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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


    It's incorrect grammar to end a sentence with a preposition in English.


    This is an old myth, based on people trying to force English to follow Latin's grammatic patterns. Here's the Oxford English Dictionary's blog on its history and when and why English propositions do often belong at the sentence end: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/28/grammar-myths-prepositions/


    That depends on which grammar reference you ask.


    Yes, but only for the time it is written. Drift happens constantly, and grammar rules can never fully encompass a language. Don't take me wrong, grammar rules are good, doubly so when learning a language. I appreciate the effort Duolingo puts in to make sure the material and translations include many variants. Good luck to you and your team. Language is messy, and properly teaching it is hard work.


    You are right but unfortunately nobody seems to be taught that any longer. It should be...To whom are you writing..


    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.


    "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


      You don't 'write' someone you to them.


      You can write someone in American English and it means the same as writing to them.


      If you 'write someone' they have been written so become a different part of the sentence.


      And in American English, if someone has been written, it means that they have been written to. The meaning of both sentences is the same.


      "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.


        That particular phrasing, read out of context, would indicate to me that the author was creating a fictional character.


        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?


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


        What is the difference between wen and wem ?


        What is the difference between wen and wem ?

        wen is the accusative case form, wem dative.


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


        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.


        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?"


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


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


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


          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.


          Whom are you writing to . marked wrong


          It has been accepted for me but marked as a typo. I assume the hiring shortages in the US mean that Duo is hiring people without high school diplomas.


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


          The answer "Who are you writing to?" is wrong. It should use "whom", as in "To whom are you writing?" or "Whom are you writing to?".


          It is colloquially used in Scotland.


          It is colloquially used everywhere but is still wrong, at least formally.
          Hint: check Who/whom with he/him as a possible answer.


          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?


          "Whom" is not given as a choice on the phone tiles, and yet it is the only truly correct answer.


          Whom are you writing to is marked incorrect by Duo, but it is in fact grammatically correct


          Marked as a typo/error but Whom isn't in the clickable words.


          Can someone please explain the difference between wen, wer and wem. Thanks in advance!


          If the question is about the subject, use wer. Wer bist du? -- Who are you? Wer ist er? Who is he? (That's how I rember to use wer)

          If the question is about the object of a sentance, then use you use wen or wem. It depends on the case the verb takes.

          Wen is for accustive case.

          Who does he see? Wen seit er? Accustative case.

          Wem is for dative case. Whom in English - at least in this example.

          To whom are you writing? Wem schribst du?

          I hope this helps.


          super confused about when to use Wen versus Wem. Any advice?


          "Whom are you writing to" is now considered wrong (7/2021), answer suggests "who." What a disappointment.


          I'm guessing whoever added the list of sentences though that the sort of person who would use "whom" would also believe in the "rule" that prepositions do not belong at the end of a sentencee, and would write "To whom are you writing?".


          Whom are you writing to. Warum wird das nicht akzeptiert? In der engl. Variante wird auf "whom "bestanden


          So is wem a direct translation of whom?


          So is wem a direct translation of whom?

          English merged the old dative and accusative cases into a single objective case, while German still has them separate.

          So English objective-case "whom" can correspond to German dative wem or to German accusative wen.

          (The words "whom" and wem are ultimately related.)


          “Whom are you writing to“ marked incorrect!


          Oh Duo, could you please learn some English first?

          My answer: Whom do you write to

          Duo's response:
          You have a typo.
          Who do you write to?

          Do I write to he? Really? I realise that too many English speakers, particularly in the States can't tell the difference between "who" (nominative) and "whom" (objective), but that's not the reason to mark a grammatically superior answer as a typo. (And please spare me from the lecture about "To whom...", which is certainly correct but is not required; there is no rule about placing the preposition in front in English, as has already been pointed out in this thread).


          If Duo is going to insist on Whom as the initiator of this question then the proper english is 'To whom are you writing...not whom are you writing. Idiomatic english would be who are you writing.

          [deactivated user]

            Not in the UK. It's either, "To whom are you writing?" or "Who are you writing to?"


            Shouldn't the translation be 'Whom are you writing'?


            That sentence is theoretically possible, but not as natural as the above suggested translation.


            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.


            To whom are you writing is a more grammatically correct translation


            To whom are you writing? This is a more grammatically correct translation, as a sentence should not finish with a preposition.


            That's a made rule with no base in actual english writing


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


            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!


            I think that "whom" is correct and "who" is incorrect, technically. But it would be understandable for "who" to be accepted as a colloquial variant. But, I think that "who" is a subject while "whom" is an object. The preferred answer should probably be one with "whom".

            Or, is this just an old part of the English language that is being widely discarded? Not quite sure.

            [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.


              Seriously, for all this controversy just think: how often in the real world do you use the word "whom"?


              It would depend on with whom I am speaking.


              IMHO "whom" is the last ditch effort for most of today's English teachers to stay relevant.

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