"Er kommt eher an das Ziel."

Translation:He reaches the goal earlier.

4/23/2013, 1:06:18 PM

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/KyleGoetz
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Can someone explain to me clearly how Er kommt eher an das Ziel becomes He reaches the goal earlier? Where is earlier in the German? What function does an take here? A literal translation would be He comes quite at the goal or something.

Is eher an + accusative an idiomatic expression?

Is this ankommen rather than kommen and, if so, why isn't it Er kommt eher das Ziel an?

Thanks.

3/8/2014, 8:16:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SelphieB

Eher means rather or sooner. An das Ziel means to the goal. So the literal translation is 'He comes sooner to the goal' which means the same thing as 'He reaches the goal earlier'. http://tinyurl.com/pkzpdad http://tinyurl.com/ph9xg3m

3/9/2014, 4:49:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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eher is not together with an.

an das Ziel is a prepositional phrase together with kommen (not ankommen).

Literally, it is something like "He comes earlier to the goal".

kommen (to come) is movement, hence the preposition an here uses the accusative case.

ankommen (to arrive) is more of a motionless action (it's the end of the motion but does not itself include motion), so if you used that verb, it would be Er kommt eher am Ziel an with dative am Ziel.

Neither kommen nor ankommen can take a direct object, so er kommt das Ziel an does not work.

7/22/2017, 2:50:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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I believe your question has been answered in the comments above.

3/8/2014, 8:27:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RickrInSF

I would also like to know why it is not "er kommt eher das Ziel an" if it means "he attains the goal early"

7/21/2017, 8:32:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Does "He would rather reach the target" work?

4/23/2013, 1:06:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Germandy
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In this sentence "eher" really refers to time only, I would say. As you already did in English, "eher"="rather" is often used with "would", e.g.: Er würde eher das Ziel erreichen wollen (als den Weg dorthin zu genießen). He would rather want to reach the goal (instead of enjoying the way to it).

8/31/2013, 5:46:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Thank you. So, generally speaking, unless "wurde" is in the sentence, "eher" more likely refer to time?

8/31/2013, 6:03:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Germandy
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By intuition, I would say yes. =)

8/31/2013, 6:07:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Thank you. That's good to know.

8/31/2013, 8:38:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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@Soglio: you can change the word order. If you say "Eher kommt er an das Ziel", it's more likely to mean 'rather' than 'earlier' although technically both meanings are possible.

@Germandy: concerning the 'würde' rule, I'm not convinced, yet :)

8/31/2013, 9:09:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Thank you. That's interesting.

8/31/2013, 10:10:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jalnt
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I'm guessing it's similar to the way we use "sooner" in English. "I would sooner (do something) than (so something else)".

Ich würde eher Apfel als Orangen essen. I would sooner eat apples than oranges.

10/9/2013, 3:37:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Pierre-Nor

That's a very good hint! French also has the adverb "plutôt", meaning rather, which is formed from "plus tôt", meaning earlier (or, literally, more early).

4/23/2018, 8:23:10 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Pierre-Nor

Let me add the 'eher' also has the meaning "quite", and so it with both the English 'rather' and the French 'plutôt'!

4/23/2018, 8:27:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Germandy
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I know - like I said, that's how I feel about it. Every sentence I made up in my mind came to be like that, but of course that doesn't really make it a rule. Maybe we can agree that it's like that frequently? :)

9/1/2013, 10:30:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mantriel
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Wouldn't früher be better here than "eher"? Wäre "früher" nicht besser hier als eher?

2/22/2014, 9:15:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/rbotros
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Yeah, I'm not convinced "eher" is the best or most natural translation here (though I'm not saying it's wrong.) I'd go with früher.

3/13/2019, 12:14:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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eher sounds fine to me in that context.

3/13/2019, 5:15:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/KiwiCymraeg
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Is this just in a physical sense, i.e. moving in some way to a place which is the goal? Or can it apply to goals more generally? I translated that into English as "He achieves the goal earlier" but it was marked wrong, so it seems to imply that it is just in a physical "arriving at a goal" sense.

5/27/2017, 8:29:34 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithHall11

I don't know what is wrong with "He arrives earlier at the finish"

11/13/2017, 6:39:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/I-Am-The-Land

Can't this also refer to future events?

9/3/2014, 10:50:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwendolynipum

Think so. But then it would refer to his chances rather than his speed.

11/30/2015, 4:26:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SilentEyeTV

I put "he arrived earlier at the goal" marked wrong. To me it has the same meaning as the answer they give above

9/2/2018, 6:20:28 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CapnDoug

I think the problem might be that you changed from present tense to past tense. "He arrives earlier at the goal." might be ok (don't know that Duo would accept it) where "He arrived" wouldn't.

1/20/2019, 8:49:13 PM
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