"Das ist alles, was ich über ihn weiß."

Translation:That is all I know about him.

5 years ago

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dror.Schafer

I REALLY don't understand this sentence and the word order in it. Can someone please help and explain it slowly...? Pretty please..?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notapolarbear

The comma in German may confuse you. It is to indicate a subordinate clause ("was ich über ihn weiß."). The English sentence also has a subordinate(=dependent) clause ("that I know about him"), but it is not as heavily marked. Now, if you're a native English speaker, you've probably been making these clauses all your life without thinking about them. A dependent clause complements the main sentence and cannot stand on its own. So just like in English "that I know about him" cannot stand on its own, in German "was ich über ihn weiß" cannot be separate. In German, they happen to indicate this with a comma. In English putting a comma here would be incorrect.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hutcho66

Just to clarify, you can actually put a comma in there in English, especially if the clauses are long. And, if the subordinate phrase comes first, you must put a comma in. For example, "After playing with the dog, I wash my hands". However, this is also (very slowly) going out of fashion, unfortunately "After playing with the dog I wash my hands" is becoming accepted.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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Why unfortunately?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lai_mesunda
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I agree with hutcho66. It's unfortunate because it's confusing when there's no comma; it sounds like a run-on sentence without a breakdown of ideas. Sometimes, you'll have to read it again in order to find that "break" so as to understand its meaning. :o

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnMiller36
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On the other hand, too many commas can become really annoying. The English language doesn't really use them much compared to French for exemple, where sometimes you will have sentences like this:

Il faut, tout de même, reconnaître, que John est, et à toujours été, un très bon élève, qui, malgré ses absences, parfois inquiétantes, a toujours eu de très bonnes notes, et un bon comportement.

(We have, however, to recognize, that John is, and has always been, a very good student, who, despite his absences, sometimes worrying, has always had very good marks, and a good behavior.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/muhaaas

is that why the verb Weiss was moved to the end?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
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Yes, the verb always comes at the end of a subordinate clause.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lai_mesunda
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What I've noticed on Duolingo is that when the subordinate clause comes second, there is a comma placed in front of it, whereas in English this occurs when the subordinate clause comes first. Is this correct? Would a comma in German never be placed if the subordinate clause comes first?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jalmaguer
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Why is ihn written in the accusative here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qwertyasdf

über makes it ihn. Since it's discussing what is known about (über him) it is put in the accusative.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jalmaguer
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To me it seems like it should be dative

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafaa.
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i've seen somewhere dative is usually with time, manner or place, which usually are the indirect objects of a sentence, so i think accusative really does fit best i'm no expert though

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisCasseres96

Read the new tips and notes, that will clarify your doubt:)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Benjaminyi

i made this question right way ... but i don't understand why ver "weiß" is in the last word . why they don't say : was ich weiß über ihn ? can someone tell me ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zackpunk

I believe subordinate clauses must always end with the verb.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Benjaminyi

Alright Danke

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cathyr19355

What is the role of the word "weiß" in this sentence?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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@cathyr19355 : It stands for the English word "know".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AHolik

What is the difference between "weiß" and "kenne"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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@AHolik : kennen should be used when we want to express that we are familiar with a person or a place. wissen should be used when we want to express a fact, something that we have knowledge about.

Sources: http://www.livinglanguage.com/blog/2012/07/02/wissen-vs-kennen-to-know-in-german/
http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang16.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AHolik

Thank you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sokplaya

so "...I know (some fact)..." is always translated "...Ich weiß...?" It's never ich weiße?

Is wissen just an irregular verb or is this another annoying grammatical instance?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-Jim_Dandy-

Its irregular. It comes at the end because a subordinate clause moves the conjugated verb to the end.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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Yes. Yes.
I don't know what to say regarding your third question.
2014.09.18

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisCasseres96

Bro, I have a doubt. Why is the verb ''weißen'' conjugated as ''weiß'' instead of ''weiße'' in the sentence... The conjugator says in the present tense for Ich it is ''Ich weiße'' I really appreciate your help

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
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"Weißen" is a different word, meaning "to whiten". Type "wissen" into your verb conjugator.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisCasseres96

Thank you very much. Es ist klar jetzt

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neptunium
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Can "was" be replaced with "dass" here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Javirk
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Difference between was and dass in this sentence? Thank you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/loveirobert

I just simply don't understand why is not good the That is ...., what..... Is it good to use in english That ...., that .....?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antonella21

While in German it seems that is the way you can construct sentences like the one in the example, in English you cannot do the same.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moore.scott24

In many languages complex sentences are formed as a statement followed by a question. "I know that, what she said is true" This sounds awkward in English because we almost always omit one of the words. "I know what she said is true".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

Why is the word "was" needed?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
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You can't leave that out in German the way that we can leave "that" out English. That said, I learnt to use "das" nstead of "was" here, so apparently some variation is possible.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

Ah, okay, so I see what the structure has to be in German.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/period_blood

Why is the 'was' necessary here? If it's to be roughly equal to the english 'that', shouldn't 'dass' be used?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SantoshVen3
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Great discussion

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beagoodone
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'to know' is to turn on a lamp,

the shift to white(enlightenment) against black(darkness)

What a beautiful language the German has

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edrika

is it also right to say:" DAS IST ALLES,WAS ICH WEIS UBER IHN"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moore.scott24

No. The verb needs to go at the end of the sentence. http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa032700a.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sVz199Aa

Could anyone kindly explain why accusative case is used here?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/masterpradip

What's the meaning of "weiß" in this sentence?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/3_toed_sloth

Please could someone help me understand when to you 'was' and when to use 'dass'? I can't see a reason why one is used over the other in different sentences. Thank you!!!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ariana813975

Why is the sentence in acussative.?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Will709432
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I get that it is inverted due to clause... 'that is all, what I about him know' ... "That's all I know about him".

But why 'was' instead of 'dass'?

Is was here just an alternative?

2 weeks ago
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