Can someone explain how "wie steht es" differs from "wie geht es" in this context?
I think it's a very subtle difference--"wie steht es" is more like "how do things stand with the physics" and "wie geht es" is more like "how are things going with the physics". So the latter would imply more agency, like you have an active role in what's going on with the physics, and the inquiry is how that process is going. And the former is more of a slightly general inquiry, that implies less of a direct involvement--you might ask "wie steht es" when asking about something you've heard, some current event or another department's program, and you're just wondering if the other person has any knowledge to share.
But in practice, they are pretty interchangeable. I think! Anyone else agree or disagree?
August 3, 2016 it's accepted
So I've looked through the comments and I'm still confused on what the meaning of this phrase is. It looks like it should be 'how is the physical aspect of whatever you are looking at going?' or 'how are the physics going?'
To me this seems a different meaning to 'what about physics?', which is what Duolingo gives as the answer. Comments from native speakers appreciated!
If you're talking about the subject as a whole, it's true there's no article. However, if you're referring to a particular application of physics in a particular situation, you can use a definite article -- e.g. "the physics of superconductivity", or "the physics is complicated under these conditions". For me, this was the first interpretation that came to mind when I saw the sentence -- imagine you've been working on a mathematical model for some process, and someone's asking you how the physical aspect of the model is coming along.
Thanks again for your comment. I probably wrote all these things quite some time ago. By now, I learned that I shouldn't translate everything so literally. And yes, Physics should be capitalized.
I think that your sentence can be correct under some circumstances. For example, if someone working on a project says to a co-worker "How does it go with the physics?". They would both understand which system was under study without needing to name it specifically.
agreed, i tried "How does it stand" and got it wrong, while "Where does it stand" is accepted.
As far as I can see, 'wie steht es' means - where are we, what's happening, what's the state of play - I think you could use it to ask about a football game, for example. OK so far - except 'what about' doesn't mean this. At all.
If I heard someone say 'what about Physics?', I would assume they were talking about what subject to take next year. Biology? Nah. What about Physics? It certainly would not make me think about any sort of 'status quo' question.
Sooo confused. Heeeeelp ...... :(
Agreed. That's the only way I could see someone using that phrase in English but it's still not clear to me that that's what the German phrase means.
It's a shame they've used Physics here ... a more mundane example might have been easier to understand.
I went to Context Reverso [great site, check it out if you haven't already] and searched for - wie steht es mit.
They have 48 examples where it is translated as - what about? ... and 15 examples where it was translated as - how about?
To give you a taste:
Wie steht es mit der da drüben? What about that one over there?
Wie steht es mit einer Tour auf dem Boot? How about a tour of the boat?
So maybe we are having a faculty discussion after all.
OK. You don't have the marks for pure maths - what about Physics?
Context Reverso is indeed a great site. I actually looked it up on Linguee, which does a similar thing, since posting this. They also give a lot of What about... examples. I guess it's just one of those common Duolingo cases of giving us an unusual sentence that unfortunately leaves us wondering if we're translating it correctly. Just requires a little more imagination to think of the context. I think the one you give is a good one.
Our problem as usual is that the question is ambiguous. It could mean 'How is the current knowledge of physics progressing?' Alternatively, 'es' could refer to your latest theory - 'Is it supported by current concepts in physics?' Since DL chose 'wie steht' which implies no movement, I would choose the latter interpretation. 'Wie geht' would support the former. But before you tear your hair out, remember that DL's intention is to make us think about these words, not to read their minds! :-)
How's physics going? I.e. how's your physics class going? I'm not sure if this has been answered or not,but maybe halfiejulia answered it (?)
Is there a simpler way of saying "what about physics" without "Wie steht es mit..."?
Wie wäre es mit Physik? - offering a choice of subjects, physics being one of them
Why is my answer rejected for omitting "the" when there is no "the" in the official answer??
"the" is not required for a correct answer. We would need to see your complete answer to know what, if anything, is wrong with it.
How do things stand... is still not accepted. The intent of the phrase seems to be an attempt to ascertain the status of things involving "the Physics" - in the US we'd say "how are things going" or "how do things stand" or "where do things stand"... there are multiple acceptable variations that mean "Wie steht es mit der Physik?" (In fact, "how're things going" seems more to mean "Wie lauft es..." but as I'm still learning, I'll allow that it's another weird grammar thing.) :D
Just got this one wrong and was shown "How is about physics?" as the "correct" answer…
"What about physics" is something you would suggest to your child when he is deciding what subjects to take at universty. "Wie steht es mit der Physik " is what you ask him if he has failed it the previous time.
Can I also say 'Was für mit dem Physik'? Or as another person asked/suggested, 'Was ist mit dem Physik?'
Using "dem" is not correct: Physik is feminine, "mit" puts it in dative case, so the correct definite article is "der".
I'm not a native speaker so I can't give a definite answer on the rest of this phrasing, but I suspect that even if it's valid it may not be quite synonymous.