"Gestern oder heute?"

Translation:Yesterday or today?

August 28, 2017

This discussion is locked.


So I was pronouncing "gestern" with a "sht" sound like in "stadt", but after I heard the audio I did a quick research, it seems that "st" is only pronounced "sht" when the syllable starts with it.

So "Ver-ste-hen" = "sht" But "ges-tern" = "st"

Personally I would consider the syllables to be split this way "ge-stern", but I'm no linguist, and on forvo.com native speakers seem to pronounce it with a "st" sound anyway.


It's not really related to syllabics. It's pronounced as 'sh' in verstehen because it's a compound word- the verb is stehen plus the inseperable prefix ver-.

You'll see the same thing in words like Hauptstra├če (a compound) and Liste (not a compound).


But if that was a matter of compound vs non-compound, wouldn't "stadt", "stra├če" or "stehen" be pronounced without "sh", since they're not compounds?


Initial 'st-' is always pronounced 'sht'. That's why it's pronounced 'sht' in compounds- it's technically an initial 'st', as you're jamming several words together. From your examples, I thought that we were only talking about medial 'st'- my mistake.

Don't forget to capitalise your nouns. :)


Ok, seems consistent. I guess the pronunciation of "st" is directly related to our knowledge of compounds and non-compounds words then :(.

Thanks for your help.


You're welcome.

You shouldn't have too much trouble in identifying compound words with a little practice- the nouns are easy enough to figure out, and the verbs aren't too bad.

Verbs with separable prefixes are all prefixed with prepositions like gegen, aus, ab and mit, and verbs with inseparable prefixes have one of the following: be-, ent-, emp-, er-, ge-, miss-, ver- or zer-.

Best of luck!

  • 1659

why not 'then or now' ?


why not 'then or now' ?


gestern means "yesterday". It does not mean "then".

heute means "today". It does not mean "now".


In some recent question heute meant now as well as today....

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.