"Kann ich dich anrufen?"

Translation:Can I call you?

January 17, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Ja, du kannst, aber du darfst nicht!


Oh. Jetzt bin ich traurig...


does it matter if I say

Jetzt bin ich traurig or Jetzt ich bin trautig ?


Yes it does. The verb in a German sentence generally comes in position 2 and if you start the sentence with Jetzt you do have to reverse the subject and verb. It is a somewhat more emphatic way of saying it in German to put the Jetzt in first position. The less emphatic way would be Ich bin jetzt traurig.


Yes it does. In German "Hauptsätze" the verb is always in 2nd place. (Exception: Yes/No questions.)

Whether the first word is the subject or something else, the verb retains its second place, even if that means switching places with the subject.

So yes, "Jetzt bin ich traurig" is correct, while "Jetzt ich bin traurig" is completely wrong (and instantly identifies you as a native English speaker). ;-)


Yes. The verb generally comes in position two, and if you put Jetzt in position 1 you do have to reverse the subject and verb. Putting jetzt first emphasizes it a little. Ich bin jetzt traurig would not put any emphasis on jetzt.


Yes, you can, but you may not!


¡Sí puedes, mas no deberías!


Es mejor que lo tradujeras al español. Muestra que no hay un problema paralelo de can o may en español. Pero esperemos que nadie diga esto. Es extremadamente hostil, por decir lo menos.


Do native German speakers blur the meaning of kann and darf as modern English speakers (and teachers, too, apparently) conflate can and may?


"Darf ich" means "am I allowed to" or "may I", while "kann ich" means "can I".

Same as in English, the expression "kann ich" is often also used when asking for permission, but the main difference between the two is, that "kann ich" means to have the ability to do something, while "darf ich" only means to have the permission to do it.


It should accept "Can I hallah atcha?"


Nothing and no one should ever accept this.


Im sorry what does this mean?


Can I call you is what it means.


Actually it should be "may I" as can is to be able to- may is to give permission. Can I only implies the ability to do it- you can call me you can also jump off the roof


No, "darf ich" would be asking for permission just like "may I".


Like this, can you marry me, she could or could not, or like this, may I come over, where it would be asking.


No, grammar and the languages have evolved. Using both of them is acceptable. If you're a teacher, you probably hear "Can I go to the bathroom?" everyday. That isn't wrong!

In fact, I prefer 'can' in less formal situations.


What is the difference between rufen and anrufen? Is there a sentence in which one can be used, but not the other?


anrufen is call on the phone. rufen is just call.

Example: Dinner's ready. I call my brother (to eat). :: Ich rufe meinen Bruder. (rufen)

My brother lives in another city. I call him on the phone. :: Ich rufe meinen Bruder an. (anrufen, with separable prefix)


Are you a native German speaker? Just want to check before I commit this seemingly sensible rule to memory!


German has many of these separable verbs. They are essentially verb preposition combinations. You might consider that anrufen was call up. In English we have many of these verb preposition phrases which alter the meaning of the verb. Consider the verb to stand. You can stand up, stand down, stand in, stand out, stand for, stand with, stand around, etc. In German these often become separatable verbs. Sometimes the meaning is somewhat obvious to us and sometimes not. Ziehen is to draw or to pull, anziehen is to put on (as in clothing). Kaufen is to buy, but einkaufen is shopping. The later is not as easy to understand.


Yeah, I thought it should be 'darf' in German, even though 'can i' is more usual in English


I agree, we use 'can' for a lot of things in English, but darf seems like it would make more sense in German.


Is "darf" (to be allowed) a more polite way of asking this than using "kann"?


darf : may :: kann : can


Why do all the Rs sound silent on this app? I asked my German friend and she says the Rs aren't silence.


Why is "ich" and "dich" in the middle of the sentence? Is it because verbs in German are always at the end of the sentence?


And whenever you're asking a question, the verb moves to the first position


Not always, but in the infinitive, yes. That's why "anrufen" comes at the end (but not "kann").


A German friend warned me not to use "anrufen," especially "Ruf mich an" because it has an association with the phone sex industry. Is there any validity to this?


Is Kann ich anrufen dich wrong? Somebody please explain. Looks like i have still not understood how to order sentences in German


Just remember that the second verb, the one that is in the infitive, is always at the end of the sentence.


Sorry, I'm confused. Must I say dir anrufen (dativ) or dich anrufen (accusative) like written here? Personally, I think dir anrufen makes more sense because you're adressing the call to someone. Unlike Kann ich dich kussen, where you kiss the person itself (dich), here the action is not performed directly using the person, the person isn't the object of the action, know what I mean? Thanks!


Maybe, but nevertheless only "dich anrufen" is correct.


Actually this is the same grammar as the English in this case. "You" is the direct object of both the German and English sentence. If you were talking about writing, it would be different. Kann ich dir schreiben. In this case you is the indirect object in both cases. With writing, the direct object is generally assumed to be "a letter" and mostly omitted.

For the most difficult parts of German cases, you won't be able to reason it out using your English understanding. But in this case, you just have to review what a direct object is. A direct object receives the action of the verb. An indirect object answers the question to or for whom. The person receives the action of a call. You call a person. The letter receives the action of the verb write. You write a letter to someone.

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