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  5. "Wem schreibst du?"

"Wem schreibst du?"

Translation:Who are you writing to?

August 17, 2017


[deactivated user]

    It may be pedantic these days, but it's surely not wrong to say, "To whom do you write?" Duolingo marked this wrong. Yet "Whom are you writing to?" is counted as correct.


    Agreed. I've added your version now.

    This is a fairly new sentence so it hasn't had time to "mature" through reports much yet, and that particular wording had slipped my mind when I last touched the sentence.


    Tested it 2 years later - "To whom are you writing?" works, thanks


    "Who are you writing" should be acceptable as the "to" is understood in English.


    "Who are you writing" still isn't accepted, 5/28/2018; I've just reported it. It's entirely standard American English. I'm a native English speaker from New England.

    [deactivated user]

      I'm surprised that if this really is standard American English, and not a New England regional form, it is not accepted. Usually problems arise in cases where American English is assumed by Duolingo to be the only correct answer. For example, I have sometimes been marked wrong for translating "bathroom" as "Badzimmer" because "bathroom" seems to mean "toilet" in America. I hope that when an American says he is "cooking on gas", he doesn't mean that his kitchen stove is powered by petroleum spirit!


      Sounds normal to me in southeastern NY as well. I'd be shocked if most Americans speaking common dialects didn't routinely leave off the "to".


      Here is a nice article on American English, the verb "to write" and the prepositions it does and does not require in Standard American English.. Although the exact phrase "who are you writing" isn't mentioned, I think "I write them" is equivalent, given that we've already noted that "whom" is rarely used. (The author is also appropriately tart about those who hint that others dialects are incorrect.) https://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com/2009/10/write-to-someone.html?m=1


      "Who do you write?" isn't accepted either.

      [deactivated user]

        Not in the UK. If it were "Who(m) are you phoning to?" then the "to" is unnecessary, but with writing it is needed.


        It is not required in American English, however.


        In the UK can you write someone a letter, or would you have to write it to someone? In parts of the US where people might not leave ot the "to" in "I'll write [to] him" they might still say "I'll write him a letter."


        UK English. I will write to him. I will write him a letter. I think the 'him' would be dative in German and the 'a' (letter) accusative.


        This is what I wrote as my answer (as an native English speaker from America), and it was wrong. It's perfectly acceptable and easily understood to ask "Who are you writing?" even if grammatically speaking, it's not right.


        What's the difference?

        1) Wem schreibst du?

        2) Wen siehst du?

        Does the first one get dative because you write TO someone, or does "schreiben" always take the dative? What's the real difference here?

        It's not a hard concept, as the notions of writing "to" and "seeing" someone are similar between German and English, but I want to make sure I'm getting the nuance correct.


        schreiben can take two objects: a recipient in the dative case and some writing in the accusative case.

        For example:

        • Ich schreibe meinem Bruder. (recipient only)
        • Ich schreibe einen Brief. (writing only)
        • Ich schreibe meinem Bruder einen Brief. (both)

        So Was schreibst du? (with accusative) would also be a possible question, if you are asking about the writing rather than the recipient.


        Requested that "Who are you writing" be accepted as correct, as it is completely idiomatic in wide areas.


        Wem is dative/indirect object? It may be pedantic English, but to make this clear, Duo should suggest 'To whom are you writing' over the current 'Who are you writing to'. Nom Wer-who. Acc Wen-whom. Gen Wessen-whose Dat Wem-to whom?


        I was not sure about "Whom do you write?" as I'm not native english , and it was marked right


        A strong clue is the German. English follows the same rules, so "whom" would be correct. There are some people who would use "who," some people who would consider it acceptable, and some who would consider it bad grammar. However, nobody would claim that "whom" is incorrect, so it's a better word to use.


        When does Wen become Wem? Or Wessen? Maybe that's in the tips and I missed it?


        this is a great example of the dative case. thanks duo, its a lot clearer now;)


        In modern American English, "whom" is rarely encountered outside of Chaucer or nineteenth century and earlier British writers. Who are you writing to? should be a valid answer.


        It's not only already a valid answer, it's the one that is currently marked as the best answer for this sentence.

        If you typed that and got it rejected, can you provide a screenshot, please? Thank you!

        [deactivated user]

          In my earlier message, I certainly didn't mean what "who" should not be accepted - I just meant that "whom" should not be marked as incorrect. I've since had feedback to say that "whom" is now accepted too.


          typ fehler, i did not mean to type "your" It was just a typo


          Given that we should be learning correct German icw using correct English, this is wrong --> Whom are you writing to?

          [deactivated user]

            Yes, it should be either, "To whom are you writing?" or colloquially, "Who are you writing to?"


            the verb schreiben asks for Dativ?


            When you have a recipient, yes. "I am writing a letter to my friend." "To whom are you writing?"

            The direct object (the thing written -- the book, letter, article, note, etc.) is in the accusative case as usual.


            Duo should use 'wessen' here, as it is hard to distinguish if the computer is saying Wen or Wem. At least Wessen would clearly be understood. Wenn can be translated as 'When Are You Writing', where if you use 'Wessen', then it is clearly understood Who you are writing to; thus, Wessen schreibst do (who are you writing to).


            Duo should use 'wessen' here


            What do you think wessen means?

            if you use 'Wessen', then it is clearly understood Who you are writing to; thus, Wessen schreibst do (who are you writing to).

            Wessen schreibt du? would be "Whose are you writing to?"

            It makes no sense in either language.

            schreiben does not take the genitive case, so wessen does not belong there.


            You are correct...brain fart! Thanks for setting me straight.


            I said, in my best English grammar: to whom are you writing; and it was corrected with a sentence ending in 'to".


            To whom are you writing is a more grammatically correct translation


            Whom are you writing to . marked wrong


            That's how I say it - Who are you writing? I don't say the to or the whom unless I am being pedantic.


            As of 4/25/20 "who are you writing" is not accepted.


            I would have used 'wen', which Duo says means 'to whom'. However, the sentence uses 'wem' - why is that?


            What is the difference between wen and wem?

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