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"It is as if my skin were burning."

Translation:Es ist, als würde meine Haut brennen.

March 19, 2013

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xjorgex

why not ? "es ist wie meine Haut brennen würde"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If you put a "wenn" in there, you would get closer: "Es ist, wie wenn meine Haut brennen würde".

People do say that but it's considered nonstandard. Standard is "als ob" or "als wenn".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/essien177092

Als ob was rejected


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What was your entire answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diego187554

You said "als wenn" should also be correct but "Es ist, als wenn meine Haut brennen würde" is not accepted :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesKinne12

I had similar: Es ist, als ob würde meine Haut brennen. This was rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Es ist, als ob würde meine Haut brennen. This was rejected.

Indeed. als ob starts a subordinate clause, so the verb has to be at the end: als ob meine Haut brennen würde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MLSwitch

I don't know why, but "wie wenn" sounds just wrong I mean I'm not really native but still. I know it's correct, I have read it in books but still.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stuart-Patrick

Super explanation Mizi. Very helpful. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/das-g

why not ? "es ist wie meine Haut brennen würde"

and asked recently anew:

Why is "es ist wie meine Haut brennen würde" not accepted?

The sentence

Es ist, wie meine Haut brennen würde.

would have a rather different meaning than the correct translations "Es ist, als würde meine Haut brennen.", "Es ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde." and "Es ist, wie wenn meine Haut brennen würde." It would mean something like

It's like my skin would burn.

in the sense of

That's the way my skin would burn.

not in that of

It's as if my skin were burning.

It'd be a somewhat unusual way to express that meaning. I even first mistook the sentence

Es ist, wie meine Haut brennen würde.

as ungrammatical. A more common way to express the same would be

Es ist die Art, in der meine Haut brennen würde.

or

Es ist die Weise, in der meine Haut brennen würde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucvV

Isn't 'als' a subordinating conjunction, sending the verb to the end like in 'Als ich jünger war'? Wouldn't that send the 'würde' to the end? Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Two different things, though they are spelled the same. That subordinating conjunction is used for real past tense (when...), not for hypotheticals (as if...).

On the other hand, if you use "als ob" rather than simply "als", then the verb does get sent to the end: "Es ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde."

Similarly: "Als ob ich genug Geld hätte!" vs. "Als hätte ich genug Geld!" for "As if I had enough money!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

Why does "würde" come immediately after "als"?

The German seems to say "it is as would my skin burn", yet somehow means "it is as if my skin were burning", so the meaning doesn't quite seem to match and the word order appears quite odd - usually German wants verbs in the second slot or sends them to the end.

What's the logic here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Remember that German doesn't make a distinction between "my skin burns" and "my skin is burning", so sie würde brennen could mean "it would burn" or "it would be burning".

"as if my skin were burning" and "as if my skin would be burning" would be the two sentences to compare.

As for the word order, I don't know what the rule is, but als würde sie brennen is correct -- but if you used als ob, it would be als ob sie brennen würde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Serhat256

Can we use that Es ist, als ob meine haut brennen.ıf we can, what is the difference between this one and example


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Can we use that Es ist, als ob meine haut brennen.

No.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sheepdoggiedog

Als is a subordinating conjunction that uses an exceptional word order, but only when the verb in the subordinating clause is in the subjunctive !? In that case only the conjugated verb immediately follows the conjuncting als. See https://www.thegermanprofessor.com/wort-der-woche-german-als/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

I'd translate the German as "It is as if my skin would burn." Given the English sentence, though, I translated as "Es ist als mein Haut brennt." Is that incorrect? Do you need the conditional, rather than the present or past tense?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zchbaniel25

"Es ist als mein Haut brennt" is incorrect - but you can say "Es ist, als brennte meine Haut" ("brennte" is the 3rd Person Konjunktiv Imperfekt). But nowadays Germans prefer the construction with "würde": "Es ist, als würde meine Haut brennen."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

Thank you. That helps a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

I'd like to add that "brennte" is used very rarely nowadays. In this case, it's really better to stick to "würde brennen".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

Thanks. Once again, I appreciate the explanations of the differences between what is technically correct and what people actually say. The grammar books so rarely explain those issues; if they did, I suppose the issues would change before the new edition came out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

I'm not sure about what is the difference between "Kojunktiv" and "Konditional".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HealyChris

Can you use the konjunktiv with "als ob," as in "als ob meine Haut brennte?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

Theoretically, yes. Practically, no. That is: it's grammatically correct but nobody talks that way :) The Konjunktiv "brennte" is used very rarely. Better stick to "Mir ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HealyChris

cool, thanks. I think I read a few too many outdated texts in my high school german class and got too comfortable with konjunktiv. I reported it, but I'm glad it rejected the answer because I would never have found out otherwise not to use it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rauchbier123

Interested to see this response - to me the "als ob" construction seems more common/natural...is that true?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArthurO.Chrome

Does it mean that the answer proposed by Duolingo is wrong ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davoskan

Could I say it this way: "Es ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zchbaniel25

Yes, you can say so. But it isn't really elegant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, sounds fine to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaylanxToxic

I don't have a feel for the order in the second half of this sentence. For some reason the "als würde" seems odd to me and i don't know why I didn't come to this conclusion. Is there a rule or tip here... regarding als?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee_van_Oetz

I too am somehow put off by this construct. I am looking for something that'd help me internalise this word order and somehow make sense of that at a deeper level.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lambertsimnel

I thought "als" was only for comparison between unequal things. Wouldn't "wie" be better here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguafiqari

Wie wär's mit "Es ist als ob meine Haut brennen würde."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Sounds fine to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/das-g

Sollte es auf Englisch hier nicht "was burning" statt "were burning" sein?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

were burning mit Konjunktiv ist eigentlich richtiger.

Aber es ist damit ein bisschen wie mit dem deutschen Konjunktiv -- keiner sagt es ist, als brennte meine Haut. (Und viele wissen noch nicht einmal, wie sie von vielen Verben den Konjunktiv II bilden und/oder solche Formen klingen falsch.)

Und da der Konjunktiv sich im Englischen nur(?) beim Verb to be vom Indikativ unterscheidet, sagen viele heute as if it was (als ob es war) mit einfacher Vergangenheit statt as if it were (als ob es wäre) mit Konjunktiv.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

"Were burning" ist Konjuktiv (auf English, "subjunctive") , aber wirklich brauchen wir selten den echten Subjunktiv.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Es ist als ob meine Haut brennte.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In theory, but nobody says that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r-i-c-h-a-r-d

I see the Konjunktiv II third person singular form of "brennen" is "brennte". Could I say "Es ist, als brennte meine Haut"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Could I say "Es ist, als brennte meine Haut"?

That would sound very high-falutin'. Very literary.

So... in theory, you could say that, and it's grammatical -- but it would sound very unusual.

The Konjunktiv II is almost always replaced by würde + infinitive, except for some commoin verbs. Many Germans are not even sure how to form the Konjunktiv II of some verbs correctly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rilianxi

"It is, as my skin would burn". Even if you insert an "if" and make it "It's as if my skin would burn", this still does not mean the same thing as "it's as if my skin were burning". "It's as if my skin were burning" means right now you are in pain. "It's as if my skin would burn" is a hypothetical, but I can't imagine a scenario where you'd say this. Anyway, does the german sentence mean both of these? Or only one of them? If only one of them, how do you say the other one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Remember that German doesn't have a separate present continuous tense, so "Meine Haut brennt" can mean either "My skin is burning (right now)" or "My skin burns" (regularly, always when ...).

So the German sentence means both of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Why not ''Es ist wie meine Haut brennt.'' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

For much the same reason that "It is like my skin burns" doesn't work in (at least my dialect of) English -- like/wie are prepositions that can be followed by a noun phrase (like a man, wie ein Mann), but not by a clause with a verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Asaclubs

What's the difference between 'als ob' and 'als würde'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DidiG.

Es ist als würde mein Haut brennen? That sounds plain WRONG yet it says it is the correct version. I wrote Es ist als mein Haut brennen würde


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Es ist als würde mein Haut brennen? That sounds plain WRONG yet it says it is the correct version.

It's nearly correct (it needs a comma after es ist, and the masculine/neuter mein has to be feminine meine before the feminine noun Haut).

I wrote Es ist als mein Haut brennen würde

That one is wrong but is close to a correct alternative, es ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde.

als ob = as if

Es ist, als meine Haut brennen würde is as wrong as "It's as my skin were burning" (leaving out the "if").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beneficium

Can the main clause be both 'Es ist' and 'Est ist so'? Is any of them more elegant?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/habibArmou

Es ist als meine Haut brennen würde. ... ich habe so geschrieben jedoch zeigt es falsch ... warum ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo
  • als würde meine Haut brennen
  • als ob meine Haut brennen würde

klingen für mich beide OK.

Aber

  • als meine Haut brennen würde

halte ich auch für falsch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rauchbier123

All of the comments about Konjunktiv in the second part of the sentence got me thinking about whether it could belong in the first part also ... "Es sei als ob ..." -?- The English sentence doesn't use subjunctive in the first part, but in German...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No -- es sei, als ob... would mean "may it be as if..." or "[supposedly] it is as if...", i.e. considering the feeling not as actually occurring but as something hypothetical (but desired) or as reported speech where you cannot vouch for the truth of what you are reporting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rauchbier123

Thx for the quick reply. Yep, I wondered about that...but it popped into my head and I wanted to be sure. Now I'm sure!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SydneyBlakem

I can't understand why " es ist als ob meine Haut brennen " is wrong. If it is wrong, what does it mean ? Why is "würde" required in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If it is wrong, what does it mean ?

Nothing. It's simply wrong.

meine Haut brennen is not a complete sentence -- the verb form doesn't match the subject.

It would be like "It is as if my skin burn".

Why is "würde" required in this sentence?

To form the conditional: "as if my skin would burn; as if my skin were burning".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WquDT

Es ist so wie meine haut brennen waere?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David634390

How were we supposed to learn this word order? How are we supposed to remember when to use it in the future outside of this one phrase which gets memorized by rote? Sometimes it feels like the purpose of this app isn't to teach so much as bully.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naomi845804

I really don't understand the word order in this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eshan943679

Is the clause followed by als is Nominativ clause in this exercise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Clauses aren't in any particular case.

parts of clauses are in a particular case to show their role within the clause.

meine Haut is the subject of the verb würde brennen and so it's in the nominative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eshan943679

Sorry, I meant if it's main or subordinate clause. I mixed up my words in original comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe267005

Why is "es ist wie meine Haut brennen würde" not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/das-g

This question has been asked before. Please have a look whether any of the replies there answers it for you. I've just now added a new reply there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhjpires

"Es ist als ob meine Haut brennen würde" is an acceptable translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apfelsafteis

What exactly is wrong with "Es ist wie meine Pelle brennen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/das-g

What exactly is wrong with "Es ist wie meine Pelle brennen"?

  • "Pelle" instead of "Haut" is unidiomatic and strange (and most possibly wrong) here, at least in standard German. (See below.)
  • to convey "as if", you can use

    • "als" followed by main clause (conjugated verb at beginning), in Konjungtiv Ⅱ or "würde" form

      Es ist, als brennte meine Haut

      or more commonly:

      Es ist, als würde meine Haut brennen.

    • "als ob" followed by subordinate clause (conjugated verb at end), in Konjungtiv Ⅱ or "würde" form

      Es ist, als ob meine Haut brennte

      or more commonly:

      Es ist, als ob meine Haut brennen würde.

    • "wie wenn" followed by subordinate clause (conjugated verb at end), in Konjungtiv Ⅱ or "würde" form

      Es ist, wie wenn meine Haut brennte

      or more commonly:

      Es ist, wie wenn meine Haut brennen würde.

    (I've marked the conjugated verb with italics. In Konjungtiv Ⅱ it's the main verb, in "würde" form it's "würde".)

    So there's two things wrong in "Es ist wie meine Pelle brennen", grammatically:

    • "wie" without "wenn" doesn't suffice in this context.
    • "brennen" (an infinitive) without "würde" doesn't suffice.

Pelle in modern German means "thin skin". Except in some dialects / regional usage and in fixed figures of speech ("auf die Pelle rücken", "auf die Pelle gehen") it isn't used (anymore) for human or animal skin nor for fur, which was also one of its previous meanings. Its modern usage is limited to sausage casing (whether synthetic or made from animal bowels) and skin of some fruit and vegetables, such as bell peppers, potatoes and garlic cloves. (Compare to verb "pellen", meaning "to peel".)

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