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"If you want to help people, then you should join our organization."

Translation:Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du bei unserer Organisation mitmachen.

March 3, 2018

79 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kgraf17

Sorry I mean why isn't willst in second position? As in Wenn willst du Menschen helfen, dann....


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

Because it's a subordinate clause; it doesn't represent an entire thought:

If you want to help people...

Incomplete as is and needs the main clause to complete it.

An easier way to spot an subordinate clause is by the conjunction, and "wenn" is one of the most common subordinating conjunctions; meaning that the conjugated verb will always go to the end of a "wenn" clause, as is the case here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kgraf17

Very helpful, thank you!


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

Then what about 'dann', why is it at the first position of he second clause? From what I know, 'dann' is not a zero position word. I got confused at this one haha


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

As I recently learnt (see this comment for the full lecture), "dann" is what they call a resumptive element, meaning here it's acting as an optional connector between the "wenn"-clause and the main clause.


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

"Wenn du Leute helfen willst, dann solltest du bei unserer Organisation mitmachen." Wrong?


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

Yep, that's wrong.

"Leute" needs to be in the dative -> "Leuten".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arrahn
  • 1725

I wrote the exact same answer as ByeongDeok and was also marked wrong. I can understand the use of dative in this case because of helfen, but then I would also have some expectation then that a definite article ("den") should be also used...


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

but then I would also have some expectation then that a definite article ("den") should be also used...

I can sort of identify with that (probably because it makes it easier to spot the dative case when an article is there), but the definite article would have the same effect here, as it would anywhere else:

Wenn du Leuten (im Allgemeinen) helfen willst...
If you want to help people (in general)...

Wenn du den Leuten (da drüben) helfen willst...
If you want to help the people (over there)...

With the definite article it narrows down what we're saying to a specific group, and without it's a general statement.


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

So Duo doesn't teach you the words for "join." It seems to want you to use "bei... mitmachen" but I'm also trying the words "verinigen" and "verbinden," and it's suggesting "beitreten."


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

"vereinigen" = "to unite", "verbinden" = "to connect"

"beitreten" works, and in this context I think "mitmachen" doesn't sound very elegant, because you can join an organisation without actually doing something in that organisation. The word "mitmachen" doesn't really imply that you actually do something, but it does have that connotation, because that's what the literal meaning is. "Beitreten" is just declaring yourself as a member (by signing a note, for example).

If you already are a member, you could say, "Ich mache bei der Organisation mit" (but then I'll assume you actually do things there), or "Ich bin der Organisation beigetreten" (perfect tense - "I have joined", so it's really about the initial act of joining). This is just to illustrate how "mitmachen" and "beitreten" work; besides that, I'd preferably just stick with "Ich bin [ein] Mitglied der Organisation" (also: "bei [an organisation without a definite article, e.g. Greenpeace, not e.g. a club or political party]", "bei der / beim / bei den (pl.)", "in der / im")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

What is wrong with this answer?:
Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du dich unserer Organisation anschließen.

Duolingo accepts:
Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unserer Organisation beitreten.

Does this mean that "beitreten" and "sich anschließen" are not interchangeable here? If so, why?


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

What is wrong with this answer?:
Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du dich unserer Organisation anschließen.

My gut originally said "sich anschließen" didn't fit in this context, though after carefully reading through its Duden entry, it looks like your answer should be fine:

5. a) sich zugesellen

Beispiele

- sich jemandem, einer Reisegesellschaft anschließen
- sich einer Partei anschließen (ihr beitreten)


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

Can i use "sollst" instead of "solltest"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim.lernt.gern

Ich habe auch diese Frage.


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

I don't think so.

"Sollen" is typically translated to "to be supposed to", meaning that there is a greater sense of obligation behind it. In this sentence that would almost be like saying "If you like helping people, you are compelled to join our organisation".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kgraf17

Can anyone explain the word order here? Why doesn't solltest come in second position?


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

The English version says "join" which means "beitreten" and NOT "mitmacchen"( to t,ake part in). Also, "if" can be translated as "wenn" oder "falls', but Duo does not accept the latter (yet?) Well, here we are a year later and it has not been fixed - come on, Duo!


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

"falls" (which, unlike "wenn", tends towards "supposing [this happens], ...") sounds a bit doubtful and meek in this sentence, but it's correct, of course.


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

So we can't use "ob"?


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

"ob" is the kind of "if" that's close to "whether": "Sie fragt ihn, ob er Pizza will." = "She asks him if he wants pizza."; "Ich frage mich, ob es regnen wird." = "I wonder if it's going to rain."

The kind of "if" in "If (= in case) you want to help people, then..." translates as "wenn" (or "falls", as Puett pointed out).


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

In the absence of tips to orient me to this lesson and with "hints" that are almost always misleading, I find that the only way I can complete these lessons is to memorize the sentences after having gotten them wrong. In my opinion, that is disappointing pedagogy. I strongly prefer the overall approach in Duo's French course.


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

When should we use "falls" and "wenn" for the word "if"


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

The rule of thumb is that "wenn" is the go to word (unless you could swap out "if" for "whether", in which case it is always "ob"), and you can use "falls" if you want to sound more 'on the fence'/uncertain.

However, if you want some more info, check out these two articles on wenn and falls on the German is easy! blog.


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

Where is the word for "then"?


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

The given translation is inconsistent; you could leave out the "then" (German: "dann") in both English and German, or put it in, but I'd much prefer not putting it into one and leaving it out of the other.


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

Wenn du Leute helfen möchte, dann solltest du unsere Organization beitreten" was not accepted :(, what is wrong??


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

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unsere Organisation beitreten. " was not accepted, what is wrong?


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

I found the error: accepted was the following translation "Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unsereR Organization beitreten."


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

I also just realised that "beitreten" is a dative verb. Just when you think German is starting to make sense... :P

I thought it might also be worth mentioning that the "s" in "Organisation" was right the first time, and shouldn't have been changed (I presume by typo) to a "z" :)


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

Thanks, i do make these "errors". Probably because I have the impression that there are these little differences between UK-english and USA-english. And I just should choose one of these dialects of course, not changing all the time.


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

Yeah, it's no big deal. Thanks to pop culture there's been a fair amount of term-swapping and (to a lesser degree) mixing of spelling—although the majority of that is (unfortunately :P) in the US -> UK direction—so it doesn't stand out too much when someone mixes US and UK terms.

However, the language purists would certainly thank you for the consistency. And while we're discussing language purity, it might be worth considering where the language came from, if you do decide to choose to stick to UK or USA-English; not that I'm trying to sway you one way or the other ;-)


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

It'd be nice if the words that are needed to be clicked to answer this problem were actually provided. In my most recent encounter of this problem, "Menschen" was not provided, so it was impossible to submit a correct answer. This also seems to be the only way to report such things since the "Report" functionality only allows for checking boxes for a limited, predefined, set of issues.


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

Here's a list of the different ways you can report issues on Duo. Whenever a question is impossible to answer correctly I'd recommend taking a screenshot for good measure.

To take your issue for example, without seeing all the options we don't know if "Leuten", "Personen"* or another suitable synonym was available in place of "Menschen".

*I probably wouldn't use "Personen" in this context, but you know what I was getting at.


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

Same for me, except the word "willst" was not available in the word bank to select, so it was impossible to answer correctly.


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

In case you managed to miss my reply to mlabrum:

Here's a list of the different ways you can report issues on Duo. Whenever a question is impossible to answer correctly I'd recommend taking a screenshot for good measure.

Looking at your situation for example, it's possible that in your case they wanted you to form one of the following sentences:

  1. Wenn ihr Menschen helfen wollt, dann solltet ihr bei unserer Organisation mitmachen.
  2. Wenn Sie Menschen helfen wollen, dann sollten Sie bei unserer Organisation mitmachen.

instead of the suggested translation with "du"—but that's harder to investigate without a screenshot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

If the word bank prevents you from answering the way you want, you should be able to click on "keyboard." Then you can type in your answer. (I'm viewing the webpage from my computer. Perhaps this is different on the app.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sol52347

Why is "Wenn Sie Menschen helfen möchten, sollten Sie sich unserer Organisation anschließen" wrong?


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

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann soltest du mitmachen bei unserer Organisation" was not accepted, other order of the words is not okay?


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

There's some mystery about what can and can't go in the Nachfeld, but unless something has to go there, it's always best bzw. safest to place the non-conjugated verb(s) at the end of the clause i.e. "...bei unserer Organisation mitmachen".

However, my Dresdener and Hamburger housemates both agree there's nothing wrong with your sentence, apart from "soltest" which needs two 'l's bzw. "solltest".


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

"Wenn du Leute helfen möchtest solltest du unserer Organisation beitreten." was not accepted, but what is wrong?


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

"Wenn du Leute helfen möchtest, dann solltest du unserer Organisation beitreten." A little change (dann), but still not accepted.


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

"Wenn du Leute helfen willst, dann solltest du unserer Organisation beitreten." another small change, but still not accepted.


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

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unserer Organisation beitreten." Another little change (Menschen) and now it is accepted. But I think "Leute" should also be accepted. https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=en&tl=de&text=people


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

Wenn du Leuten helfen willst, solltest du unsere Organisation beitreten. Can beitreten be used here, and if so, which case does it invoke?


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

At the time of writing, your question is asked and answered in the thread directly below your comment, started and ended by FreekVerkerk and myself respectively:

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unsere Organisation beitreten. " was not accepted, what is wrong?

I found the error: accepted was the following translation "Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unsereR Organization beitreten."

I also just realised that "beitreten" is a dative verb. Just when you think German is starting to make sense... :P

I thought it might also be worth mentioning that the "s" in "Organisation" was right the first time, and shouldn't have been changed (I presume by typo) to a "z" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lctV14

Wenn du Leuten helfen willst, dann solltest du in unserem Verein eintreten.

<- where is my mistake?


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

Wenn du Leuten helfen willst, dann solltest du in unserenm Verein eintreten.

"unserem" should be "unseren" as best I can tell :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaSieg5

Warum ist "solltest" nicht gleich nach den Comma? Es sieht aus, als ob "dann" im Position zwei ist.


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

„dann“ ist das meines Wissens einzige Wort, das sozusagen „zwischen“ den Wenn-Nebensatz und den Hauptsatz bzw. vors konjugierte Verb im Hauptsatz kommen kann.


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

Good ol' Duo Google Translate has 30 options for 'To Join' It does NOT include 'Mitmachen'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneMaxwel4

Verband for organization? It was my only deviation. Please, why is it not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weiyang690819

maybe this has been answered, but can someone be so kind to tell me the difference between menschen and leute? thank you!


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

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst" What's with this word order? Why does word order go out the window with "Wenn"? No verb in the second position?


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

Please allow me to quote myself from the top thread in this discussion (sorted by top post):

Because it's a subordinate clause; it doesn't represent an entire thought:

If you want to help people...

Incomplete as is and needs the main clause to complete it.

An easier way to spot an subordinate clause is by the conjunction, and "wenn" is one of the most common subordinating conjunctions; meaning that the conjugated verb will always go to the end of a "wenn" clause, as is the case here.


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

Why is the verb not in the first position for the 2nd part of the sentence? I thought if you started with a subordinate clause, the verb goes to the end and the next bit starts with a verb. For example, "Weil ich käse mag, esse ich mehr käse"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaSieg5

"Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du unsere Organisation teilnehmen." is not accepted. I'm guessing "teilnehmen" doesn't belong here just because of context?


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

The biggest issue is the preposition, or more precisely, the lack thereof. Usually, the go-to preposition for "teilnehmen" is "an"; however, because we're dealing with a 'body' or 'entity' here, and usually "teilnehmen" is used in conjunction with a 'process', I believe the fitting preposition here would be bei (unfortunately, there aren't any examples there with "bei", but it is listed as a characteristic word combination):

Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du bei unserer Organisation teilnehmen.


I wrote this with a combination of gut feeling, and a little research, so if anyone has a better answer I will gladly hand over the mic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mike.jb.tyson

Does "... dann solltest du an unserer Organisation teilnehmen" not work?


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

If you'll allow me to quote myself from an earlier thread in this discussion:

Usually, the go-to preposition for "teilnehmen" is "an"; however, because we're dealing with a 'body' or 'entity' here, and usually "teilnehmen" is used in conjunction with a 'process', I believe the fitting preposition here would be bei (unfortunately, there aren't any examples there with "bei", but it is listed as a characteristic word combination):

Wenn du Menschen helfen willst, dann solltest du bei unserer Organisation teilnehmen.


I wrote this with a combination of gut feeling, and a little research, so if anyone has a better answer I will gladly hand over the mic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XCdb0eJ5

"Wenn Sie Leute zu helfen wollen, dann sollten Sie bei unserer Organisation mitmachen" marked wrong. As far as I can tell the only difference with the "correct" answer is using "Leute" rather than "Menschen" and the formal "Sie" (and hence "wollen" rather than "willst" etc.)

Should it have been "Leuten" given the use of "Helfen"? It would have been more help if they'd just underlined that problem if that's what it is?


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

Should it have been "Leuten" given the use of "Helfen"?

And the "zu" should be removed as well.

It would have been more help if they'd just underlined that problem if that's what it is?

Agreed, but unfortunately the underlying code isn't that clever.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/imma.potterhead

Idk why but Duo had already provided me with the answer...all I had to do was click the 'Check' button. Reported 7.5.2020


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

For issues like that I'd always recommend taking a screenshot and reporting the issue as a bug.


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

sich etwas (dativ) anschließen is also correct and should be accepted.


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

*anschließen
And yes, that sentiment is shared by others in this discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HunterGrav7

Could someone explain to me why "wenn Sie menschen helfen wollten, dann sollten Sie bei unserer organisation mitmachen" is wrong. Why can't I use the formal address?


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

The formal address is fine, the preterite/KII form of "wollen" is not.

P.S. "Menschen" and "Organisation" should both be capitalised, as all nouns are in German.


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

Is the use of 'bei' not redundant with 'mitmachen' in this sentence?


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

So, the more I look into it, the more complicated it seems to become.

At first I thought mitmachen simply doesn't take a direct (or indirect for that matter) object. That is not entirely true. However, it seems as though "bei" is almost always used for the object "mitmachen" refers to.

The few places where I found "bei" omitted, were where the object was the activity being taken part in, rather than the body carrying out the activity. Which means removing "bei" is not applicable here. I still found loads of examples where the activity itself was prefaced with "bei", so I think we can be pretty confident that it isn't redundant here.


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

Why is the conjugated verb first in the second clause? My thought was that it should be at the end because it is a subordinate clause (is it?).. what am I missing?


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

Why is the conjugated verb first in the second clause?

Because it's a main clause.

My thought was that it should be at the end because it is a subordinate clause (is it?)

It is not.

what am I missing?

As a sort of second half to one of my earlier comments in this discussion:

You should join our organisation.

That is a complete thought and does not rely on the subordinate clause to make sense. In fact, you can even swap the clauses round in both English and German (you'd probably be best removing the "then" bzw. "dann" though), which—I believe—further illustrates the difference between the main and subordinate clauses here; with the subordinate clause at the end, it almost comes across as an afterthought:

You should join our organisation, if you want to help people(, that is).
Du solltest unserer Organisation beitreten, wenn du Menschen helfen willst(, natürlich).

And there you'll notice the first clause has the word order we'd expect any main clause to have.


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

Ah, I mistakenly thought "dann" was a conjunction - I think I was confusing it with "denn." This is an independent clause and the conjugated verb therefore occupies the second position... Thank you for clearing this up for me :)


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

You know, Adam, maybe I am still confused here. If you have an independent clause followed by a subordinate clause, shouldn't the conjugated verb be directly after the comma? E.g. "Wenn ich Durst habe, trinke ich Wasser." -> "If I am thirst, I drink water." How can "dann" precede "trinke" here and be grammatical? (According to DeepL, "Wenn ich Durst habe, dann trinke ich Wasser" is also acceptable. I would think the presence of "dann" would impact the word ordering, but this doesn't seem to be the case.)


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

Sorry for the delay, Ryan.

First, let me translate a comment I made a little while earlier in this discussion:

"dann" is—to my knowledge—the only word that can come 'between' a "wenn"-clause and a main clause.

Looking into it a bit more since then, I stumbled upon this paper today:

dann als resumptives Element

Where they call "dann" a resumptive element, meaning its function is:

[i]ndicating resumption of a topic that has previously been referred to.

So, one way you can look at "dann" in this case is as an optional connector between the "wenn"-clause and the main clause.


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

I am sorry but this sentence is way too awkward to be an effective learning exercise. There were way too many words to choose from. Bad learning tool.


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

Bad, bad learning tool. Very bad. Way tooooooo many words to keep straight. Sorry Duo Lingo you are showing your worth as a learning tool. It matches your price which is nothing.

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