Why would you not say "Ich soll das Mittagessen machen" for "I should make the lunch"? It seems to me that since there are forms for "I should" (ich soll) and "I should have" (ich sollte), that "ich sollte" would be understood as "should have".
Why use "sollte" for the present tense when we have "soll" to accomplish that? And if "sollte" were understood via context to be present test, then what is the difference between "sollte" and "soll" in that tense?
A word like "möchte" in the present tense, I can understand. But I cannot wrap my mind around it for "sollte".
From what I got from the link VatiAuge98 posted, "sollte" is not as strong as "soll" in the sense of obligation:
Du solltest es machen = you should do it (you ought to, but don't have to necessarily)
Du sollst es machen = you should do it (you are to do it, you have to do it, you shall do it)
Yes! And I find that an easy way to remember this is that soll is cognate to English shall and sollten cognate to English should. In many cases in English this weak/strong distinction also applies to shall/should (though where I'm from hardly anyone says "shall" anymore...!).
I found a good discussion at this link: http://dict.leo.org/forum/viewGeneraldiscussion.php?idThread=474562&idForum=4&lang=en&lp=ende
There are regional variations. Where I'm from (Birmingham, UK) we have dinner at mid-day, and "tea" in the evening. "supper" would generally be a very light late night snack (cheese on toast at 10 in the evening or something similar.)
This can be confusing for foreigners (and southeners), but I'd be the first to admit this is probably wrong. I think it's generally accepted that mittagessen is lunch, and Dinner is the evening meal.
My young son is being taught the proper way at school, so takes great delight in correcting me when I wrongly refer to us having dinner instead of lunch.
There is a lot of regional variation. We will probably stick to
- Frühstück = breakfast
- Mittagessen = lunch
- Abendessen = dinner/supper
in the lessons though as it is the most common variant and accepting all of the variations on the theme would be highly confusing for learners, especially for non-natives.
Nope, it's just that for some reason we've got the names all mixed up compared to the rest of the world. Usually the mid-day meal is just sandwiches or something, the main meal is in the evening - except on Sundays, when we'd often have a big mid-day meal, and a snack in the evening.
I've honestly no idea why it's like that... it's just a language difference. I'm not sure if it's a regional thing (central/northern England) or a working-class thing. It tends to be lowly peasant types like myself that call lunch "dinner" :-)
It can also be Konjunktiv II: http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-sollen.html
Everyone keeps talking about Duo not having explanations of things. That's not what Duo is! It's a program with a specific function and I love it. A practice program that gives you different ways to reinforce your memory.
But, you didn't think we were all going to learn fluent German using nothing but Duo, did you?! Impossible. Just one of many tools.
I think someone should really clarify once and for all what's going on here. I understand "sollte" is past tense, but also Konjunctiv AND conditional, is that right? If it is so, which one is it in this context? I could not find a clear answer reading the other comments.
Really good question, and one that I didn't know the answer to myself, so I tried to see what I might be able to dig up online. It took me a few attempts, but I finally came upon a page that addressed your question. On the page at the link below, you'll find some generalities about omissions of article usage in German, both for the definite and the indefinite. (You can then infer that outside of the omissions, an article should be used). Keep in mind that these are just generalities, but in the absence of a rule or living in country for several years, these generalities might be worth remembering. The link is below:
I realize jswr1974 posted his question a year ago, but this was actually brought to my attention via a post on the activity feed for ACardAttack, who posted just six days ago. Regardless, for anyone who happens to stumble upon this, I hope you find it helpful.
On the contrary, "Thou SHALT not steal" was an absolute prohibition - an imperative - a commandment! There was a distinction between the uses of "shall" "will" - it used to be taught as: I shall - you will - he/she/it will - we shall - you(plural) will - they will - as the forms of the simple future tense, but reversing the "shall/will" to: I will - you shall - he/she/it shall - we will - you(plural) shall - they shall - as the forms to indicate a definite intention or compulsion, which is why it was used in the translation of the Ten Commandments. These days the distinction is hazy in everyday speech, and also varies with regions and generations. But it helps me understand the differences between "müssen" and "müssen nicht" in German - they don't mean the same as "must" and "must not" in English! So "soll" and "sollte" aren't exactly parallel to "shall" and "should" in English. One of the joys of learning languages - it keeps your brain active!
Although I agree that "fix lunch" should be accepted, the comment section is not where suggestions for alternative translations should be made. That's what the "Report a problem" button is for.
If one wants to ask whether a particular variant should be accepted to see what the general consensus is, this would be the right place to do that.