"Wir abonnieren die Zeitung."

Translation:We subscribe to the newspaper.

April 11, 2013

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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?


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).


Youtube is a good example I think


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


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"


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.


i'd like to know this too.


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


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 ?


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.


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!


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


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


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


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!


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 ;)

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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.


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

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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".


does "abonnieren" take "accusative" case?


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

[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?


    We are ordering the news, seems OK to me.


    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".


    Wir bestellen die Nachrichten?


    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?

    [deactivated user]

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


      What's wrong with "register"?


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


      I like this word... sounds a bit French


      I know how to say "newspaper" in German, but I don't know how to say "website" or "online media." Is it time to modernize the vocabulary, or are newspapers much more popular in Germany than in the States?


      Is the word "to" implied in the verb "abonnieren?" I'm wondering since the answer isn't in dative form and want to know why there isn't a "nach" in the sentence.


      The construction is different. "abonnieren" takes a simple accusative (direct) object. There is no "toi" in the Gewrman version.

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