"You speak German?" and "Do you speak German?" are most certainly not equivalent in English. If you are trying to elicit whether or not someone speaks X, you ask "Do you speak X?" If perhaps you just found out someone speaks X, and you are surprised, you might reply "You speak X?" (Here, the "do" would be inappropriate.) If you are just trying to find out whether, say, someone speaks English and you ask "You speak English?" you are going to sound like someone speaking broken English to native speakers.
In German, as in English, you have to invert the order of the words to formulate a question. Unlike the English, in German there are no auxiliary verbs for every tense as in English. That is why the conjugated verb is in front of the subject.
You speak German - Du sprichst Deutsch
Do you speak German? - Sprichst du Deutsch?
Also in other times as simple past.
He ate here - Er aß hier
Did he eat here? - Aß er hier?
The wird order may be a little tricky if you are not a native English speaker, try your best in learning as it is, and not comparing it to another languages.
Have a nice day :)
Not necessarily, down in the three you will find sentences where the word order is modified, because there is a rule that verb comes in second position, so you may find things like "Morgen essen wir auf dem Bett = Tomorrow we eat on the bed. You don't have to worry for it now, you'll learn them step by step. About your question, in this moment you can say that the sentence it is a question if there is a "?" sign or if the voice of the audio is raised at the end. The verb before the noun is a clue, but it not always indicates a question.
Its how things are worded in other languages. The Du stands for "you". Example (sorry bad spanish) : Yo hice la tarea, ayer. This translates to "Yesterday i did my homework" even though each word explained: Yo hice = I did, la tarea = the homework, ayer = yesterday.
Simply, some sentences can be said both ways. Sprichst du Deutsch is said "Can you speak german" or "Do you speak german". Its like asking in english "Do you speak English" or "You can speak English?". They both mean the same thing but it appears different to someone foreign.
Im sorry if my examples were bad, im sort of tired and my English, while better than german and spanish, sucks compared to my native.
If you think about it in English (don't know if you're a native speaker or not) "Do you speak German?" and "You speak German?" do technically mean the same thing, but they express two different moods/ideas. The former--"Do you speak German?"--is a simple question. But if you use the latter--"You speak German?"--that would suggest you were surprised to discover that the person speaks German.
The correct King James English would be "Speakest thou German", which is even closer: -st ending for second person singular verb, and "thou" / "du" which are related through regular sound change.
(That's still early Modern English, of the Shakespeare or King James Bible era -- Old English would be a bit different still.)
Yes, I suppose so. There are a number of verbs which change "e" to "i" or "ie", and this is one of them.
- ich spreche
- du sprichst
- er, sie, es spricht
- wir sprechen
- ihr sprecht
- sie, Sie sprechen
The changes are only in the du and er, sie, es forms. Similarly with sehen (du siehst) (see), lesen (du liest) "read", or geben (du gibst) (give), for example.
Don't know if you are still learning German, PinkASH585, but if you are (or for others who have the same question), I've copied and pasted an answer that I wrote in response to someone who asked a similar question in another lesson. I changed it up a bit to fit this lesson prompt here:
English sentences are constructed with what is called an "auxiliary" verb. The sentence
"Do you speak German?"
is an example of it. English has three main auxiliary verbs -- have, be, and do. They can be used to show tense, indicate passive voice, form a negative sentence, or, as in this case here, help formulate a question.
I highly recommend a book titled, "English Grammar for Students of English" by Cecile Zorach, but any type of book on this subject should be very helpful to any beginning student of German. If you do not want to buy the book and your library doesn't have a copy of something similar, you can also explore the web.
For more on this particular topic, the site at the link below will take you to a pretty good page on it.
I realize you are here to learn German, but the more you know and understand your own language, the easier learning other languages will be. (Plus, this might be good for any doing the reverse course.)
Hope that was helpful.
Language is inclusive not exclusive. Many English dialects disregard the wholly unnecessary Do in this context. To imply that there is a "Proper" English is to lay bare a deep seated prejudice formed through centuries of academic elitism. Oxford English is no more or less legitimate than the creole of Louisiana or the Ebonics of regions throughout america both of which, among others, use this structure. Language is communication. It is a telepathy to share thought between minds and any tool that conveys such thought whether it be a local dialect or a government standardized vernacular should have no bearing on it's validity. After all, the goal here is to understand a language and use it. Any interpretation that accurately conveys the user's understanding should be accepted and encouraged. Semantics should be an annotative afterthought, not cause for invalidation.
Language is in a constant state of flux. One does not need academic consensus to validate what is commonly used by thousands or millions of people. I for one protest this sites disregard for the myriad nuances of the spoken and written word.
"Sprichst du Deutsch?" is informal.
"Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" is formal. (Note capital "S" for politeness -- that word is always capitalised when it refers to formal "you", as are derivative forms such as "Ihr" (your), "Ihnen" (to you) etc.)
There is also "Sprecht ihr Deutsch?" which is informal but used towards several people -- "Do y'all/you guys speak German?"
No, you don't need a helping word to ask a question in German.
So like English "Are you happy? Will we be late? Must he go now? Can they help me?" etc. where questions are just formed by word order -- German does this for every verb.
There's no need to say "Do you be happy? Do we will be late? Does he must go now? Do they can help me?" And any attempt to do so in German would sound just as wrong as those examples :)
"verb second" is true for statements and WH questions.
Commands and yes–no questions start with the verb.
This is a yes–no question, so it starts with the verb sprichst.
(Compare English: "You are happy." - statement, verb second; "Are you happy?" - yes–no question, verb first; "Why are you happy?" - WH question, verb second; "Be happy!" - command, verb first.)
The verb always comes first when it is a question. It always comes second if it’s a statement.
The verb always comes first in a yes–no question.
It comes second in a WH question (one that starts with question word or phrase such as "how many ..., who, what, why, how, in which way, etc.).
- Sprichst du Deutsch? "Do you speak German?" (yes-no question: verb first)
- Warum sprichst du Deutsch? "Why do you speak German?" (WH question: verb second)
It is not accepted as standard written English on this course, where questions asked in statement word order are considered surprise/confirmation questions (where you heard something surprising and want to confirm that you heard correctly: "Really? You speak English?"). German also uses statement word order for this kind of question: Wirklich? Du sprichst Englisch?
For neutral questions, German uses verb-first word order, and so does standard written English -- though in this case, the verb at the beginning is almost always the helping verb do which is used in questions and negative sentences.
Thus we expect "Do you speak German?".
DEUTSCH in English too.
Many learners say "I am learning Deutsch" or (even worse) "I am learning Deutsche", but "Deutsch" is not an English word. They should be saying "I am learning German."
Much as in English you should say "I am flying from Moscow to Warsaw" and not "I am flying from Moskva to Warszawa" -- those places have English names and we use the English names when speaking English.
Similarly, the language that Germans call Deutsch has an English name as well -- and that's "German".
What is the difference between "sie , ihr and Du"?
Use du when speaking to one person whom you know well (basically: that you're on first-name terms with) or to a child.
Use ihr when speaking to several people whom you know well, or to a group of children.
Use Sie in other cases -- where you do not know the person or people that you are speaking to well, so you use a formal/polite pronoun. Note that Sie is always capitalised (for politeness), in all of its forms. Like English "you", Sie can be used to one person or to several people at once.
There is a formal pronoun, just like in French. They’re probably just want to make you’re familiar with the very basics before introducing formal speech.
And to be nitpicky about terminology: Formal speech has nothing to do with tense. Tense tells you when something happens. Formal speech is basically just special word for “you” which you use towards people towards whom you have to be polite (basically every adult unless you have a close personal relationship with them). And of course the verb forms that go with this formal pronoun.
They are very similar but not quite the same. To simplify, “to speak” focuses on the act of uttering language itself, while “to talk” focuses more on the communication aspect. For example you can “speak nonsense” but not “*talk nonsense” because nonsense can’t communicate anything.
If you’re a native speaker and “to talk a language” is acceptable in your native dialect, then feel free to report it, but if so that’s a regionally limited thing. To most speakers it does not seem acceptable (indeed this is one of the major examples given for only “speak” being possible when you look up discussions on the differences between “speak” and “talk”).
Because that’s how German forms yes-no questions: By putting the conjugated verb first.
Actually English does the same thing – at least sort of. As recently as Shakespeare’s people still did it the exact same way as German (and all other Germanic languages): “Thou speakest English” → “Speakest thou English”. But in Modern English you can only do that with a very limited set of verbs (e.g. to be: “He is a student” → “Is he a student?”), for all others you have to first insert an auxiliary “do” and then front that instead of the content verb: “You speak English” [→ “You do speak English”] → “Do you speak English”
I’m afraid the “eu” diphthong doesn’t exist in English. “oy” as in “toy” comes close but it’s not exactly the same.
If you can read the International Phonetic Alphabet: [dɔʏ̯tʃ]. If you can’t, you can use the play button above (or Google Translate if you want a different voice for comparison) and try to imitate it by ear.
Yes, I still have them, and those are the listening exercises I spoke about, also I had once the same Problem. It resulted that I used the app in the pad, the phone and the web, I checked the settings and it was not checked on them all. If that is not the case, then you should contact Duolingo staff. Good luck.
As in English, that would be correct word order only in a surprise-type question -- where you heard something that surprises you and you want to make sure that you heard correctly.
"You speak German??" (With connotations of: "I don't believe you." or "Why didn't you tell us before?" or the like.)
It's not a neutral question - for that, the verb comes first, as in English (though in English questions, the verb which starts a question sentence is often "do"/"does"/"did", e.e. "Do you speak German?").
That is not normal word order for a question sentence in English.
I would use it only for a "surprise/confirmation" question, where you are repeating someone else's words either to express surprise at hearing them, or to request confirmation that those were indeed the words they used (or that a certain fact was correctly understood).
"So I told in German that ...." -- "You speak German???!"
A normal question requires the use of helping verb "do" in nearly all cases, thus "Do you speak German?"
German yes-no questions start with the verb, as in English sentence such as "Are you a teacher?" or "Can you swim?"
It's just that German doesn't need do-support for questions, so this is like "Speak you German?" -- there's no need for a "do" there in German, you just put the verb first to ask a yes-no question.
Yes. That's not correct English word order.
The hints just give you a hint to the meaning -- you may have to do some rearranging of the words or changing of endings to conform to the grammar of the language you are translating into.
You cannot just translate word for word in the same order. German is not simply English with funny words.
Also, the hints are not "recommended translations". They will not always apply to a given sentence. They're not something that Duo "tells you" to put.
In English, you can't ask questions by simply putting the verb first, except for a handful of verbs. Instead, you need "do-support", so the question has to be "Do you speak German?"
I don't know what you mean with "underneath it said that" - if it displayed for you the sentence "Speak you German?" in one piece, then that is wrong.
If you mean that you took the hints beneath the individual words and put them together in the same word order as in German - then realise that the hints are just supposed to remind you what the words mean. They're not "recommended" translations (and a given hint may not apply to a given sentence, as they're not context-specific), and you may still have to rearrange words or add or subtract some words when translating to get something that is correct in the other language.
Because English needs "do-support" for nearly all questions, but almost all other languages do not.
German makes yes-no questions simply by putting the verb first - like English does with a handful of verbs. ("I am an elephant." versus "Am I an elephant?" / "He can swim well" versus "Can he swim well?" / etc.)
German is not a funny way of pronouncing English; it's a separate language with its own grammar rules.
So you usually cannot translate word for word.
Instead, you're supposed to translate meaningful, correct German sentences into meaningful, correct English sentences -- "as closely as possible, as freely as necessary".
This may involve rearranging words; dropping words that German needs but English does not; or conversely adding words that English needs but German does not.
"Speaks you German?" is not a correct English sentence, so it is not a good translation for "Sprichst du Deutsch?"
So you have to rearrange the word order and add a word "do" that English needs to make many kinds of questions but German does not.
That's right. German doesn't need "do-support" in questions or negative sentences.
English can make questions without "do" for some verbs:
- Am I right?
- Have you understood?
- Can you hear me?
but for nearly all verbs, it needs "do":
- Do you like cake? (Not: Like you cake?)
- Do you see the castle over there? (Not: See you the castle over there?)
That's a grammar rule of English, and when translating into English, you may need to add a "do". German does not have this rule and can make questions or negative sentences without any equivalent of "do".