Actually it is exactly like English, useing the infinitive firm of the verb after most auxiliaries. You just need to remember English is an exceptional language in that that it separated the infinitive to a 'to+verb'. So when you have a bare infinitive in English, as in 'I may [to] go', instead of omitting the 'to' you have the German infinitive form.
Well I don't want to repeat what has been said and I agree with PaoloArman2 and everyone saying the same.
But to your question:
"Kann ich...?" and "Darf ich ...?" Are used synonymously in German speech even if they can have different meanings when you take them literally.
If you (as an under aged) ask your parents for permission to go to your friends house:
"Papa, kann ich heute abend zu Thomas spielen gehen?",
"Papa, darf ich heute abend zu Thomas spielen gehen?"
Both mean: Dad, can I go to Thomas's place to play tonight? (asking for permission,) has nothing to do with to be able to something or not.
For our example: "Kann ich dich jetzt küssen?" is a grammatically proper but inappropriate sentence, it means: "Is it now the right moment to kiss you?" rolls eyes
"Kann ich dir (dabei) helfen?", is fine, but not: "Darf ich dir (dabei) helfen?", (possible though, as a polite offer)
"Darf ich dich abholen?", polite request: "Kann ich dich abholen?", also a request but more straight forward.
Context is the key, there is not really a general rule. :-)
Yes this is true, and I also used to do this. HaHa.
This happens when over time people misuse a word and make it common language. It leads to disambiguation(s). But, such is life, languages develop and not always to the best of the language.
Linguists will probably have an answer to this phenomenon.
The difference between can and may, when many people ask if they can do something.
Although the translation is "May I kiss you" - I feel as if the literal translation word for word is, "May I (have) your kiss?" where the have is implied in English, and not required in German.
Kissing rarely happens in a singular, why do I only get one :(.
No, the literal translation does not give you the noun for kiss, but the infinitive "to kiss". In English, we would use "I would like to kiss you." but say "May I kiss you?" using the "bare" infinitive (without the word "to") with modal verbs such as "may" and "can". http://conjugueur.reverso.net/conjugaison-allemand-verbe-k%C3%BCssen.html
http://context.reverso.net/traduction/allemand-anglais/k%C3%BCssen If it were the noun, it would be plural.
Perhaps the German word order is confusing you, as the second verb goes to the end of the sentence. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/WordOrder/WordOrder.html
Du siehst das sich jemand mit etwas schwertut, er/sie braucht offensichtlich Hilfe. Du bietest ihr/ihm Hilfe an und du bist zuversichtlich das du helfen kannst, als auch das die Hilfe angenommen wird.
Du sagst deshalb kurz: "Kann ich helfen?", oder "Kann ich dir dabei helfen?"
This is not overly polite, but it is short and clear. (do not confuse 'kann' with "can" the meaning here is: "may I help you?"
Jemand geht seinem Hobby nach du kommst dazu und hast das gleiche Hobby. Du würdest zu gerne mithelfen oder mitmachen.
Deshalb fragst du höflich: "Darf ich dir behilflich sein?", "Darf ich dir dabei helfen."
"Darf" means you ask politely to become part of it, to help or to assist. As in: "would you let me help you with that?"
Kann in German is like when you would ask your parents or teachers if you can do something, and they reply "I don't know, can you?". Kann (or Können) would translate as can/able to. Whereas Darf (Dürfen) translates as may/to be allowed to. It's like having the physical capabilities to do it, or the permission to.
Since i am actually a girl, i can give some of you guys my point of view. If you really like a girl, you two flirt, and after a while (2 weeks or so) ask that question, there is a high possibility that she will actually kiss you. This applies to almost any country and language.
I understand that words are flipped in German when asking a question, but exactly how does it work? Here, the verb is pushed to the end, is that all it is? If so, how exactly would you ask a long question with multiple verbs, such as,
'Why are you standing outside when you could be sitting inside?'
Would this be,
'Why are standing outside you, when could be sitting inside you?'
I'm confused, please help me with this.
Note: I'm putting all verbs in the examples in a bold font.
In this case of two verbs in one clause, where you have the modal verb dürfen and an infinitive küssen, the infinitive will go to the end:
- Ich darf dich küssen. = I may kiss you.
If it's a question, you flip the front:
- Darf ich dich küssen? = May I kiss you?
Now, let me take your original sentence and translate it directly despite it being somewhat unnatural – so you'll hopefully get an idea of the grammar:
- Warum stehst du draußen, wenn du drinnen sitzen könntest?
Word-for-word translation of the German:
- Why stand you outside, when you inside sit could?
Here the modal verb was pushed to the very end because of the conjunction wenn, which automatically causes a conjugated verb to do this.
So, no, you can't just do whatever you want with the word order, it is freer than English but there are limitations. Generally, you get a feel for the word order the more exposure you have to the language, so do just that! Here are links to an explanation on German word order (by someone who I recommend you check out, you can learn a lot from him):
- Page 1: https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/07/german-word-order/
- Page 2: https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/15/german-word-order-explained/
- Page 3: https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/23/german-word-order-3/
Hopefully this helped somewhat.
So, maybe you can explain why "Do you mind if I kiss you?", which has been said to me by Native English speakers, isn't correct? Why would it be ("Would you mind if I kiss you?"... #justsayin ) as answered to me below? I do not see the difference, and since people have said to me the actual one I give, I do not get why it is "wrong".
I'm a UK native English speaker;
US English—Duo's English—may differ.
Unless you're kissing a strict grammarian, the "Do/Would you mind…" distinction is insignificant in real life. Both expressions are good spoken English, but "Do you mind…" slips better off the tongue. Though the sentiments are similar, the exact meanings differ:
- May I kiss you? [the favoured translation] –
Darf ich dich küssen?
- Do you mind if I kiss you? –
Hast du (et)was dagegen, wenn ich dich küsse?
- Would you mind if I kiss you? –
Hättest du (et)was dagegen, wenn ich dich küsse?
The strict grammarian would mind, because the tenses of Would (imperfect conditional) and if…kiss (present conditional) don't match.
- Would you mind if I were to kiss you? –
Hättest du (et)was dagegen, wenn ich dich küssen würde?
would satisfy the strict grammarian, since Would and were to kiss are both imperfect conditional forms. However, if you say this, the one you'd like to kiss might have left the room before you can finish your sentence…
None of 2.–4. are near translations of 1. Darf ich dich küssen? and will likely be rejected by Duo, which usually favours the closest possible correct translation.
[Posted 25 Mar 2019; updated 8 Aug 2020 22:25 UTC]
There are two ways to pronounce "ch" in Germany. For one of them, say "shh" while grinning like a maniac. For the other, try growling like a bear or/while gargling water, or use a rolled "k" (difficult to achieve, but an effective way of making the noise. I learned the German "KKKK" sound when I was nine, and pretending to be a bear).
it is not a "H" sound. The way the Scots say "Loch Lomomd" is the right way but if you don't have access to a Scot that doesn't help much. outside Scothland, English doesent't have this sound. go to Leo http://dict.leo.org/#/search=ich and click on the pronunciation button next to the word "ich" to hear how it should be pronounced. You can do this with any word you want to her.
Dich is not pronounced with the same sound as in loch. The ch in loch corresponds to the ch in words like machen or Tochter. The closest sound we have in English to the ch in dich is the h in huge; just make sure you pronounce it in the way that the middle part of the tongue is against the palate (leaving just a little room to let air pass through) - I expand on that because it can alternatively be pronounced with a regular h as in hot (which will result in poor pronunciation of the soft ch).
No, it shouldn't. I think the eszett is used after long vowels (Maße vs Masse) and diphthongs (heißen). You sometimes need to know the plural to know if the singular will take an eszett, for example: Strauß and Maus have the same sound at the ending, but in the plural, Strauß becomes Sträuße (at least when Strauß means a bunch of flowers), which is pronounced like Shtroy-suh, while the plural of Maus, Mäuse is pronounced Moy-zuh. Notice the s sound in Sträuße and the z sound in Mäuse. The reason why Maus has an unvoiced final vowel is because of some devoicing rule of which I can't remember the name, but it's the same reason Zug is pronounced like Zuk, and the plural pronounced as spelled: Züge.
That's all the knowledge I've got. You can probably find more on about.com or Wikipedia.
No you can't.
"Ja, bitte!": means you are happy with the proposal and you want that the other person goes ahead. Often used when you order something. With a kiss it is a bit strange, but it would possibly work.
"Nein, Danke!" means, that you are not interested but you thank for the offer.
That should not happen. Can you provide a screenshot showing that the hints give the entire sentence "Can I You Kiss" as a single phrase, with that capitalisation?
As far as I can tell, there are only single-word hints in this sentence. The work of rearranging the words from German word order to English word order is not in the hints, and is up to the learner.
küss is the imperative (command form) for when you are speaking to one person whom you know well.
Küss mich! = Kiss me!
English has very little inflection, so it's not surprising that many German forms will map onto one and the same English form. "kiss" could be the infinitive or the present tense or the command form or even a noun.
No, for two reasons --
- The infinitive küssen has to come at the end of the sentence
- du is in the nominative case, which you would use for a subject; a direct object here needs to be in the accusative case, so you have to use dich. (Using du here would be like saying "I kissed he" or "He kissed I" instead of "I kissed him / he kissed me" with the appropriate form for a direct object.)
I would be surprised if you can see "may I you kiss" all at once in the hints, but if you click on the words one by one, then yes: darf is "may", ich is "I", etc.
And yes, Darf ich dich küssen? with the infinitive küssen "kiss" at the end is correct German -- the word order is different from English here.
The short answer: du when it's the subject, dich when it's the object.
Try to replace it with "he" or "him" -- if "he" makes sense, then use du; if "him" makes sense, then use dich.
For example, "I see you -- I see him" thus Ich sehe dich ("I see he" is not possible and neither is Ich sehe du).
This sentence used "dich" for "you" instead of "du". Is there any difference between these two German counterparts that I will have to be aware of?
Yes, very much so.
du is the nominative case form -- you would use it when it's the subject of a sentence, for example.
dich is the accusative case form -- you would use it when it is the direct object of a verb, for example, as here.
A bit like you can't say "I kissed she" in English: it has to be "I kissed her" with the object form "her" instead of the subject form "she".