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  5. "It is as if my skin were bur…

"It is as if my skin were burning."

Translation:Es ist, als würde meine Haut brennen.

March 19, 2013



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


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".


Als ob was rejected


What was your entire answer?


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


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.


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.


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!"


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?


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.


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/


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?


"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."


Thank you. That helps a lot.


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


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.

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


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


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".


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.


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


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


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


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


Yes, sounds fine to me.


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?


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


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


Sounds fine to me.


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


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.


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


Es ist als ob meine Haut brennte.


In theory, but nobody says that.


"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?


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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

  • als würde meine Haut brennen
  • als ob meine Haut brennen würde

klingen für mich beide OK.


  • als meine Haut brennen würde

halte ich auch für falsch.


I incorrectly used the infinitive würden and not würde but the Duolingo correction has it wrong when it says "you used the Sie form ... and not the ich form würde." That's quite confusing and misleading since there's no first person singular here at all.


Yes, the automatic corrections are a bit stupid that way, unfortunately.


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...?


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.


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!


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?


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".


Es ist so wie meine haut brennen waere?

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