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  5. "Man schreibt."


"Man schreibt."

March 29, 2013



how are you supposed to hear the difference between Man and Mann?


There is no difference in pronunciation. But "Mann schreibt." would be ungrammatical. It would have to be "Ein/Der Mann schreibt."


Shouldn't "Somebody is writing" also be a correct answer?


That would be "Jemand schreibt." "Man" means 'one,' in the sense also expressed in speech by the generic 'you,' that is, it's an empty grammatical placeholder without a reference.


It is really annoying to have to hear a word in listen and type exercises. I heard it properly, but because I have never used the word "Man" before, I typed "Mann schreibt" which I knew it was not correct, but I thought "what the hell, maybe it's just some other crazy German exception"... Oh well, there goes one heart


In this instance, doesn't "Man" also mean "mankind", as in "humans"? I think they should allow for that to be written as well


"man" is generic; ~ "one, you", "mankind" - "Menschheit", "human" - "Mensch", "man" - "Mann"


When would you ever hear or use this sentence? It sounds so odd!


No it's not... People taking an exam, the teacher asks his assistant what are people doing, the assistant replies: "two are reading, one is staring at the walls, one writes"... well, it would be "one is writing", but German does not have continuous tenses, so there you have it :)


I am afraid that would be "Einer schreibt." "Man schreibt" is generic; the sentence does not refer to a certain situation. Consider "How does one take an exam?" - "One writes."


I've also heard: "Man sagt..."in sense of "They/one say ..." for smth general. I think this is the same principle.


Well it is old fashioned. Or sometimes used in a srcastic way.


It's like the general you that is used in English. Like, "One eats when one is hungry." One doesn't refer to a specific person, or a quantity (two people, five people, one person). It's kind of hypothetical.

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