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  5. "Ich suche eine alte Lehrerin…

"Ich suche eine alte Lehrerin."

Translation:I am looking for an old teacher.

February 19, 2014



In German, does this only mean looking for a teacher who is many years old, or can it also have the connotation of looking for a former teacher?


Could be: a) an old (not young) teacher b) a teacher I had many years ago (former), and c) (advanced) an experienced teacher. Usually we use it in the meaning of b).


That helps! Thanks a lot!!! :)


Wow, would not have expected (c)! Another one of those rare differences with Dutch (oud). Thank you.


My dictionaries don't mention alt meaning former or experienced. Former is ehemalig, experienced kompetent or versiert.


I put down "I search for an old female teacher" That should be accepted. I am reporting the error.


I'm seeking an old teacher is wrong?


English has no way of indicating a female teacher, other than to say a female teacher. Would it be wrong to include that in a translation?


Unless it is important for the context, I would say it is absolutelz unnecessary to translate. Duolingo is kind of "gender neutral" and accepts both the male and female forms of German words and don't except you to mention the gender in the English translation. Just examples to show what I mean:

  • Ich bin auf der Suche nach meiner alten Lehrerin (no need to mention if it is a female, I would say, it is not relevant, unless it would be in a bigger context that would somehow require it)
  • Sie war meine Mathelehrerin, eine ziemlich junge Frau. (translating it to "female teacher" would be plain weird, because the other parts make it very clear)
  • Es kann den jungen Lehrerinnen ganz schön schwer sein, wenn die Jungs in die Pubertät kommen. (Here it is obvious we are talking about only female teachers, so it would have it's place)


sometimes when the adjective ending is -e, i hear -er, and vice versa. I think they sound similar in general, but I wonder if with native speakers this is also the case (no pun intended) or it's just this computer voice.


"I search an old teacher" why is that wrong?


Because in english we say 'search for', not just 'search'.


I'm pretty sure that kind of search is "absuchen", where you are searching someone. "Suchen" is to look for something.


to search is totally okay translation to my ears. Absuchen however would sound weird in this context. "Ich habe das ganze Gebäude nach der Lehrerin abgesucht" would, according to Duden, be okay, but "Ich suche die Lehrerin ab" would probably mean that you are searching the pockets and the bag of the teacher, that she has on her.

absuchen is a bit like durchsuchen, but less frequently used. Duden says that one meaning of absuchen is "gründlich durchsuchen" :)


How about "I seek for an old teacher" ? Doesn't that count for that sentence?


In English, one looks for something or seeks something, but you don't seek for something.


Hmm, thanks for the explanation. ;)


Why is i visit a old teacher wrong


"Besuchen" is to visit. "Suchen" is to look for. It's easy to confuse.


I am searching an old teacher is wrong?


"To search for" or to look for is different from "to search" or to make a careful examination, as in I search my teacher's face for a sign of recognition. See explanations above. You need the "for."


thanx it helped


Without the "for", the sentence takes on a meaning that is particularly relevant in law enforcement contexts: one would be "patting down" the old teacher, checking her pockets and whatnot for weapons or contraband.

Similarly, if I were to "search your house", I would be looking through closets and cabinets, under beds, etc., generally trying to find something inside of your house. On the other hand, if I were to "search for your house", I would be going down streets, trying to locate the dwelling itself, so that, perhaps, I could then search it.


thank you very much. i was searching for this explanation ..


I am looking for one old teacher was marked as wrong. Can someone tell me why?


It is somewhat ambiguous whether "eine Lehrerin/Frau/Tür" is "one lady teacher/woman/door" or "a lady teacher/woman/door". Usually the "eine" would be italicized if it were to mean "one" ("Ich suche eine alte Lehrerin.") and otherwise should be considered to be "a", which is what we have here.


Isn't "Suche" synonym of "search"? Or why "seek" is valid?


i thought alte meant old not former


As near as I can tell, it is only used to mean "former" when used as a prefix. My dictionary offers "Altkanzler" (former chancellor). All the other definitions relate to being aged.

I believe the word for "former" would be "ehemalig"


German speakers: should "elderly" be accepted here?

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