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"We are leaving at nine at the latest."

Translation:Wir gehen spätestens um neun.

May 14, 2017



Why is "wir gehen um neun spätestens" not correct?


It's an unnatural word order. We'd never say that


But i thougjt German sentence order was "time, manner, place"


We only have one of those here, namely time. The "manner" "spätestens" is not independent, but part of this, qualifying the point in time. And qualifiers usually stand directly in front of the things they qualify.


What happened to the time-first rule in the word order? A bit confused here coz I was guessing 'Um neun gehen wir spätestens'...


"spätestens um neun" belongs together. Those are not two independent adverbial determination, but only one (a temporal one).


Think of the order for time as generic -> specific. In this case, "spätestens" is generic, hence is placed first.

Similarly, "we go tomorrow at nine" will be translated to "wir gehen morgen um neun", where "morgen" is the generic time descriptor.


Thanks for your answer. Somehow I can't reply to that. So can we then say - "spätestens um neun gehen wir"?


You can, if you want to emphasize that this is really the latest point in time for leaving. "Wir gehen spätestens um neun" is more common.


I thought they have the declination so not to worry about word order...but it seems word order is very important with many rules and exceptions... apologies for my little rant...a language says a lot about a culture... so far I love English


They say in the Tip the time statement can be right after the verb or right in front of it and here the front position in front of the sentence as I know as a native german speaker: "Spätestens gehen wir um neun" but that can also be a question better all "time" in front of the verb "Spätestens um neun gehen wir" and that is a clear statement because only the subject is after the verb than.


"spätestens um neun" is one time statement. You can't rip it apart.
You can say "Spätestens um neun gehen wir" or "Wir gehen spätestens um neun".

"Spätestens gehen wir um neun" is not a correct German sentence.


OK - why is "Wir verlassen spätestens um neun" not acceptable? Verlassen - to leave. Gehen - to go. Arguably the same but not what was asked for.


verlassen is transitive - it takes a direct object.

You can das Haus verlassen "leave the house".

But you can't just verlassen.

It's a bit as if you said "I will go out of at nine" -- that doesn't make sense if there is nothing after the "out of".


In that case why not "wir verlassen spätestens um neun das Haus"?


Because in the given sentence nobody mentioned a house. The starting point could be anywhere.


Would have been "Wir fahren spätestens um neun ab" wrong?


I think that should be acceptable. I've added it now.


I put "Spätestens gehen wir um neun." I would have thought that was an acceptable word order. Am I wrong?


the "spätestens" usually has to directly precede the temporal specification , here "um neun".


It sounds rather odd to me.

I would keep spätestens um neun together.


Thank you. I want to speak like a native, if possible, so that is good to know.


Why not "Wir gehen spätestens um neun weg"? I think it is even better than the Duolingo's official translation of the English sentence. Yet, it is not even accepted.


Good suggestion; it's added now.


and 'abfahren'?


There are also accepted translations using the verb abfahren.

What was the entire sentence that you had in mind?

Edit: I see a report for Spätestens abfahren wir um neun from around the same time as your comment - was that your sentence?

That is not correct, because spätestens um neun has to stay together, and abfahren is a separable verb.

Spätestens um neun fahren wir ab is one possibility.


I'm not always sure about the separable verbs... yet. After the previous comment, I did see below the comments with 'fahren.' I do appreciate your comments in the discussions. Thank you... I also need to (re?)learn more about adverb placement.


„Am spätestens gehen wir um neun.“ What's wrong with this?


am spätestens makes no sense to me.

The adverb for "at the latest" in the sense in this sentence is spätestens, without am -- and it has to be together with um neun.


How come "lassen" is not accepted (wir lassen spätestens um neun)?


Because this sentence doesn't make any sense in German. The English word "to leave" has many different meanings, e.g.
a) leave something in a place as opposed to taking it with oneself
b) not doing something (let it be)
c) going away

The German word "lassen" has b) as its primary meaning. It can be used for a) as well, but "dalassen" or "zurücklassen" fits better then.
And it can never be used for c). Here you need a different word, e.g. "weggehen".
In addition it can have the meaning "to make someone do something", which the English "to leave" doesn't have. So the general message is: meanings of words don't match 1:1.


I entered "Wir gehen spaetestens um neun" and got an error. Then submitted "Wir gehen spatestens um neun", and got it accepted with a frown.


I entered "Wir gehen spaetestens um neun" and got an error.

That would surprise me. Do you have a screenshot?


Wir gehen oder wir fahren???


I entered "Wir gehen spätestens um neun ab" and it was marked wrong. Can someone clarify? I've always seen the verb abfahren or abgehen used for leaving, whereas "gehen" is the more generic word for "going".


abfahren yes, but abgehen means something else. (Ey Alter, was geht ab?)

You might use losgehen for "go (away)".


Why is this "at the latest”


Because that's how you say this in English. "spätestens um X" = "X at the latest"


Why "um" , not "am"?


Because "um" is the preposition you use for times of the day in German.


Why not "gehen wir"?


Because this is a statement, so the verb has to be in the second position in the sentence Wir gehen spätestens um neun, not the first as in Gehen wir spätestens um neun.


Does ausgehen work here? "Wir gehen spätestens um neun aus"?


Does ausgehen work here? "Wir gehen spätestens um neun aus"?

No. ausgehen is to go out to party, or go out on a date, or go out "on the town" -- but not simply to leave a place.


Why not mindestens work here?


Why not mindestens work here?

mindestens is "at least", not "at the latest".


I thought um meant about or around, what are its different meanings, pls someone??


You can't always translate word by word. German and English often use different prepositions. So you'd better learn complete phrases.


Um is also the German preposition for time. "At seven o'clock" = "um sieben Uhr"


Why can't we use 'Wir lassen spätestens um neun Uhr '? Lassen also means leave right?


Lassen also means leave right?

etwas irgendwo lassen can mean "leave something somewhere".

But lassen cannot mean "leave = depart from a place".


Can you use "abfahren" for to leave?


If you use a car, bus, bike or ship, yes.


Can you use "abfahren" for to leave?

Yes; there are a couple of accepted translations that use that verb.

I wouldn't recommend it, though; busses and trains fahren ab but people would generally wegfahren or losfahren.


Why not verlassen for leave


Because "verlassen" is a transitive verb, i.e. it needs an object. If you leave something, you can use "verlassen". But it doesn't work for just "leave".


Can this be correct? I know that "ab" should go to the end of the sentence, but I have seen examples where the second part of the verb was brought forward, like in my sentence.

Not accepted: Wir fahren ab spätestens um Neun. Accepted: Wir fahren spätestens um Neun ab.


"Wir fahren ab spätestens um neun" is not a valid German word order.


"Ab" is not always part of a separable verb and can therefore also be placed after the verb, for example.

  • Wir fahren ab morgen wieder spätestens um neun ab. (abfahren -> separable verb)
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