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  5. "They are writing with words."

"They are writing with words."

Translation:Sie schreiben mit Worten.

December 15, 2017



Why don't you accept "mit Wörter", can you clarify?


"mit" takes the dative case, and dative plural adds an -n to the end of the word if possible, so it would have to be "mit Wörtern". Also, you can see here that there is a slight difference between "Wort" with the plural "Worte" and "Wort" with the plural "Wörter" (although I don't necessarily think "Wörtern" would be wrong here in terms of meaning).


I agree. I'll add that the trouble here is that the sentence doesn't make much sense in the first place, because you "write with" a pen, not "with" words, so a "Worte" vs. "Wörter" discussion in this case wouldn't make much sense either. (About the general question of "Worte" vs. "Wörter", the link ought to clarify things very neatly.)

  • 2083

We can write with words instead of numbers, symbols etc.


We write words, numbers or symbols! We don't write "with" them! A text could be written IN words or symbols though.

  • 2083

I was thinking about how a teacher would ask a pupil to write "one plus two equals three" instead of "1+2=3". Doesn't "Please write with words!" work in this case? Thanks!


So let me get this straight. (I normally don't rely on Google Translate but I'm very confused.)

Das Wort.
Die Wörter.
Das sind Worte.
Es gibt Worte.
Sie schreiben mit Worten.
Sie schreiben Wörter.
Sie haben Worte.

First of all... nani?! Secondly, I can't remember any other words that have a special accusative plural form distinct from the nominative plural (Wörter v. Worte)... but thirdly, even that seems inconsistent, because haben and schreiben should both trigger the accusative, but haben links to "Worte" and schreiben to "Wörter." And why is the nominative "Wörter," but not in the sentence "Das sind Worte." I would expect the following pattern (assuming "Wörter" is the accusative plural form):

Das Wort.
Die Worte.
Das sind Worte.
Es gibt Wörter.
Sie schreiben mit Worten.
Sie schreiben Wörter.
Sie haben Wörter.

What in the world is going on mit diesen Worten?


They are not nominative and accusative, they are just two different forms of the plural, meaning something slightly different: “Wörter” refers to coherent words having meaning (as in “someone's last words” or “in the words of Winston Churchill”), while “Worte” refers to the single words themselves, as a unit of speech/writing (as in “here is a list of ten words” or “how many words are defined in this dictionary?”).

Both can be used as either nominative or accusative (or genitive, for that matter) or turned into Dative by adding an -n (mit Worten, mit Wörtern).

As I understand it, native speakers themselves sometimes have troubles knowing which one to use.


(By the way, I didn't check before answering, but ikwilvertalen had already pointed this out briefly above, providing a link that might explain this better than I did.)

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