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"Why do you not eat fruit?"

March 26, 2013



Why is "Wieso isst du Obst nicht" incorrect here?


“Wieso isst Du kein Obst” is correct. When asking why you habitually don't eat fruit, it's “Warum isst du kein Obst?”. When asking about a specific occasion, it's “Warum isst Du das Obst nicht?”.


Wieso is more "how come" or "why so" than just "why".


why is a capital D used here in your answer?


In letters and other personal communications, ‘Du’ (and ‘Dir’, ‘Dich’, ‘Dein…’) are capitalized as a sign of respect. This isn't a personal communication to the fruit abstainer, so I shouldn't have capitalized it; I just did out of habit. Thanks for flagging this.


How was I supposed to know they expect singular here? I had another sentence earlier where "Obst" was used as plural. It is more accurate to be plural actually, otherwise it should be "Why do you not eat the fruit?"... Unless it´s cat talk and should be "Why you no eat fruit" :)))


In German, ‘das Obst’ is a mass noun, like ‘das Wasser’, so it is grammatically singular even though it doesn't refer to a single fruit. A single fruit is ‘die Frucht’, and countable fruits are ‘die Früchte’. In English, “fruit” can be either a mass noun or a count noun.


You are actually right... So Obst could translate into English plural as well as singular, right?


Yes. For example, ‘Obst ist gesund’ translates as either “Fruits are healthy” or “Fruit is healthy”.


Why can't I say "Wofur essen Sie Obst nicht?" (with the umlaut on Wofur of course).


First, because ‘Wofür?’, means “What for?” (“For what purpose?”), not “Why?” (“For what reason?”).

Second, because “Why do you not eat fruit?”, without a determiner, means “Why do you not eat any fruit?”, and “not any [thing]” is always rendered as some form of “kein” in German.

With a determiner, however, “nicht” is used. For example, “Why do you not eat {the|this|that|your} fruit?” would be ‘Warum isst du {das,dieses|das|dein} Obst nicht?’.


Why is "Warum du isst nicht Obst?" wrong?

  • 2505

@spocksynder : Verb has to be in the second position: "Warum isst ..." See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V2_word_order


DL accepted my question "Warum isst du Obst nicht?" but I am not satisfied ( assured ).Please, help me!

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