"Kann er dich etwas fragen?"

Translation:Can he ask you something?

July 13, 2013

42 Comments


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

How can you know whether to use "dir" or "dich"?

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus747

Stick with the accusative - in this case "dich" - unless you learn otherwise.

For example, folgen and helfen take the dative - dir.

November 22, 2014

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

Rammstein taught me that helfen takes the dative: Hilf mir!

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mindy789121

Lol. I started learning German bc of them!

January 10, 2018

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

Thanks! :)

November 26, 2014

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

Definitely somewhat confusing, since to answer, antworten, uses dative (Sie antwortet mir) for the person being answered.

March 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coto.i
  • 1608

Try to see it like this:

WHO do you ask? -> requires accusative in german (dich)

WHOM (WHO ... TO) do you answer? -> requires dativ (dir)

May 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jg9000

"Who do you ask?" is incorrect english, it should be "whom". Besides, the difference between "who" and "whom" in English is like the difference between nominative and accusative in German, not between accusative and dative as you said.

June 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coto.i
  • 1608

Thanks for your reply. I am not a native English speaker, and I tend to agree with you, but I often read that whom is less and less used by natives (not sure which of them, perhaps Americans?), in favor of who. Right now Google returns approx. 346.000 results for "who do you ask" (search with commas) vs 135.000 results for "whom do you ask". This looks like a "grammar correctness vs what sounds natural" debate, and, while I like to speak correctly, I can't ignore the fact that languages are like living beings. They are not carved in stone, unchangeable till the end of time, but instead they evolve continuously, sometimes by breaking the grammar. When I wrote the previous comment I thought it would be easier to explain the German grammar by dividing the examples in English, one with who and one with whom, and specifying the cases for German.

June 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus747

The correct English should actually be "Whom do you ask", but this is largely dying out. Only in a nominative case in English should you use ""Who", e.g. "Who is there"?

If the answer to a question in English can be he/she, then the question should be "who". But if the answer is "hiM" or "her", then the question should be "whoM".

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus747

Why does the German sentence ask "Kann" and not "Darf"?

Is it really a matter of being physically able to ask a question as opposed to requesting permission to ask it?

November 22, 2014

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

Iirc dürfen would imply a pretty strong degree of obligation. (I might be wrong, though. There's some weird counterintuitiveness with müssen and dürfen I still have trouble with.)

February 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samarth.de

Is 'Can he ask something of you?' Wrong?

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus747

Sounds fine to me.

February 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/orde90

This is how I also improve my English while learning another language. I thought 'Can he ask something to you?' would be a proper sentence.

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drdodds4

Your English sentence is grammatically correct, using the dative "to you", but no one would actually speak that way. "Can he ask you something?" is the way it woudl be spoken.

July 29, 2017

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

Does fragen always take the accusative?

October 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus747

Yes.

February 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

''Can he ask you some questions?'' is this really wrong or is it just DL's software's incompetence!

October 8, 2016

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

"Can he ask you some questions?" can be translated to: "Kann er Ihnen (or dir) ein paar Fragen stellen?" Or better: "Darf er Ihnen ein paar Fragen stellen?" "Kann (better: darf) er dich (mal) etwas fragen?" This asks mostly for one question. I think "Can he ask you something?" is a good translation of this.

October 9, 2016

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

does 'etwas fragen' work as an akkusativ object here? Is it possible to have two akkusativ objects in one sentence?

May 22, 2017

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

Yes, some verbs can take two accusative objects.

July 29, 2017

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

No, "etwas" doesn't work as an "Akkusativobjekt" but as an "Umstandswort" that is about an adverb. It refers to the verb "fragen".

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

I'm not sure, but I think "Can he ask you some questions?" probably should have been accepted so... reporting it -

EDIT: Never mind, I'm wrong.

July 13, 2013

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

Hmm, not sure. You see, etwas is "something", and fragen here is modal verb "to ask", not the plural of "questions", so i dont think "...some questions" is the intended meaning.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

You are right... I slipped up here. Thanks.

December 2, 2014

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

Is in a question not always "any..." (anything, anywehre etc.)?

I know "some..." is in a positive sentence and "any..." in a negativ sentence. But I did think "any..." is also in questions.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Can he ask you some questions? "Etwas fragen" means the same thing as ''einige Frage stellen" as far as the gist of the question is concerned!

March 25, 2016

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

What does really "Can he ask you something?" mean? I always used "asked about" , "ask for", never "ask something". For me it sounds incorrect.

March 26, 2016

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

"you" is an indirect object, so why is it "dich"?

April 21, 2016

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

I thought that it was impossible to have two accusatives in German. I am confused!

July 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RogerJames5

I the male audio is useless. I very often understand it only because I speak German. "He" sounds tipsy and tired. I do French and Spanish too, and the audio is better there.

August 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nagy988016

Can he ask you anything?

October 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Thank you GeoSchribs.

October 9, 2016

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

Which of these is correct: „Darf ich dich einem Frage?” or „Darf ich dir ein Frage?” I always thought it was the second.

February 15, 2015

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

You can say: "Darf ich dich etwas fragen?" Or "Darf ich dir eine Frage stellen?" Both mean about the same.

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BtVz3

Why is "Can he ask something to you" msrked wrong?

October 15, 2017

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

Because you used "to you".

It should be: "Can he ask you something?"

At least, I've only ever heard this verb used with indirect-object pronouns, never with preposition "to" + pronoun.

October 16, 2017

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

How is "Can he ask you some questions?" not accepted?

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
  • 2039

"ask you some questions" would be worded differently : "dir einige Fragen stellen"

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slymn13

Why can we translate like "Can he ask something to you".

September 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
  • 2039

You can't - or at least you shouldn't be able to.
2014.09.23

September 23, 2014
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