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  5. "Why don't you do anything?"

"Why don't you do anything?"

Translation:Warum macht ihr nichts?

December 10, 2017

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJam5077

How the hell are we meant to know this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FaraazAshraf

Yes! I did not encounter the word for "do" before this :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cormeistro

Why is "Warum machst du nichts" not accepted??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's one of the accepted alternatives.

Did you perhaps make some small typo? Do you have a screenshot?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chris683089

In Germany language exists: "ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr , sie." The word "tu" doesn't exist. Though the correct answers are: "Warum macht ihr nichts?" or "Warum machst du nichts?" But "Warum machst tu nichts"" is not possible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, this is an error that the creators of the Pearson course ( https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24052907/Duolingo%E2%80%99s-Partnership-with-Pearson ) made. Please report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol635351

This is the first time I've seen the word macht (except once earlier as part of "never mind". It would be nice to be introduced to a word before it's used in a way that expects us to know it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jetorres2

Why "nichts" and not "nicht"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the English sentence has "not anything" (nichts), not merely "not" (nicht).

Warum macht ihr nicht? would mean "Why don't you do?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jetorres2

Thanks a lot, Minizamo!!! I totally forgot this! I realized that I've read this before on the Tips and Notes:

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Negatives/tips-and-notes

Thanks very much!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Name388304

Nichts is nothing/ anything Nicht is just like 'not' in the sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charliebailey03

I wish duolingo would give me the correct alternative to my answer. I may have made a small type or mistake but it changes the answer from my 'du' to 'ihr' and all the verbs and everything and makes me feel 100 times dumber than I already am lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnjaRv1

It's kind of a ❤❤❤❤❤❤ move not to indicate wether the English word "you" is plural or singular, and then say we didn't translate it correctly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Both singular and plural translations are accepted.

If you have a question about a sentence that was not accepted, please quote your entire answer. The error may not be in the word that you initially suspect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jelenakov10

Is there a difference between Warum and Wieso? Since both answers are accepted here..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Is there a difference between Warum and Wieso? Since both answers are accepted here..

To my mind, wieso? weshalb? warum? weswegen? are all basically the same: "why?"

Warum? is perhaps the most common, followed by wieso?; the wes- forms are rarely used nowadays.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darcy561848

they're throwing us under the bus with the 'macht'. We learnt it earlier for makes but for 'do'? cmon


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GretelIvette

Why here 'du' is not accepted? I mean, how are we supposed to 'imagine' that is one or the other?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Please always quote your entire answer when you have a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mistafluff

How am I supposed to know something I haven't learned yet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilipNutt

Not clear if you (sing) or you (pl). Both answers should be admissible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Not clear if you (sing) or you (pl).

That's right - the English "you" is ambiguous between singular and plural. Also, English doesn't distinguish informal from formal language the way German does.

For that reason, all three translations are accepted here (singular informal, plural informal, formal):

  • Was machst du?
  • Was macht ihr?
  • Was machen Sie?

What was your entire answer? Did you perhaps use the wrong verb form for your chosen pronoun? Or the wrong case of the pronoun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jagadish77

Warum machen Sie nicht etwas?. I got it as wrong I think this should be also correct, except that "nicht etwas" should be written as "nichts"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, you should use nichts, not nicht etwas.

Using Warum machen Sie nicht etwas? is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarvesh-india

Explainnnnn this iam confused too much

Its slight too hard nowdays,buy please eaxpalain freinds.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trangduong83

Why is "Warum machst du nicht?" not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why is "Warum machst du nicht?" not accepted?

Because that would be "Why don't you do?"

But the English sentence is "Why don't you do anything?"

"not ... anything" is nichts


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TarunDangwal

Isn't 'Warum' a subordinating Conjugation, which pushes the verb to the end of the sentence? Why is that rule not applicable in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No; warum is not a conjunction at all, subordinating or otherwise.

I'd call it an adverb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TarunDangwal

Is it? I found 'warum' as subordinating conjunction on this link which someone shared on a different question forum earlier. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/grammar/conjunctionsrev2.shtml Is it a different warum?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Ah, right -- yes, that's "a different warum".

Compare also these English sentences:

  • I know why he did that.
  • Why did he do that?

They have different word orders, because one's a conjunction, one's an adverb.

You can't say "I know why did he do that." or "Why he did that?" (though that doesn't stop learners from trying :D).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Terri210958

This one is hard and not intuitive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiffanyTea01

I put "Warum tust du nichts" and it was marked correct. Don't they use the verb tue, tust, tun, etc. much, or just not in this context Also, doesn't machen mean "to make"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I don’t quite understand your question.

Warum tust du nichts? was marked correct because it is correct — even better than Warum machst du nichts?, in my opinion, especially if the meaning is something like “Why don’t you do anything to improve the situation/to help the person in need/etc.”.

machen can be translated either as “do” or “make” depending on the context. For example, seine Hausaufgaben machen is “to do one’s homework”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom442002

How about "Wofür machst du nichts?" -- would wofür be used in some contexts?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

How about "Wofür machst du nichts?"

wofür is something like "for what purpose / goal / use" rather than "for what reason".

Wofür sind diese Kartoffeln? = What are these potatoes for? (i.e. what is their intended future use?)

Doing nothing is unlikely to make progress towards and goal or to fulfil a purpose, so Wofür machst du nichts? sounds like an odd question to ask.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MisterLayne

"Warum machst du nicht etwas?" is more gramatically correct. I demand retribution.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

That means "Why don't you do something?"

Which is not quite the same as "Why don't you do anything?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Greg_GE

Jeah, but in an earlier century ;)

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