If you're at the customs counter at an airport, it's not at all ungrammatical to hear the customs agent ask "are you coming from Germany?"
“Do you come from Germany” (i.e. talking about a regular occurrence to a frequent flyer) should indeed be accepted as an alternative translation. However it certainly is not the interpretation which most readily comes to mind when a native speaker hears the German sentence. That would be “are you from Germany (= a German citizen or alternatively born in Germany)”, with “are you coming from Germany (right now)” as a close second if the context allows it.
With the verb-first syntax it can only be a question, even if you don’t rise your voice at the end. That would just make it sound a little bit disbelieving (“Oh, are you from Germany! I wouldn’t have suspected so.”) But the female voice at least does have the normal question inflection.
There are often different ways to say pretty much the same thing, compare for example English “Are you from Germany” and “Are you German”.
In this case, there is a very slight difference: “Kommst du aus Deutschland” can either ask for somebody’s nationality or for the starting point of their journey (this second one is a bit less common unless you also add an adverb of time like gerade “at the moment”).
Insofar as the German sentence can mean either “Is Germany your native country” or “are/were you just on the way from Germany to this place”, yes. I just can’t think of a situation where I would use the English sentence you suggested. But if you’re a native speaker and find it acceptable, then go ahead and report it. Otherwise I would ask for a native speaker to confirm it.
Hope that helps.
kommen is completely regular in the present tense, so you can simply use the endings shown in the lesson notes of the first two units under "Conjugating regular verbs" -- https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1 is for the first unit and https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/The for the second one.
Please read the lesson notes before you start a new unit -- you'll need to visit the Duolingo website to do so as they're not available in the mobile apps, and you may need to do so from a computer as the website often behaves like the app when viewed on a small screen such as a smartphone's.
That originally meant something like "land of the people".
"Dutch" comes from the same origin as "Deutsch" (Gulliver's Travels still refers to "Low Dutch" (in the Netherlands) versus "High Dutch" (in Germany)).
Almost. We invert subject and verb, and the subject can consist of multiple words. So for example: “Der Mann kommt aus Deutschland.” (the man is from Germany) becomes: “Kommt der Mann aus Deutschland” because the subject is the whole phrase “der Mann”.
Actually English used to do it the same way (and in a way still does, though often obscured by auxiliaries): “Comest thou from Germany?” So if it helps you, think of the word order being a little bit like Shakespeare speaking :)
Basically yes, although I personally wouldn’t call it “inversion” in German. The pattern is:
(question word) – conjugated verb – subject – (rest)
So the pattern is the same as in English (with the exception that you never add anything like “do”). The reason I don’t particularly like the term “inversion” in German is because the subject can easily come after the verb even in declarative clauses:
“Morgen fahre ich nach Berlin.” (Tomorrow I’ll go to Berlin. Literally: Tomorrow go I to Berlin.)
This is because the conjugated verb always has to come in second position in declarative sentences. So if you pull something to the front (in this case heute “today”), the subject has to move behind the verb, so it can remain in second position.
So Germany and England are lands, that registers. Austria is a reich though, is that like kingdom? What is the difference between the suffixes?
In English, people sometimes form questions using the same word order as statements, but with a higher tone on the last syllable. So, I think "You come from Germany?" should also be correct.
This is often the word order used when the speaker is surprised or doubtful, written sometimes with !? or ?!. "You come from Germany!?" Frequently, it is a rhetorical question.
Yep, same in German:
- Kommst du aus Deutschland?(Are you from Germany/are you coming from Germany?)
- Du kommst aus Deutschland?! (You’re (coming) from Germany?! [I wouldn’t have guessed!])
So seeing as there is a much closer German equivalent to “You come from Germany”, I don’t think it should be accepted. But I agree that it’s debatable. You could go ahead and report it next time it comes up and see what the moderators think.
English verbs there is only one personal ending: the -s for when the subject is “he/she/it”. But in German each person has one:
- 1st singular: ich komme (I come)
- 2nd singular: du kommst (you (one person) come)
- 3rd singular: er/sie/es kommt (he/she/it comes)
- 1st plural: wir kommen (we come)
- 2nd plural: ihr kommt (you (several people) come)
- 3rd plural: sie kommen (they come)
The form for 1st and 2nd person plural (wir and sie) is almost always the same (the only counterexample I can think of is sein (to be) which is more irregular than other verbs in most languages). The forms for 3rd singular (er/sie/es) und 2nd plural (ihr) also is the same in present tense for a lot of verbs but far from all of them (and in past tense the two are always different), so I suggest you think of them as separate.
Because that's not question word order in English -- it's statement word order just with a question mark at the end.
Statement word order with question intonation is usually used to signal surprise and to request confirmation that you heard correctly.
A neutral question, one asking for information, would be "Do you come from Germany?" with helping verb "do" first.
The German literally asks, "Do you come from Germany?"
But the more common way to ask this in English is probably "Are you from Germany?"
This is a case where the translation is not literal (word by word), but rather translates an entire expression to the culturally equivalent expression in the other language without regard to whether any individual part matches.
I write are u from Germany and it's wrong. :(
Yes, of course.
du is "you" in standard English.
"u" is not correct standard English.
Please use standard written English on this course -- the way you would write in an essay for school, not how you might text your friend.
No - that's not the basic way to ask such a question in standard English. It should be "Do you come from Germany?" with do-support.
Using statement word order with a question intonation is special: it's used to request confirmation that you correctly heard something surprising, rather than asking for information in general.
It depends on the subject. It’s basically the same thing as the English rule that you have to add “-s” if the subject is a “he/she/it”, only in German there is an ending for every grammatical person:
- ich komm-e
- du komm-st
- er/sie/es komm-t
- wir komm-en
- ihr komm-t
- sie komm-en
People DO speak that way. It's the most prevalent way of asking where someone is from. "You from Germany?" could sound rude or harsh or just too informal.
The general rule is that statements have the verb in the second position, while yes/no questions have the verb in the first position (usually followed by the subject).
Your rule ("switching") only works if the subject is in the first position of the statement -- which is the default and most common word order, but not the only possibility.
If something else comes first, such as an adverb or an expression of time or an object, then your rule doesn't work.
For example: Heute lese ich ein Buch. "Today, I am reading a book." -- the question is not Heute ich lese ein Buch? but rather Lese ich heute ein Buch? "Am I reading a book today?".
It depends on the subject. Remember how in English you have to add an ending -(e)s whenever the subject is a third person (“he/she/it”)? In German all grammatical persons have their corresponding endings. So for instance komme goes with ich and kommst goes with du. For more detailed information please refer to more complete tables (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_conjugation for example).
German verb forms change depending on the subject. Think about how in English “I do something” but “he does something”. German does the same thing, but every grammatical person has an associated ending, not just the third person (“he/she/it”). To take kommen as an example (btw, kommen is the infinitive “to come” here, which isn’t conjugated for any person. The infinitive always ends in -en or -n and you will have to take that ending away to obtain the stem, the thing that the endings are attached to):
- ich komm-e
- du komm-st
- er/sie/es komm-t
- wir komm-en
- ihr komm-t
- sie komm-en (this is plural sie = “they”)
Note how the wir and plural sie forms are identical. This is always the case, and for every verb except sein “to be” they will also be identical to the infinitive (dictionary form) in present tense.
The er/sie/es and ihr form are also identical for kommen but this is not always the case because some verbs change their stem slightly for the du and er/sie/es forms. Most of the time this means a vowel change along one of a handful of patterns. For example a long e often becomes ie for these forms. Take sehen “to see” for example:
- ich seh-e
- du sieh-st
- er/sie/es sieh-t
- wir seh-en
- ihr seh-t
- sie seh-en
As you can see, the er/sie/es and ihr forms are differentiated by the stem alternation now.
Having read the comments. I think it will help to accept the answer "Are you coming from Germany?" Make the bing for a wrong answer (to grab attention if you want). Accept the answer and say that it's accepted. Suggest the prefered answer. Honestly though. Learners going to the comments to find answers already solves the problem in a way.
i swear this is wrong
Error reports are always welcome, but please include as much detail as you can.
- What do you mean with "this"? Please always quote the entire sentence that you are referring to?
- Which part of it is wrong?
- Why is it wrong?
- What should the correct version be, in your opinion?
If you can supply a screenshot showing the error, that would be extremely helpful as well — please upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and include the URL in your error report.
Yes. Aus … kommen wouldn’t be used if you live in a place but aren’t from there (i.e. you were born there, or at least have been a citizen for a long time). For example, I’ve been living where I do now for three years and I still wouldn’t say “I’m from …” (in either English or German) but rather Ich wohne in … “I live in …”.
But if you meant that there is no difference between “I’m from …” (i.e. your place of origin) and “I’m coming from … (right now)”, then yes, Ich komme aus … can be used for both of those because German doesn’t have a dedicated progressive (a form corresponding to the English “to be …-ing”). We just determine from context if it’s a general truth or something happening in that moment. Or if we feel it’s too ambiguous we can always add adverbs such as gerade “right now, in that moment”.
It does because you can do the same thing in German: Du kommst aus Deutschland?!
Unless you meant it as a normal question (without the disbelieving “I wouldn’t have guessed” tone), but in that case I would argue that “you come from Germany” is just a non-standard abbreviation for “do you come from Germany”.
The form of the verb depends on the subject. Remember how in English present tense, verbs get an ending (-s) whenever the subject is a third person singular (he/she/it)? In many other languages including German every grammatical person has a particular verb form associated with it. Komme is the correct form if the subject is ich, kommst for a subject du, kommt for either er/sie/es/a singular noun or for ihr. *Kammen does not exist. I presume you meant kommen, which is the correct form for wir as well as plural sie, formal Sie and plural nouns (the verb forms for these are always identical for all verbs in German).
I know this is an old question but I'm hoping someone can answer...
If I am speaking to someone on a more personal level I would ask "kommst du aus Deutschland?" because du is informal, is that right??
And then could I also say "kommst Sie aus Deutschland?" (Sie as in the formal you/singular) to ask someone in more polite way as opposed to "du" ??
Another one that confuses me is "Sind Sie aus Deutschland?" I want to be able to say that variation but in this case isn't "sind sie" plural? And therefore not applicable when talking to one person?
Lingots to anyone who can answer these questions.
If I am speaking to someone on a more personal level I would ask "kommst du aus Deutschland?" because du is informal, is that right?
And then could I also say "kommst Sie aus Deutschland?" (Sie as in the formal you/singular) to ask someone in more polite way as opposed to "du" ?
No. You need a different verb form if you use the subject Sie -- it has to be kommen Sie aus Deutschland?.
Also, Sie is formal you for both singular and plural:
- Herr Müller, kommen Sie aus Deutschland?
- Frau Meier und Frau Schulze, kommen Sie aus Deutschland?
in this case isn't "sind sie" plural?
sie (lowercase) means "they" and is always plural (we don't have "singular they" in German).
Sie (uppercase) means "you" and can refer to one person or to several people.
The verb forms for sie (they) and Sie (you) are always the same.