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  5. "Ich sollte das Mittagessen m…

"Ich sollte das Mittagessen machen."

Translation:I should make the lunch.

February 7, 2013



but could this not also be, 'I was supposed to make lunch'? (past tense)


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...!).


So "sollte" would be a more passive voice?


Would that not be "Ich sollte das Mittagessen gemacht" ?


No, because with modal verbs the main verb always has to be written in the infinite form. Sorry my bad english


Actually your English was perfect until you apologized for it xD


I chose to translate sollte as past tense, since my lessons to date have involved only the present tense. I don't even know what Konjunktiv II is or heard of it. Either that or I don't know how to use Duolingo properly.


I agree. Duolingo does not give any explanation here. This lesson is too difficult. Duo is trying to teach us modals with present, past and conditional tense at the same time! It is too much to memorize and learn at once. They should give some explanation at least.


Some call it dinner and some call it lunch. In my grandparents home the noon meal was dinner and the evening meal was supper. Today one generally uses "dinner" to mean the evening meal, but I sometimes regress to the vocabulary of my youth.


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.


I really disagree! It's not wrong at all, it's just a matter of opinion and actually very common in Britain that we have breakfast, dinner and tea. It's totally correct and I'm submitting 'dinner' as an acceptable answer.


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.


Elle, I admire your pluck, and understand what you're saying...

However, I think that if you put "dinner" for mittagessen here, you'll get marked wrong.


no lunch? Dinner is lunch there. Is it a big meal?


Yes, in some areas it is a big meal. It's definitely regional as everyone in my school called it "dinner time" and we had a very wide range of social classes at our school.


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" :-)


Maybe "I should have..." ?


Isn't 'sollte' used for the past tense?


When should I use soll and when should I use sollte?


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.



Without context, it's not clear which one is meant. It can be either past tense or Konjunktiv. Note that there is no distinction between Konjunktiv II and conditional in German.


guys I am kind of new, so what is the rule for the verb position when there is a modal verb? always at the end? sometimes? depends on something?


The "das" seems odd to me. Is it needed? I would never say that in English. Not really a big deal, just curious if a native German would really say it like that. Perhaps duo is just reminding us that it's " das Mittagessen" ? Not die / der.


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:

German Articles (Gender of Nouns)

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.


I shall take this down as soon as I am on a computer and can get the link to work.


Good answer, lisa4duolingo, and a helpful link. Aber ist es jetzt kaputt. Jedoch, die Wayback Maschine arbeitet.


It is normal, but I don't know why. I havent really figured it out or gotten a straight answer when asking when the definite article is needed, but usually meal nouns have it


It's needed. It's the same in French and many other languages. I don't know why, though.


Soll and sollte is the difference between shall and should.

"Thou shall not steal." It's slightly less than an obligation, but still more than "Thou should not steal."


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!


I should 'fix' lunch should be accepted, it is a well-known phrase and is more appropriate for the above translation, as 'make lunch' is awkward here.


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.


How is "make lunch" awkward?... "fix" is very colloquial. Use straight-forward wordings to keep your hearts -- the people at Duolingo shouldn't need to enter every variation.


"fix" lunch isn't an expression I'd ever use. Maybe it's an americanism? Make lunch seems much more like something I'd say personally.


Could someone please explain in simple terms why verbs sometimes come at the end of sentences?


When you have a modal verb, the "main one" goes at the end of the sentence. There are other cases where you will see something similar happening with subordinate clauses.


"I need to make this lunch" was wrong. Why?


I think it's that "need" is very separate from "should" in German. You need to breathe, rather than should breathe.


In a sentence with two verbs, does the infinitive form go at the end of a sentence?


Can't it be "I should be making the lunch"?


That works as an English sentence.. I think in context it could be translated that way.


Ok, what is tge difference between soll ans sollte?


It's just exactly what was described in the first thread.

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