Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Ich dachte, du kochst heute."

Translation:I thought you were cooking today.

5 years ago

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rlhutton
rlhutton
  • 19
  • 15
  • 15
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Even though German uses present tense here, I think the best English translation is to use "I thought you were cooking today" rather than "I thought you are cooking today"... let me know what you guys think.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

Maybe 'I thought you would be cooking today'.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davye
davye
  • 20
  • 5
  • 4

Either of those sound ok to me, but 'I thought you are cooking today' is definitely not right.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

The way it can work is if you quote your thought: "I thought, 'You are cooking today.'"

It's the difference between so-called reported speech and direct speech.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Buddha_Bunny

The reason it's not right is the user of mixed pay and present cases, thought and are. Change thought to think or are to were, and the sentence works just fine

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Doctor-John
Doctor-John
  • 25
  • 22
  • 11
  • 158

"I thought you would be cooking today" is grammatically fine, but it changes the feeling of the sentence. The best English that's faithful to the meaning of the original German is "I thought you were cooking today." I wasn't sure Duo would get this right (they did), so I went with an answer that I thought they were more likely to accept: "I thought you cook today." That's not the way I'd say it in real life; it's an overly literal translation--and Duo accepted it.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eplus17

I agree...and DL accepted "I thought you were cooking today" from me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dfblaze

I'll agree.

I actually put were because it seemed more natural.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MorenoAlejandro

That's what I wrote.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
DuoIngTheThing
  • 23
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 312

So in this particular English translation, is using the present tense incorrect?

Both were marked as correct:

"I thought you cook today."
"I thought, you cook today."

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alphathon

Both of those examples sound wrong to me for a reason other than the tense: in my experience a native English speaker would never say "you cook today" except as a command.

"I thought you are cooking today." sounds a little more natural, since "you are cooking today" is a statement of fact. However, whether it is "correct" or not depends on the punctuation. Personally, I would only ever say something like this if "you are cooking today" is something that I actually thought (i.e. in those words). To put it another way, it would be as if I were quoting my inner monologue, so I would write it as "I thought 'you are cooking today'." or similar. (Note the additional quotation marks.) Regardless, I would probably phrase it as "I thought you were cooking today" instead.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

I agree in general as far as the most likely and natural interpretation of the German sentence goes ("I thought you were cooking today"), and also about quoting one's own thought word for word, but in fact "you cook today" can be used as a statement of fact too, just as "you are cooking today" can.

For example, to mean "it's your turn to cook":

A: I cook today? (or Do I cook today?)
B: Yes, you cook today. We cook on Friday.

And imagine a person in whose internal monologue he addresses himself in the second person and then tells someone else about it:

I got up in the morning and I was so excited! I thought, "You cook today!"

(meaning something like "you get to cook today").

And then there's Breaking Bad:

Q: What do we do now?
A: We cook.

(I don't know if that's an actual exchange from the show, but I'm fairly sure they do use "we cook" in a similar way at some point, and it'll do to illustrate the idea.)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
DuoIngTheThing
  • 23
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 312

PeaceJoyPancakes - I agree with you on this one PeaceJoyPancakes. Here's a lingot as a token of my appreciation for your response.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
DuoIngTheThing
  • 23
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 312

Alphathon - Due to the lack of context, this becomes rather ambiguous, especially after it is being marked as correct.

And it doesn't help when the topic of the lesson is the "präteritum" and the German sentence utilizes an independent clause in the present tense.

But I understand what you mean.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SjeiiVals
SjeiiVals
  • 16
  • 10
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I thought "you're" cooking today is perfectly acceptable.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kamalacalderoni

Exactly! I agree - although the subjunctive is being abandoned in english, but it still bothers me

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

There's no subjunctive option here.

For the verb "cook", either the past progressive ("were cooking") or the conditional progressive ("would be cooking") is okay here in English.

To confirm that "were cooking" is not in the subjunctive, note that "I thought he was cooking today" would be the sentence about a third person, where "was" is in the simple past tense, whereas in the subjunctive it would change to "were". (Together "were/was cooking" is the past progressive.)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Metleon
Metleon
  • 18
  • 10
  • 7

I don't think it's past here, but rather conditional.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

For the verb "cook", either the past progressive ("were cooking") or the conditional progressive ("would be cooking") is okay here in English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Si_Mc
Si_Mc
  • 19
  • 8
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2

Why isn't the second verb in this sentence "kochst" sent to the end? Heute is the last word we receive in this sentence

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dfblaze

I'm not a native, but I could guess it's because there's no actual auxiliary verb or preposition (? dass, etc) being used.

But input from a native would help tons.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liztless

I agree that there is a subordinate clause, since the first doesn't make any sense by itself, and the second clause is set off by a comma, a clear sign of a relative or subordinate clause.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zpoo742

The first does make sense by itself though. "I thought." It's not really much of a sentence but it can stand alone. This sentence basically links two ideas that can stand alone and since there's no conjunction like 'dass' you do the word order like it's two separate sentences.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
Danmoller
Mod
  • 19
  • 16
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

We need some native help here....

If the rule cannot be broken, and being the tense is also weird, seems to me that these sentences are not connected, meaning:

I thought, (and the result is:) you are cooking today.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HessamouS

Yes exactly! One year on, maybe you could help us here Danmoller. I mean you're a moderator now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
Danmoller
Mod
  • 19
  • 16
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

The best I can do is talk to the people who work in this course. I can only work in Portuguese <-> English.

And for German, I'm just a learner, I'm not able to assure whether this is right or wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chetalanel

The lesson is inside the learner :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ly_Mar
Ly_Mar
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

German cares about conjunction more than role of the clause: no subordinating conjunction, no order shift―even if the clause is subordinated. Also, while the present "cook" in English is out of place, in German the present is completely natural, unless the cooking had to be done by now, in which case the subjunctive would be used: "ich dachte, du würdest heute kochen" ("I thought you had cooked today", the implication is you haven't actually cooked, at least not yet).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

I'm pretty sure it is because there is no subordinate conjunction. You could use dass or not if both are complete sentences.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sholem

yes, "I thought you are cooking today" is what's called tense confusion. In English, the verb tenses should agree with each other, so if one verb is conjugated in the past, the other verbs in the sentence should as well. There are exceptions (obviously, because English is just a pile of exceptions), but in this case, this is definitely an inaccurate translation.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ilwongy
ilwongy
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2

so german doesn't always require 'dass' in these type of sentences?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

Neither does English, it is just style

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoIngTheThing
DuoIngTheThing
  • 23
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 312

My answer was the following:

"I thought, you cook today."

It was marked as right, but is it?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ly_Mar
Ly_Mar
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

Using the comma this way in English is wrong (but duolingo never takes punctuation into account); “cook” should also be in the past: “I thought you were cooking today”.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

Depending on the interpretation, it could be that it's not the comma that's considered "wrong", but the lack of quotation marks (if this is a direct quote of a thought).

But while quotation marks are a convention to make it clear that something's a word-for-word rendition of a thought or utterance, in some styles of writing they're left out. I'm thinking, for example, of The Double Hook, by Sheila Watson, this excerpt of which demonstrates what I'm talking about:

There isn't a quotation mark in the book, even though there's dialogue, but other punctuation conventions are maintained, such as using a comma to set off a direct quote.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ly_Mar
Ly_Mar
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

The problem now is to see whether punctuation can be used the same in German and consequently if the sentence Duo offers can be translated as ‘I thought, you cook today’ (with all the assumptions about omitted quotation marks accepted). In a very limited set of circumstances, then, the translation works; but as it is the German sentence is much more likely to just mean ‘I thought you were cooking today’. In the end, I think exploring these possibilities in the comments is very useful, but I don't think they should be accepted translations.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes
PeaceJoyPancakes
  • 25
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 145

I agree.

I enjoy exploring the nuances of English (really it's a compulsion), including orthography, but as for German, I don't know enough about German writing and punctuation to comment definitively on the problem you refer to.

However, I did find the following website, which suggests that, in addition to being indicated with quotation marks of some sort, a direct quotation is set off with a colon if the descriptive phrase comes first (sie sagte: "..."), or set off with a comma if the descriptive phrase comes after ("...", sagte sie):

We might presume that examples of styles of punctuation that are more open exist in certain poetry or other writing of a less conservative and perhaps an experimental nature, but it's undoubtedly best for us students to try to learn and follow prescriptive punctuation, at least until we develop much more familiarity with the language.

But I suppose orally there could be some ambiguity in the given German sentence, if no context were provided.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tgray1961
tgray1961
  • 25
  • 25
  • 7
  • 2
  • 41

I agree with lieryan about tense confusion. If you're working in a restaurant and your jobs rotate through different tasks, I would say I thought you cook today. (I thought it's your turn to cook today). I can't think of another context where I wouldn't say I thought you were cooking today, though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sholem

the reason for the similarity of tenses here ("I thought" + "you were") is a past perfect construction, here applicable because of the conditional nature of the action in the sentence. it's not definite that you ARE cooking (implied by the "I thought"). point being, because the cooking either hasn't happened yet or didn't happen at all (again, as implied by "I thought"), the proper verb match is "were". By contrast, if you wanted to use "you are," then that changes the tense out of the past perfect: "I think you are cooking today."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/john_treehugger
john_treehugger
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 10
  • 5
  • 13

I went back to our group house. Bill was watching TV. I said to Bill: "I thought that today is the day that you are doing the cooking?" Bill said: "No! I arranged last week for Suzy to do the cooking, and she is doing it right now. You are doing the washing up."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wibbleypants

"I thought that today is...", goodness gracious.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AinatulMardhiah

Is that comma really necessary?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bogg22

Can someone please explain what position verbs come after comma like this sentence

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ibuco
ibuco
  • 25
  • 24
  • 13

Does German require tense shift in reported speech the way English and French do?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karen646472
karen646472
  • 25
  • 25
  • 20
  • 5
  • 51

Terrible English translation. Definitely i thought you were cooking today

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deedletwee

I entered "I thought you cooked today" and it was accepted, but shouldn't that be marked wrong?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/immashootyouu
immashootyouu
  • 11
  • 11
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
  • 4

Also wondering. Everyone else seems to have written different forms

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ssmmoor

Can we use "der konjunktiv" here?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/david849099
david849099
  • 25
  • 21
  • 18
  • 11
  • 5

Would "I thought you were cooking today" be "ich dachte du kochtest heute"? Danke schön

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SyamkumarR
SyamkumarR
  • 25
  • 25
  • 7
  • 4
  • 29

Then what is the past tense of kocht?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Treacle18

I am confused about when you need to use a conjunction like 'dass' and when you can get away with a comma, as in this exercise. I think I have done something similar earlier and it was marked wrong.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ly_Mar
Ly_Mar
  • 21
  • 14
  • 14
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

You can always ‘get away’ with using a comma (unless that generates too much ambiguity, but I can't think of a situation where this could happen), as long as you remember that using ‘dass’ requires Nebensatz syntax (i.e. verb-last order), while using the simple comma requires Hauptsatz syntax (i.e. verb-second order). For example, translating this question both ways:

  • ich dachte, du kochst heute’ (‘kochst’ in second position, right after the subject ‘du’);

  • ich dachte, dass du heute kochst’ (‘kochst’ in last position).

4 months ago