"What brought you to this city?"
Translation:Was hat dich in diese Stadt geführt?
Manny4us, look at these two English sentences:
1. What has brought you to this city?
2. What have you brought to this city?
Can you see that these are two different sentences with two different meanings?
Can you see that in 1 "what" is the subject and "you" is the object; whereas in 2, "you" is the subject and "what" is the object?
You could, if you want to, use it as a synonym for "Innenstadt", the "inner city" / city centre of a, well, city (not a smaller town). "Ich gehe in die City" - it's really not common with the people I hear talking.
"Was hat Sie zu dieser Stadt gebracht?" sounds like "What (e.g. a car or train) brought you to the borders of, but not into this city?"
--> Was hat Sie in diese Stadt, in dieses Hotel / nach Berlin, nach Deutschland / zu mir, zu unserer Firma geführt?
"hat" is third person, "hast" is second. The question asks for the event, cause or intention that has led you here, thus the event is the subject and the third person is used. "What have you led here" would ask for something you led here and make you the subject, thus using the second person "Was hast du hier her geführt?"
Because that would ask what the person being asked has brought to this city, not the intentions or events that brought them there. "What has brought you here" vs "What have you brought here". In the first case, you'd need the event as the subject and a third person, where you would be the object being led here by the reasons that did so. In the second case, you are the subject, need a second person verb and the object would maybe be some people, trouble or whatever you brought there. Clear enough?
1. Transitive verbs always take "haben". In other words, if the verb has a direct object (here "dich"), you use "haben", not "sein". It is intransitive verbs of motion that take "sein" (walk, drive, etc.)
2. I see what you mean that "bringing" implies motion. But I think one could argue that the "bringing" per se is not itself the motion. So, for example, I can walk to your house and bring you a cake, I can run to your house and bring you a cake, I can drive to your house and bring you a cake. IMO it is the walking, running, driving, that is the verb of motion. The "bringing" is, in my mind, the cake curled up motionless in my arms. (In any case, note that the verbs of motion in my examples are all intransitive, whereas "bring" has a direct object, the cake.)
3. In any case, the criterion for deciding "sein" vs. "haben" is not, as you say, just that "there [is] motion involved". It is when there are specific intransitive verbs of motion involved that "sein" is used. And typically the motion must be movement from one place to another, as opposed to motion within a fixed place.
Reflexive verbs are verbs that take their subject as direct object. For example, "I shave myself", "he shaves himself", etc. Since the -Xself pronoun is a direct object, all these reflexive verbs are transitive.
In the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) reflexive verbs use a form of "to be" instead of "to have" in the perfect tenses. That is not true of German, however.
Murray Douglas: No, one does not say "Ich bin ihn in die Stadt gebracht". Correct is "Ich habe ihn in die Stadt gebracht".
As I explained in the comment to which you are replying, German, unlike the Romance languages, does NOT use "to be" instead of "to have" to conjugate reflexive verbs.
And, as you yourself noted, your example is NOT an example of a reflexive verb to begin with.
Note that in German transitive verbs (those that take an object) are always conjugated with "haben" rather than "sein".
Furthermore, reflexive verbs always take an object -- namely, the pronoun (himself, herself) on which the reflexive verb is acting. So reflexive verbs are always transitive and so always take "haben" rather than "sein".
Note also that some German verbs are not inherently reflexive but can be used reflexively on occasion. So, for example, the verb "bringen", which you used in your example, is NOT inherently reflexive. But you can use it reflexively to say "I brought myself", as you did in your example.
However, note that it is NOT necessary in your example to include the word "selbst" to convey the reflexive meaning. Also correct would be "Ich habe mich in die Stadt gebracht". (The word "selbst" adds emphasis that it was you yourself who acted, but it is use of the pronoun "mich" that conveys the essential reflexive meaning.)
In contrast to a verb like "bringen", some German verbs are inherently reflexive -- that is, (almost), always used reflexively. For example, "sich beeilen":
Ich beeile mich = I hurry
It would be wrong to omit the reflexive pronoun and write just "Ich beeile" or "Ich beeile selbst".
So when a verb is being used reflexively in the past tense I would say, "Ich habe mich selbst in die Stadt gebracht."
Does that mean that when I bring him or he brings me (not really reflexive anymore, is it?) we then switch to saying, "Ich bin ihn in die Stadt gebracht."?
Is "Warum hast du diese Stadt gekommen?" an ok Translation.
i.e. "Why did you come to this city?"
To me that that is the meaning of this question. Instead of the literal meaning which would have answer like "The bus brought me here."
Is my answer not accepted because "Was hat dich in diese Stadt geführt?" the german accepted equivalent to the more common english phrase?
Your sentence is something like "Why have you arrived this city?"
You can't "arrive something" - you need a preposition.
The question is "what", not "why".
The question says nothing about arriving in the city, although it is obviously a related concept.
In the English sentence "What brought you...", the subject is "What" and the object is "you". These correspond to nominative and accusative in German respectively. You hence need to conjugate the verb to "What" rather than "you".
I understand the difference between Perfekt and Präteritum, but without any context here, is there a reason that "Was führte dich in diese Stadt?" is wrong, since the only difference between that and the model right answer is Perfekt v. Präteritum?
(If the answer is the module, once you are on strengthen, you don't know what module you're in, so that's not helpful.)
If you write a novel about a time / place where cities still have walls around and the guy at the entrance asks a traveling person before deciding if he lets her inside the city... I'd say then you're right. In our times you use "in diese Stadt" or "nach XY (name of the city)"
1. The dative case is always used after "zu". So "zu diese Stadt" does not work. It would have to be "zu dieser Stadt".
2. But even "zu dieser Stadt" is probably not the best translation, because in German it suggests that you came up to the city limits but did not actually enter the city.
3. Bottom line: Go with "in die Stadt".
Are you asking if your sentence is a good translation of the English we are given here? It is not. For one thing, the English DL gives us includes the word "city", but your proposed sentence does not.
Or were you asking rather if your sentence is also an OK German sentence, albeit with a different meaning?
"In" takes the accusative case when it's referring to a destination (going into something from somewhere else). It only takes the dative when it's taking about a location (being within something the whole time).
Since the city is a destination here (we're taking about coming into the city" from somewhere else), we use the accusative.
"In dieser Stadt" would be talking about the single location "inside the city." Since we're talking about going into the city, we need to use the accusative "in diese Stadt." Use dative for talking about where something is located and accusative for talking about where something is going to.
John, I understand what you're saying. On the other hand, consider the following two English sentences:
1. What brought you to this city?
2. What led you to this city?
Of those two, I'm sure you would hear 1 more often than 2.
In other words, although it is not a word-for-word translation, it seems to me that the DL English sentence we are given here is an idiomatic translation of the German we are given.
But how would you translate the German here, if not using "brought"?
Possibly, Joseph; but only if you are enquiring about the mechanics of getting to the city. This is seldom the case. Normally when this question is asked it is to examine the motive of the newcomer; the life circumstances leading to the decision to come......... for which Duo's suggestion is very fitting.
That said, "jemanden dazu bringen, etwas zu tun" is "to make someone do something" so don't ditch the idea entirely. "Was hat dich dazu gebracht, in diese Stadt zu kommen?" would mean "What made you come to this city"
No, dative is wrong here. The German "in" can take either dative or accusative. It takes accusative when it describes motion "into" a place, as it does here.
There is a whole group of German prepositions (not just "in") that can take either dative or accusative. For example:
an, auf, hinter, in, neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen