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  5. "Wer? Er!"

"Wer? Er!"

Translation:Who? He!

August 11, 2017


[deactivated user]

    "Who? Him!" should work in English. It didn't for me, anyway.


    It should work now.


    It worked for me


    Preferring the translation "Who? He!" is teaching people bad English grammar while they learn German. Cite all the rules you like, but idiomatic and spoken language matters, and "Who? He!" would sound bizarre at worst, stilted and foreign at best.


    It's actually correct English grammar, just not common usage at all, and you're right, common usage is more important


    Who did? He did! Who? Him!


    Surely "Who? He!" is actually incorrect in English?


    It's not part of the native speech of many native speakers, but it is part of the standard formal language.

    There are many "Englishes", each with their own grammar, which is mostly - but not completely - the same.

    • 1921

    Who he? Hoo! Ha! ;)


    Ha ting tang :D


    Walla walla bing bang!

    (For those of you who don't know the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmjrTcYMqBM)


    I can't come with a grammatical rule that would make it incorrect, but definitely akward enough I think maybe someone with a better grasp of grammar could explain why.


    Strictly speaking, the whole phrase is incorrect, because it's a pair of sentence fragments. Ignoring that, no actual rule dictating which is right (if anything, he would be correct because whom wasn't used), but it sounds awkward and few natives actually care or know about who vs whom.


    Sentence fragments actually have grammar, too. See my comment elsewhere in this thread about the French influence on English.


    In most English speakers' native grammar, "he" is a word that can't stand alone. That is why I think it sounds funny to some people's ears.

    The reason for this, I think, is French influence on the language. In French, for a pronoun to be able to stand alone, it has to be in the stressed form, e g moi, vous, elle, eux. Our direct-object pronouns function in this same way.


    I should also mention that Danish, Swedish and Norwegian also work this way. So it could actually be a combination of Danish and French influence on English.


    In fact, “Who? He?” is actually correct... even though most people wouldn’t say it that way.


    Australian native speaker again: Although " Wer? Er!" is the correct German pronoun, in English, although technically and grammatically, "he " is correct — in common English usage, native speakers would use " Him!" If you said; " Who? He!" Australian speakers would think you sounded idiotic, and certainly, they would think your English very unnatural.


    I agree, "Who, him?" - no one in English would ever say "Who HE"


    Couldn't choose correct answer "Him" as not present, so I had to settle for "He", this doesn't work as an answer in english however, even if it is the direct translation!


    Totally agree that Who He is soooo awkward.


    I'm pretty sure, who? He? Is correct English gammer. If you and more to the sentence it becomes clear. Q. Who is the culprit? A. He is the culprit. You would not say, Him is the culprit. So he is correct, but not often used so sounds weird.


    I think it's because we would say, "Who did it? He did it? It's leaving he in the nominitive case because you're asking about a subject.


    "It is he" is formally correct (he is it), but colloquially, "It is him" is used more often. Turning it around, however, nobody would say "Him is it". See [this link.] (https://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/pronoun.asp)

    • 1083

    Why not Whom? He!


    Because "Whom?" is used to ask after an object -- equivalent to Wen? in German for the direct object.

    But Duo's sentence has Wer?, which is in the nominative case and used to ask after a subject, so the English equivalent is "Who?".


    Wer? Er! Wie? Sie! Wes? Es? (Also "wes" was not marked wrong, is that something I shouldn't say?)


    Wie? Sie!

    I assume you're joking; wie means "who" in Dutch but not in German, where it means "how".

    (Also "wes" was not marked wrong, is that something I shouldn't say?)

    It's an old form of the word wessen "whose", which nowadays is only found in fixed expressions or proverbs, such as Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing (= Wessen Brot ich esse, dessen Lied singe ich): literally, something like "Whose bread I eat, his song I sing", similar to "Who pays the piper calls the tune": indicating that people will tend to obey people who give them things.


    I can't think of any situation where someone would say that, but ok.


    What' the difference between "wer" and "wem"?


    Shouldn't this be "Whom? He!"


    Shouldn't this be "Whom? He!"

    That doesn't make sense in English -- "whom" is an object form but "he" is a subject form.

    If you're asking after an object and answering, it would be "Whom? -- Him!"

    If you're asking after a subject and answering, it would be "Who? -- He!" for traditional speakers, "Who? -- Him!" for many younger speakers.

    The German can only be subject, since wer and er are both nominative, and German still strongly distinguishes between subject (nominative) and object (accusative) forms.

    wen ("whom") is very much alive in German, even if it's obsolescent in English.


    So if we ask "wen" the answer would be "ihn"?


    Yes, exactly.

    And Wem? Ihm!

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