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"He is probably healthy again."

Translation:Er dürfte wieder gesund sein.

January 12, 2018



On a related note, this is straight from my German class notes about using modal verbs to describe possibilities:

50% sure -> könnte

80% sure -> dürfte

95% sure -> müsste

100% sure -> muss


I find this note really helpful but what about sollte?


I don't think you use 'sollte' to describe probabilities. its just a suggestion verb.


How to check the percentage at the moment?


You mean how to estimate the percentage of being sure? I guess it's up to you


but why not use wahrscheinlich which is the translation of probably??


Looks like "He may be healthy again" = "He is probably healthy again"


Yeah, in german it is like this. Er ist wahrscheinlich wieder gesund and er dürfte wieder gesund sein. Both describe the same thing.


Yes, it's the same literal phrasing; but the meaning is closer to "He ought to be healthy again". It's more certain than "He may be healthy again".


Interesting usage of the modal verb dürfen! Look on this page under "Special Meanings" for more information: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/Verbs/modals.html


Just looked at the link. I was struck by thecomment: ' "mögen" normally does not combine with another verb, except in its subjunctive form, "möchte". '

Ich mag Musik hören, er mag lesen, all fine! https://www.reddit.com/r/German/comments/ebl27n/ich_mag_schwimmen/


I have been told by native German speakers that constructions with "gern" ("ich schwimme gern") sound much more natural than those with "mögen ("ich mag schwimmen").


Sorry why does wieder come before gesund in this sentence? I feel like I'm used to putting wieder just before the ending verb..


Yeah, same here. Maybe there are different word order rules with "sein"?


No, the "sein" doesn't make a difference.

I guess the rule would be that "wieder" comes before the object or whatever else the sentence is padded with (if there is none (just subject and verb), "wieder" goes at the end, but if there's an auxilary verb involved, the main verb goes to the very end and thus after "wieder"), but if there's probability and/or time and/or preference involved, they (normally) go in front of "wieder". Rarely "wieder" is put at the beginning of the sentence, if it's stressed ("wieder"-verb-subject). Examples:

Ich gehe wieder zur Schule. (I'm going / I go to school again.)

Ich gehe morgen wahrscheinlich wieder zur Schule. (Tomorrow I'll probably go to school again. Neutral word order, and to answer the question, "What are you doing tomorrow? Reading, hiking, ...?")

Ich gehe (morgen wahrscheinlich) lieber wieder zur Schule. (I'd (probably) rather go back to school again (tomorrow).)

Ich gehe wahrscheinlich morgen wieder zur Schule. (neutral, and to answer the question, "When will you be going to school again?")

(Besides these, you can put "morgen" or "wahrscheinlich" (not both) at the beginning of the sentence.)

Ich esse wieder Pizza. (I'm eating pizza again (as I did yesterday and perhaps all week before); I eat pizza again (after I stopped eating it for a couple of years).)

Ich darf/muss wieder Pizza essen. (I'm allowed to / I have to eat pizza again.)

Pizza darf ich wieder essen. ("Didn't the doctor forbid you to eat pizza and doughnuts?" "Yes, and I still can't eat doughnuts, but I'm allowed to eat pizza again.")

Ich gehe wieder zum Zahnarzt. (I'm going / I go to the dentist again.)

Es ist wieder Sommer. (It is summer again.)

Ich male wieder. (I'm painting again; I've started painting again.)

Ich muss wieder malen. (I have to paint again.)

Ich muss heute wahrscheinlich wieder Hunde malen. (I probably have to paint dogs again today.)

Ich male wieder gern. (I didn't enjoy painting for a while, but now I enjoy it again)

Ich male wieder gern Hunde; ich male Hunde wieder gern. (I never stopped painting; I didn't enjoy painting dogs for a while, but I enjoy it again now)

Ich male gern wieder Hunde. (I will gladly paint dogs again - "Will you paint dogs again this year?" "I've been painting them for five years now, would you rather have me paint something else? I wouldn't mind painting dogs again, it would by my pleasure.")

Wieder klickt er auf "Abbrechen". (Again he clicks on "Cancel" (as he has done five times before, instead of where I tell him to).)

However, "wieder" at the beginning usually will sound too "dramatic / poetic" for everyday use, similar to putting "[once] again" at the beginning in English: "Wieder ist es Sonntag, wieder denke ich an dich" (once again it is Sunday, again I'm thinking of you)

Confusing special cases, just for the record:

Exception to "time goes before 'wieder'": Ich gehe wieder samstags laufen. (I used to go running on Saturdays, then I switched to Thursdays, but I've switched back to Saturdays now.)

Another freak case, where probability isn't used as a modifier of the verb (if that's the correct term) and "probability goes before 'wieder'" isn't applicable: Es ist wieder wahrscheinlich, dass wir das Haus verkaufen. (we originally wanted to sell the house, then we thought we'd keep it, now: it is again likely that we'll sell the house.) I'm fairly sure this exact wording, "es ist wieder wahrscheinlich", is the only way to get this word order (besides tense changes and added modal verbs, which would be rare and often a little clumsy-sounding).


I know 'time', or, the sense of, has a pretty high priority in German, so I can understand why 'again', would come before 'healthy'.


In diesem Kontext kann man das Wort "wohl" verwenden?

Ich schrieb "er ist wohl wieder gesund". Falsch?


I think "wohl" is closer to "apparently" in this context, it sounds like you've heard it say, or you've received some hint (e.g. you've seen him running in the park, you've seen your colleague in your office building): "I gather / It seems like he's healthy again".

If you just think that "his cold ought to be gone after these four weeks" (and he hasn't said anything about his health since then), "wohl" doesn't really work.

...except if you use Konjunktiv like in Duolingo's sentence: "Er dürfte wohl wieder gesund sein" - but then "wohl" is really just a filler word. It can add a more speculative tone, but it could be used just for emphasis as well ("Of course he'll be able to join us; after four weeks he should be healthy again, shouldn't he?").

"Nach vier Wochen / Bis dahin ist er ja wohl wieder gesund!" would work, too, if you want to brush of the ridiculous suggestion that he might still be too ill to join you (after four weeks of alleged illness / at the event in the future). So this is along the lines of "he's bound to be healthy again".

"wohl" can mean "probably" as well, though, e.g. in "Where are you spending your holidays?" - "Ich fahre wohl nach Spanien."

Edit: ...so, basically, I think "wohl" and the "er dürfte..." construction often (!) don't significantly differ in meaning and connotation, but as a translation of "probably", I think "er dürfte..." works better, because in English there are phrases that translate "wohl" much more accurately than "probably", in most contexts, as far as I can see.


... I now understand less how wohl is used (as in, I am a lot more confused than before), but I appreciate your effort regardless.


What about "Er ist vermutlich wieder gesund"?


Well, "wahrscheinlich" would be the literal translation of "probably", but I think "vermutlich" works as well.

Just take into account that "vermutlich" implies that someone (the speaker, or somebody whose opinion the speaker is "quoting") supposes (or assumes or guesses) that he is healthy again. That doesn't necessarily correlate with the probability of him being healthy again.


Er ist vielleicht wieder gesund?
(Not accepted)
P.S. Please spare me a lecture about the difference between "probably" and "perhaps": after all a literal equivalent of "might be" is accepted here.


A year has passed, and it's still not accepted. :(


Er ist wohl wieder gesund.


I also tried this and it was not accepted. :(


"Er ist wohl wieder gesund" ?


"Er ist glaublich wieder gesund" is wrong?


I tried, "He might be healthy again." But it was wrong.

[deactivated user]

    may and probably are not equal


    Do Germans really use dürfen as probability? I always thought it was like may but as in "let". May I do it = let me do it. Not "he may be healthy but don't have to"


    It would be nice that duolingo explained the grammar for this sentence in the tips and other exceptions.


    This should mean "He may be healthy again." This should not mean "probably". This makes no sense at all, and of course Duolingo doesn't explain anything.


    Vielleicht ist er wieder gesund

    Warum ist das falsch


    Er ist vielleicht wieder gesund is considered wrong??


    er ist vielleicht wieder gesund is wrong?


    Can you say: 'Er dürfte noch mal gesund sein."?


    why not ' Er ist dürfte wieder gesund sein'?


    My translation: "er ist vermutlich wieder gesund " Why is that wrong?


    Vielleicht ist er wieder gesund

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