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  5. "Do you work in Berlin?"

"Do you work in Berlin?"

Translation:Arbeitet ihr in Berlin?

May 8, 2017



Could the same sentence be used to tell someone to work in Berlin?


Nope, not in proper german. Verb is on position 1 of the sentence and that is for questions in german. Du arbeitest in Berlin. Arbeitest du in Berlin? Same words, different order.


Isn't the verb also in first position for imperatives? That's what I'm asking about. How would I give the order "Work in Berlin!" to someone?

Obviously in writing the meaning is clear from punctuation, and in speaking it's probably clear from inflection. Still, I'm curious.

  • Arbeite in Berlin!
  • Arbeitet in Berlin!
  • Arbeiten Sie in Berlin!

Of those, only the third could work as a question as well (Arbeiten Sie in Berlin?); for the du and ihr forms, the command form does not usually use the pronoun unless you want to use it for emphasis or contrast -- a bit like in English.

  • Arbeite du in Berlin! = You work in Berlin! (meaning perhaps: I don't want to do so, so why don't you work there instead if you want someone to work there.)


Yes, imperative has also the verb at position 1, but imperative has another inflection, so the vebr would look differently (and then you change order and inflection).


Inflection is only different for du.

I think that ihr uses the regular verb form always (ihr arbeitet -- arbeitet! ihr seid leise -- seid leise!) and Sie uses the Konjunktiv verb form which is nearly always the same as the indicative for this form (Sie arbeiten -- arbeiten Sie! but Sie sind leise -- Er sagte, Sie seien leise -- seien Sie leise!).

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