"Where are your brothers going?"

Translation:Wohin gehen deine Brüder?

February 22, 2013

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Please would someone explain the difference between wo and wohin


wo is for stative stuff: where is something placed/located. wohin is for moving towards a location: more like "where to", where you are going.


Perfectly clear - thank you.


Unfortunately, I received the question Wo laufen sie? Now I realize it could mean "at what location" are they running, but my answer was "To where are they running", and I got it wrong. That's my fault for not considering the question could simply be asking where are they. However, it would be nice if this module would clarify with the preposition [to], because so far, I haven't seen. I'll keep my eyes out though.


Thank you for the concise and informative answer!

  • 1372

Excellent, thank you! Answers like this are what makes Duolingo great!


Excellent response, this really helps. Thank you!


Thank you! Youre the hero!


Why not: wohin deine Brüder gehen?


The verb must take second position in the sentence. It cannot be at the end in this situation.


Can you please define "this situation"


As far as I can tell verbs tend to be in the beginning of the question, followed by the target. Proceeded only by a question word, or words. This is just a pattern I've noticed. This was shown in earlier exercises with “Mögest du Katzen?“ and in this lesson with phrases like the one here


Nobody answered for that. Very annoying.


In questions, German places the subject of the sentence after the verb. So: Du bist gut = You are good. Bist du gut = Are you good? As you can see, english preserves this convention, though other verbs get broken up somewhat.

Let's look at a different sentence in english: "Your brothers eat bread" = Deine Brüder essen Brot. But when we convert the sentence into a question in english, it's: "What are your brothers eating?" The verb has been slightly transformed, and the helper has been moved before the subject. German doesn't transform the verb for these simple constructions, so we get: "Was essen deine Brüder?"


Can someone explain when 'wohin' is split and when it is not? I.e. why can't this sentence be translated as 'Wohin gehen deine Brüder?'


It can be put that way. Duo appears to have updated that now.


As fdianat already asked, can someone explain when 'wohin' is split and when it is not? Why is "hin" in the end of the sentence?


Yeah it occured to me too and ı have no idea why


I translated this as Wohin sind deine Brüder gehen?, which I see is an English construction. Is it incorrect in German or just not ideomatic?


It's wrong. The progressive aspect (e.g. "they are going" instead of "they go") is a grammatical structure that can't be translated literally into German. In fact, Standard German doesn't distinguish between "they are going" and "they go" - there is just one form for both:

they go = "sie gehen"

they are going = "sie gehen" (Standard German) OR "sie sind am Gehen" (used in colloquial speech in some regions)

If you want to distinguish between "they go" and "they are going" in Standard German - although this is often not necessary - you would have to add an adverbial such as "at the moment/currently/often/usually".


Thanks to Katherle and Thumbelina


This is present progressive in English, so you have to translate it in German present tense: "Wohin gehen deine Brüder?" It would be the same translation for: "Where do your brothers go?" Because in German we don't distinguish between simple present and present progressive. That is why your translation doesn't work. If you say "Wohin sind deine Brüder gegangen?", it is German perfect tense (corresponds present perfect in English: "Where have your brothers gone?"). I hope this helps!


why "deine Brüder" instead of deinen Brüder? what is the different between deine and deinen?


"Dein" has to agree with the noun it refers to in:

1) case (nominative, genitive, dative or accusative)

2) gender/number (masculine, feminine, neuter OR plural)

In the sentence above,

1) your brothers" is the subject of the sentence. For the subject of a sentence, German always uses the nominative case.

2) "brothers" is plural.

For the nominative plural, you have to use "deine". "Deinen" is used for the dative plural and masculine singular accusative.

See this table (under "attributive use"): http://goo.gl/Sd3v7F


I wrote "Wo gehen deine Brüder hin" and was right. Does splitting up the "wohin" make any difference in meaning?


No, the two forms mean exactly the same thing. The "split" form is perhaps slightly more colloquial.

See: http://goo.gl/3UJOQ2


Thanks so much!


Why can it not be translated as "Wo sind gehen deine Bruder?"


See my previous explanation above (6th comment from the top).


a direct link to this is:


  • this is a test - ... maybe it doesn't work


Cool - how did you do that?


"Wohin deine Brüder gehen?": Why I can't use verb at the end of the sentence here?


In questions with a "question word" (e.g. why, where, what, who ...), the inflected verb has to be the second element:

Wohin gehen deine Brüder?

(If the verb consists of two parts (e.g. sind gegangen = have gone), the inflected part is still the second element, and the other part of the verb moves to the end. But that's not the case in the sentence in the exercise:

Wohin sind deine Brüder gegangen? (Where have your brothers gone?))

There is also another word order in questions which is again not relevant here and which I only mention for the sake of completeness. In questions without a "question word" (i.e. yes-no-questions), the inflected verb is the first element:

Gehen deine Brüder zur Schule?


Thanks a lot! It's clear for me now.


Katherle, if you had, say, ausgehen, would it be, 'Wohin gehen deine Bruder aus?'


What about "Wohin gehen ihre Brüder?"


If you use "Ihre" rather than "ihre," it's fine. The capitalization matters.


Why is it "Deine" when Bruder is masculine?


"Deine" is not only used for feminine nouns. "Brüder" (brothers) is plural and the subject of the sentence (= nominative). "Deine" is also used for the nominative plural.

See here (under: attributive use): http://goo.gl/Sd3v7F


Bruder without the umlaut is masculine, Brüder with the umlaut it plural


Why is it only correct in the personal? How can one define which from the English?


I'm not quite sure what you mean. Can you give an example?


I typed in "Wo gehen bist deine Brüder?". Can someone please explain why this is incorrect?


1) German has two different words for "where": wo (where) and wohin (where [to]).

"Wo" (where) is used in questions about a fixed location: My brothers are in Paris. - Where (wo) are my brothers?

"Wohin" (where [to]) is used in questions about a direction: My brothers are going to Paris. - Where (wohin) are my brothers going?

2) "Bist" is used with "du": du bist = you are; sie sind = they are. However, you wouldn't use a form of "to be" in this sentence at all because the progressive aspect (they are going) doesn't exist in Standard German and for this reason can't be translated literally. See above:



Thank you so much! You have helped me understand a lot!


But isn't "gehen" translation of are going? It was taught to me by a professor to translate as "to be going" and only becomes "to go" when used as commands, same as in English. "Sie gehen den laden“, "You are going to the store“ vs “Gehen Sie den Laden“, “Go to the store“.


I'm not quite sure if I understand what you mean. English verbs can be used in two different so-called aspects: simple and progressive.


Present Progressive: I'm reading the Times. (i.e. I'm reading the Times at the moment)

Simple Present: I read the Times. (i.e. I read the Times regularly).

Standard German doesn't distinguish between the simple and the progressive aspects - there is just one form for both. For this reason, "Ich lese die Times" can mean either "I'm reading the Times" or "I read the Times". The correct translation in English depends on the context. Similarly, "Sie gehen zum Laden" can be translated as "They/you [formal] are going to the store" or as "They/you [formal] go to the store". It depends on the context.

As for the imperative (command) form - it looks like the simple present in English, but it's an entirely different grammatical phenomenon. In German, there are several imperative forms depending on whom you are addressing: "Gehen Sie zum Laden!" (Go to the store!; you formal); "Geh zum Laden!" (Go to the store!; you familiar singular), "Geht zum Laden!" (Go to the store!; you familiar plural).


Why Wohin versus Woher?


wohin = where (to). Ex. Wohin gehst du? (Where do you go?)

woher = where from. Ex. Woher kommst du? (Where do you come from?)


Cf. also archaic English:

1) wohin = whither

Ex. nursery rhyme:

Goosey goosey gander / Whither shall I wander? / Upstairs and downstairs / And in my lady's chamber.

2) woher = whence

Ex. Shakespeare:

Duncan: Whence camest thou, worthy thane?

Ross: From Fife, great king (...)


Boo. My Bruder wasnt good enough without the umlaut. Is there a way on a smartphone to add them? I've been getting away with not adding them until now.


Hold down the letter then drag your finger over to the correct umlaut. Now if I could figure it out on my Kindle...


Which type of declination has the verb "gehen" i thought it was dative.. so i used "wohin gehen deineN Brüder?" ... so stupid from me... this lessons kinda confuse me.... i dont want to lose more hearts.....(wheeen a maaaaaaan lovees a w.....)


The cases (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) refer to the role a noun plays in a sentence. In this sentence, "your brothers" is the subject - it's the brothers who are doing something, i.e. here, they're going somewhere. That "your brothers" is the subject becomes perhaps more obvious if you rephrase the question as a statement: Your brothers (= subject) are going to Paris.

The subject is always in the nominative case in German, therefore "deine Brüder" is in the nominative case.


Does anyone know how to put in umlauts with a kindle fire? I keep getting wrong anwers because of it


If I write.. Wo sind deine Brüder gehen? .....is it incorrect?


Yes, it's wrong. See my comments above.


Is “Wohin deine Brüder gehen“ also correct ?


No, because in statements and questions with a question word (why, where, how, etc.), the inflected verb (here: gehen) has to be the second element.

Wohin gehen deine Brüder?

Your word order (verb in the last position) is used in subordinate clauses:

Er fragt, wohin deine Brüder gehen. (He asks where your brothers are going.)


Brüdern is wrong?


Yes, it's wrong. The -n is only added in the dative plural (there is also an exception, a special group of nouns that add an -n in other cases, but the word "Bruder" (brother) does not belong to this special group.)

Ex. Dative plural: Ich schreibe deinen Brüdern einen Brief. (I'm writing a letter to your brothers.)

By contrast, in the sentence "Where are your brothers going?", "your brothers" is the subject because it's your brothers who are doing something - they are going somewhere. In German, the subject is always in the nominative case, so no -n is added.


Does anyone know the difference between "Wohin gehen deine Brüder" & "Wo gehen deine Brüder hin"... something like formal and informal ?


As I said above, the two forms mean exactly the same thing, with the "split" form being slightly more colloquial. See:



Why is "Wohin deine bruther gehen" incorrect?


1.) brothers = Brüder (not: bruther). Note that all nouns are capitalised in German.

2.) In statements and in questions with a question word (why, where, how, etc.), the inflected verb (here: gehen) has to be the second element.

Wohin gehen deine Brüder?

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