"Wir abonnieren die Zeitung."

Translation:We subscribe to the newspaper.

April 11, 2013



Can you use the same word to say you subscribe to an idea? Like in English, you could say "I subscribe to an alternative point of view." Does abonnieren work in that sentence, too? Or does it only refer to paid subscriptions to goods or services?

October 11, 2013


No, that doesn't work -- "abonnieren" is only "ask for something to be sent to you regularly" (or for some service to be provided to you regularly, e.g. pay TV).

December 30, 2015


Youtube is a good example I think

February 2, 2019


"To subscribe to an idea" - never heard of that, what does that mean??

October 13, 2018


It means to hold a certain point of view - it's used to identify yourself as part of a group that believes in a certain model or theory or like. You'd probably never "subscribe to the idea that movie X is better than movie Y" unless that is well debated point in a fandom but you might "subscribe to the Austrian school of economics"

January 25, 2019


Ok, so "subscribing to an idea" would be like - something new comes along and you think that could be true, so you say - subscribe me to that idea, for example... subscribe me to the idea that the Earth is flat.

January 25, 2019


no. In English "subscribe to an idea" is more like agreeing with it, accepting it, or better yet, buying into it

February 24, 2019


i'd like to know this too.

September 28, 2014


Was anyone else surprised that this verb didn't take dative?

July 20, 2014


YES!!! exactly what i came to look for into these comments. Someone could please clarify this? If the english translation is "TO the newspaper" doesn't mean it is indirect object ?

September 28, 2014


I think it's just the nature of the verb. You can say "We take the newspaper" to mean a similar thing (although the context would have to determine that you mean a subscription rather than stealing one, and that might be clearer if you named a specific paper, e.g. "We take the New York Times") and in that case it's definitely not an indirect object but a direct object (see definition 1.7 here: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/take)

But "subscribe to" is idiomatic in English... Actually, I was always under the impression that English usually considers nouns indirect objects only when that "to" is missing. (because I was taught that major sentence elements won't be in prepositional phrases, and while "to" is also in the English infinitive where it isn't a prepositional phrase, "to" indicating receipt of action and direct object is somewhat plausible as an adverbial phrase) "I gave him your card" has an indirect object, but I would have doubted "I took a lasagna to her". The internet at large does not seem to agree with me on this.

So you can ignore most of that paragraph if you like--more relevant is that in English it seems you need a direct object first before there can be an indirect object. Of course in German some verbs require the dative for their objects regardless, like "Ich danke dir", but it looks like abonnieren isn't one of them.

December 8, 2014


Yes, in English it is an indirect object, but in german not.

Just as we should not "translate term by term" the sentences, but instead learn the words usage, verb transitivity depends on the language, too.

For example, I'm a native portuguese speaker (Br), so I wouldn't expect that to be dative since for us there is no "to" equivalent in the sentence. We say "assinar o jornal", where "o" is just the article.

Hope that helps!

January 30, 2019


What will be the translation of: "We are subscribed to the newspaper"?

April 11, 2013


I'd say "Wir haben die Zeitung abonniert".

April 11, 2013


I thank Youtube for teaching me how to spell "subscribe" :P

March 12, 2015


are there any english speakers here with good grammar-I'm having a mental blank-can you say "we subscribe for the newspaper" instead of "to the newspaper" or does that not make sense? ta!

June 4, 2014


No I'm a native English speaker and that doesn't sound right to me. Maybe the newspaper department in charge of getting subscriptions say that between themselves though ;)

July 20, 2014

  • 1457

I second Damien. In this particular context "for" does not sound right (yet it will not cause misunderstanding) . Note that in similar contexts, you can subscribe FOR a telephone service or FOR newspaper delivery. So there is no hard rule at work here.

April 18, 2015


Yes, I was surprised. Why isn't it der Zeitung?

September 7, 2014

  • 1457

From my limited observations, all German nouns ending with "-ung" are of feminine gender. (German speakers out there, please correct me if I'm wrong.) "Die Zeitung" (singular) is no exception, and the accusative form of "die" is still "die".

April 18, 2015


does "abonnieren" take "accusative" case?

January 30, 2015


Indeed it does.

December 30, 2015


My answer was "I subscribe the newspaper", without TO, but I do not understand why. Can someone explain to me? Thanks.

February 20, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Native English speaker here - that sentence just doesn't make sense in this context. Only saying that you "subscribe the newspaper" makes it sound like you're subscribing the newspaper to something, not you subscribing to it. Unfortunately, I can't explain the reason why you have to say "subscribe to," but maybe someone who can will see this?

    May 28, 2017


    We are ordering the news, seems OK to me.

    January 21, 2014

    • 973

    No. "news" is "Nachrichten", "newspaper" is "Zeitung". And "to order" is just a one time puchase, "abonnieren" is getting every edition, i.e. "to subscribe".

    April 16, 2019


    Wir bestellen die Nachrichten?

    April 16, 2019


    So, how come this question get the definite article, yet the plural sentence stating "we subscribe to the newspapers" gets marked wrong if it has the article?

    November 15, 2014

    [deactivated user]

      I believe it's because the plural form of newspapers is Zeitungen. The exercise here is looking for the singular.

      May 28, 2017


      What's wrong with "register"?

      December 14, 2014


      Gave me this without before hand showing me what "abonnieren" meant, so I had to wing it. Got it wrong.

      November 9, 2015


      I like this word... sounds a bit French

      December 14, 2015


      The preposition to is wrong here

      April 8, 2016

      April 8, 2016


      Thank you very much! @ mizinamo - There are very good websites. (Vielen Dank! Es sind ausgesprochen gute Webseiten).

      April 8, 2016


      As a native English speaker I'd say "we receive the paper"

      July 16, 2016


      I stringli brlibe it shouldnt require subscribe TO, its German course, not English. Time on typing same staff with TO should be spent on next Duo exercizes, but not re typing same staff in english over and over on mobile screen.

      September 27, 2017
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