1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Was bestellen wir?"

"Was bestellen wir?"

Translation:What are we ordering?

June 23, 2013



The real translation would be 'What shall we order?'... assuming it's in a restaurant or similar... but this came up as incorrect


"Shall" is a modal auxiliary (helping verb). In German, I think the equivalent would be "Was werden wir bestellen?" "Was wollen wir bestellen" would be like "what do we want to order?" and "was sollen wir bestellen" would be like "what should we order?" The colloquial usages might be a little different, but in any case, German does have an equivalent construction for such things.

"Bestellen" alone just translates to "order" or "are ordering." This is just the beginning of the different voices, tenses and moods of verbs!


When was the last time you said "What shall we order?" My answer was "What are we ordering?" - it's more natural and translates the German more accurately.


Curiously, I would have said the opposite :) But maybe that is just local/personal bias? Of course if you were translating either of those sentences from English to German you'd end up with different sentences, for sure.


Does bestellen have anything to do with stellen


Good question although I am sure you have moved past it. Still I thought it worth pursuing.

"Stellen" is the root word. It means to put or place "be-" Inseparable verbal prefix that signifies: 1..working on something or change of state, 2..touching the object, OR 3...mentioning or discussing the object. "bestellen" 1..To order, demand delivery, summon 2..To convey (a message, e.g. greetings) 3..To cultivate, till

"Mentioning or discussing" what you would like to "place"= "to order"


She should pronounce Bestellen nicely!


It didn't accept "what will we order" eventhough it makes more sense than the literal "what do we order"


"what will we order" is future tense. "what are we ordering" is present tense.


"what shall we order" is offered as a correct answer. This is also future tense. I think "what will we order" should be marked correct.


why is ‘’what are we booking‘’ not correct?


bestellen ~ order, booking ~ buchen 'Bestellen' is used when you 'order' something like a meal, things from a catalogue or an online shop or even a car etc. I think I'm right in saying things that get brought or sent to you. You use 'booking' for things you reserve/pay for. Things like a holiday or a hotel, tickets for a concert - things that you go somewhere to to use and in German that's 'buchen'.


You can "book" or "reserve," a table at a restaurant (ahead of time). When you get to the restaurant, you "order" your meal.


"What are we ordering here?" would be "Was bestellen wir hier?" correct? I'm not sure because of word order.


Correct. With w-fragen the usual order is das fragepronomen (interrogative pronoun) + verb + subject + the rest. For example "Wo ist mein Bruder heute?" or "Wer war gestern in deinem Haus?"


why an add of the prefix "be" turns the word stellen - "to put / to place" into bestellen -"to order" what does the prefix "be" means ?


"What are we going to order ?" means the same as "What shall we order?" This response should be correct. This phrase is used much more often in English, at least American English.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.