"Who are you writing to?"
Translation:Wem schreibst du?
I tried that earlier and got marked incorrect, so I have reported it, as I believe it should be accepted as an alternative answer.
7th Feb 2019 ... I have been informed that this has now been added as an accepted alternative answer.
The German word for "who" has its ending modified depending on whether it is nominative/accusative/dative/genitive case. It follows the pattern for the definite article der.
e.g. Wer kommt? = "Who is coming?"
(wer is the subject)
e.g. Wen siehst du? = "Who do you see?"
(wen is the direct object, du is the subject)
e.g. Wem hat sie das gegeben? = "Who did she give that to?" (lit. "To whom did she give that?") (wem is the indirect object, das is the direct object, sie is the subject)
e.g. Wessen erinnert er sich noch? = "Who does he still remember?" (lit. "Of whom does he still remember?")
(wessen is the genitive object - not very common)
More information on Canoo.net.
In this example, you use the dative case to say who you're writing to: Ich schreibe dir or Du schreibst dem Professor. The question-word "who?" also needs dative case for this question as a result.
It also doesn't help that the English sentence is incorrect; it should be "Whom are you writing to?" It's much easier to remember wen/wem that way.
To be perfectly correct, it would be: "To whom are you writing?" But, you know, most of us just say "Who you writing to?" these days.
Indeed, that is the correct English sentence. I have reported it, so everyone please help report it too.
You mean: to whom are you writing. I find it easier to think of it this way.
I am writing a letter to my friend...to my friend is the indirect prepositional phrase. Wem is for indirect, whom. As in, whom are you writing to, or to whom are you writing.
So when I see woher, wofür, wem, I think from where, for what, to whom etc.
'To whom are you writing?' is the correct English. 'Who are you writing to?' is bad English for two reasons. 1, Because the object is 'whom' and 2, "It is not good to end a sentence with a preposition .
Maybe so, but it the way most English speakers today would frame the question.
(American) English speakers today don't understand when to use "whom". Most don't even understand when to use first person pronouns when they're paired with another (pro)noun. E.g. "mom and I made the cake for him and me" -- you'll always see people messing up either the subject or the object. You'll hear, "me and him went to the movies" or "she bought a present for my husband and I" with full seriousness.
Just because bad grammar is common doesn't mean Duo should embrace it.
No love for ihr.
These require knowledge of dative and genitive cases, yet the desktop-exclusive notes don't explain them. They only say they will be explained in the future.
Where did these options come from? Why ia Wem rewritable like this and for what circumstance?
I have lost all my previous lessons which I did and earned more than 4000 ling lots. How can I go to my previous lessons
Yes, though the direct object in this instance is assumed to be a letter - it could be an email or a tweet, etc.
Wofür does not ask the question about who the recipient of the written communication is.
Wofür = what for - so your question is seeking to find the reason for writing
The sentence should read in English, "To whom are you writing?" That is correct English. Period. So sad so many people speak English incorrectly.
I get why the recipient of the writing is not the subject of the sentence but I'm not understanding why that person is an indirect object, rather than the direct object. Can anyone explain?
The direct object is the recipient of the action, the indirect object is the recipient of the direct object. Also, the direct object answers the question "what". The indirect object answers the question "to whom or for whom". I hit the ball to John. "Ball" is the recipient of the action "hit". It answers the question "what". What did I hit? I hit the ball. Who received the direct object? John did. It answers the question "to whom" did I hit the ball. In the example sentence, there is no "person" stated. It is just the question "to whom". "I am writing (a letter) to whom?"
Thanks, it's a good explanation and I understand what you're saying, but I'm still struggling specifically with 'Wem schreibst du?'. In this sentence who or what is the direct object, the recipient of the action?
There is no direct object.
I am writing a letter. Letter = d.o.
I am writing a letter to John. John = i.o.
I am writing a letter to whom? / To whom am I writing a letter? letter = d.o.
I am writing to whom? / To whom am I writing? The d.o. is no longer in the sentence.
"Whom" is also the object of the preposition "to".
Please also look at az_p's comment at the top of the page.
So the letter (or whatever it is) that's implicitly being written is the d.o. of the action of writing and its recipient (the whom) is the i.o. as a result. Thank you very much; that's helpful and now makes sense.