"Wohin schwimmt er?"

Translation:Where is he swimming to?

February 15, 2013

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Can't we ask in English "Where does he swim?" implying direction?


As far as I know, "wohin" refers to the destination; so it may be like you see someone swimming and then you ask, "Wohin ..." = Where to

But regarding your question, you need to simply use "wo". It's a little bit subtle, the difference between "wohin" & "wo".

Hope it helped. :)


But where is he swimming to, would be bad grammar in English because of the prep on the end of the sentence.

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Very few people actually observe the 'rule' about not ending a sentence with a preposition. At least in the USA, very few people will go to the added effort necessary to stilt their language to observe the rule.


I know what the German sentence means and I perfectly understand the difference between "wo" and "wohin" (there are different words for that in Russian, too, and I am Russian).

I am asking about English.


In the majority of contexts, "Where does he swim?" refers to the location or body of water in which someone swims. "Where does he swim to" speaks of destination. However, if I was standing on the shore with a friend, watching a girl swim out into the middle of the lake, and my friend asked, "Where does she swim?" I would intuitively know he must be asking where is she swimming to, since it would be obvious she is in the lake and I would say, "To the other side" or "To a boat in the middle". Still, it would be better to ask, "Where is she swimming to?"


The question "where does he swim" only sound correct in English if you are asking about where someone swims on a regular basis. In English, you've got to use the word "to" somewhere in there "to where does he swim, drive, go" or "where does he swim/drive/go to" if you want to sound like a natural native speaker, for those of you perfecting your English.


It is better to use 'is' and not 'does' 'Where does he swim to' would also imply it is a regular occurance, and not necessarily present tense. 'Where is he swimming to' would mean which place is he swimming to right now.


I see where you're coming from, but it is a little ambiguous in English. Where does he swim (or "where is he swimming" rather)? "He swims at Mirror Lake" or "he's swimming down the river" could both be valid answers, but only one fits the translation, right?


Technically, the word should be whither


Yes, that's a great English word no longer in common usage. If you want to sound like you're in a Shakespeare play, go ahead and use it.


Wither doth he swimeth, milord?!


No, no: you can't use "swimmeth" with "doth." You need either "whither swimmeth he" or "whither doth he swim."


"Whither does he swim?" would sound better than ending a sentence on a preposition.


Whither dost he swim?

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“Doth.” “Dost” is the “thou” form ;)

Although I believe back then you wouldn’t actually have needed do-support. You probably could add it the same way you can say “he did swim” today – to stress the verb – but normally people would probably have said: Whither swimmeth he?


To me your translation would imply 'location' in English. "Where does he swim"? --> "He swims at the lake/pool/river/etc." I think I would use "wo" in this case.

I would interpret "wohin" as 'direction'. "Where is he swimming to?" --> "He is swimming to the dock/boat/the shore/etc."

The difference is subtle but I think it's there. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.


I agree, as an English speaker. "Where does he swim?", "Where does he go?", Where does he drive?", can all imply direction as well as location.


Yes, in English it can, but that is because we allow it. Properly English requires a preposition before the question word to distinguish the request for destination (to where) vs. "at which location" (where). Someone could technically ask. "Where do you swim" and one is asking at which location, where as (as discussed) "To where do you swim" indicates one asks for a destination.


Exactly right Mr. Schmidt. I agree.


I disagree... If somebody says "where does he swim" it does not mean "where is he swimming to" they are two different questions


I think it depends on how much we allow for casual English usage in translations.

But you are right that "Where does he swim" could mean "Does he swim in the pool, the ocean, etc" and "Where does he swim to" could not mean that.


I used, "Where is he swimming to?" and got it right.

In English it's technically wrong to end a sentence with a preoposition, but this is an old rule with a weak basis to begin with and only grammar teachers really care about it.


It's not an old rule and still very much in use in any kind of professional writing.


no, there needs direction in that sentence.


English has the word "Whither" which means "Where to?"


I guess, but it is an archaic word. Neither I nor anyone I know has ever used it seriously. But it is a good word when your translating.


Reminds me of "hither, thither, and yon" or "here, there, and everywhere".


YES! And an excellent word it is, too. There's only one problem; I forget exactly what it means every time I encounter it given that it pops up so infrequently.


Too bad Duo doesn't like it. Time travellers will not do well in Duolingo.


grrr...again and again i'm not hearing the difference between "er" & "ihr"....how can I know?.. i suspect this is a common question but I have to ask it!


I hear "er" more as "err" in English, with a short e, whereas "ihr" is like "eel" except with an r at the end.


I'm glad you asked this because I keep tripping up on it too, though I imagine it's something you get an ear for as you learn more.


I still cannot get the clear difference and use of 'wo' and 'wohin'. Duolingo uses them quite frequently but yes, they are a bit confusing. Somebody help!


Wo: at a specific place. Wo schwimmt er? The answer might be in a pool or lake. Wohin: implies direction toward a place. Wohin schwimmt er? You probably know where he is currently swimming or beginning his swim, and you are asking (to) where he is going.


In surprised no one else has asked this one. How are 'Wohin' and 'Woher' used differently? Since Wohin suggests a destination, I assume Woher is asking for an origin point (as in 'Woher kommen sie?')?


Wohin = Where to

Woher = Where from


As a native English speaker, I have been taught to refrain from ending a sentence in a preposition. The word to, as I understand it, is a preposition. It would be better to ask this question differently in order to achieve proper English usage.

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I’m pretty sure this is one of those weird rules that exist only for one reason: It isn’t allowed in Latin, so it shouldn’t be in our language either (not splitting infinitives is another of these). A preposition at the end is definitely permitted in English; it’s just not regarded as very elegant style because of that odd rule. Also, if it is left out the sentence becomes ambiguous: “Where is he swimming” can mean either the same as above, or it could mean “at what place is he swimming” (i.e. asking for a position rather than a direction, and this interpretation is not possible with German wohin). Nevertheless, “where is he swimming” should definitely be accepted as an answer.


It is improper to end a sentence with "to." We do it but it is not proper English


That rule -- never end a sentence a preposition -- is now considered an outdated and inappropriate attempt to force English to conform to Latin. (I first heard it was wrong at the same time I learned it ever existed... sometime in mid 1970s. So this is one of those lies with long legs.)

See: http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/prepositionstrandingterm.htm


where has he swimming???


Can someone explain why "Where is he going to swim" marked as wrong? Danke!


Never mind.

Wo means "where", woher means "where ... from" and wohin means "where ... to"

So, "wohin schwimmt er" literally translates to "where does he swim to?"

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"Wohin geht er zu Schwimmen", will be translation for "Where is he going to swim".

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No it won’t. It will be either:

  • “Wohin schwimmt er?” or “Wohin wird er schwimmen?“ (if “going to” just indicates future tense), or
  • “Wohin geht er (um zu) schwimmen?” (if “going to” refers to an actual movement for the purpose of swimming at the destination)


How was I supposed to know from the poor recording that it was er not ihr. More care is needed with the pronounciation or more leeway with the marking.


Why is "Where is he swimming towards" wrong?


Not sure why you were down voted... But strictly speaking, you would say, "what is he swimming towards." However, no native speaker would be confused by your example. It would just sound very odd.


What is the difference between Wohin and Woher


Wohin =Where to

Wohin geht sie? Where is she going to?

Woher=Where from

Wo kommst du her? Where do you come from?


If i'm not wrong one word implies motion and the the other no really! WO = Wo ist meine Frau? ... [Where is my wife?] WOHIN = Wohin gehest du? ... [Where are you going?]


so, in the tips & notes it says that you can both pied-pipe the preposition: ‘Wohin schwimmt er?’ and leave it in-situ: ‘Wo schwimmt er hin?’ Is ‘Wohin schwimmt er?’ considered formal/prescriptive (like the English ‘To where is he swimming?’ while ‘Wo schwimmt er hin?’ would be more informal (like the English ‘Where is he swimming to?’ ? or are they both accepted in both formal/prescriptive and casual situations?


That's a good question: in German is "Wo schwimmt er hin?" more informal than "Wohin schwimmt er?"

Putting "hin" at the end of the sentence would be easier for us English-speakers and I think that's what to use if it's not too informal in German.

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It has nothing to do with formality. Wo is asking about a location where something happens, whereas wohin is asking for a destination. So if you’re asking Wo schwimmt er, possible answers could be im See “in the lake” or im Schwimmbad “at the swimming pool”. If you’re asking Wohin schwimmt er, possible answers would be zur Insel “to the island” or ans andere Ufer “to the other side”.

If you’re asking about the destination, the -hin is obligatory.


Apparently this is a debatable translation. As a native American English speaker I would say that contextually, destination could be implied.


Can someone please explain the differences between "Wohin and Woher" and where the endings -her and -hin are coming from? I was also confused with Kind and Kinder. The ending -er.


Wohin is used when you are asking questions like where....to? Woher in questions like where ....from? For example:- Wohin gehen wir? Where are we going (to)? Woher kommen Sie? Where do you come (from)?


Audio: i hear: wohin schwimmt ihr


Is H in "woHin" pronounced or not?

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Yes it is.


I tried "whither" just for fun. Marked wrong! Where is he swimming to is poor English, although used frequently. Where does he swim is the most used, I think.


i still don't know the difference between " wo" and "wohin " any help ?


This will probably become more clear when we learn hin vs her. Wohin is a contraction of where and forth (basically). The hin relates to motion or direction away from the speaker. So for now, in our beginning stages of German, it might be easier to ask yourself if you want to know where something is (Wo) or where it's going (Wohin).


Any advice on distinguishing er and ihr? I find it's really painful.


Ihr should sound more like "ear" and Er should sound more like "air". www.forvo.com is a great website for hearing native speakers saying different words. I've posted links below where you can hear Ihr and Er.



Now, this might not be as distinguishable when said by a computerized voice, and as a result you're might still find yourself losing some hearts.


Okay, this is irritating. When i put where does he swim?, it said it was wrong and said where do he swim? I put where do he swim? just now and got it wrong. X.x


how is this wrong-where he swimming


Splodgeit03 has the right of it. I scrolled down before echoing the answer, but the distinction would be made in English by the use of "is". "Where does she swim?" would mean what location does shw swim usually. "Where is she swimming?" would very clearly inquire her destination.


NO: Where is she swimming does not involve destination. It simply means Where is she swimming right now. To indicate destination you must use the word to. I like whither meaning where to?


Okay ... I know it's somewhat archaic English but shouldn't "Whither is he swimming?" be okay?


Wo vs Wohin?


Wo = Where

Wohin = Where to

Woher = Where from


i want to know the difference between wohin, woher etc etc

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wohin is the direction “(to) where”. So “where” as in: “Where are you going? Where does this road lead?” Not the position “where” as in “Where is he? Where did you find the chocolate?” The position “where” is wo in German.

woher is “from where”.


Whither swimmeth he?

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where swims he to?

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I’m afraid that isn’t correct English (at least not in any modern dialect I have ever encountered). You need to add a supporting “do” in questions unless there is already another auxiliary or modal.


can wohin convey past tense?

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Wohin doesn’t have a tense at all; it just means “where (= to what place)”


is 'where did he swim to?' correct then? if not, how is this written in German?

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“Where did he swim to” would need the verb “to swim” to be in past tense, just like you do in the normal positive clause in English: “He swam to the island” (in the question the past tense is transferred to the auxiliary “do” in English, but in German we don’t have that, so the past tense stays on the main verb): Wohin schwamm er? Or actually, because simple past tense is very rare in colloquial German, what you more likely get is perfect tense: Wohin ist er geschwommen? (literally “where to is he swum”)

As you can see, just like English “to swim”, German schwimmen is irregular and changes its stem vowel in the past and participle forms.


Lived here in Washington for 35 years, nobody says "where are you swimming to".


"Where to is he swimming?" Was counted as incorrect. Why do i have to say "where is he swimming to?" Seems kind of picky.


Or you could say "To where is he swimming".


Are we checking the English here or German? English is not my mother language


I am shocked that Duolingo writes such sentences. I am in shock.


It is grammatically incorrect in English to say this. You do not end a sentence with a preposition. "Where is he swimming?" implies direction, and I think it should be accepted.

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