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"Was machst du den ganzen Tag?"

Translation:What do you do all day?

January 2, 2014



I wonder, what's the difference between "gesamte" and "ganzen". Can anyone help me out? thanks


The idiomatic collocation is "den ganzen Tag", not "den gesamten Tag". You can't tell this by mere semantics. Some words just get commonly used together instead of others. "Gesamten" is not wrong here, but it doesn't sound very natural.


Why is Tag accusative here?


specific date and time is indicated with accusative case if there is no prepositions, e.g. Jeden Samstag essen wir auswärts.


I have exactly the same question!


Cultural context question: Is this a rude or blunt phrase auf Deutsch?

It just seems like the second half of, "You are a completely useless person. What do you do all day?" to me... but maybe that's just me thinking about certain coworkers...


It can have that meaning if used in such a context. But not necessarily so. The phrase itself is neutral. You can use it to ask someone what he will do on a rainy Saturday.


can you please explain me why you use the akkusativ here (den ganzen)? I understand the declination of the adjectives but can't understand this.. Thanks :)


From my grammar book:

"Adverbial phrases that express time and tell when something occurs at a particular point in time appear in the accusative case.

Ich habe sie letzte Woche besucht.

Er wird nächsten Sonntag vorbeikommen"

(Ed Swick, German Grammar Drills)

If it helps, just imagine there's some kind of invisible preposition governing the time expression. Or hearken back to the days of Latin and other languages governed by case when prepositions were often left off and the context told you everything about how that case was used. (I'm not sure how Old High German worked, but I'm sure its cases were even more complicated than they are now).


Ah, thanks for that! To make it perhaps a bit more explicit for learners: I think the main distinction he makes here is between "adverbial" phrases and "prepositional" phrases. If the time specification is introduced by a preposition, you use the case implied by that preposition ("am heutigen Tage"). If it is introduced by an adverb, use the accusative. [As a native speaker I didn't know of this rule. Given that it is taken from a textbook, I think you can safely assume it to be correct. I couldn't come up with any counter example either]


That's just how it is done. I don't know of any deeper reason.


I'm not a native English speaker, but can't we say "What do you do all THE day?"?


Nope. Something like "the whole day" is perhaps more natural than "all the day."

"All day" is a very common expression in English.


Can we use here make for machen?


Why can't " was machst du den ganzen tag " be translate to " what you do all day " as well ?


Why do we have an article in the German sentence? Why isn't it just: Was machst du ganzen Tag?

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