"Do not look out the window!"

Translation:Nicht aus dem Fenster sehen!

February 23, 2013

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Why is "sehen" at the end of the sentence and "nicht" at the start ?


wataya already provided a good link for that: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/Imperative/Imperativ.html (Look near the end where it says "General directives and recipes often use the infinitive")

The problem with sentences like "Nicht aus dem Fenster sehen" is that they are not "real" sentences, because they lack the finite verb. You basically have to image that there are some omitted words and the real sentence would be:

"[Sie sollen] nicht aus dem Fenster sehen."

"[Sie sollen] bitte nicht rauchen."

"[Sie sollen das Objekt] nicht anfassen."

So the verb "sehen" is at the end, because it is the infinite part of a imperative expressed by "sollen" or "dürfen" or "müssen".

It's something that bothers me often when I see English and German signs next to each other: "Bitte nicht anfassen / Do not touch", because the English version is much more direct and should really be "Fassen Sie das nicht an", which is a real imperative. We Germans are too nice for that kind of direct commands ;)


Oh why oh why did I ever decide to learn to speak German...I think i have cracked it one moment the next I'm thrown into mental turmoil trying to figure out why I went wrong. However I will not quit as I am challenging myself to speak it; if only at intermediate level. Thanks for that explanation, it does help; now keep in touch until I learnt to speak and write it fluently... it may take a while.


It's not gonna be easy to remember those rules but it makes more sense. Thanks :)


Great explanation! Now I understand why some imperative sentences in German seemed incomprehensive, specially with "Trennbares Verben". Not any more!


I don't understand this, I just feel that i should get adjusted to it so that at some time, it comes to me naturally, and I should be able to spot on any errors and say "mann, das ist nicht richtig"


I tried 'Sehen nicht aus dem Fenster' and the program told me I should have used the ich form, 'Sehe nicht aus dem Fenster.' That doesn't seem correct to me, but I haven't learned commands really. Can input?

  • Sieh nicht aus dem Fenster! (informal)
  • Sehen Sie nicht aus dem Fenster! (formal)
  • Seht nicht aus dem Fenster! (informal, plural)

"Sehe nicht…" is not correct.



hmmmm it accepted "Sehe nicht aus dem Fenster"


It's still wrong. There's a lot of nonsense in the lessons.


'Sehen nicht aus dem Fenster' is wrong, but 'Sehe nicht aus dem Fenster' is wrong, too. You can see the different imperatives here: http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/sehen_(Konjugation)#Imperativ (First column, 'Präsens aktiv')

wataya provided a nice link above (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/Imperative/Imperativ.html) where it explains at the end of the page that "General directives and recipes often use the infinitive", which is the case here, but the infinitive always has to come at the end.


Thank you both.


I had no lesson about the imperative. I was reviewing old vocabulary and got wrong because I used Sieht instead of Sieh, which I never learned...


Why "Sie" can be omitted here?


It's an impersonal imperative. The corresponding sentence with 'Sie' would be 'Sehen Sie nicht aus dem Fenster!'


Just like "Nicht rauchen!" for "No smoking!". :)


what is wrong with: "Nicht schauen aus dem Fenster "


word order. Please follow the link I provided above. You'll find the impersonal imperative with infinitive construction pretty much at the bottom of the page.


Is "Sieh nicht aus dem Fenster" really correct?


Thanks, I'm still not quite familiar with imperativ.


out of topic: how to say "You are a bear" in Deutsch? is it "Du bist ein Bär" or "Du bist einen Bär" ??? Please, I forget this concept...


Du bist ein Bär.


Confused completely!


Why is the verb "sehen" here? I thought "sehen" was "see," and "aussehen" was "look." I tried "Sieht nicht aus dem Fenster aus!"


"aussehen" is only the passive form of look, i.e. how you appear, not how you gaze upon others. "sehen" is the active form of look, e.g. "Look at that!" => "Sieh dir das an!" (ansehen => to look at)


Ah, that makes sense. Thanks you!


I write "sehe nicht aus dem Fenster" and it is accepted


Weird, I checked multiple resources and all say that it can only be "sieh".


Imperative of "sehen" is either "sieh!" or "siehe!". "sehe" is plain wrong.


How the HELL am I supposed to know how the imperative is created?!


"Schauen Sie nicht aus dem Fenster" was accepted


Because it is correct ;)


Is it okay to say "Sehen aus dem Fenster nicht" ?


No, that doesn't work.


Care to say why not, please? I thought the verb should go in the first position for questions and commands.


Only if you use the genuine imperative form of the verb. In this case, the (grammatical) infinitive is used to express the (illocutionary) imperative. Here is a nice summary of the possibilites to express commands in German: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/Imperative/Imperativ.html


But then you need the imperative of "sehen", which is "sieh". Also, the "nicht" has to follow the verb more or less directly.

"Sieh nicht aus dem Fenster!"


Why is it wrong to use guecken (Gueck aus dem Fenster nicht!) instead of sehen?


You probably mean "gucken" (there is not "guecken"). It is considered a colloquial word, having the same meaning as "schauen", so "Nicht aus dem Fenster gucken" would be grammatically correct, but it would be very, very informal.


I do not recall having been taught the Imperative yet...


I wrote: "Nicht aus dem Fenster schauen" and it was correct. This sentence is like: Du darfst nicht aus dem Fenster schauen or Sie dürfen nicht aus dem Fenster schauen. After Germans "Modalverben", second verb comes at the end of sentence and it is in infinitive form.

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