Translation:Does he drink?
28 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
English needs help from the verb "do" to form most questions and negative sentences.
But German doesn't.
So when you translate a question or a negative sentence into English, you might have to add a form of the verb "do" because of the rules of English grammar -- even if there is no word corresponding to it in the German sentence, because German grammar does not use such a helping verb for questions or negative sentences.
Conversely, when translating English sentences into German, there may be a form of the word "do" which simply disappears in translation, because such a helping verb is not used in German grammar.
The German sentence here is a yes-no question: it starts with the verb (rather than having it in the second position) and it ends with a question mark.
This course is for English speakers, so it is expected that you know how to form a yes-no question in English -- i.e. that we say "Does he drink?" in English and not "Drinks he?"
That would be "Er trinkt?" and has a slightly different ring to it, in English as well as in German. You would say this in another context, like when you hear someone saying, that "he drinks" and than ask for confirmation, for example ("Really? He drinks?" = "Wirklich? Er trinkt?").
Completely based on context, although English uses a word to distinguish the two.
"Is" would imply that the action is happening right bow, and "Does" implies that you are asking as a conceptual question without it actually occurring currently.
You would just have to understand the context in German, because the same question is used for both cases.
In English, we use the helping verb "do" to ask yes-no questions in most casts, so it has to be "Does he drink?".
German does not use this helping verb -- it just puts the verb first to ask a yes-no question.
Er trinkt. = He drinks. (Statement)
Trinkt er? = Does he drink? (Question)
That is not accepted. Standard Written English, at least of the kind expected in this course, requires "do"-support for asking a (neutral) question, as in "Does he drink?"
"He drinks?" would be accepted only as a surprise/confirmation question, as a translation of Er trinkt?. (German similarly uses statement word order with question intonation only in surprise/confirmation questions, not in neutral questions for information.)