1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sprechen Sie nicht mit ihm, …

"Sprechen Sie nicht mit ihm, während er fährt."

Translation:Do not speak to him while he is driving.

May 4, 2018

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

@mizinamo, thanks for being so helpful. Really appreciate it. :)


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

"While he drives" is not accepted. Why?


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

Check your spelling or the task (was it "write what you hear"?). "Do not speak to him while he drives" is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jami.saich

How do we write "Don't you speak with him?" in German?


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

My answer was "don't speak with him while he travels"; I concede the english sounds a bit awkward but it should be correct, shouldn't it? If not, can somebody explain why?


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

Why is it not: "You don't speak with him, while he is driving" ?


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

Sprechen Sie! is a command (it starts with the verb). Commands in English don't usually include the subject -- so it's just "Don't speak!" and not "Don't you speak!" or "You don't speak!".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jami.saich

But if it is imperative(command), shouldn't it be Sprech Sie?


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

No. Commands addressed to Sie use the verb form for SieSie sprechen “you speak” turns into sprechen Sie! “speak!”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

Sorry, was this a reply to my post? So is Sprich du nicht mit ihm wrong?


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

So what's the right way to say it? Sprich nicht mit ihm?

That’s right.


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

is Sprich du nicht mit ihm wrong?

Short answer: yes, it’s wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

**@mizinamo. I don't know why. I thought I'd covered this in previous lesson. So what's the right way to say it? Sprich nicht mit ihm? I'm thinking you don't need du in the sentence. Vaguely remembering now.


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

Thank you! I tried "Sprich nicht mit ihm, während er fährt" and it was accepted. May I know what is the difference between "Sprechen Sie" and without "Sie"?


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

I tried "Sprechen nicht mit ihm, während er fährt" and it was accepted.

It shouldn't have been.

What kind of exercise was this?

May I know what is the difference between "Sprechen Sie" and without "Sie"?

For a command addressed to Sie, only sprechen Sie! is correct, not sprechen!

(There is an impersonal command that does not use Sie, but that uses different grammar -- that would be Nicht mit ihm sprechen, während er fährt. That kind of construction is most often found on signs that do not address any particular person.)


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

Sorry, I meant "Sprich nicht mit...", I have edited my comment


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

If you are speaking to du (one person whom you know well), then you say Sprich!

If you are speaking to ihr (several people whom you know well), then you say Sprecht!

If you are speaking to Sie (one or more people whom you do not know well), then you say Sprechen Sie!

The command forms for du and ihr are proper imperatives, and (like English commands) do not mention the subject. (We say "Speak!" or "Don't speak!" rather than "Speak you!" or "You speak!".)

Sie acts grammatically like a third-person pronoun, so its command form is technically a subjunctive, not an imperative, and has to include the pronoun.


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

"Speak not with him while he drives" should be accepted


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

"Speak not!" is poetic or archaic.

Use "Don't speak!" in the 21st century.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter291251

Why is the verb fahrt not before wahrend ie" ...,wahrend fahrt er" Thank you


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

Why is the verb fahrt not before wahrend ie" ...,wahrend fahrt er" Thank you

Please pay attention to the spelling -- ihr fahrt with a but er fährt with ä. And wahrend means "maintaining" but here you have während "during, while".

If you cannot make the letter ä, then write ae, as in waehrend er faehrt.

während is a subordinating conjunction -- it starts a subordinate clause, and those have the conjugated verb at the end.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.