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Why does this sentence use 'lassen'?

*) Why does the verb unterscheiden uses lassen in this sentence?

"Die Aussprache von X lässt sich kaum von Y unterscheiden?

*) What is the difference between die Gardine and der Vorhang?

*) How does one differentiate between ganz besonders and besonders?

LG Jason

July 26, 2017



Because it cannot do it by itself, so someone else has to do it ;-) IMO it is either technically impossible (stated as a fact, according to data - unterscheidet sich nicht) or as a subjective opinion (it is almost impossible for a person to find the difference between the two - lässt sich nicht unterscheiden).

"Gardine" is a window curtain you can see through - at least a bit. "Vorhang" can be both a curtain for windows or the thing in a theatre that goes up when the show begins. At least in southern Germany it is possible to use either of them for describing a curtain.

It is a matter of added emphasis to use "ganz besonders" instead of "besonders". The statement remains the same but I would omit "ganz" unless I wanted to strongly praise someone or something


This sentence "Die Aussprache von X lässt sich kaum von Y unterscheiden" got my attention, could you explain a little bit more? The word-for-word translation into English would sound awkward. In English you would say "the pronunciation of X differs hardly from (the pronunciation of) Y".

So now comes the question. Could you say in German "Die Aussprache von X unterscheidet kaum von Y"?


Absolutely. As I tried to explain earlier, your sentence is a statement (unterscheidet sich kaum) while the other is more like an opinion (lässt sich kaum unterscheiden).

The other sentence would be something like "one can hardly discern the pronounciation of X and Y"


You could say "Die Aussprache von X unterscheidet sich kaum von Y" (you need "sich" here).


I'm sorry but I cannot explain it..should look into the old grammar books someday.... but I can tell you, you cannot say "Die Aussprache von X unterscheidet kaum von Y" without "sich" it's just bad German... I mean everbody would understand and they would politly say that your German is very good, but really it isn't.. i mean not you as person you know...i mean it's just bad bad German ;)

  1. I really don't know, don't question it, just accept it.
  2. they both mean the same
  3. ''ganz besonders'' is (although just a little) more 'powerful' than ''besonders'', if you get what I mean. f.e. ,,Du bist etwas ganz besonderes!'' and ,,Du bist etwas besonderes.'' You can say both.
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