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"Do they know the book?"

Translation:Kennen sie das Buch?

April 13, 2018



Scrolling knows the word for Do is Macht.

Why does the translation completely omit the word 'Do'?

A direct translations read "Know of they the book' or 'Know they the book?'

I guess I am just in general confused by this sentence when it's in German.


The word "do" in this sentence is just an auxiliary verb used in English to form a question. German does not use auxiliary verbs to form questions, so you omit them when translating from English to German. As such, a word-for-word translation doesn't work very well here.


When I make sense of the German sentence structure for myself a more reasonable direct translation would be..

"Know them (about/of) the book?" rather than "they".

This seems to be the easiest way I can see to understand and remember the way the sentences in German are formed.

Another example might be..

"Magst du das buch?" as "Like you the book?".

In any case here putting the verb (know/like) before the pronoun (them/you) changes the sentence into a question without the need for another word ("Do").

Those clever Germans >:)



Why not "kennen sie den buch?" Buch in this sentence is an indirect masculine noun, so den must be used, but why das?


Because Buch isn't masculine, it's neuter.


But we have already used der for Buch so it is masculine not neuter, der Buch, die Bücher, any clarification?


So we use den only for masculine?


Kann Mann sagt "Wissen Sie das Buch"?


Nein, das kann man nicht sagen. You can't say that in German. Das macht keinen Sinn. It makes no sense.

And in this sentence the 'sie' means 'they', not 'you' (The polite 'you' is 'Sie' with capital 'S').

You could say:

'Wissen sie (irgend)etwas über das Buch?' 'Do they know anything about the book?'

'Wissen sie von dem Buch?' 'Do they know about the book?'


why "kennst du das buch" is not accepted?


Because that there would be "do you know the book." "They" is plural, so the correct translation for this would be "Kennen sie das buch?"

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