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  5. "Wir warten auf ihn."

"Wir warten auf ihn."

Translation:We are waiting for him.

April 20, 2013



No motion is implied here, right? So why is "auf" followed by accusative (ihn) and not dative (ihm)?

[deactivated user]

    Don't take this one too serious.

    That doesn't stop the "Rolling Stones" from singing:

    "A smile relieves a heart that grieves, remember what I said. I'm not waiting on a lady, I'm just waiting on a friend. I'm just waiting on a friend, just waiting on a friend. I'm just waiting on a friend, I'm just waiting on a friend, just waiting on a friend."


    Well remembered! Takes you back. . .


    "We wait on him" didn't please Duo. It wanted "we are waiting for him" so I don't know if "wait" for "are waiting" or "on" for "for" was at issue. But I won't take it too seriously! :)


    I dont see this page actually answering the question: why accusative in thiss case?


    I didn't know this before either, but the bottom of that page (section 4) states: "These two-way prepositions take the accusative case in many idioms, as well." It then lists some examples of phrases, including a variation of this one.


    How about considering the verb "to arrive" as being understood? ie. I am waiting for him to arrive = movement. The accusative is referring to "him", not to "I", and therefore there IS movement, demanding the accusative. Sprache schwer...


    Duo. rejected ''on him''. But in English ''waiting for him'' and ''waiting on him'' seem the same. The latter has an alternate meaning but still seems valid here.

    [deactivated user]

      "warten auf" only means "wait on" in the sense of "wait for", not in the sense of serving people in a restaurant.


      But even if I was waiting for a person, I would still be "waiting on" him.


      I agree 'wait on' is still used in english as well and is equivalent to 'wait for'


      You might - but in the style of a hundred or more years ago, & probably as a servant or inferior waiting for/on a superior. "Waiting for someone" is everyday English now.


      'Waiting on' simply in terms of waiting for someone is still common usage in parts of the English speaking word. It's accepted now, anyway.


      Where I live, "wait on" is far more common than "wait for", regardless of the context.


      It really depends on where you are, at least in the US I think it is regional. For me (grew up in the Chicago area) I use "wait on" in both cases for "wait on - being served" and "wait for someone/something". But to my wife who grew up 2.5 hours south of me "wait on" is for being served only.


      For this English speaker (northeastern US), "wait for" and "wait on" have slightly different meanings. Wait on has a subtext that everything is ready but you are waiting on someone/something. Think the car is packed with the family and ready to leave on vacation but the father is still doing stuff inside "we're waiting on your father". Or three meals have arrived for a table of four at a restaurant. The server who is "waiting on" the table may say "we're still waiting on the last entree". In both these cases "wait for" could be used, but "wait on" says this specific thing is holding up the process.


      How come auf means for, anyone?


      Why does English use 'for' with the verb 'to wait'? Prepositions in languages can be kinda random.


      It seems that german prepositions have several meanings. Another example is "unter" which means in fact "under" but it seems it means also "among"

      Die Maus ist unter dem Tisch. (under) Die Maus ist unter den Menchen. (among)


      if "watch" is wrong, why have it as a translation??


      Yeah, I'm confused by that. How do you know if it's waiting for or watching for if both are given as translations without context?

      [deactivated user]

        Hi Emili,

        "Wir warten auf ihn." has only two possible English translations no matter what the context will be.

        1. We are waiting for him.

        2. We are waiting on him. (second version more likely used in: We are waiting on a friend.)

        If watching for is given as an option, -it is wrong!


        Why not "für"?


        That would roughly mean "We are waiting on behalf of him", like for example you offered to stand in a queue so that he didn't have to.


        Haven't thought about it that way, thanks for both for the extra information :)


        If aufwarten is the separable verb "to wait for", then why doesn't the "auf" go at the end?:

        "Wir warten ihn auf" ?



        For those wondering why the preposition "auf" -

        Some German verbs take set prepositions.

        Examples -

        Verb / Preposition / English / Case

        mögen / an / to like about / Dative

        sprechen / mit / to speak, talk with / Dative

        sprechen / über /to speak,talk about/ Accus

        denken / an / to think of,about / Accusative

        antworten / auf / to reply to / Accusative

        hören / auf / to listen to / Accusative

        warten / auf / to wait for / Accusative

        Chart - http://deutsch.ie/german-grammar/german-exercises/german-verbs/game-verbs-with-prepositions/

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