1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Wir befinden uns vor einem G…

"Wir befinden uns vor einem Gebäude."

Translation:We are in front of a building.

February 26, 2014

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolZaczk

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

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpog

"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.

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelEhr

Would "We are before a building" work?

February 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

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.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2251

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

February 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the_Morag

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.

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpog

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.

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeersMPGA

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

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpog

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)".

E.G.:
(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)
July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeersMPGA

This makes sense, danke!

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c3230

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

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpog

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)"

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c3230

I meant the literal translation.

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alpog

Then yes.

September 12, 2014
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.