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"Kann ich dir ein Getränk bestellen?"

Translation:Can I order you a drink?

January 31, 2014



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?


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


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.


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?


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


Thank you and reported.


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!


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?


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 case by adding a preposition für to use the accusative du:

"Kann ich für dich ein Getränk bestellen?"

which is, of course, unnecessarily long – that's why the Gen. & Dat. cases are useful.


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.


"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?"


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


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...
                         [12 May 2019 15:22 UST]


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.


Every thing is ok.


Everything is okay


can I you a drink order? was ist hier falsch, besten Dank für die Erklärung!


kann ich dir bestellen ein getrank maybe its hard

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