German has a strict rule with commas. If you
ve gotten to the conjunctions part, youll see what I mean. It might seem confusing at first with the commas and word orders involved, but trust me, once you do some research and study it, you get the hang of it quickly :) it was one of the more confusing parts of German for me, but it gets very easy once you practice :)
looking out for the curious people<
I just realized we can do other types of formatting.
And even post an image?
So how do I write a `?
Something's wrong - I was testing a few things and Duolingo keeps losing some of my formatting. (It kept dropping the greater than/less than signs around the quoted part)
Anyway, good to know.
In spoken informal English it's more usual to use the contraction 'that's' rather than 'that is'. And many more eg they are>they're, we will>we'll etc. And thankfully DL accepted 'That's all he talks about' even though in 'proper' English it should be 'That is all about which he speaks' which sounds a bit archaic but closer to the German sentence here.
That's all he talks about is present tense. It's hard to tell but it's like reading a presentation and saying 'So that is all you are talking about?' 'Yeah that's all I am talking about' The sentence Das ist alles, worüber er spricht is past tense (That is everything, about which he is speaking) since he already spoke it.
I dont think this makes sense
"about what he speaks" is incorrect English. You would have to say "about which he speaks."
Remember, the hover doesn't know anything about the sentence you're looking up. It just gives you all the things that word might mean. (In fact, I suspect it gives you all the things that have been acceptable translations for that word on this site, ever, some of which are entirely wrong outside of a very specific context.)
Well, sure, but "about which he speaks" is a formal construct. If you're speaking informally, you just say "that's all he talks about" (or more likely "that's all he ever talks about") and which and what never come into it.
(Note that Duo used to give "that is all about which he speaks" as the translation -- I agree that it's not only formal, but very awkward. But that's what all the discussion was about...)
Wow, that really made me think and do some research.
"Which" is used when you're choosing a subset from a longer list -- "Which of them do you want?"
"What" is used to ask about a whole set: "What colors do you like?" -- you're asking for the complete set of colors that the person likes.
It gets confusing because a lot of the time, you can use either one -- there are a lot of colors, so you can also ask "Which colors do you like?"
But when your question itself shows that you're picking from a longer list, you should use "which". So "What of them do you like?" is wrong, because the "of them" shows there's a bigger set. (I think the Brits may use this construction in casual speech; don't know if they forbid it in formal speech, but it's certainly always wrong in an American accent.)
The sentence here, "That is all about which he speaks" is stating that there are a lot of topics in the universe and he's only talking about a few. (In fact, this sentence is basically complaining that his choice of things to talk about is very limited.)
You could ask "About what does he speak?" and then you're just asking for the shorter list of things he talks about (or a brief description of the kind of things he talks about).
That's right, but that is not the only reason why we use 'which' here instead of 'what'. Consider these sentences: Person A: There is something WHICH troubles me. I don't know what. Person B: I know WHAT troubles you. (Or, I know that thing WHICH troubles you)
In the first sentence, "which troubles me" is a clause that is supposed to tell us more about the 'something'. "There is something." In the next line, "what troubles you" is not a clause in itself, but it refers to something which troubles Person A. So 'what' is used when it is directly involved in a clause as a subject/object/other for a verb; and 'which' is used in a subordinate clause to qualify the subject/object/other of another clause.
Consider another example: "What you write will be read by many." = "Many will read what you write." "That which you write will be read by many." = "Many will read that which you write."
The confusion arises because we often avoid using relative pronouns in spoken English. As pointed above, * 'That's all he talks about' even though in 'proper' English it should be 'That is all about which he speaks' *
The speaker sometimes pronounces the words wrong. Ihr/Er has a difference, but you can't hear it here ( I can't and I've learned German in school for years). The word "fertig" is also wrongly pronounced.
I guess you can't really tell the difference with this speaker, whether it is pronounced fast or slowly :/
I would also like to know a proper (and simple) explanation for that but in the meanwhile perhaps these few links will help you: (http://en.pons.eu/translate?q=dar%C3%BCberl=deenin=ac_undefinedlf=de) (http://en.pons.eu/translate?q=wor%C3%BCberl=deenin=lf=de) (http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/Wo-And-Woulda.htm)
I came to this page wondering about this, and then, I think, I realized the answer (Translation: I'm not a fluent speaker, so take this answer with a grain of salt...).
So this sentence consists of an independent and dependent clause. The independent clause is "Das ist alles." When you add a subordinate clause to alles, you can't use das to link the two sentences like you would normally do. Instead, you have to use was. Then, because the verb sprechen requires the preposition über, the sentence becomes Das ist alles, über was er spricht. Colloquially, this might be acceptable, but correct German replaces über was with worüber, making the sentence Das ist alles worüber er spricht. Thus, I don't think that you can use darüber in this sentence.
Ok here is the explanation, but it is in german so you might need my help with it. http://www.deutschegrammatik20.de/attribute/relativsatz/relativsatz-was-wo/
There are 3 cases where you use wo + preposition instead of da+preposition:
1) When you are talking about an indefinite numeral, like "alles", "etwas", "weniges" and so forth
Example: Alles, was du gemacht hast, ist mir völlig egal.
2) When you are talking about a nominalised superlative adjective. Like "das beste", "das kürzeste" and so forth.
Example: Das langweiligste, woran wir nicht teilnehmen, ist eigentlich sehr hilfreich.
Example: Errinnerst du das, was ich dir gesagt habe?
What I find very interesting is that in Duo, they give you sentences to translate. <--- That's normal, I know. But whats interesting about that ^ is because the legit translation, after mousing over the words, is: "that is all, about what he speaks." But the translation on this page is: "That is all he talks about." Both are correct. Why are they putting in confusing sentences like this? Do they want you to just switch the words around to make a "whatever-sounds-best" scenario, or is it a genuine Duo issue?
Duo was invented with the purpose of translating the internet into different languages, (ie. English to some other language... see here: http://blog.duolingo.com/post/64024962586/duolingo-now-translating-buzzfeed-and-cnn). So, in this case, the original sentence was probably something like, "That's all he talks about". In German, the grammar rules are a little different so we get "Das ist alles, worüber er spricht". The confusion happens when we try to translate this back into English, you have two possible options: the awkward sounding literal translation, or the commonly used original sentence.
It's basically a combination of über was, i.e. a combination of a preposition and relative pronoun.
über, like pretty much all prepositions, doesn't have a 1:1 correspondence with anything in English as prepositions tend to have a wide range of meanings which don't overlap 100% with the ranges of meanings of any of the English prepositions. The core meaning is "over" but it's also used for "about", for example.
was is a relative pronoun used after alles -- an English equivalent might be "that" or "which". A relative pronoun is often left out in English but you can't do that in German.
So a slightly literal translation is "That is everything about which he speaks".
wo(r)- is a combining form of was.
When we ask about something that involves a preposition + was (about what, with what, at what, to what, etc.), then we use a single word formed from wo(r)- + the preposition.
For example, woran instead of an was, wovon instead of von was, etc.
wo- before consonants (wovon, womit, wobei, wodurch, ...), wor- before vowels (woran, worauf, worüber, worin, ...)
Similarly with preposition + das where instead we say da(r)- + preposition, e.g. darüber, damit, darauf, davon, ....
So "He is speaking about that" = Er spricht darüber.
Because this sentence is made of two clauses. The first clause is the independent clause: "Das ist alles." It can stand alone as a sentence, and so its verb is in the second slot, as usual. The second clause is a dependent clause, also called a subordinate clause: "worüber er spricht." It cannot stand alone as a sentence, and its verb "spricht" goes to the end of the clause.
Can I change the coma like this?: Das ist alles worüber, er spricht.
worüber er spricht is the relative clause, and the worüber belongs to it.
And I don't understand why you need the wo(r) part, can't you just say: Das ist alles, über er spricht.
No. That would be like "That is everything about he speaks" -- it has to be "That is everything about which he speaks", including the relative pronoun.
I want to understand how to make compound words in German, I presume that woru:ber is a compound word.
wo + r + uber := what about or about what
what is the significance of the r? I am confused because Flugzeug is a compound word right, it doesn't have this 'r' attached in between, am I missing something?
In this context, neither of those sentences makes sense. "That is all about what he talks" makes no grammatical sense in any context. (Either Duolingo was very mistaken in its suggested translation, or you misread Duolingo's suggestion).
The other sentence, "that is all about what he says," makes grammatical sense. However, it doesn't work for what we're trying to translate here. The sentence, as it is, suggests that there is some kind of media commenting on what the subject is talking about. For example: "Fred says so many interesting things, I ended up writing everything down in that notebook you are holding. That is all about what he says." (I used your sentence, but it means something completely different here. "That" refers to the notebook.)
Here are my suggestions for alternative translations: "That is all of which he speaks." "That is all he speaks of." "That is all he speaks about."
Hint: don't use the word "what" when you translate this German sentence. Just avoid it. Stay far away from it. Far away.
The system tried to accommodate for "about which he talks" and "which he talks about" by making the "about" optional in both places, resulting in a possible sentence that has no "about" at all -- or in one that has two "about"s in it!
I've reorganised the accepted alternatives and tried to make them more reasonable.
In this sentence, yes.
In general, it means "über which", and has as many meanings as über does, including the basic "above, over" one.
For example, Worüber wurden diese Fische geräuchert? would be "What were these fish smoked over?" (not "about").
But worüber is probably most often used with verbs such as sprechen, in which case it means "about which" or "what ... about" (Er weiß, worüber er spricht = He knows what he's talking about).
das ist alles,über er spricht-->will this also mean the same?
No; it has no meaning at all. It's ungrammatical.
I thought worüber meant about what also this can be used as a co-ordinating conjunction right?
A kind of combined relative pronoun, I'd say -- so it's more like a subordinating conjunction (not co-ordinating).
I wrote "that is all he's speaking about" and it marked me wrong. The more we advance in any course the broader the translation possibilities and I think that's what duo is lacking. I once took a test on my own native language and it marked me wrong a lot of times when I was using alternatives
So worüber is "what ... about", and also "about". Confusing.
The confusing part is that English sometimes drops the relative pronoun or conjunction -- you can say both "The man whom I know" and "The man I know", and both "I know that you are sick" and "I know you are sick".
"worüber" is "about what" or "what about" not "for what".
Here "worüber" is used like a subordinating conjunction so the dependent clause needs to be worded differently.
Even if your sentence was in the proper order "Das ist alles, über er spricht." it would be ungrammatical and mean "That is everything about he speaks".
In English you can in many cases omit relative pronouns. So "This is everything I talk about" is the same as "This is everything that I talk about" (and even considered better style). In German you always need the relative pronoun. So you can't directly translate from English to German word for word, but have to insert the missing word first. Here the missing word would be "what".
Inserting it you get "This is all what he talks about. And "what about" or "about what" is exactly "worüber".
It is a dependent clause, more specifically a relative clause. And this is so in English as well, but in English this is not so easy to see because in English you can sometimes omit relative pronouns (and don't use commas that often). The full sentence would be "This is all that/what he talks about". In German you can't leave out relative pronouns. So you use a comma, followed by the relative pronoun. "worüber" is a contraction of the relative pronoun and the preposition: "about that/what".
The main question I have about this sentence in the placement of the comma. I just recently finished the conjunction lessons and it seems like "worüber" is being treated as a subordinating conjunction. That would explain the comma and the verb at the end of the clause. Am I correct with this assumption?
it seems like "worüber" is being treated as a subordinating conjunction.
Duden and Canoo call it an adverb. In this use, it certainly has a relative function similar to the "that" or the "who" in "the stone that you broke" or "the man who killed you".
And relative clauses in German are subordinate clauses, so they have their finite verb at the end.
So whatever you want to call it, the word order result is the same as that of a subordinating conjunction.
I thought the word 'woruber' is defined as a derivative of (about what / what about)? In my opinion, this is all incorrect. Woruber should be replaced with something like herum, etwa, umher. This are all words that mean 'about. So the sentence should read 'Das ist alles, umher er spricht." The sentence above is saying 'That is all, what he speaks about'