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  5. "Wir haben alle Zimmer geprüf…

"Wir haben alle Zimmer geprüft."

Translation:We have checked all the rooms.

April 14, 2014



I asked a similar question on another thread but haven't found out the answer yet so here I go again. Why is it "geprüft" and not "geprüfen"?


Because "prüfen" is a weak, i.e. regular verb. The past participle of regular verbs ends in -(e)t (geprüft, gemacht, gekocht ...). The past participle of so-called strong, i.e. irregular verbs ends in -en and additionally often includes a vowel change (gelesen, gesungen, getrunken ...).


PS: Both German and English have weak and strong verbs. The man who coined the terms "weak and strong verbs" was Jacob Grimm, BTW, who is probably better known for the collection of fairy tales he published with his brother ("Little Red Riding Hood", "Hänsel and Gretel", etc.). Both in English and in German, foreign language learners have to memorize the forms of the strong verbs, whereas the forms of the weak verbs can be deduced because they follow a regular pattern. There is only a limited number of strong verbs in both languages, but because they are very old, they often refer to basic activities such as eating or drinking and are frequently used in everyday life.

1) Weak (= regular) verbs form the past tense and the past participle with -(e)d in English and with -(e)t in German. E.g.

ich prüfe - ich prüfTe - ich habe GEprüfT

I check - I checkED - I have checkED

2) The main characteristic of strong (= "irregular") verbs is that they all have a vowel shift in the past tense. Both in German and in English, strong verbs often additionally have a vowel shift in the past participle, and in German, strong verbs form the past participle with -en. Some strong verbs in German also have a vowel shift in the 2nd and 3rd person singular present tense (e.g. ich lese, du LIEST, er/sie/es LIEST, wir lesen, ihr lest, sie/Sie lesen). Some examples of strong verbs:

ich singe - ich sAng - ich habe GEsUngEN

I sing - I sAng - I have sUng

(NB: The vowel changes aren't always identical in German and in English)

Originally, English also used the "ge-" prefix for the past participle and had special verb endings, but it lost them in the course of its development from a fully inflected language that was mutually intelligible with northern German dialects to what it is today. Interestingly, the -(e)n ending in the past participle of strong verbs seems to have survived in some cases, though, e.g. "I steal - I stole - I have stolEN", "I drive - I drove - I have drivEN".


Danke sehr sehr sehr sehr!! That was awesomely explained

  • 1187

Thank you for your clear and informative explanation. Now even I understand German verbs much better.


Dankeschön. That's an awesome explanation


Vielen dank. I'll spill a lingot for you, deactivated friend


Natürlich höre ich, wie man ein Verb aussprechen muss, aber ich habe nie darüber nachgedacht. Und so ausführlich hatte es uns früher bestimmt auch kein Lehrer beigebracht. Große Klasse!


I replied a longer reply on the other topic, but just shortly:

  • Because that is how the verb "prüfen" is conjugated

There is no reason. Some verbs, like "fahren", would be conjugated "gefahren" even though the verbs are structurally totally similar. You just need to learn them.


Would 'tried' be wrong here?


You don't necessarily need to try a room (by staying in it for a day, for instance) in order to have checked it :)


I had understood "prüfen" as being more like 'testing, examining' something, but I guess with that meaning it makes more sense.


How about "i have all rooms checked " is that wrong? Thanks in advance


the main problem with your suggestion is that the word order is not English, but "We have checked all the rooms" would be OK


Actually the word order is not wrong, but it means something else.


Can "alle" be describing "wir"?


It's at least much more common to use "Wir alle haben..." when "all" is modifying "we", based on translations of "We have all seen..." on Linguee.

I can't answer whether it's impossible for "alle" after the verb to modify the subject "wir", hopefully a native speaker can clarify that, but in the sentence "Wir haben alle Zimmer geprüft", there's nowhere else that "alle" can be put where it would apply to the rooms.

So I think that means this sentence is unambiguous in meaning "all rooms" -- there's another, more usual, place you can put the "alle" if you mean it to modify "wir", and no where else that you can put it if you want to modify "Zimmer", so you wouldn't write this sentence that way if you meant to modify "wir".


You are right.

To answer you implied question: It is not completely impossible for "alle" to modify the subject "wir", although it is placed after the verb. It depends on the sentence, if there is anything else which could be modified by "alle". E.g.: "Wir beten alle." / "Wir alle beten." ("We pray all." / "We all pray.")

By extending the sentence the focus of "alle" may change. "Wir beten alle zehn Jahre." ("We pray every ten years."): Here "alle" modifies the 'ten years' and not 'we'.

But be careful. "Wir beten alle zu Gott." and "Wir alle beten zu Gott." ("We all pray to God.") don't change the focus of "alle".


Would "Alle uns beten" mean what seems to be the word-for-word translation: "All of us pray"?


The word-for-word translation of "All of us pray." would be "Alle von uns beten." which is actually a correct German sentence, but is not used very often. I could imagine that it is the answer to "Du betest auch?" ("du" is the focus; "You pray too?"), because it emphasizes that each member of the group prays and you consider yourself part of that group.


Does anyone know how to say "I had all the rooms checked" (as in "I had all the rooms checked by the proper authorities"). Just wondering how that would be different from saying "I have checked all the rooms" in German.


I think that won't be passive, because the subject is I, only it does the action through the authority.

So, "ich hatte alle Zimmer geprüft ----(von/durch) richtig(en/e) Autoritäten"

I just wish someone could fill the empty space.


Correct, it is active and like you said it: "because the subject is I" (and "I" is the person who let somebody do something.)

Ich hatte alle Zimmer von den zuständigen Ämtern/Aufsichtspersonen/Kontrolleuren prüfen lassen. (~the authories checked the rooms while "I" had nothing to do.)

Ich hatte alle Zimmer durch die zuständigen Ämter/Aufsichtspersonen/Kontrolleure prüfen lassen.

proper Passiv: All rooms were checked by the proper authories. = Alle Räume wurden von den zuständigen Behörden/Ämtern/Aufsichtspersonen/Kontrolleuren geprüft. or Alle Räume wurden durch die zuständigen Behörden/Ämter/Aufsichtspersonen/Kontrolleure geprüft.

I change the word "Authoritäten" because it does not fit in our days anymore. Today "Authorität" is more or less only the (powerful, strict) appeariance of a person.


Thanks Abendbrot I should have put "geprüft" in the last position, put a definitive article, used a better adjective(zuständig), and a better noun(Behörden) and that's it. Other than that I was correct!!


You also missed the verb "lassen", which is important in this context ;)


Ja, das ist alles.

Ich hoffe!!


I notice duo added a "the" to the English translation. When I add an extra "the" to my translations I get marked off.


You'll need to provide an example.

One can say either "we checked all rooms" or "we checked all the rooms." Both are grammatically correct, with only a subtle difference. I don't know if the former is accepted by die Eule, but the latter definitely is--it is also the one I'd be more inclined to use. The "the" there is not "extra". Placement of any other "the"s would be extra, and should be marked wrong.


Why not "We have all checked rooms"? or "We all have checked the rooms" Both were marked as incorrect.


In the German sentence, alle is modifying Zimmer (based on position/order in the sentence). In the English versions about which you ask, the all is modifying the group that is "We".


Please help me understand why the German sentence here does not require an article for the word Zimmer.


Because of the word "alle" which in this sentence substitutes the article.


We have tried every room should be accepted


Then suggest it using the "My answer should be accepted." Posting here is very unlikely to ever result in your answer being accepted.

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