Good question. At least in American English, I have heard the phrase "pretty good" being used to convey a wide range of meanings from decent to superb. The only way to tell the exact meaning is from context, tone, facial expression, etc. Here's a decent discussion about it:
I'm curious to know if "ziemlich gut" has the same range or meaning in German.
In the UK, 'quite good' would rather dismissive of your soup (unless said with surprise!), but 'pretty good' could mean anything between 'that was nice' and 'that was the best food to ever pass my lips!'. The phrase 'Not bad' is similar, in that it usually means 'Very good'.
You cannot compare "ziemlich" and "schön" at all! "Schön" (beautiful, pretty) is an adjective describing and qualifying nouns, and "ziemlich" (quite, pretty, very) is an adverb who modifies verbs, adjectives and sentences. So a person or a thing can only be "schön" and you can do something only very good (ziemlich gut), not "beautiful good". In English the word "pretty" is both adjective and adverb but in German in this case there is no similarity.
Hey people, if you are gonna eat a "Super Suppe" (like the one I'm eating right now), you should take into account that: _ The "Suppe" vocals sound like in the english words "cortex" and "vortex", and the spanish "tope" and "lote". _ The "Super" vocals sound more like the english phrase "cool art" or the spanish words "lucha" or "murga". I'm not a native german speaker (but I've heard the pronunciations), so you can freely add your advices/opinions.
"Ziemlich" is a really difficult word in German, so be careful, to use it: I could translate my sentence with: "Ziemlich" ist ein ziemlich schwieriges Wort im Deutschen - or: "Ziemlich" ist ein wirklich schwieriges Wort im Deutschen. But now to our sentence: It could be a kind of understatement: You mean: It's really a good soup! But the original meaning is: The soup could be better. So you have to know the circumstances: You are with friends, you can use "ziemlich" in the sense of an understatement, at an official dinner it could be understood as: I know something better. Even for me (I am German), I use this word only ,when I am really sure about the context! So: Don't use it, if you are not really sure about the context! Benutze das Wort nicht, wenn du du dir über den Kontext nicht wirklich im Klaren bist. In English I find a lot of these different meanings: middling, passable, fair, torable, rather, considerable, pretty... In German it's similar: You have a pluraltiy of meanings. So, if you are sure, use it. If not: Often "eine gute Suppe" could be better than a "eine ziemliche gute Suppe"!
It may not be exactly the same as pretty, but I believe it is still a valid translation of ziemlich, which is what we are after. The dict.cc site lists also "fairly", "kind of" and "tolerably" as translations for ziemlich, so I would not have thought the tone for that word to be necessarily positive, but more moderate.
When there is no article (or a weak article like ein/mein as opposed to eine/meinen etc) adjectives are declined with strong inflection. Strong inflection follows (almost) the exact same rules as declining anything else. In this case, Suppe is feminine, so "gut" gets the feminine ending -e.
To learn about how to decline adjectives, you should read/study this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives
So "gut" is an adjective. If you're using an adjective within a noun phrase, it's an attributive adjective. For instance, in "I like this good soup", the word "good" is attributive. Whereas in "This soup is good", the word "good" is on its own and is not part of a noun phrase, so it is not attributive. The latter non-attributive adjective would simply be "gut" with no ending.
When it comes to attributive adjectives, they get their own special declension similar to German gender articles, but not quite the same.
I learned these best by memorizing three tables, and the deeper understanding came later. So if you want to read up on these rules, they may be easier to follow along with. You can see the explanations here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives
I have since started following a different set of rules. You'll notice in the tables given that the mixed inflection is literally just a mix between weak and strong. It matches the pattern for weak inflection when the 'ein' article has an ending of its own (like eine, einen etc). But it matches the pattern for strong declension when the word is simply 'ein' with no ending.
Knowing this, I reduced the rules to this:
If you have an article that denotes a specific gender, with an ending, or just by being an explicit der/die/das word, use weak declension. If you have an ambiguously gendered article, or none at all, use strong declension.
The idea is that either the article OR the adjectives should unambiguously describe the gender of your noun, but NOT both.
Furthermore, with this method, you don't necessarily have to memorize the tables so much. Just remember that weak declension gets an -en ending for all plurals, datives, and genitives (and the accusative masculine, which makes sense because it tends to get -en endings anyway). Strong declension just gets the totally standard gender endings you'd expect (With the small exception of using -en instead of -es in Genitive, but you aren't likely to use that much at this point)
Gut - Adv. - Das ist gut (This is good). Adj.: Nom. Sing: Der gute Mann, die gute Frau, das gute Kind (The good man/woman/child) Gen. sing. : Des guten Mannes, der guten Frau, des guten Kindes Dat. sing. : Dem guten Mann, der guten Frau, dem guten Kind Acc. sing.: Den guten Mann, die gute Frau, das gute Kind Nom. Pl. : Die guten Männern, die guten Frauen. die guten Kinder Gen. Pl. : Der guten Männer, der guten Frauen, der guten Kinder Dat Pl. : Den guten Männern, den guten Frauen, den guten Kindern Acc. Pl. : Die guten Männer, die guten Frauen, die guten Kinder
Hope, it helps!
I recommended "wirklich" and "sehr", mainly because I don't know if there's a more direct translation for "quite", at least the American English meaning, which is basically synonymous with "very".
I wasn't aware of the difference in the British English use of the word though.
Almost. The German "Suppe" originates in the Middle Low German word "soppe" with some influence from the French "souper". The English "Supper" on the other hand has been directly derived from the French "souper". So "Suppe" and "supper" are kind of related, but not directly. (Although most probably "soppe" and "souper" has some common ancestor, but I couldn't find proof of that now)
'Seemingly' means something appears to be a certain way. 'Seemingly nice soup' is soup that appears to be good, but you haven't tasted it so you're reserving judgement for now. It also implies that you might be a little suspicious of the soup... 'Ziemlich' means 'quite', which is a qualifier similar to 'rather' 'pretty' 'fairly' etcetera.
No - completely different meaning.
Etymologically, "seemly" is closer (though that word is not used much nowadays) - the original meaning of both "seemly" and ziemlich is "fitting, becoming, suitable, appropriate". (Das, was sich geziemt.)
But even that is not a good translation because ziemlich in modern German nearly always means "fairly, rather, pretty" (as an adverb).
Both of those sentences are Nominative because they're describing the subject with a being verb. The difference is that predicate adjectives ("Es ist gut") and attributive adjectives ("Es ist gute Suppe") behave differently from each other. The attributive adjective gets an ending attached to it based on the case and gender of the noun as well as what articles/possessive pronouns have been used for that noun.
In "Es ist gute Suppe", the nominative, attributive adjective, for a feminine noun, with strong declension, gets an -e ending.
Everything I explained, including a chart of how attributive adjectives are declined can be found in the link below.
describing soup as "pretty" is ????
The soup is not described as "pretty".
"pretty" is an adverb here, modifying the adjective "good".
It means "quite, but not extremely" (Cambridge Learner's Dictionary).
So "pretty good" means "quite good, but not extremely good".
In that sense, it does not mean "beautiful".
Don't give up learning English!
Please feel free to delete if this post is totally off topic, but I'd love to know why so many people think 'Seemingly' is a good translation for 'Ziemlich'. Being so far from a valid meaning, but so popular, there must be a reason people are choosing this word specifically.
here must be a reason people are choosing this word specifically.
I imagine because it sounds a little similar, and people know that German and English are related, so they think those two words might be related and mean the same thing.
The relationship would be closer to "seemly" (which I think I've only found in its negative form "unseemly") -- the original meaning of ziemlich would have been something like "fittingly, appropriately". But given that the meaning of ziemlich has changed to now be "fairly, pretty, rather", even that would lead one astray if one only know what the English word meant.
It depends on context. I'm still not sure if "Ziemlich" corresponds perfectly to the English word "pretty" in every context, but in English, the word "pretty" can include connotations of the speaker expecting something to be more or less a certain way than it actually is, and it can even be used to downplay the amount, making it synonymous in some cases with "somewhat", "a little", and "slightly".
If any of that is also true with "Ziemlich", then "sehr" would only be appropriate as a paraphrase if you already knew the context of the sentence you were translating.