"Where are your brothers going?"
Translation:Wohin gehen deine Brüder?
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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.
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
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?"
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".
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!
"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
a direct link to this is:
- this is a test - ... maybe it doesn't work
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?
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:
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).
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.
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.)
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.