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  5. "Er arbeitet den ganzen Tag."

"Er arbeitet den ganzen Tag."

Translation:He works all day.

February 10, 2014



German doesn't have a present progressive. Thats why the "präsenz" can be translated as simple present or present progressive. Used as present progressive, there is often a hint that something is happening right now:

"Er arbeitet grade" | He is working right now

"Er arbeitet im Moment| He is working at the moment

The present progressive form of low german, which is still standard in some dialects, is often used in casual language usage (Maybe because of the english influence).

Ich bin am Lesen. | I am reading

That is "sein + am + nominalized verb" (sometimes "beim" instead of "am")

Although it is used quite frequently, many people would consider it wrong.


I find this present progressive form in German quite interesting. I don't think it is because of English influence, this construction (pronoun + present of to be + extra word(s) + infinitive) actually also exists in other languages. It is mainly used to stress that it is happening at the moment.

"I am reading" would be

French: "Je suis en train de lire". Je + suis + en train de + lire

Dutch: "Ik ben aan het lezen". Ik + ben + aan het + lezen

Danish: "Jeg er ved at læse". Jeg + er + ved at + læse

Dutch is even a literal translation of German, since "am" is a contraction.


In portuguese it would be "Eu estou lendo."


Living to work, or working to live?


Couldn't this be "He is working all day"?


These aren't the same in English. He is working all day = he is at work now. Happening NOW. He works all day = this is his habit, what he usually does. May be happening now, perhaps not. (It could be late at night.) Any German speakers out there who can tell us how this is done in German?


See my other comment. German either gives an additionsal hint that something is happening right now or you have to rely on the context.


Oh! I am being slow, sorry. Your previous comment. Right. So German does not differentiate using the verb, you have to look for other clues. Yep. Gottit. Danke! :)


I agree - both should be correct. My oppinion as a foreigner to both languagues... Report it than


He's a lumberjack and he's ok...


Er schlaft die ganze Nacht und er arbeitet den ganzen Tag?


is it wrong to say: "he works all day long"?

  • 1973

Sounds fine, report it if it has not been accepted.


what is the difference between "ganzen" and "gesamten"?


Why den? It doesn't seem to be an accusative case here?

  • 1973

It is. I cannot tell you why (Tag is not a direct object here), but it is accusative. It seems that references to time often use accusative in German, and perhaps simple "Guten Tag!" is just an example of this general pattern.


I thought that was because of the full sentence being: "Ich wünsche dir einen guten Tag"....


The audio definitely sounds like 'Er arbeitest den ganzen Tag.'


Which inflection is this?


Why accusative?


Can't we say "Er arbeitet all- Tag?

  • 1973

What are you trying to say? "Ein Alltag" means "a weekday" or "a working day", and "alltags" is an adverb meaning either "on weekdays" or "every day". I don't see how any of these are applicable to the original sentence "he works the whole day". It does not imply that he works every day, it is just that on this particular occasion he spends the whole day working .


Is it okay to say 'Er arbeitet den gesamten Tag'? In the sense of working the whole or entire day.


Go to YouTube search lumberjack German and get a different version of the Monty Python classic in German

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