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

German Compound Words

Are there any rules/conditions to create a German compound word? Also, is Telefonhausfuerwichtigamerikanischmenschen a valid word?

July 22, 2016

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person243

First rule: no prepositions, so no.

Normally a compound word consists out of two previously commonly known words. That can be compound words too but you should not strech it too much. In official language and wordplays you might find compound words created from more than two words but these get increasingly unintelligible. Sometimes you need so called "Fugenlaute" that are "-s-" or "-n-" sometimes "-en-" "-er-" that are squeezed between the nouns to make the compound word easier to pronounce. Last and important rule is that you need a connection that sounds good and has a meaning. "Telefonhaus" for example sounds good and is okay, it would be a house for telephones. But for a telephone booth you normally refer to it as "Telefonzelle" "Telefonkabine" or "Telefonhäuschen", because a house has a certain dimension that is normally larger than your average telephone booth.

I hope I could be of help.

July 22, 2016

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

Regarding the first comment: First rule: no prepositions? --> How do you explain "Die Fürbitte"? (= intercessory prayer) - Is it only possible because it's an old and completely fixed expression?

July 23, 2016

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

Die Fürbitte is kein zusammengesetztes Nomen sondern ein Substantivierung des verbes fürbitten. e.g aufreißen. Der Aufreißer. zumachen. Der Zumacher. wegnehmen. der Wegnehmer.

July 23, 2016

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

Oh und für die Gendernazis da draußen: Die Aufreißerin, die Zumacherin, die Wegnehmerin. ;)

July 23, 2016

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

Oh und Neutrale Substantivierung: Das Aufreißen. usw... Beispiel: Das Aufreißen der der Schokolade vor dem Essen ist verboten.

July 23, 2016

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

Oder einfach der Anruf(, der Aufruf, der Ausruf^^). Ja, alles klar. Danke :)

July 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slightly-left

How often do Germans use compound words?

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person243

Well, there are at least as many if not more nouns in German that are compound words as there are basic nouns. So very often. I mean there are words that do not seem like compound words to a native, like: Deutschland or Fahrrad or Baumarkt. They are just so often used that you do not see the connection. It took me until my thirteenth year in life that I understood that "die Sonnenblume" is actually a connection of "sun" and "flower" and not something completely new.

July 22, 2016

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

How often do Germans use compound words? - Every day. It starts with "das Frühstück" (literally: early-piece) and ends with "die Gute-Nacht-Geschichte" ( lit. good-night-story).

How often do Germans coin new compound words? - Not very often. Politicians, writers and journalists do it, sometimes jokingly.

July 22, 2016

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

No english native speaker should mock the word "Frühstück". I mean, who is literally calling it "Fastenbrechen"? :D

July 23, 2016

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

i do it very often... especially with the word "Dings" Kannst du mir das Kochdings da geben ? In vienna we do make up words, for instance to describe things more thoroughly. "Kannst du das Badezimmerlicht ausschalten?" und so weiter :) And then of course there is Humor. I work as a waiter and sometimes i ask customers wether they wanna pay in cash or with card and it goes like "in Bar oder mit Bezahlkarte?"

July 23, 2016

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

Musst du für die "Kartenzahlung" extra das "Kartenlesegerät" holen gehen, damit man seine "Geheimzahl" eintippen kann? ;)

July 23, 2016

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

Thank you! I understand now.

July 22, 2016
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.