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  5. "Wir machen sonst keinen Tee."

"Wir machen sonst keinen Tee."

Translation:Otherwise we don't make any tea.

January 5, 2014



It's strange that my translation "We usually don't make tea" and another correct translation "Otherwise we don't make any tea" are so significantly different. Now, is there anybody who can shed some light on which of these fits the German sentence better? Or are both of these really equally possible and depend on the context?


It depends on context. Really, it can mean both.

Mach das Wasser warm, wir machen sonst keinen Tee — Make the water warm (hot), or we won't make any tea

Wir machen sonst keinen Tee, aber wenn du willst, kann ich dir einen machen — We usually don't make tea, but if you want, I can make one for you.


Thank you for your quick and helpful response.


Great explanation, just one question, why on the first sentence it is keinen and in the second only keine, does the case change with each sentence. Thank you


I am sorry, that was a typo. I fixed it.


Except "won't" is wrong, the only accepted translation is "don't" ... which doesn't make sense to me ... when would you ever say "don't" instead of "won't" in this context?


when it's habitual: "If it's raining, we make tea. Otherwise we don't make tea." I don't German well enough. Is it only this sense? Or is there an implied future?


'don't' if it's a general rule, 'won't' if it's just this situation. 'won't' is 'will not' is a future form, even if the future is implied, Duo seems to like the more literal translation.


Machen is Dativ+akku right ? Can u explain to me why the sentence is in the Akku case not dativ ?


Machen is an accusative verb not a dative verb. There is nothing contained in this sentence that would suggest the dative case.


Sonst is a very difficult word for me. I've been looking at different places trying to understand it, and I believe that this one is the best I've found.

And from reading it, I get that sonst can be many things, but usually has the meaning of "something that is different" embedded. So you can use it here to say that you usually don't make tea because this time it's different and you are actually making it. You would not use sonst to say "I usually read the newspaper" unless today you are not reading it.

  • Ich lese normalerweise die Zeitung ← You read the paper usually
  • Ich lese sonst die Zeitung ← You read the paper usually, but not today.

Mind you, I might be wrong here, just writing this to help others. Correct me if I'm wrong.


The link isn't working for me. Können Sie bitte das reposten? Danke :-)


I accidentally spelled "tea" like "tee" from looking at it so many times.


Why can't we translate "sonst" as "normally"?


We usually don't make tea should work, Usually takes the present simple


My "We are usually not making tea" is marked wrong; isn't this the same as "We are not usually making tea"?


These refer to what you spend most of your time doing (or not doing.) That is, for 23.75 hours of the day, you aren't making tea. For .25 hours, you are. So "We are usually not making tea." is true (and so is "We are not usually making tea.") You might say this if someone came to your house, and found you making tea, and for some reason your tea-making is bothersome or an extraordinary sight.

But "We don't usually make tea," means that day-to-day, at the time people who make tea would make it, you don't. That is, if you make tea once a month or once a year, you can say "We don't usually make tea." But it you make it daily, or five days out of seven, you say "We usually make tea."


Neither of those sound normal in UK-English. I think we would say "We don't usually make tea" or "Usually we don't make tea".


In UK English, everyone is always making tea and this sentence does not compute :p


Also not American English.


Also odd in Australian English.


We don't normally make tea - should be a possible answer


Its not a good English translation. We 'wont make tea' is better than 'dont make tea'


Could I write "Sonst machen wir keinen Tee" ? Is that form would be acceptable?


My answer, "Otherwise we make no tea" is closer to the German than Duo's "solution."


Why not Ansonsten instead of sonst?


I suppose that sonst is an adverb while ansonsten is a conjunction


Would "Other than that, we don't make tea" be an acceptable translation?


Why is furthermore we will not be making tea, wrong?


One thing I can see wrong (which I messed up on as well) is that you're using the future tense instead of the present. It would be "... we are not making tea", not "...we will not be making tea". As to "furthermore", I'm not sure whether that's a valid translation of sonst. As far as I know, that means "usually" or "otherwise", both of which are different from "furthermore".


Duo says "wir machen sonst keinen Tee." Can you say this sentence "sonst, machen wir keinen Tee" ? Is the word order wrong here or does this sentence say something else?


Why is "won't" marked wrong? To me the sentence "Otherwise we don't make any tea" does not sound idiomatic in English, "won't" sounds more natural to me.


Can we say: Oder wir machen keinen tee?


Why "sonst" and not "normalerweise" or "meistens"? Would either of those change the meaning of the German sentence?


"we make otherwise no tea." Is not accepted. Why?


Why "sonst" is placed after the verb ?


Wow! This really reflects difference between English and German. I don't think there is a translation for 'sonst' in English. In other hand, in Serbian language, we have this word 'inače', that has exactly the same meaning as sonst. I am amazed how languages from different families have a closer logic than ones from the same family :)


sonst = otherwise


If "sonst" here is used as "usually", would there be usually some sort of "but" after that sentence. Otherwise, the "sonst" alone can be interpreted as "otherwise" without any "rebuttals"


I've never heard this phrase before, are they trying to say 'we don't usually make tea'? I think I get the idea but the way it's written in English doesn't make sense to me.


Can the Sonst go First


What does that mean?


Why not "Otherwise we make no tea"???


"don't" doesn't make sense to an English native. We would always use "won't". This entire lesson seems to have very strange English translations.


My suggestion is do not keep the starting letter of any of the options in capital letters, if you do, we ll know it is the word which should come first. After we have selected the options, you can show the final answer by making the first letter of the first word of the sentence in capital letter.


It was about time for the tea makers to go on strike

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