the word order, you're perfectly right.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HafidzHakim

    Why is it "mochte"? not mag? And why trinken? Not trinke? Or could it be" Ich trinke gerne einen Kaffee? "


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aviya.Cohen

    Mochte = Want Mag = Like

    You can use both, but the meaning is slightly different just like in English.

    Trinken and not trinke because the 2nd verb which is positioned in the end of the sentence always takes up infinite form.

    About the gerne sentence - i am a bit off about how to use gerne properly so i can't help there. But you've basically built a different sentence - it leads to the same action maybe but it's different.

    I would be happy with a cup of coffee I want to drink a cup of coffee

    they will get you the same result at the cafe but they are simply different sentences.

    cheers


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhassel2012

    Yeah the word order can be confusing to me sometimes. Why is gut in front of tanzen?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aviya.Cohen

    So apparently the 2nd verb - tanzen - must be thrown to the end of the sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VictorBMelo

    Why isn't it "Du kannst gut tanzt"? I thought tanzen would be for Sie/Wir


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

    The infinitive is used in German after "kannst" which is the form that is being conjugated.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stevenwmatt

    Du tanzt gut oder du kannst gut tanzen.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayce429

    I put "you can dance", is this wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

    That would only mean you are able to dance at all. It doesn't necessarily imply that you are particularly good at it.

    That being said, spoken with enough emphasis it still could work: "Wow, YOU CAN DANCE!"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvieLockerbie

    no one really dances anymore unless their at a club.......


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theycallmeHan

    can someone tell me the when we use "kann" and "kannst". Thanks a lot!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stefan872489

    "Kann" is 1st and 3rd person singular present (I can, he/she can) while "Kannst" is 2nd person singular (singular you).

    Basically any German verb ending in -st is 2nd person singular present.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friday81

    Och, Ya ken guid dancin' - German often reminds me of Scottish.. I know there's the obvs history with Galic


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

    Well, my (German) wife is learning Scottish Gaelic here at Duolingo. Believe me, there are not that many similarities between those two...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drinkyourmilk

    could you just say du kannst tanzen


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

    See my above answer. The sentence in itself only means "You can dance" as in knowing the correct steps or moves. Just like in English, it doesn't automatically imply being particularly good at it.

    But again, spoken with the right amount of emphasis it CAN be delivered as a compliment. "Wow, du kannst TANZEN..."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurelKhal

    Wir können tanzen wenn wir wollen


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mullisman4

    Got this question twice back to back, put the correct version of the first time in the second time around and it said I was wrong.


    [deactivated user]

      "Tanz mit mir" by an awesome German folk band Faun - you should really check this out! https://youtu.be/34l3YSqh0Jk


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aakashmangla3

      Can somebody tell me why kannst is used here instead of kann


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lewandowsk348731

      Because it is in the "Du" form.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sanket2302

      Can we write this german sentence as "Du kannst tanzen gut !" ??


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

      No. See above for further explanation. In Short: The second verb in its infinitive form it always at very end of the sentence.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sea-mist

      I wrote "You can dance good." and it marked me wrong. Where Iive in Australia this is an acceptable thing to say and what I would say or just "You dance good."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stan1928

      You can dance well so why are you stepping on my toes?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K126Fox

      This has already discussed in lenght further above. To make it short: Duolingo only accepts at least half-proper grammar, not every colloquial phrase. The fact that something grammatically wrong is "widely accepted" in some region or another doesn't make it right. This is an app for learning languages after all.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parth670698

      What's the difference between Kannst and Kann?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerrenceC.

      Is one who dances well a well dancer or a good dancer??


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avery_Eubanks

      Why's it "gut tanzen" instead of "tanzen gut"? I guess do adjectives come before verbs??? I'm so confused on the word order in German. It seems like very sentence is backwards sometimes and then other times it's like completely normal English word order! Please help!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

      To improve comprehensibility I've introduced some colour:

      • Infinitive, e.g. tanzen (to dance)
      • Conjugated verb forms, e.g. "Er tanzt" (He dances)
      • "Repulsive" conjunctions that "repel" the verb to the end, e.g. weil (because).

      Some correct German sentences:

      1. "Sie tanzen gut!" – "You dance well!"
        The one verb, tanzen, though it looks identical to the Infinitive [to] dance, is actually 2nd. person here, to agree with Sie (polite you).

      2. "Du kannst gut tanzen." – "You can dance well." [Undertone: "...so why aren't you dancing well tonight?"]
        This sentence has two verbs:
        • kannst: 2nd. person singular to agree with du (familiar you).
        • tanzen: infinitive.
        • In such two-verb sentences, the auxiliary verb (...kannst) "sends the infinitive to the end".
          In German the six modal auxiliary verbs (dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, wollen; "modal" = "mood") and other auxiliary verbs (haben, sein, werden) all do this to a second verb.
      3. Darf ich dich küssen?” – "May I kiss you?"
        Though this is a question ("Darf ich...") rather than a statement ("Ich darf..."), the two verbs behave just as in the second sentence:
        • Darf: 1st. person singular to agree with ich.
        • küssen: infinitive.
        • The auxiliary verb (...kannst) "sends the Infinitive to the end", as in Sentence No. 2.
        • The response might be the statement "Du darfst mich küssen." ("You may kiss me.") – analogous to Sentence No. 2 "Du kannst gut tanzen."
      4. More advanced (applying a very different verb at the end rule, see below!)
        "Du kannst gut tanzen, weil du Tanzunterricht hattest." – "You can dance well because you had dancing lessons."
        This shows how certain conjunctions (here: weil) "send a verb to the end" of their subordinate clause.
        • Tanzunterricht, being a noun, has no effect on word order. Note that:
        • Tanzen (CAPITAL T) is the noun dancing
        • tanzen is the verb to dance

      NOTES

      1. Why the name (modal) auxiliary verb for dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, wollen?
        US and UK terms differ here:
        • Modal verbs (Ger.: Modalverben)<click here for Duo's Tips & Notes> and the exercises (about halfway into the course) – is the US term used by Duolingo (a US company). In the US there are just 3 German auxiliary verbs (haben, sein, werden).
        • Modal auxiliary verbs (meaning: "assistant verbs of mood") is the term we learned in the UK at secondary school.
          Auxiliary verbs (verbs which "help" or "assist" other verbs) – Hilfsverben (Ger.) – include the other "assistant verbs" (haben, sein, werden), too.
      2. It's well worth memorising German's nine ubiquitous Hilfsverben and some of their properties:
        • Only four Modals – dürfen, können, müssen, sollen – are "auxiliary" in the sense that they are only used to "help" another verb, e.g.
          • "Sie darf keine Milchprodukte essen."
          • "Er kann nicht schwimmen."
          • "Du musst deine Hausaufgaben machen."
          • "Sie sollen vorsichtiger sein."
        • Two Modals – mögen, wollen – work with nouns too, e.g.
          • "Ich mag Schokolade."
          • "Er will eine größere Wohnung."
        • haben; sein, though often used
          • with nouns or (sein only) with adjectives –
            • "Ich habe Zeit."
            • "Ich bin Arzt."
            • "Das Haus ist alt."
          • are also used to form the Past Tense:
            • "Ich habe gelesen." [no motion involved]
            • "Sie ist gefahren." [motion]
        • werden has three rather different uses:
          1. Meaning: to become: "Er wird alt."
          2. To form the future tense: "Ich werde Oma besuchen."
          3. To form the passive voice: "Ihre Bewerbung wird angenommen."
      3. Main rules on verb position:
         0. "Zeroth. Rule": Don't be frustrated if you still find it all very confusing. At school we learned it over several months (not days!), making many mistakes on the journey from very simple two-verb sentences to "worst-case" sentences with conjunctions, subordinate clauses and several verbs.

        1. In a simple two-verb sentence (Nos. 2. and 3. above), the conjugated verb (usually a Hilfsverb) "sends the infinitive verb to the end".

        2. The Past Participle, e.g. geschlafen; gefahren; eingestellt in my Past Tense and Passive Voice examples above, also goes to the end.

        3. [more advanced]: A weil-type conjunction which begins a subordinate clause (Nebensatz) "repels" the conjugated verb to the very end of that clause.
          If I remember correctly, most conjunctions have this "weil" property (as our German teacher used to put it); a smallish (learnable!) minority leaves the word order unchanged [I'll insert the list once I dig it up...].

        4. [very advanced; more a generalisation than a rule] – Worst-case scenario: Sometimes (e.g. when describing something which might happen one day) a couple of infinitives + a conjugated verb are "sent to the end". The conjugated verb always goes to the very end; there's usually a logical order for the infinitives.
          Here, with no further comment, are three examples in the spirit of Duo's Flirting skill:

          • "Ich würde niemals zu dir gehen wollen, da ich auf Frauen stehe." –
            "I'd never want to go to your place, as I prefer women."

          • "Sie sagt, sie würde niemals zu mir gehen wollen, denn sie steht auf Frauen." –
            "She says she'd never want to go to my place as she prefers women."

          • "Sie sagt, dass sie niemals zu mir gehen wollen würde, weil sie auf Frauen steht." –
            "She says that she'd never want to go to my place, because she prefers women."

            However, I've sometimes heard Germans use rule-defying sentences such as
            "Sie sagt, dass sie niemals zu mir würde gehen wollen, weil... ,"
            Maybe they're just sorting their words as they speak.

                  [Created 12 May 2019; last ed. 15 Jun 18:38 UTC]


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avery_Eubanks

      I’m not too familiar with all these words like “auxiliary” or “modal” in language. What does that mean? And you’re saying it’s those verbs that send the second verb (infinitive) to the end? It seems kind of like Spanish, if you have two verbs, one of them is conjugated and one is infinitive, but only in that regard.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avery_Eubanks

      Well hold on I’m still confused, especially after that last example. Why is that the conjugated verb (hattest) is sent to the back instead of Tanzunterricht? Also what do you mean that certain conjunctions can send it to the back? How does the word “ Weil” send it to the back? Also, I’m thinking that if you can you help me on this last example, it will help me better understand it all this. In the example, “Darf ich dich küssen”, why is küssen put at the end?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

      @ Avery – To keep everything in one place, I've tried to answer both your questions by extensively editing and expanding my original answer. Please let me know what I've missed...

      Perhaps the most important bit:

      Don't be frustrated if you still find it all very confusing. At school we learned it over several months (not days!), making many mistakes on the journey from very simple two-verb sentences to "worst-case" sentences with conjunctions, subordinate clauses and several verbs.

                     [15 May 2019 00:08 UTC]


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avery_Eubanks

      Thank you for all the help! It’s rare to see someone go this far to help! (At least as far as you can go online lol). But yeah, they don’t teach auxiliary or modal auxiliary verbs in US. I did a bit of research and looking at your comment and better understand auxiliary verbs now though! So simple now! But I’ll still have to read more of your comment or research modal verbs! I definitely regret taking Spanish in high school and not German. But anyways, thanks for the help and I’ll let you know if I have any more questions! : )


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/princessyugo

      Why isn't it "du kannst tanzen gut?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vagg16

      Can we say " Du kannst tanzen gut" ? Or is it necessary to put "tanzen" in the end of the sentence?!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl449953

      Gut = good, well, fine, all right, usw.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/earth_worm

      Why isnt it "du kannst tanzen gut" instead? This seems more natural accordi3 to the lessons ive been taking until now.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

      German word order can be very confusing to early learners (indeed, you're the 6th. person on this page with the same question)!

      At a guess, your previous lessons used simple German sentences with only one (conjugated) verb, e.g. "Du tanzt gut!" (You dance well!), where the English word order is OK in German, too.

      However,
      "Du kannst gut tanzen." (You can dance well.)
      is a two-verb sentence, where kannst is conjugated to agree with Du …, whereas the other verb, tanzen, has to be the infinitive and be at the very end of the German sentence. (The only other language to do this is Dutch.)

      A couple of years ago I wrote about this in some detail—but for now you should read just the first two points.
                             [6 Mar 2021 23:51 UTC]


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackonWang

      "You dance wel and so can i" sound like rickroll

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.