What is the meaning of these sentences?

I can't figure out the meaning of 'ob' in these sentences:

  1. "Ob ich nach Deutschland gekommen wäre, wenn mein letzter Arbeitsplatz interessanter gewesen wäre?"(Why are there 2 subordinate clauses?); and

  2. "Das sind Erinnerungen an gute Freunde auf der ganzen Welt. Aber ob mir bei der Bewerbung hilft?"

If this sentence is translated into English, it's a bit weird. What is dann trying to emphasize here?

  • "So, Herr X, das ist dann alles,"? ("So, Mr. X, then it's everything,")?

  • What is the meaning of "Darf es noch etwas Kaffee sein?"?

  • Why is it 'in welche Richtung' instead of 'auf welche Richtung'? And why it isn't 'Weg' instead of 'Richtung'?

Thanks (sorry if I posted lots of questions here and sorry if it might take you a long time explaining. The numbers are pretty messed up.)

March 22, 2017

  1. This construction means "Wäre ich nach Deutschland gekommen, wenn...?", it's like asking a question to yourself, to express doubt about something.
  2. Same

  3. That's all, we are finished ("das ist alles" works too, but with "dann" it sounds better)

  4. Polite, elegant for "Möchten Sie noch etwas Kaffee?"
  5. We go "in eine Richtung". Richtung is direction.
March 22, 2017

“Ich wäre nach Deutschland gekommen, wenn mein letzter Arbeitsplatz interessanter gewesen wäre” – This is simply a statement using Konjunktiv II. „I would have come to Germany if my last working place had been more interesting”. Now if you want to turn this statement into a sentence implying that you ask yourself whether you would have done something if the circumstances had been different it is: “Ich frage mich, ob ich nach Deutschland gekommen wäre, wenn mein letzter Arbeitsplatz interessanter gewesen wäre” (I wonder whether I would have come to Germany if my last working place had been more interesting) but this is still not a question. You can however easily turn this sentence into a rhetorical question by leaving out the first part (this part is the main clause that’s then somehow missing). “Ob ich nach Deutschland gekommen wäre […]?” is a question to yourself – the “ob” still implies that there’s something leading into the question “Ich frage mich” (I wonder), Ich weiß nicht (I don’t know), … That’s because the conjunction “ob” is always used following a question, uncertainty or doubt that can be answered with yes or no. – therefore a single subordinate clause starting with “ob” implies that there’s a question. Sentences like this are mostly used as a kind of “repeating” the question the other one asked you to either stall time, sort your thoughts or lead a conversation back to the topic when you drifted off.

“Fährst du mit dem Zug?.” – „Ob ich mit dem Zug fahre (, fragst du)?“

Questions like this are also used in interior monologues – then the “ob” implies that your asking yourself said question. Like in sentence 2. “Ich frage mich, ob mir das bei der Bewerbung hilft.” In interior monologues the leading main clause „Ich frage mich“ is ususaly dropped and the subordinate clause turns into a question to yourself. “Ob” still implies that you’re wondering about the question. (Note: The direct question: “Hilft mir das bei der Bewerbung?” can be answered with a simple yes or no. There’s no wondering, no long thinking about the question involved. “Ob mir das bei der Bewerbung hilft?” – this states that you’re not sure whether or whether not it’s helping. There’s doubt about the answer to said question.)

  1. “So Herr X, das ist dann alles” - “Dann” in this sentence means something like „for now“ – So, Mr. X, that’s everything for now?. “Dann” in this sentence implies that the conversation is over.

  2. “Darf es noch etwas Kaffee sein?” – Would you like to have some more coffee?

  3. “Die Richtung” – The direction. You use the preposition “in” to give directions. “In diese Richtung musst du gehen.”

“In welche Richtung müssen wir gehen?” – Wich direction do we have to go?

„Welchen Weg müssen wir nehmen?“ – Wich way/path do we have to take?

The first example just asks about a general direction – here you have to use „in + Akkusativ“. The second sentence doesn’t really ask about direction in general but about a “thing” (the way/path) that’s to be “used” in some way (usage: walking on it). Therefore it’s a simple Akkusativ-Objekt.

March 22, 2017

2 - I think it's a bit like "I wonder whether ...".

1 - could be the same, or depending on context, it could be repeating someone's question to make sure you have understood the question correctly, i.e. "Are you asking whether ... ?"

dann - "So, Mr X, is that everything, then?". I'm not sure how to explain that word, but English does something similar with "then" sometimes. It does not literally mean "at that moment in time".

darf - the effective meaning is "Would you like some more coffee?". A slightly more literal translation is "Would a bit more coffee be all right for you?". Even more literally, "May it be a bit more coffee?".

in welche Richtung - compare English "in which direction". You conventionally go "into a direction" and not "onto a direction". When you are asking "which way did he go?", you are not asking "on which road did be walk?" but often "tell me the direction in which you saw him go".

March 22, 2017

[deactivated user]

    In the third sentence, it would translate as "So, Mr. X, is that all?". German sentence structure is weird.

    March 22, 2017

    "So, Herr X, das ist dann alles" depends a lot on the context, normally you are referring to something that you said earlier.

    As conclusion it can mean: that is everything (I wanted to tell you), the conversation is over

    If a salesperson use it, then it has the meaning of: that is everything (that you ordered/ that you wished for / that you need)

    You say it to the salesperson: that is everything (that I need, you can make the bill)

    March 22, 2017

    "Darf es noch etwas sein?" Quite a great chance to hear it in shops, restaurants.

    March 22, 2017

    Danke euch allen

    March 23, 2017
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