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"Wo seid ihr so lange gewesen?"

Translation:Where were you so long?

July 27, 2013

53 Comments


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

More correctly "where have you been for so long"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

When I read "Where we're you so long" my initial reaction was: "What language is that?" I am a native English speaker. "Where you for so long?" would make sense, but as it is written, it makes no sense to me.


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

"Where you for so long?" may make sense to you, but it is grammatically incorrect.

Where the verb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

Oops. I meant "Where were you for so long?


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

I think "where were you for so long?" does sound more natural/normal than leaving the "for" out; however, even if the "for" is required to be strictly grammatically correct, the non-"for" version would make sense and be understood. I don't think the non-"for" version is as common though.


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

And I don't think two dollar bills are as common as one dollar bills. I have not heard "Where were you so long." in my whole life. Many verbal formulations would "be understood"- that doesn't mean they should be endorsed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flara11

Its still wrong, you need to fix it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/907833

yes. really makes no sense


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

Duolingo says that, "Where were you so long?" is also another correct translation. It doesn't sound right to me, but I wanted to see if it was okay to other people before I reported it. What do you think?


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

Native English speaker here. "Where were you so long?" does sound very awkward, and I don't think I've ever seen such a phrase used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

I think the main thing that makes it sound weird is the missing "for" before "so long"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonMartin1

Perhaps awkward, but probably not wrong. (I am a life-long speaker of English.)


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

It's a terrible sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheila351374

That is definately wrong! When would we ever say that?


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

Not sure why you have been down voted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juan304872

In actual English I'd say "where have you been all this time?" If I had to say something like this.


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

Why should we put "e" at the end of lang in "so lange"? Is that because "die Zeit" is a kind of implicit element there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinJ.Dildonik

"Where were you so long" doesn't work in English. "Where have you been for so long" is much better. "Where were you FOR so long" would be acceptable in context.


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

It works for me. I use the question just like that. However, we speak a lot that doesn't look grammatically correct when printed. We teld to speak lazily often, perhaps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan-61321

I'm a native UK English speaker, I'm sure there are people here using English as their second language to interpret this. I feel for them. I directly translated the phrase knowing the answer to make very little sense in English. I agree with other posts, we would say "where have you been for so long".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan-61321

Or "what took you"?
:-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tyedye67

What an awkward sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlisonNeve2

This is incorrect English..."where have you been for so long?" would be more accurate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

That's also a correct translation, but "were" is fine too, with different meaning. "Were" is talking about where they were sometime in the past, whereas "have been" implies that they're still there, or at least were in the immediate past.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naomi845804

The point is that Duolingo's given translation, "where were you so long", is incorrect as it is missing "for". People are coming up with sentences that are actually correct English.


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

Seems like the thing you would say to a couple who keep sneaking away


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinJ.Dildonik

"Where have you been so long" is hilariously bad. Do not accept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maggie610600

I translated it as 'what took you so long' which sounds a more natural phrase but it was not accepted


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

It may sound more natural, but it doesn't mean the same thing. If I ask "wo bist du für so lange gewesen?", I want to know your location, not necessarily what you were doing. "What took you so long?" is more akin to "why did you take so long?"


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

Thank you. You have just replied in German with the response required, that is you have included 'for' and 'been'. Toll!


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

'Where were you so long?' is completely meaningless to me as a native English speaker. Does anyone know a more natural translation of this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

It sounds fine to me (native US), though I might opt for "Where were you for so long?"

Without knowing what sounds wrong to you about it, I'm not sure I can provide a translation that sounds better to you, but the meaning is essentially "You were gone for a long time. Where were you?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kasturi846936

-Copernicus-,zengator my question is the same as philippecm, since we are learning adjective endings in German, pls can anyone say why an e at the end of lang, there is no noun following lang, how do we use the rules for adjective endings, can someone pls help with the mysterious e in the lange.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

"Lange" here is an adverb, not an adjective. Normally adverbs don't take any sort of ending at all, and actually just "lang" works fine here. Both "lang" and "lange" are completely equivalent when they're an adverb, and either one can be used for this sentence; I'm not sure of the reason for the "-e" on "lange" though.


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

Yes the preposition is missing "for" is missing this sentence makes no sense in english as translated


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

'Wo waren Sie so lange gewesen ?' Would that mean the same


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

That would be "Where had you been for so long?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JCon903098

Where have you been so long.. makes sense in english and are in German 'seid' just does a straight swap to English stalwart 'have'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madron3

Where have you been so long? was not accepted. I thought, Wo seid ihr gewesen meant either, Where were you? or, Where have you been? The "so long" without for is just as odd in both cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madron3

Sorry. Just noticed I had a different mistake.


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

Where is the "Accusative Case" in this Question? Where is "the what" in this question? If I use the other form of this question: 'Where have you been so long?", could I "force" an Accusative form by pointing to the presence of the "have" in this other form of the question as indicative of the Accusative presence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

There's simply no accusative case here. Only nouns and pronouns have cases, and the only noun/pronoun in this sentence is "ihr," which is of course nominative.

could I "force" an Accusative form by pointing to the presence of the "have" in this other form of the question as indicative of the Accusative presence?

No, the fact that the English sentence has "have" doesn't affect how the German sentence's grammar works. Even if it did, "have" is an auxiliary verb here and not the kind of "have" that would have a direct/accusative object.


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

Is there a reason that "What has happened to you for so long" does not work? It seems to fit all of the German grammar and the basic meaning of the "correct" version.


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

A couple issues:

What has happened to you for so long?

Wo seid ihr so lange gewesen?

Wo is where and gewesen is have been, the overall emphasis being on where the person has been, not necessarily what happened to them. Although this may be implied by asking where they've been for so long.

The "for" can be dropped in colloquial speech and frequently is.


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

Why were you so long


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

I think this should be *Wo seid Ihr . . . . *

Please correct me if I am wrong.


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

Well, now that I've learned more, I can correct my own error: it is Wo seid ihr and Wo seid Ihr is completely wrong.

Why? Because ihr is the plural second person (i.e., "y'all"). I have a bad habit of wanting to make it be the formal third person.

Ah, well . . . apparently ich lerne.


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

It used to be the formal second person but it mysteriously changed to Sie somewhere in the deep depths of history.


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

Sehr interessant. Hier ist ein kurze Diskussion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%E2%80%93V_distinction#German

Auch kann man auf Seite 1673 f. von "Language History and Linguistic Modelling: A Festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on His 60th Birthday, Volume 1" (Hgg.: Raymond Hickey und Stanisław Puppel; Verlag: Walter de Gruyter, 1997) verweisen.


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

I was wondering the same, anyone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohamedYasser97

Shouldn't we be useing "prefekt" while using the verb "sein"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ritzg_98

"Where were you so long?" is not an actual sentence in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adolf618982

Awkward English sentence

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