"Kann ich dir ein Getränk bestellen?"

Translation:Can I order you a drink?

January 31, 2014

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I kind of feel like "Can I buy you a drink?" would be a satisfactory translation since it's commonly phrased this way in English. Though, I understand it's not an exact translation of the German. Thoughts?

[deactivated user]

    Right. Please report it if it's not accepted.

    In German, you can't use "kaufen" in this context (bar/restaurant). You can use "bestellen" or "ausgeben".


    I cannot for the life of me understand the scentence structure here, can anyone elaborate? can I you a drink order? and whats dir, why not dich, or du?. A bit confused :S


    It is dir because the person you are buying the drink for is the indirect object. Think about it this way, "can I buy [verb] a drink [object, accusative part] for you [indirect object, dative part].

    As for the sentence structure, no idea. Am trying to work that out too.


    The modal "kann" as the conjugated form of the verb goes at the beginning of a yes-or-no type question and the verb which comes after the modal must be in infinitive and goes to the end of the sentence. http://german.about.com/library/blmodalv01.htm http://german.about.com/library/blmodalvex.htm

    Examples of yes or no questions: http://german.about.com/od/vocabularytips/a/Yes-And-No-In-German.htm http://gogermany.about.com/od/germantravelglossary/a/German_dining_phrasebook.htm


    Yes true. Tausend dank


    I have the same question. Its been "ich dich" for all these questions then suddenly "ich dir". I wish duo would exlain more in the tips such as these types of variations.


    OK, no problem. Well, maybe one... how does one do that if you're not in the middle of the language lesson you'd like to report?

    [deactivated user]

      You can always use the support tab on the left of your screen.


      Thank you and reported.


      can 'pay' be used as well, can't it?


      That would be rude to mention money. You want to take care of it as a gift and don't want someone to insist they pay you back. You wouldn't offer to pay for someone, just offer them what you want to get for them. See Christian's answer to fliplock at the top.


      Maybe the offer is for the person to order the drink. "Can I order a drink for you, but you have to pay for it."


      Not likely in Europe, they don't mention the money or paying for it as it is a gift, just like you wouldn't leave price tags on a gift.


      What a mean trick!


      To all those questions about "order" vs. "buy" vs. "pay" or whatever.

      Every variant is possible, it completely depends on the context.

      • We are at a festival booth where drinks are sold in cans. Ore maybe we are in a store. Then maybe I would ask "Kann ich dir ein Geträk kaufen". (At a festival, inmidst of the crowd, I would rather say: "Kann ich dir ein Getränk holen" or "besorgen", which roughly translates to "fetch" or "get".)

      • "Kann ich dir ein Getränk ausgeben" would be the appropriate translation for buying you a drink at a bar or somewhere else, explicitely meaning that you intend to be the one buying. Same for "Kann ich dich auf ein Getränk einladen" - lit. "Can I invite you for a drink".

      • "Kann ich dir ein Getränk bestellen" is the most appropriate form when in a fancy restaurant. And yes, at this moment it really only means that you'd like to order the drink. Maybe this is your first date together, and maybe it is undecided to that point who will pay for whom. This is only about ordering at the moment, though in most cases it implies being the one who will pay afterwards, of course. It just isn't as definite as the other terms.

      But again, in a fancy, sit-in restaurant with waiters and all that, you don't buy or get or pay for drinks - you order them. At least in German language.


      I feel the same. It makes sense to translate either "Can I buy you a drink" or "Can I get you a drink", but it doesn't really make much sense to say "Can I order you a drink". Sounds like the person is just ordering but not paying for the drink.


      Well this might be a more liberal, modern way... I can order it be we don't need to agree that I pay and you are in debt. It works noth ways, while it is gentlemanly and generous to offer a woman (or man) a drink . In some cultures it does leave the woman owing something unfortunately, not a position an independent woman necessarily want to be! Oh yeah, then there is the fact that it's just a German idiom, that too...


      Why is it "Kann ich..." and not "Darf ich..."?

      I thought können was (physically) being able to/capable of and dürfen was being allowed to.


      Do native German speakers blur the meaning of kann and darf in the same way that modern English speakers conflate can and may?


      Yes they do. It's exactly the same. Technically, "Kann ich" means as much as "Am I able to", and yes, if you wanted to spoil the romantic atmosphere, you could snippily reply: "Ich weiß nicht, ob du es kannst, aber du darfst es." It's just like in English.

      That being said, you always can interpret the question in a broader sense: "Can I order you a drink without insulting you with this gesture?" This way the can in the meaning of being possible makes perfect sense.

      So in my eyes, "Kann ich"/"Can I" is perfectly okay in a more casual situation. "Darf ich"/"May I" means roughly the same but is just a few more notches futher up on the politeness scale.


      Please yes answer those questions :D


      "können" is used both way Although technically you are correct


      See - what I don't understand is when I hover over a word to see what the translation is, to learn it and how to use it, often times I will be shown completely nonsensical and incorrect uses of the word. For instance, "Kann" was coming up as "Am able to play" "to play with" and "Know", yet here it actually means (what I assumed it was but went against my better judgement in favour of the translation provided by Duolingo) "can".


      That's probably because the full sentence of the question you were one was "Ich kann spielen" (I can play). When you hover over a single word, most of the time it will show you the definition of the full sentence at the very top of the menu and in the lower part of the list will show you the individual word, if that makes any sense.


      Can we use dich instead of dir?


      You can avoid the dative dir in this sentence by inserting a preposition für and using the accusative dich:

      "Kann ich für dich ein Getränk bestellen?"

      which is, of course, unnecessarily long – that's why the Gen. & Dat. cases are useful.
                             [15 Jun 2020 16:23 UTC]


      Hello sir I thank for your accurate answer and precious help. I have another question for eveyone who could do me a favour and answer: i have two sentences 1_Darf ich dich zum abendessen einladen? 2_kann ich dir ein Getränk bestellen?

      These two look to be the same ,i mean they're both asking someone if they can order them a drink or if they can invite them to dinner but as we see for the first one ich dich... is used and the second one ich dir... What's the difference?


      einladen - akk - dich, bestellen - wem -dat. - was - akk.


      'order' sounds extremely odd. 'buy,' 'pay for' even, would be used in English


      I think if i understand correctly that peole have said you would say "order" cause to suggest buying might be rude in German manners? I would always use can i buy you or can i get you? I would only use order in the instance that we were just seated at a table and my company had to step away to use the washroom. Then i would say "ok, if the waiter/waitress comes, would you like me to order your drink?"


      "Can I buy you a drink" seems fair to me


      No, you would likely say "Would you like a drink?" emphasizing "buying" would be rude in Europe. "Can I get you a drink?" might be a possible alternative for "Can I order you a drink?"


      Why are the words out of order?


      What do you mean by "words out of order"?

      • What order are the words in?
      • Which order would you prefer?
      • Are you perhaps doing this as an exercise where you have to rearrange word tiles into the proper order? If so, they have to be "out of order" at the start – that's rather the point of the exercise...

      EDIT 15 Jun 2020 – It's been a while, but I've finally written a post on German word order which also answers your 2nd. question.

      This Comment's URL for App users duolingo.com/comment/1630680$comment_id=32147888
               [Posted 12 May 2019 15:22; ed. 15 Jun 2020 19:19 UTC]


      I'm sorry that I wasn't specific. I meant that the word "you" in English is before the word "Getrank". What I meant was that, in English, someone wouldn't say "Can I you get drink?" I was just confused by the order that the words were in.


      In cases where a verb has both an indirect and a direct objects, the indirect (dative) objects usually stands before the direct (accusative) one.

      Ich bestelle dir ein Getränk. - I order you a drink.

      I schreibe dir einen Brief. - I write you a letter.

      First the recipient of the action, then the object which is directly affected by the action (which is being ordered, written, thrown or whatever).


      Native German (my wife) says this is formal. More casual and smooth is "Willst du ein bier?" which translates to "wanna beer?" or ordering something and saying "Willst du auch was?" which translates to "Do you want something too?" was here being short for etwas or something, no apostrophe indicating such tho.


      She also says one wouldn't say "Getränk" but "was zu trinken" where, again, was is short for "etwas" or "something."


      Why is the sentence formation so different? Can someone explain on what basis we form these kind of sentences?


      One of the joys of learning German (and Dutch) is that the word order (sentence formation) often differs greatly from English.

      To help learners I wrote a longish post on German word order and verb position (as learned at school in the UK over many months), using examples from Duo's Flirting Bonus Skill.

      You may prefer fenix_vulgaris' explanation of German verb position.

      Later I tried to explain why the Flirting Bonus Skill is so difficult.

      Many learners dive into this Skill far too early on the Tree, when they're still surprised and confused by the basic German grammar needed for correctly using really short (3- and 4-word) sentences, where every detail counts. (The intention of a longer sentence can often be guessed despite incorrect grammar.)
      <more>, with explanations and links

      Now to this exercise's sentence

      "Kann ich dir ein Getränk bestellen?"

      This sentence has two verbs:

      • Kann: 1st. person singular to agree with ich.
      • bestellen: infinitive.
      • In such two-verb sentences, the auxiliary verb (...Kann) "sends the infinitive to the end".
        In German the six modal auxiliary verbs (dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, wollen; "modal" = "mood") and other auxiliary verbs (haben, sein, werden) all do this to a second verb.

      The German (personal pro)nouns may cause difficulty:

      • ich (subject; case: nominative) = "I"
      • dir (indirect object; case: dative) = "for you" (though often, "dir" = "to you")
      • ein Getränk (direct object; case: accusative) = "a drink".

      At school we learned the cases (nom., acc, dat.) of all German personal pronouns by chanting

      • ich – mich – mir
      • du – dich – dir
      • er – ihn – ihm
      • sie – sie – ihr
      • es – es – ihm
      • wir – uns – uns
      • ihr – euch – euch
      • sie – sie – ihnen
      • Sie – Sie – Ihnen  [= polite you]

      until they became unforgettable.

      This Comment's URL for App users duolingo.com/comment/1630680$comment_id=39588457
                             [15 Jun 2020 19:01 UTC]


      Sorry I don't drink Is tut mir leid


      Duolingo is the best 10


      I'm a bit confused why we are using dative dir. Bestellen isn't a dative verb like geben, right? Can someone help me with the reasoning here?





      Aslong as you pay and ring it to me along with a recliner


      The order is so confusing. I don't even know what the hell infinite form is!


      I'm actually a native speaker trying to learn how tp flirt in general lol


      Every thing is ok.


      Everything is okay


      kann ich dir bestellen ein getrank maybe its hard


      "May I order a drink for you!" is the right way of translating that sentence, otherwise it seems you are speaking to a waitress asking her to bring you a drink and not a lady you want to have a drink with.


      Getting off this treadmill it is an advertising platform. The league table is meaningless and just forces you to keep the advertising going.


      I am out. This is just crap. An advertising gimmick


      ein tee,bitte....


      This answer is not proper Englisch although people will still undetsand it. It is supposed to be "May I order a drink FOR you".

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