"Trinkt er?"

Translation:Does he drink?

December 23, 2017

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But theres no word refering to 'does'.. What 'does' means in german In general?


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.


Basically it's the same syntax as ye olde English - "Pray tell, my good sir, drinks he?"


"Does" is not included, so how would you know when to use the word, "does." Explain please.


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?"


He drinks? Should be fine translation


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?").


Yes to this, and to expand on it.

"He drinks?" is not really a question in English; it is a conversational expression of surprise/incredulity. What one is actually saying when this is asked is "Are you serious/Was that a joke?"


It would be a question upon seeing an 18 year old in a bar.


This Question: Trinkt er? = Does he drink?

Another Question: Trinkt sie? = Is she drinking?

How do I tell the difference?


German doesn't make a distinction between simple present and present continuous.

Trinkt er? = Does he drink? Is he drinking?

Trinkt sie? = Does she drink? Is she drinking?


This simple/continuous distinction is difficult for ESL speakers and hard to sort out if both meanings are valid in context.


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.


To me it sounds between "Trinkt er?" and "Trinkt ihr?".


Most definitely. Especially now that every wrong answer requires you to do a practice lesson to redeem it or pay hundreds of gems, they need to clean up these ambiguous pronunciations on listening exercises.


Why can't I say "is he drinking?"


why is this not "he drinks?" I don't understand sorry


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)


Without any context, I'd take translation to imply alcoholic beverages. Does it have the same connotations in German or not? (if not, how would one typically ask if someone drinks alcohol?)


It can mean that in German, too.


I wrote, "Is he drinking?" and it marked me wrong. Why?


Why is "trinkt sie?" "Is she drinking?" But "trinkt er?" Is "does he drink?" How would I say "does she drink" or "is he drinking"


German doesn’t distinguish between those two tenses, so Trinkt sie? could be either of “Does she drink (regularly)?” or “Is she drinking (right now)?”.

Similarly for Trinkt er?: both translations are possible.


What about: "He drinks?"


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.)


How can we now if it's present simple or progressive


Without any context, you can't. And so both alternatives are accepted.

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