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Just a few questions, help appreciated :)

Q1 ''Nein, konnten wir nicht. ''

I had this sentence from duolingo

If I just want to say 'I could not' as a response to a question would it be '' Konnte ich nicht''?

how about for ''Kann ich nicht'' and ''Wurde ich nicht''??

Q2 I've been using google translate to figure some stuff out

What is the difference between ''Ich konnte das nicht machen.'' and ''Das konnte ich nicht machen''

in terms of meaning and order. Thanks.

Q3 "Nein, so würde ich sie nicht nennen." No, I would not call her like that.

I put the english text in google translator and I get ''Nein, ich würde sie nicht so anrufen.'' Which seems pretty much the same but the word order is different??

Q4 "Ohne euch wären wir heute nicht hier. "

Can someone break down the word order of this.

THANKS :) :)

August 29, 2017



Q1 Yes.
If someone asked something like „Konntest du letzte Nacht deine Hausaufgaben machen?“ You could respond with something like „Nein, konnte ich nicht.“

That also works for „Kann ich nicht.“ and (I believe you meant) „Würde ich nicht.“ - as in "I wouldn't (do that)."

Q2 I would quite strongly advise against using google translate to figure stuff out. I split my time for this sort of stuff between linguee, dict, Langenscheidt & (of course) duden (with some extra time spent on tatoeba, forvo and google ngrams; but for slightly different purposes).

I really wouldn't be able to give you any decent answer. I really see those two sentences as equivalent.

One point is to me „das konnte ich nicht machen“ sounds better. Generally.

Q3 I have never known "nennen" and "anrufen" to be synonymous. "Nennen" is to call in the sense of "You can call me Adam." - „Ihr könnt mich Adam nennen.“; whereas "anrufen" is to call in the sense of a telephone "Don't call me now!" - „Ruft mich jetzt nicht an“!

Word order, however, is flexible in German; so there are a number of viable solutions for however you might want to translate "No, I would not call her like that." which, without significant contrivance, seems pretty poor English to me, by the way.

Q4 "Ohne euch" is a prepositional phrase; linguistically treated as one element. You can't separate them otherwise you wouldn't know what is "without".
That takes position no.1.

"wären" is a finite past subjunctive (Konjunktiv II) form of the verb "sein" conjugated with respect to the 1st person plural "wir", and in such declarative statements must be in position 2.
That takes position no.2.

"wir" is a personal pronoun representing the 1st person plural equivalent to "we" in English. This typically takes position 3 if it is not in position 1 for such declarative statements.
That takes position no.3.

"heute" is an time-based adverb (or adverbial) representing the present day equivalent to "today" in English. Time-based elements typically appear at the front of the so called "Mittelfeld" (the part of a sentence between the finite and infinite/participle verb forms in "Hauptsätze"; main clauses) in a fashion I learnt as TMP or Time-Manner-Place.
That takes position no.4.

"nicht hier" is a "lokal" element representing location equivalent to "not here" in English. I have grouped these two words as one element because "nicht" always acts to negate whatever it precedes (acting in a not too dissimilar fashion to a preposition), except when it negates the (finite) verb (in which case it appears alone as the final element of the sentence/clause). These elements make up the P in TMP and as such, typically fall to the back of the "Mittelfeld".
That takes position no.5.


omg thank you so much seriously, for the links as well :) :) :)!!!!


That's alright. Glad I could help :)

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