"When he has drunk beer, he does not drive the car."
Translation:Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht mit dem Auto.
If the structure is confusing to you, I will explain it here.
The first sentence here begins with the subordinating conjunction 'Wenn'. Subordinating conjunctions kick the verbs of such sentences to the end (in this instance it kicked 'hat'). Therefore, the subordinate clause starts at 'Wenn' and ends at 'hat'. Subordinate clauses are sentences that cannot stand alone ("when he has drunk beer" makes no sense, see?)
Next, in German the verb of the main sentence (fährt here) will always be in the second position. You should note that 'the second position' isn't the same as 'the second word'., so do not confuse the two. Infact the entire subordinate clause of "when he has drunk beer" occupies position one, meaning that fährt is indeed in position 2, although the 6th word in.
According to my research here:
etwas (Akk) fahren [to drive/ride/pedal/cart sth]: Ich fahre das Auto. - I drive the car.
mit etwas (Dat) [dem Bus/Zug/Auto etc.] fahren [to take sth (the bus/train/car/etc.)]: Ich fahre mit dem Auto - I take the car.
Some other ways to show the difference in the case of the Past Perfect (this is from other sources):
- Ich bin im Auto gefahren = I travelled by car (but someone else was driving)
- Ich habe das Auto gefahren = I drove the car
- Neulich habe ich ein tolles Auto gefahren! (Hier gibt es ein Akkusativ-Objekt)
- Er ist nach Dresden gefahren. (Hier ist die Ortsveränderung wichtig.)
I'm also confused about word order. Duolingo has told me it should be "Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht mit dem Auto."
I put "Wenn er hat Bier getrunken, er fährt nicht mit dem Auto." I thought verbs should always go "second" in the chunks of clauses, and that the past tense verb should go at the end. What has changed in this sentence?
„Wenn er hat Bier getrunken“ is the subordinate clause. Wenn pushes the conjugated verb to the end as in „Wenn er Bier getrunken hat“. What you have is incorrect.
Since the sentences start with the subordinate clause. You need to switch „er fährt“ to „fährt er“.
All of these are correct.
„Er fährt nicht den Wagen, wenn er Bier getrunken hat.“
„Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht den Wagen.“
zekecoma, Could you or someone answer the question brasilianland and I have about where "nicht" can go?
Welche Sätze sind richtig?:
Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht das Auto.
Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht mit dem Auto.
Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er das Auto nicht.
Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er mit dem Auto nicht.
I think I have found an answer to the question. (This is the source - look at the section "Einen ganzen Satz / ein Verb verneinen".)
I will copy the explanation here with adaptations to our case (Ich kaufe --> Er fährt):
Wenn das konjugierte Hauptverb verneint wird, bedeutet das, dass der ganze Satz verneint wird.
Beispiele: „Er fährt das Auto nicht.“
Wortstellung: Wenn das konjugierte Hauptverb (das an 2. Stelle) verneint wird, steht „nicht“ am Ende des Satzes, weil das Verb auf P2 bleiben muss.
Vergleich: „Er fährt nicht das Auto.“
Bedeutung: Er fährt dieses Auto nicht, aber vielleicht ein anderes.
"Wann" is mostly used interrogatively. Wann kommst du morgen? Wann ist dieses Jahr Ostern? Seit wann wohnst du dort? Seit wann sind Delphine Fische? Seit wann bin ich dein Laufbursche? Bis wann kann ich noch anrufen? Von wann an ... ? Von wann bis wann gilt es? Bis wann ist das Essen fertig? Ich weiß nicht, wann... Du kannst kommen, wann du willst. Wann [auch] immer.
I'm aware :) Since I put "wann" and it was marked incorrect, my question is if you mean to say "when" in English in a sense where you could substitute "if", then must you necessarily say "wenn" auf Deutsch? Is this an accurate test of when to use "wenn"? When, wann, wenn, ... win... :)
In fact the sentence structure is completely regular. I.e. if you know the rules.
I think they have been given on this page in some comment already. But just to repeat: In affirmative main clauses the verb needs to be in second position. In subordinate sentences the verb comes last. The crucial clue here is, when the main clause follows the subordinate clause, you should note that the complete subordinate clause counts as first position of the main clause, that#s why the verb needs to follow immediately.
I am certainly not a good German speaker, but to me Duo's answer means the man travels by vehicle, but not the car. Your sentence says he does not travel by vehicle and then adds with the car. It is confusing if fahren is translated only as to drive. I also would like this to be clarified.
There are two issues with your sentence:
1.) you turned it around. Instead of "When he ..., he ..." you wrote "He ..., when he ...". This does of course not change the meaning, but might be considered a different sentence. Don't know whether it is accepted here or not.
2.) You say "Er fährt das Auto" in German only if you mean "He drives that (specific) car". If you just want to say he uses a car for transportation you say either "Er fährt mit dem Auto" or "Er fährt Auto" (without an article).
I think i’m close to reaching my limit in German, I’m struggling with quite a bit of it now and its no longer fun, the ‘rules’ are insanely restrictive and word order is just as bad. One day you’re elated as you think you’ve cracked it then next day...down to earth with a bang! Learning Spanish is a breeze compared to German.
What exactly was your answer? Although it wasn't accepted it may still have been entirely possible. Best advice is to not give up; I've 'burned out many times before whilst learning German, and in the end always realise how simple it actually was!
If the structure is confusing to you, I will explain it here. As the subordination conjuction in this instance is the 'first sentence', rather than the 'second'... it actually acts as position 1 in the structure. So the subordination conjunction being in position 1, we then as usual place the verb in postion 2.
If your frustration comes from a mix up with 'das Auto' or 'mit dem Auto', or simply 'Auto'... don't worry so much. They're all coherent, however "Er fährt Auto" and "Er fährt mit dem Auto" are apparently better, as 'das' is somewhat more 'that' and specific here.
To know which are the subordinate clause or clauses, you just have to identify the subordinating conjunctions at the beginning of each clause. (Well, right now I am not 100% sure if they are always at the beginning of the clauses, but if you can identify them in the clauses, that's it!)
The clause which doesn't have them is then the main clause.
The Answer in German given, "Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht mit dem Auto."
Does it literally mean in English, "After he has drunk Beer, he doesn't drive with the Car?" (fährt er nicht mit dem Auto) mit dem Auto (with the Car)
Should it be, "fährt er dem Auto nicht" (He does not drive the car) Your views please? :D
According to another comment on this page, a translation without "mit" is accepted. But you've got a couple of errors in your sentence.
- "Als" is for past actions, but "When he has drunk beer" is more or less a present action, since it refers to a continuing tendency/habit that is still happening now and in the future. If you can substitute "when" with "whenever" ("whenever he has drunk beer"), you're going to use "wenn" rather than "als."
- The English sentence has just "beer," so you should have just "Bier," not "ein Bier."
- You're missing the conjugated verb in the first clause ("... Bier getrunken hat").
- "Nicht" belongs before "das Auto." Afraid I don't have a good explanation for this one though.
Correct is "Wenn er Bier getrunken hat, fährt er nicht das Auto" (which another comment has said is accepted).
This rule applies to main clauses that are statements. And indeed the verb is in second position in the main clause. You have to consider that the dependent clause talkes the 1st position within the main clause, so the verb needs to follow immediately.
And in th dependent clause the rule is different anyway. here the verb goes to the end of that clause.
If you don't want to use "mit", there are two other options:
1.) you can use the separable verb "Auto fahren / autofahren" (= "to move using a car / to go by car"). But in that case there would be no definite article: "..., fährt er nicht Auto".
2.) you can use "das Auto" as a direct object. But then you have to use accusative case, not dative as after "mit", and the word order would xchange, because the accusative object then is a definite one: "..., fährt er das Auto nicht". But that would rather be a translation of "he does not drive that (specific) car".
That seems to leave the possibility that he drives something else
Not necessarily. That the "nicht" ends up in front of "mit dem Auto" is purely coincidal. It is placed at its normal position, where it goes when negating the complete sentence, namely at the end of the so called "mid field".