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  5. "Wir befinden uns vor einem G…

"Wir befinden uns vor einem Gebäude."

Translation:We are in front of a building.

February 26, 2014



What is the advantage to using reflexive here? Does "Wir sind vor einem Gebäude“ sound wrong?


"sich befinden" is a little more formal, kind of like "we are located..." or "we find ourselves" rather than just "we are...".
„Wir sind vor einem Gebäude“ is fine though, doubt it would be accepted for this question, but valid nonetheless.


Would "We are before a building" work?


Sounds very unnatural. In general, "before" is not commonly used in English to mean "in front of" (unless you're trying to be literary or dramatic, e.g. "Before us stood the ruins of an unknown building.").

EDIT: Even then, "I am before [a place]" sounds weird. "I stand/stood before [a place/person"] would sound more natural.

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According to the "New Oxford American Dictionary": before (2): in front of. Yes.


Bofore is a bit off, I would not use it here, because it is more towards coming in order of. "this before that" or "today before tomorrow", while "in front of" actually only refers to location, which is the point in this sentense.


Yes..... In this case using "before" on its own is kind of stilted. If you say "We stand before a building" however, that eliminates other meanings.


Is sich replacable with the accusative pronoun? i.e. Wir befinden sich = Wir befinden uns


No, uns is both a regular accusative/dative pronoun, and a reflexive accusative/dative pronoun, and can only be used for "us".
Sich is only a reflexive accusative/dative pronoun, and can only be used for "him/her/them/you (formal)".

(literal translations)

  • „Ich befinde mich...“ - "I find myself..."
  • „Du befindest dich...“ - "You find yourself..." (informal)
  • „Ihr befindet euch...“ - "You find yourselves..." (informal)
  • „Wir befinden uns...“ - "We find ourselves..."
  • „Er befindet sich...“ - "He finds himself..."
  • „Sie befindet sich...“ - "She finds herself..."
  • „Sie befinden sich...“ - "They find themselves..." or "You find yourself/selves..." (formal)


This makes sense, danke!


So this sentence translates to "We find ourselves in front of a building"?


It's a possible translation I suppose. But you'd more often see it translated as "to be located", "to be situated" or simply "to be (somewhere)"


I meant the literal translation.


Does "Wir finden uns vor einem Gebäude" have the same meaning?

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