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  5. "He becomes dirty."

"He becomes dirty."

Translation:Er wird schmutzig.

May 24, 2018



I noticed another sentence, "Er wird gleich frei." Is it normal to drop the "sein" at the end of sentences with werden? Also, would "Er bekommt schmutzig" be a better way to say this?


"bekommen" only means "to receive", not "to become", so "Er bekommt schmutzig" doesn't work. (Edit: quis_lib_duo beat me to it :) )

"werden" is used for "to become", passive voice and future tense. In both "Er wird schmutzig" and "Er wird gleich frei", "werden" means "to become".

"Er wird gleich frei" is, grammatically, present tense (although in truth it refers to the future, it's a "hidden" future tense) and literally translates as "He (the hairdresser, or "it" = the chair) becomes available soon".

Future tense would be: "Er wird gleich frei werden" - the first "wird" is there to make it future tense, the second "werden" is the main verb ("to become"). Cf.: "Er wird gleich kommen" ("He will come soon").

"Er wird gleich frei sein" ("He will be free/available soon"), as you suggest, works as a sentence, too, but it's not identical with "Er wird gleich frei"; it's a different verb: "werden" (to become) vs. "sein" (to be).

So all in all you have:

  • present tense (with implied future tense): "Er wird gleich frei" (literally: "He becomes available soon") and "Er ist gleich frei" ("He is av. soon")

  • future tense: "Er wird gleich frei werden" ("He will become av. soon") and "Er wird gleich frei sein" ("He will be av. soon")

(If the sentence is about someone being freed, e.g. released from prison, "frei werden" doesn't work, only "frei sein". "Frei werden" = becoming available.)


bekommen and become are false friends, you cannot translate into er bekommt schmutzig as that doesn't make any sense in German.

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