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"Sprichst du Deutsch?"

Translation:Do you speak German?

July 24, 2014

93 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ungewitig_Wiht

It would be best to teach "Sprechen Sie Deutsch" because that's the form you would actually use when inquiring on some random person's ability with German.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaymes330756

I agree with what you're saying, but you may be asking a friends child. Then the informal would be okay.

January 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ungewitig_Wiht

Yes but it should teach both forms early in the tree and put less emphasis on the Du forms almost exclusively throughout most of the lessons

February 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gwyn819591

Can we say 'du sprichst Deutsch?'

October 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Only if you heard something surprising and you want to make sure that you heard correctly.

Much like "You speak German??!" in English.

October 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexandre146678

Yes, you can say in German ( Du sprichst Deutsch)

July 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Therockbrothers

Well, it depends on who you who ask...

February 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidLandr12

Thanks for the reminder, i was still a child when i started hearing less of german, and more of english language.

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LunarKestrel

That feel when you forget the Do.

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnanFay

Why forget?

"You speak German?" and "Do you speak German?" have the same meaning. In casual conversation I would never use "Do" unless it's tied to a negation "Do not", but normally I'd still use "don't".

I hardly ever use "Do". Maybe it's the part of the UK I am from?

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheLela

Duolingo marks it as incorrect if you leave the "do" out though

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GzHIB

I think DuoLingo is trying to teach you correct German rather than colloquial German.

July 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamAld10

Why is du after sprichst?

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MardukSky

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? - 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 :)

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hakim747

When the verb comes before the noun, it is a question. Can I conclude it as like this?

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MardukSky

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.

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hakim747

In Ordnung. Vielen Danke. It is really helpful. :)

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kruvek

Wrong: "Vielen Danke." Right: "Vielen Dank."

November 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MardukSky

At your service.

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hakim747

Okay. Thank you very much Kruvek. ^_^

November 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James919001

Do you speak german? vs You do speak German.

I feel the first example you give would be clearer if it included the do, as that is the word that changes order (even if do isnt normally said in the second one)

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexandre146678

The difference is in the questioning and affirmation of a question

July 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bjrandle

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.

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyouchiMon

Its kind of like spanish...but honestly idek why and i took spanish for years

October 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judea95

So why isn't "You speak German?" correct? Because that's what I would say. It still means the same thing and makes sense

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MercedesNu5

I'm not entirely sure but that's more slang-ish so maybe that's why? If not then report it.

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bjrandle

As stated previously, "You speak german" is slang in a sense. You wouldnt ask someone "du sprichst deutsch?" Or ask someone in Spanish "Tú habla?".

You, however, will learn some german slang if you visit for awhile and have some conversations

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duomail

In Spanish, the only differences are usually the question marks, or intonation.
Hablas alemán = You speak German.
¿Hablas alemán? = Do you speak German?

December 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cp113406

Just like in American Sign Language, it's "SPEAK-YOU GERMAN?" instead of "YOU SPEAK GERMAN" however, this is probably due to ASL being very French.

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ploughman82

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.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mathias255486

To me it seems like old english. Speaketh you german. Sprichst du Deutsch.

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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.)

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynne852301

I just like that you know that! I had to memorize some Old English once, (Chaucer) so i totally agree it's different!

September 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melody746408

Speak you German? Sounds very old English or Shakespearian, but will be marked wrong.

July 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teranbukenberger

Why do you use sprichts in sprichst du Deutsch mean, "Do you speak German?" but use sprechen in sprechen Sie Deutsch, meaning the same thing, just formal? Maybe I just need to learn to conjugate verbs better.

June 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchwartzDylan

Yes, "Sprichst du Deutsch" is informal, and "Sprechen Sie Deutsch" is formal. Normally, you ask the latter, as you generally only use "du" with friends or people you know, and you probably already know if your friends and family can speak German or not.

July 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PuppyChow3

Uh, NO, we do not speak German, if we did we wouldn't be here to LEARN German, duh!

December 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miadeacon

Whats the diffrence from can you speak german and do you speak german?!

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alin92491

Well, maybe i can speak german but i dont want to

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinKim0

Is this an irregular verb due to the changing of the "e" to an "i" in some forms of the conjugation?

July 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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.

July 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PinkASH585

where does the 'do' from 'do' you speak German come in?

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisa4duolingo

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.

Auxiliary Verbs "Be," "Do," "Have"

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.

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In English, nearly all verbs need "do" in order to form a negative or question sentence - that's just a grammar rule of English.

So when translating from German (which doesn't have this rule), you have to add it to make a proper English sentence.

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isamanthax

It doesn't. Like there is no -ing in German as in English, there isn't a word for ours as in "they are coming" it's just "Sie kommen" if that makes sense lmao.

November 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sallad2

Sprechen Means speak sprache Means language

October 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/esgerman12

language = Sprache. Nouns are capitalized in German.

December 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshy485

Which is the more casual form of saying it, sprechen sie Deutsch or Sprichst du Deutsch?

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"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?"

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerry774566

how do you even pronounce sprichst?

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/couvertrash

I find "sprichst" to be a really tough word to pronounce...

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nikkimorto2

The one thing i learned from my grandparents who grew up in Germany was to ask sprechen sie deutsch? So this threw ne off a bit learning this way

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"Sprechen Sie deutsch?" would be the polite/formal version :)

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleverusername56

So in German, do you not have a word that means "do" when asking a question?

February 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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 :)

February 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerry774566

if the verb is supposed to be in the second place, and "you" is a pronoun, and "speak" is a verb. Why is it sprichst du deutsch?

sorry, im just confused

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"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.)

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerry774566

Thank you so much! this helps a lot

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeremyarno4

Why is it of sprichst du destsch instead of du sprichst deustch?

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because it's a yes–no question, not a statement.

Statements have the verb in the second position, yes–question in the first position.

Compare English: "You are reading a book." (statement) / "Are you reading a book?" (yes–no question)

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nita355185

I still confused why the meaning isnt "are you speaking german?

June 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

That's also a possible translation.

June 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atxiedes

what is the format of making a german question?

September 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeremy591179

This helps alot after figuring it out.

Wir/We - -en (kommen) Er/he/Sie/She - -t (kommt) I/ich - -e (komme) Du/you - -st (Sprichst)

Each way depending on the statement: we, i, you dependa on the ending statement no matter the word. Hope this you all better.

December 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melinda11881

You speak german? Should be an accepted response

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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?".

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElennDuolingo

what about Spricht ihr Deutsch? I am conufsed about sie, so far I don't remember learning it as a formal form of You...

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElennDuolingo

ok Got the answer:

Singular - Familiar Sprichst du Deutsch? Du sprichst Deutsch.

Plural - Familiar Sprecht ihr Deutsch? Ihr sprecht Deutsch.

Sing. & Pl. - Formal Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Sie sprechen Deutsch.

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaahitTagg

Should we be learning sounds of vowels and consenants? It would help with learning new words

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RemcoRaedt

So what's the difference between the different forms of speak? Like, I know ones "Speaking" but it doesn't make sense to me, Entschuldigung

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GustavMackay

What about "Does she speak German?" Would that be "Sprichst sie Deutch?" or "Sprechen sie Deutch"?

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 241

“Spricht sie Deutsch?”

“Sprechen sie Deutsch” would be “do they speak German” (the verb form distinguishes between “she” and “they” even though the pronouns happen to sound the same).

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

"You do speak German?" was not accepted.

בס"ד

May 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 241

Yes, because that is a different question pattern – in fact syntactically speaking it is not a question at all but just a statement which is then called into question: ‘You do speak German’? (Compare how you can do the exact same intonation thing with an imperative clause as well: “What did you say? ‘Sit down!’?”)

To form “questions” like these are formed in German you do the exact same thing as in English: You take the ordinary declarative sentence and say it with a surprised/questioning intonation: “Du sprichst Deutsch?!”

May 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marta.tadziwcia

DEUTSCH in English too.

June 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

DEUTSCH in English too.

No.

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".

June 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanJGill

I thought I remembered in high school it was "sprechen sie deutsch?"

Speaketh you German?

Something like that

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 241

Both are correct. Sie is the polite/formal pronoun, du the plain one.

So you say sprichst du to people with whom you are very familiar or children, but sprechen Sie to people whom you need to show respect.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sudarsanp

How do I say 'are you speaking German?'

June 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The same way: Sprichst du Deutsch?

June 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fhrer614798

What is the difference between "sie , ihr and Du"?

July 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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.

July 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardCerv9

Is du an article? Does it mean in English "the German?" Would it be the neuter Das Deutch?

August 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 241

Du means “you” (talking to a single person whom you don’t need to address in a polite manner).

August 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ted824044

From these lessons am I to understand Germans have abandoned the formal tense?

August 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 241

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.

August 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rain0001

How do you remember German or Germany? Is German language? Is Germany country? I got lost. ジャーマンとジャーマニーを覚えようとしています。yが付くだけなのに 別の意味になり混乱しました。皆様はどのように覚えてますか?

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Is German language? Is Germany country?

Yes.

People in Germany speak German. ドイツに住んでいる人はドイツ語を話します。

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phaytle

Which part of the German sentence requires "Do" in the English translation?

"You speak German?" - not accepted 10/15/19.

October 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GzHIB

Hello, the sentence you give is valid in spoken colloquial English but it is not good English. "Do you speak English? ", "Do you like Football?", "Do you eat fish?" are grammatically correct and better ways of speaking and writing English.

October 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Which part of the German sentence requires "Do" in the English translation?

The fact that it's a yes-no question.

Standard written English requires the helping verb "do" for this, except for a handful of verbs.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShreerangV1

Sprichst. I need help pronouncing that word! That word is killing my tongue cells, whatever they might be called.

October 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nimtara_M

I can't prnounce Sprichst properly.

October 21, 2019
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