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  5. "Wo kommen Sie her?"

"Wo kommen Sie her?"

Translation:Where do you come from?

February 1, 2013

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sentinel83

What about Woher kommen Sie? Isn't that more accepted than the splitting of Woher?


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

"woher" is considered better style, but the split version is very common in spoken German.


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

Thanks, I was confused about this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spandrel1

Where do you go? Where do you come from, Cotton Eyed Joe


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

"Where are you from" is a natural English equivalent.


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

Unless it's asking 'where did you just come from' and not 'where (in the world) do you come from'. Like if your roommate just walks in the door, you wouldn't say 'where are you from?'


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

why not "wo kommen Sie hier?"


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

In German, there's a distinction between "where" in the sense of location, and of direction. It's the difference between the questions "Wo" (Where... is something located/did something happen?) and "Woher/wohin" (from where/whence, or to where... is something moving, or in what direction is it happening?) In English "here" can mean either location or direction, but in German, "hier" is only a location, not a direction. The question "Where are you from" implies motion (You used to be somewhere else, now you're here, you moved!) While "hier" by itself only expresses location (to express direction, you'd need "hierher", for instance, meaning in the direction of here), "her" always implies a direction. ("Kommen Sie hierher, bitte!")
Because of this location/direction conflict, "Wo kommen Sie hier" doesn't make sense.


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

Oh wow. If I had made the relationship between woher and wo ... her earlier I would've gotten this right. But now I understand the differences between her and hier, thanks!


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

Thanks. This is helpful. should it then be "wohin kommen Sie her"?


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

Here are some sentences which may help to clarify.

"Wo sind Sie?" (where are you?) LOCATION

"Wohin gehen Sie?" or "Wo gehen Sie hin?" (Where are you going to, from here?) DIRECTION=away from here

"Wo kommen Sie her?" or "Woher kommen Sie?" (From where did you come here?) DIRECTION=toward here

You can say either "Wohin gehst du?" or "Wo gehst du hin?", and also "Woher kommst du?" or "Wo kommst Du her?"


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

super! thx for these examples


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

Thi is really helpful. Very clear and concise. Thanks!


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

very helpful, thank you!


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

This Location/Direction distinction shows up a lot in German. For instance, it's also what makes the difference between: "Ich hänge das Bild an die Wand." (DIRECTION=Akkusativ, the picture's not presently on the wall, I'm going to hang it "onto" the wall, motion, so Accusative.)
versus "Das Bild hängt an der Wand." (LOCATION=Dativ. The picture is there already, is staying there, no change from "not on the wall" to "on the wall", so Dative.) This is for the so-called "Wechselpräpositionen": an, auf, hinter, in neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen (trying singing that list to "Twinkle, twinkle, little star!.. :] )


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

Although a little outdated, "whence come you" is an acceptable translation for this. (As long as you're willing to accept Elizabethan English).

Seems legit because in many ways Elizabethan English resembles modern German.


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

Duolingo doesn't accept it though. I say report it, because I like the word "whence," which means exactly the same thing as "woher."


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

Do you alway use "her" in a question and "aus" in a response or statement?

e.g. Wo kommen Sie her? - Ich komme aus Deutschland / Österreich / Papua Neuguinea (or where ever)


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

Could this also be "Where do they come from?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sentinel83

In this case, no, because of the difference between the formal Sie and the sie form used for plural use. So for example, because the sentence is Wo kommen Sie her, the capital S forces the formal You for the sentence. If it was Wo kommen sie her, then the 'sie' would be plural and refer to 'they.'


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

Oh, right. I keep forgetting about that capital "S."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andrey420

Why 'where come you from' is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julius.gra

Because it's incorrect English. It's 'where do you come from?'

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