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  5. "Wo ist der Pass?"

"Wo ist der Pass?"

Translation:Where is the passport?

July 9, 2013



Why "that" passport, rather than "the" passport?


der is not only a definite article but also a demonstrative pronoun or demonstrative article. If you emphasize it, it could mean that.

It's hard to come up with a good example as you usually point at something if you use a demonstrative article. On the other hand, then you wouldn't be looking for it. But something like this should work:

„Alle meine gefälschten Pässe sollten in meinem Koffer sein, aber ich kann den für John Doe nicht finden. Wo ist der Pass?“ – „All my fake passports should be in my briefcase but I can't find the one for John Doe. Where is that passport?“

But the passport would definitely be the more probable translation.

Mentioning dem. pronoun and article separately to distinguish between these two. Thanks to az_p for the correction.


Wow, nice explanation and correct.


es ist korrekt, aber ... illegal


I have seen 'das' used as a demonstrative pronoun a lot. I didn't know 'Der' is also used in the same fashion.

  • 2320

'die' too.
'Die Katze ist meine.' can be "That cat is mine."


    I think binweg means it's a demonstrative article. It's not replacing the noun like das does when you say something like Ist das deine Katze?. In this example, das is a demonstrative pronoun.


    Thank you for the correction.
    I was indeed using the term demonstrative pronoun while I commented on a question about the usage as demonstrative article, again giving an example with an article.

    I will try to be more precise about this terminology, especially as inaccuracies for the most basic word types could cause problems later on.


    So can it mean 'this passport' on that same token? Because I just got this line as a multiple choice, selected the one saying 'that passport?', and was told I'm incorrect because 'Where is this passport?' is also a correct translation.


    There is some ambiguity in the definite articles. It is not so clear-cut as English and die Eule does us a favor by reminding us of the alternate interpretations.


    Yeah, that's a fantastic example. Gotta remember that one. :)


    The translation "Where is the pass?" in the meaning of "way through" is missing. Pass can mean "passport" or "pass" like in mountain pass.


    "Where is the pass?" is accepted now.

    As you say, it's also used for a mountain pass (Gebirgspass).


    Danke sehr für die Korrektur. Thank you for the correction. :)


    I just tried that, and it was not accepted. (20/11/17)


    "Where is the pass?" was not accepted 03/03/20.


    Is "der Pass" the full word, or is that shortened slang for something longer?


    The full word is der Reisepass, but der Pass isn't slang, it's just a convenient shorter version. In formal context the full name is more dominant but in all other situations the usage of Pass is totally fine.

    BTW: The photo in the passport is called das Passfoto and there is no Reisepassfoto for that one.


    "der Reisepass" is the full word in 'Papierdeutsch / Beamtendeutsch' umgangssprachlich: "Pass" is fine.

    Other alternatives are:

    Englisch: passport, travel documents, pass {nowadays also ePass, biometric Passport}

    German: Pass, Reisepass, maybe Ausweis, allg. Reisedokumente

    umganssprachlich auch: "Ihre Papiere bitte!", for: passport please!


    In the US, no one would understand "pass" as meaning passport, perhaps because we are so much less likely to cross national borders when traveling.


    Genau. However, most of us are probably familiar with obtaining a pass (such as a hall pass) in school. A little slip of paper allowing us to roam around freely when we should instead be in the classroom, bored to tears.


    Can somebody explain to me why not "Wo ist dem Pass?" I'm in a german course (I'm a native spanish speaker) and we had this rule taught by our teacher:

    Dónde (where): Dativo (D = D) Adonde (where to): Acusativo (A = A)


    This rule is about prepositional objects that can accept two different grammatical cases.

    While most prepositional objects require one certain grammatical case, e.g.
    dative: „mit mir“ – “with me”
    accusative „ohne mich“ – “without me”
    certain prepositional objects, mostly prepositional objects about location, can be used with two grammatical cases with different meaning. As a rule of thumb one could say that you use them with the dative case for when you talk about where something is and the accusative case for where something is heading to:

    „Ich steckte den Reisepass in die Tasche (acc.)“ – “I put the passport into my bag ”
    „Der Reisepass ist jetzt in der Tasche. (dat.)“ – “The passport is in the bag now.”

    In both of these sentences the phrase about the bag is a prepositional object. Other parts of the sentence, whether they are direct or indirect objects or the subject of the sentence are not affected by the case of the prepositional object..

    In the original sentence „Wo ist der Pass?“, der Pass is the subject and it has to be in nominative case. The distinction where = dative, where to = accusative would only be applicable for the answer to this question if it contained a prepositional object:

    „Wo ist der Pass?“ „[Der Pass ist] in der Tasche.– “Where's the passport?” “[The passport is] in the bag.”
    „Wohin stecktest du den Pass?“ „[Ich steckte den Pass] in die Tasche. – “Where did you put the passport?” “[I put the passport] into the bag.”


    so a prepositional object is required for the accusative case. But in this sentence, "Der Hund frisst den Vogel" there is no prepositional object yet the case is accusative here


    No. The accusative is used for various purposes: after some prepositions; to indicate a direct object; with some expressions of time; and so on.

    In the “dog eats bird” sentence, the accusative case is used for the direct object, the thing that gets eaten.


    In school I instead learned the word "Reisepass" for passport. Is there a difference?


    "Pass" is used like a short form for "Reisepass" but also (which is in the meaning of the word "Pass" wrong) as synonym for id-card. "Hast Du Deinen Pass dabei?" - Do you have your id-card with you?

    So "Reisepass" is always used for a passport and "Pass" for passport and id-card.


    I don't think I've ever heard "Pass" used for an ID card, at least in Germany -- that's a "Personalausweis" or "Perso" for short.


    Maybe I hear that often "Pass" in the meaning of "Perso" because of the fact, that I am living at the border to - in my case - Poland. ^^


    Sorry, but I hear it a lot; and I live in Germany for 36 years btw. But you are totally right about Perso. :)


    Can Pass mean a pass, like a ticket, a pass card


    When do I use Wo versus Wohin? I'm assuming there's a reason for when you would use one vice the other?


    "Wo" is used to say where something is, so where something is at the moment. For example, "wo bist du?" -where are you? "Wohin" is to ask where something is going, for example "Wohin gehst du?" - where are you going? You can not say "wo gehst du"


    Wohin = where (to) Wo = where (at)


    I read this sentence in a German book "Wo ist DEN Sara?" what does DEN mean here ? can I say the sentence like: "Wo ist DEN Pass" ?


    You possibly did not exactly read it as you typed it.

    "Wo ist DEN Sara?" is not a German sentence, or if you will it has a typo.

    "Wo ist denn Sara {geblieben}?" Is a possible sentence, and it means:

    "Where the heck is Sarah?" or "Where is Sarah, did she leave behind?"


    Or - to stay in term - you may write: Wo ist denn der Pass. "backtoschool" is totally right. Wo ist den Sara(h) IS a typo, it must be Wo ist denn Sara(h).


    Why would it not be: Wo ist dir Pass. How would you say: "Where is your Pass?" Gathering that Pass is in the nominative...


    dir is one of the personal pronouns. This word would be used to form an object (or subject) on its own, without a following noun.

    dir as indirect object:
    „Ich zeige dir den Pass.“ – “I show you the passport.”
    dir as part of a prepositional object:
    „Hast du deinen Pass bei dir?“ – “Du you have your passport with you.”

    dein is one of the inflection of the possessive determiners, which would be placed in front of a noun to form the subject or object.

    „Wo ist dein Pass?“ – “Where's your passport?”

    Additionally, a “possessive determiner” can be used as a substitute for the noun. The inflection pattern is also mentioned in the article linked above.

    without article: „Das ist mein Pass. Wo ist deiner?“ – “That's my passport. Where's yours?”
    with article: „Das ist mein Pass. Wo ist der deine?“ – “That's my passport. Where's yours?”


    So, can I think the dir in terms of supporting the dative and dein as supporting the nominative or accusative?


    "dir" is the dative form of du (you).

    "dein" is the nominative and accusative form of "dein" (your) for a singular neuter object, and the nominative form of "dein" (your) for a singular masculine object.

    I think the key here is that "dir" refers to "you", the person, but "dein" is used to indicate possession and (generally) must be followed by the object being possessed.


    I'm not sure whether I understand your interpretation of “supporting a grammatical case”. Yes, dir is a dative inflection while dein is a nominative (for neuter nouns) or accusative (for masc. + neuter nouns) inflection.

    But the more important thing to take away is that these are two different types of words.


    I think I have seen this word spelled with a sharp S (scharfes S - ß). Is "Paß" an incorrect spelling?


    It's an old spelling, from before the 1996 spelling reform.


    "Paß" is not "official". Use "Pass".


    Before the spelling reform the letter "ß" was used for "ss" at the end of word, f. e. der Paß (not der Pass), and in between if a consonant was following, f. e. das paßt (not das passt). So after 1996 "ß" is used for "ss" if long (and stressed) vowel (or double vowel) is preceded, f. e. wissen (short i) and ich weiß (long ei). Another example: "Die Maße (long a) des Tisches" (The dimensions of the table) and "Die Masse (short a) des Tisches (The mass of the table).


    Someone mentioned Ausweis as a noun for Pass. Ausweis is not used any more? Cause this is the word I lernt in my German class. ;)


    "Ausweis" is an identity document -- it could be a passport, ID card, library card, driver's licence, ....

    Basically, anything that establishes your identity.


    Did German also used to have 'Passport' as a word? I'm sure I remember travelling through Austria as a teenager and being asked 'Passport bitte' in the train.


    German doesn't use the word Passport for any official document.

    The German word for passport is der Reisepass, or der Pass for short.
    The federal ID card is called der Personalausweis, or der Ausweis if the context is clear, as there are many kinds of ID cards.

    The German das Passwort (password) sounds very similar to passport, but I don't think it's common to ask other people for their password on a train.
    I assume that the phrase „Passport bitte.“ was part of someone speaking broken English who had only learned a few important words for the job.


    Thanks very much, that helps. To be fair, it was three o'clock in the morning at the time, and it's about 25 years ago, so I may have misremembered. ;)


    Shouldn't it be wo is den pass?


    Shouldn't it be wo is den pass?


    • You did not translate the English word is into German.
    • Pass is a noun and has to be capitalised. (Unfortunately, Duolingo doesn't check this.)
    • Pass is the subject of the verb ist and so it has to be in the nominative case: der Pass.

    Wo ist den Pass? would be as wrong as "Where is him?".

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