1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Wir schauen es uns zusammen …

"Wir schauen es uns zusammen an."

Translation:We are watching it together.

January 30, 2014

66 Comments


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

What's the difference between using the uns and dropping it?


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

The difference is to use "schauen" as a reflexive or transitive verb. The factual meaning stays very much the same, but the feel is different. Like "Have a merry X-mas." to "Have yourself a merry little X-mas." The second one is more intimate, the "little" doesn't feel awkward. More thoughts are here:

http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/german-reflexive-verbs/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krys1301

I'm still confused. Shouldn't this translation then be, "we are looking at ourselves together?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

more like "we're showing it to ourselves together". but it helps to think of reflexive verbs as a thing that "just is", as opposed to trying to explain it. i hate this kind of non-explanation myself too, but unfortunately that's the way it seems to be in many languages. in russian, italian, german ... i've noticed the same thing. some are simply reflexive, and the reflexivity may seem in some cases misdirected, in other cases — superfluous. some comments in this thread stated that in this case, the reflexivity is somewhat optional (despite it adding emphasis and hence slightly altering the meaning). but in many other cases the reflexivity is required "just because".

take the italian innamorarsi — to fall in love. mi innamoro = i fall in love. with whom? no, not with "myself", despite the "mi". it's more like "i put MYSELF into the state of being in love".

here's a good example from english: "we're enjoying ourselves". not literally OURSELVES, it's not a direct object. but it's us-ourselves who are enjoying something else. so there's a reflexive verb for you from english.


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

Good English example, thanks.


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

you forgot to translate 'es' which gives another meaning to the sentence


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

It is using the Reflexive verb. Which means basically to do something where the subject and the object are the same entity.

For example: "I look at MYSELF in the mirror". Here the "I/myself" are the same "me".

Usually this is represented in a dictionary etc. as "sich (verb)", where sich means "oneself".

Some verbs in German change meaning depending on if it is used reflexively or not. One example I have just come across in this same section is:

Erlauben = to allow/permit

Sich Erlauben = to afford

I'm not exactly sure why it is used here, but I would read it something like "We are showing (/watching) it to ourselves together".

Here is a good article on the topic:

https://yourdailygerman.com/german-reflexive-verbs/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A2WithinAug

This link is very useful for understanding the usage of 'uns' in this sentence, thank you so much


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

A literal translation would be "We're showing it to us both" which means "We're looking at it together"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oren000

What is the job of the "an" at the end?


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

the verb is actually "anschauen" (to watch/view). "an" is a separable prefix that can move to the end of a sentence. "schauen" alone would only be "to look/gaze).

Ich schaue. I look. (verb: schauen)

Ich schaue es an. I look at it. (verb: anschauen)

Ich will es anschauen. I want to look at it. (verbs: wollen, anschauen)

Ich schaue es mir an. I have a look at it. (I look at it for me.) (verb: sich anschauen, reflexive)


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

I wish Duo would list these separable verbs that appear in each lesson. It would help immensely


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

A preposition is usually followed by a noun group. If you find something that looks like a preposition in the end position of the sentence with nothing following it, this is a good indication that it is actually a separable prefix.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashkan.Kalantari

We good explanation. Thank you


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

what is the difference between, to look at something and to have a look at something?in terms of the usage of reflexive pronoun, sich with anschauen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Capt.Yah

Why do we use "uns" in " Wir .. uns zusammen"? I thought that "Wir" alone would be enough.


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

This is a reflexive use of the verb. The concept is difficult for English speakers, because there are hardly any reflexive verbs in English. In short, yes, the "uns" is unnecessary, but it turns the sentence from a matter of fact, objective statement into something more personal and cozy.
Maybe this will give you a feeling. "Have yourself a merry little Christmas." What does the yourself stand for?

http://yourdailygerman.com/2013/11/13/german-reflexive-verbs/

Don't be disturbed by the beginning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Capt.Yah

Danke schön!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elliot-M

This sentence is going well over my head, how would people remember to add "uns" and "an" to this sentence in day to day life? "Wir schauen es zusammen" seems like it would work to me. I'm finding this so hard :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drdodds4

I wish DL had provided a specific lesson on separable verbs. Yes - I did recognize the "an" at the end of the sentence as (probably) a prefix of "schauen" but only becuase DL has thrown enough of these at me. I also realize this is exactly how one learns as a child. But a formal lesson would still have been nice.

Ich wunshe, DL hat gegeben eine Lehre uber Trennbare Werben.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woods415

Do the verbs anschauen and ansehen have any difference in meaning? In what situations would you use one or the other?


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

"Schauen" requires a certain engagement by the spectator, like "to look", while "sehen" is very neutral, like "to see". Any situations without an engaged spectator, or anything describing just the physical activity of eye sight would have to use "sehen" not "schauen".

Es gibt nichts zu sehen. ("schauen" would not work.)
There is nothing to see. ("look" would not work.)

However, the prefix "an-" puts an emphasis on an engaged spectator for both verbs. So I think "anschauen" and "ansehen" should be absolutely interchangeable. (like to look at, to view, to watch)
There is a reginal difference. "Schauen" is more common in the South and less common in the North.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

As for your last paragraph, I would argue otherwise: that "anschauen" and "ansehen", being transitive, are different, just like in English: "I look at it" vs. "I see it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/craaash80

Could anybody give me a literal translation of this sentence?


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

Wir (we) schauen (look/anschauen->watch) es (it) uns (for us) zusammen (together) an (part of anschauen->watch).

English has almost no reflexive verbs which makes a literal translation of uns/for us a little weird. You can think of it as. We watch ourselves a movie (it).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

but can you watch something for something else. let us assume "es" is a movie, can be watching the movie for someone else. I do not understand how "uns" adds to the meaning of we are watching it together. I would appreciate some help here


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

You are right that "uns" does not add anything to the objective facts presented in the sentence.
"Wir schauen es zusammen an." is a complete sentence that means
"We watch it together."
If the objective facts are the same, the difference probably lies with the subjective. The "uns" puts the emphasis on the experience of the facts rather than the facts themselves.

Here is a more lengthy reflection on reflexive verbs:
https://yourdailygerman.com/2013/11/13/german-reflexive-verbs/

It starts with some German, but it is still in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

thank you very much, will read it


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

You could think of it as "I show it to myself". Who are you playing that movie for? Yourself.


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

I was marked wrong for "We are viewing it together". Is it that different in meaning?


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

It should be fine.


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

I thought as much. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janstuart7

Can "zusammen" and "gemeinsam" be used interchangeably?


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

Mostly, yes. "zusammen" can probably always replace "gemeinsam", but there are some cases where "gemeinsam" cannot replace "zusammen". "Gemeinsam" has a social touch to it, although it can be used with inanimate objects as well.

Wieviel macht das zusammen? (cannot be replaced by gemeinsam)
How much is it alltogether?

Also, "zusammen" can become a separable prefix, which "gemeinsam" cannot.

zusammenstellen - to put together
zusammennehmen - to take together (as in taken together)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janstuart7

Thank you for the prompt and very lucid explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GauravAhuj6

Wir schauen es zusammen? Will it be right?


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

It's ok, but the translation given is more idiomatic.


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

I said, "Together we look at it". It was counted wrong. grrrrr


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

'We see it together' is wrong. I am not a native english speaker, so can anybody explain to me what is the difference between 'we see it together' and 'we view it together' ?


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

I had to do some thinking and research on this but I'll give it a go.

See is (in this usage) a Stative verb (static, a one time thing)

"Beware! A car is coming". "I see it".

View (and watch) are progressive or continuous.

"I will watch it until it has passed".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noey403152

Is "an" a separable prefix for a whole bunch of verbs?


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

Yes. I can't think of a verb, where an- would be inseparable.

http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/sepinsepprefixexpl.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avi__S
  • 1476

Why's the "uns" here?

Would it work without it, e.g. "Wir shauen es zusammen an"?


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

It is a reflexive use. I've tried to answer it in other questions here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avi__S
  • 1476

Reading through the thread more thoroughly now, I looked for my question and doesn't seem anyone asked that specifically, but I'll read anyway since I surely missed important details in your various answers.

Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

someone here commented that it's optional in this case, but that the "uns" adds emphasis.

in general, it helps to think of reflexive verbs as a thing that "just is", as opposed to trying to explain it. i hate this kind of non-explanation myself too, but unfortunately that's the way it seems to be in many languages. in russian, italian, german ... i've noticed the same thing. some are simply reflexive, and the reflexivity may seem in some cases misdirected, in other cases — superfluous. some comments in this thread stated that in this case, the reflexivity is somewhat optional (despite it adding emphasis and hence slightly altering the meaning). but in many other cases the reflexivity is required "just because".

take the italian innamorarsi — to fall in love. mi innamoro = i fall in love. with whom? no, not with "myself", despite the "mi". it's more like "i put MYSELF into the state of being in love".

here's a good example from english: "we're enjoying ourselves". not literally OURSELVES, it's not a direct object. but it's us-ourselves who are enjoying something else. so there's a reflexive verb for you from english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllanHsu3

I am confused with the position of "uns". Isn't it supposed to go immediately after the verb to be a reflexive verb?


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

That is because when you have two pronouns replacing the nouns, you put the Akkusativ one before the Dativ.


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

what is the difference between, to look at something and to have a look at something?in terms of the usage of reflexive pronoun, sich with anschauen


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

The reflexive pronoun does not change anything about the objective facts of the sentence. It puts the emphasis on the subjective experience. If it is about watching a movie, you need the “uns” to enjoy it or have an emotional reaction. Without it it could be a robotic screening.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John415259

How the heck do you get we are watching it together out of the sentence It makes no sense at all


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

It does but it's German sense, haha. Here's what I've worked out:

  1. Wir = we; es = it; zusammen = together. The rest of the sentence is made up of the dismembered bits of the verb, "sich anschauen", a reflexive verb with a separable prefix.

  2. With separable verbs in the present tense, the main bit of the verb (here it's "schauen") goes where the verb always goes, in the second position, and the separable prefix ("an") goes at the end of the sentence. The direct object ("es") goes in its usual place, right after the (main) verb. So far we have "Wir schauen es an", which is ok as far as it goes.

  3. The two bits left are "zusammen", and "uns" - the reflexive part of "sich anschauen" - and the only place left for them is between "es" and "an". I don't know enough yet to know why they are in the order they are here, or if they could be in the reverse order. Perhaps someone else can fill in that bit??

  4. The reason it is reflexive:
    "Etwas anschauen" (not reflexive) just means to look at something, to gaze at it.
    "Sich etwas anschauen" (reflexive) means you are looking with some intent, like the doctor looking at your broken finger, or you watching TV. You're not just looking, you are receiving and processing information.

Hope that helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David276348

I understand how the reflexive "uns" adds to the meaning of the sentence, but I don't see why the sentence is marked incorrect without "uns".


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

From a previous remark of mine: The reason it is reflexive: "Etwas anschauen" (not reflexive) just means to look at something, to gaze at it. "Sich etwas anschauen" (reflexive) means you are looking with some intent, like the doctor looking at your broken finger, or you watching TV. You're not just looking, you are receiving and processing information.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derekgill2

Wouldn't "We are looking at it all together" be a reasonable English translation? Doesn't the "uns" imply "all together" and not just "together"


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

Not quite. The "uns" is simply there because the verb is usually used reflexively, when the emphasis is on the personal experience rather than a very detached matter of fact viewing of some material. It doesn't add much to the factual meaning of the sentence. Reflexive verbs are common in many European languages Germanic, Romanic or Slavic. They are however mostly absent from English, which is why the concept is hard to grasp for native English speakers. The translation for "all together" is quite directly possible with "alle zusammen".
We are watching it all together.
Wir schauen/sehen es uns alle zusammen an.

The regional preferences are "sich etwas anschauen" in the South and "sich etwas ansehen" in the North. However, the reflexive "sich" should be included.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyTam110694

Is this wrong "We look together at it"?


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

Yes, that is wrong.

"look at" is a verb phrase and the two words need to stay together and be immediately followed by what is being viewed and then any additional information (if there is any).

"look at" works together to replace words like "watch", "view", or "observe".

I watch the horse.
I view the goat.
I observe the chicken.
I look at the frog.

An example sentence:
I look at the cow with the big horns.
Changing the order doesn't make any sense, unless you are using big horns to look at the cow.
I look with the big horns at the cow.


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

Thanks, Capn!


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

we will have a look at it together. Can this German sentence implicate future here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sasha393602

Isn't the ''uns'' superfluous and excessive? It would be like saying: ''We are watching it together ourselves


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

No, it is not. It is how it works in German. Here is an article that may help: https://yourdailygerman.com/meaning-ansehen/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErikTheRed704

Whats with the 'an' at the end. I forgot what thats for


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

It's the separable portion of the verb "sich anschauen". There is more information about how that works in the comments on this page, and some useful links, too.

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