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  5. "Why do you not help her?"

"Why do you not help her?"

Translation:Warum hilfst du ihr nicht?

July 10, 2017



In Swedish this is also the correct order to say it "Varför hjälper du henne inte" But we can also switch place on Ihr/henne and nicht/inte "Varför hjälper du inte henne", both ways are correct. Is it the same in German, could I say "Warum hilfst du nicht ihr"?

It is also possible to say "Varför hjälper inte du henne" In Swedish, could I say the same in German, "Warum hilfst nicht du ihr".?


If you put the "nicht" in the end of the sentence, it negates the verb (here: "helfen"). If you put it before something else, it will negate that word. So: "Warum hilfst nicht du ihr?" means: "Why don't you help help her." (you rather than another person, emphasize on you), and "Warum hilfst du nicht ihr?" = "Why do you not help her?" (she is not helped by you why don't you?, emphasize on her).

I hope I could be of help.


It is possible, but I'd say the other word order is more common.


Its error says "You used the ihr form "helft" instead of the du form "hilfst". " how is it wrong to use ihr?


If you use ihr for "you", you have to use ihr helft.

If you use du for "you", you have to use du hilfst.

You can't say Warum helft du ihr nicht? or Warum hilfst ihr ihr nicht?

What did you write?


For my clarification (and hopefully others): I started to use ihr as the subject -- it's the one with which I have the least practice, so I use it whenever possible. However, I came up with: Warum helft ihr ihr nicht?

. . . which seemed awkward, so I chickened out and changed to: Warum hilfst du ihr nicht? (DL accepted as correct).

Is the " . . . helft ihr ihr . . ." version above correct?


Yes, "Warum helft ihr ihr nicht" is accepted.


My first try at this I used "wofür" as "why." Is this a reasonable alternative or is it inappropriate in some way?


Wofür is something like "What ... for", in this sentence it would mean, "What are you helping her for?"


I have this same question. Was hoping someone could address it.


You could say "Wieso hilfst du ihr nicht" but I think wofür is more like "what for" rather than "why so".


Would "warum hilft Ihr du nicht" mean: why don't she help you?


No, because "to you" (not "you") must be in dative form.


In English is better said 'WHY DON'T YOU HELP HER?


It's the more common, shorter version. Not better, just different (and I'm sure it blows some people's minds when they then write the long form from there "Why do not you help her?")


Why is "Warum helft ihr nicht ihr?" not correct?


The "nicht" is in the wrong place. You could say "Warum helft ihr ihr nicht?"


German is CRAZY. xD


Why is "warum du hilfst ihr nicht" wrong?


Just another perspective -

In earlier lessons, you must have come across this Eng sentence - Do you drink?

Translate this to German - Trinkst du?

Now coming to this sentence, we have - Eng - Do you help? German - Hilfst du? .... ... Why do you help? Warum hilfst du? ... ... Warum hilfst du ihr nicht?


the verb (hilfst) must be in second position, following a question word (warum).


what is happening in the word order?


How do you know which pronoun the dative case should be applied to??


Take the sentence and pretend it's a statement instead of a question:

  • You don't help her.

Clearly 'you' isn't going to be dative--it's the subject of the sentence. Also, 'her' in English clearly refers to the dative case.

I like to think of it as though the h's have been switched so they're in the middle instead:

ihr = hir = her

ihm = him = him


So the dative pronoun would be the pronoun receiving the action?


Not quite? It's complicated, but I'll try to explain.

Take the sentence, "I threw the ball."

'I' is nominative, because it's the subject. 'The ball' is the thing being acted upon by the verb (it is the thing being thrown), so it's the direct object, which is put in accusative case.

Now look at, "I give a ball to the man."

The ball is the thing that is being directly acted upon by the verb (it is the thing being given), so it's the direct object, and is put in accusative case. 'The man' is not directly involved with the verb (he is not the-thing-being-given itself) so he's the indirect object, and is put in the dative case.

With the sentence here, though, it's "Why don't you help her?" or if we put it as a statement, "You don't help her." In this sentence, there are only two nouns: You and her. Normally, this would mean that You is nominative and her is accusative. However, 'help' is a dative verb: a verb for which you don't have accusative case. So because it is specifically a dative verb, her must be dative case, even though usually when there's only one noun after the verb it would be in the accusative case.

As far as I know, you simply have to learn as you learn the verbs, whether they are these special dative verbs where you put the only noun after the verb in dative rather than accusative case.

Some other tips:

  • You can think of the dative case articles (einem, dem, etc) as having 'to' or 'for' in front of them, so that they mean 'to a' or 'to the'. Thus, in German the sentence above (I give a ball to the man) would be "Ich gebe dem Mann einen Ball," or literally, "I give to the man a ball".

  • That German sentence I just gave put the dative noun first on purpose: usually in German, they put the dative noun first and the accusative noun second. Unfortunately, this too has exceptions, as you'll later learn :(.

  • Here's a website to explain all this in even more depth, and from someone who is more knowledgeable than me: https://germanwithlaura.com/dative-pronouns/


Why was "Wieso hilfst du ihr nicht?"


Why is wise incorrect ?

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