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"Soll ich nach Großbritannien gehen?"

Translation:Should I go to Great Britain?

August 2, 2013



Why can't i say "Am I to go to Great Britain?"


That sounds more like you are questioning a decision already made for you, than asking for advice.


A question to Germans: Would "nach [einem Land] gehen" usually be interpreted as "to move to a country", i.e. to emigrate? For travelling for a visit, would other forms be preferred like fahren, fliegen or even dropping the infinitive?


Why is "shall" instead of "should" wrong, please?


It's accepted now. Thanks! :)


I don't think 'shall' is archaic as we often use it in English to ask a question.


It can be a question as long as it takes the form of a suggestion, as seen in sentences like "Shall we go for a walk?"


Thank you! Saved me a heart!

[deactivated user]

    Same here! :-)


    Well, I've heard it's a GREAT place . . .


    Definitely! It's home! Not all of us are rabid Brexiters either :)


    why is "do i have to..." wrong ?

    i thought "sollen" referred to something that you have to do out of duty or moral obligation, while "müssen" referred to something that you have to do because of more practical reasons.

    i am not sure i understand how the nuance is transcribed in English anyway :-)



    sollen = should; mussen = must


    Surely this should be fahren instead of Gehen?

    [deactivated user]

      To both above.

      If someone says in "Ich gehe nach England", or "Ich werde nach England gehen" it can mean:

      A: I walk to England, but this is very unlikely, and also not really possible as England is an island.

      B: I {travel} to England, either by boat, airplane, train (Eurotunnel) ride the bike including walking etc.

      C: I migrate to England (but this is unlikely too, because most Germans would say, "Ich wandere nach England aus."


      Germans use fahren for any context in which a mode of transport is implied. The verb in this sentence should be fahren because there definitely would be a mode of transport involved.

      [deactivated user]

        You mean my option B should sound, "Ich fahre nach England" when I mean I am going to travel there.

        You are right!


        Someone else, chime in please!

        I'm thinking that "fahren" applies only if the person speaking (or spoken about) is operating the mode of transportation.

        The one doing the "fahr-ing," so to speak.


        Okay. ^^

        This is a very crucial difference between English and German. In English, "to drive" is only used for the person who actually drives/operates the vehicle. In German you use fahren for any kind of locomotion (excluding walking) no matter if you are the person driving the means of transportation or not.

        • "Ich fahre Ski."
        • "Ich fahre Fahrrad."
          • (the German word "Fahrrad" is a combination of "to drive"(=fahren) and "wheel"(=das Rad))
        • "Ich fahre (mit dem) Auto."
        • "Ich fahre (mit dem) Motorrad."
          • (the German word "Motorrad" is a combination of "engine" (=der Motor) and "wheel" (=das Rad))
        • "Ich fahre mit einer Fahrgemeinschaft."
        • "Ich fahre (mit dem) Bus." / "Ich nehme den Bus."
        • "Ich fahre (mit dem) Zug." / "Ich nehme den Zug."
        • "Ich nehme ein Taxi."
        • "Ich fahre mit der Fähre."
        • "Ich fliege mit dem Flieger/Flugzeug"
        • "Ich reite mit/auf dem/einem Pferd."

        How to differ "driving" and "going by..." in German:

        If you want to say, that you are actually the one driving the car, you use expressions like:

        • "Ich bin der Fahrer."
          • E.g.: There is a group of persons and the host wants to know who doesn't get alcoholic food or drinks and this is your answer.
        • "Ich muss heute noch fahren." (colloquial)
          • That's what you say to refuse an alcoholic drink if you ahave to drive home.
        • "Wer hat das Fahrzeug geführt?"
          • That's what police officers may ask you and your friends if obviously a few of you have been drinking alcohol and you're obviously there by car.

        It would be practical to remember the nouns "der Fahrer" and "der Fahrzeugführer" which are only used for the person actually driving the vehicle. The others are "die Mitfahrer" (That's maybe connected with the fact that many sentences about going by something (see above) can be expressed by "mit [...] fahren".)


        Wouldn't recommend it... Covid 19!


        Besides Covid, why do you want to go to Great Brittain?


        Thank you - or, as in the case here, "shall I go to Great Britain?"


        I'm honestly not sure here. I would think not, seeing as no actual suggestion is being made.


        I think the strong subjunctive is needed here: Should I go = Solte ich gehen. The shall answer is too weak. In another question, it was required. DL vacillates on this.


        Well, I don't want to give bad advice, but it is to my understanding that "sollte" is used to place more emphasis on a statement. So, if I wanted to express that I should go to Britain, I would say "Ich sollte nach Großbritannien gehen." However, this sentence is asking a question, which doesn't require such a decisive word. For this reason, I think "soll" is appropriate here. If any German natives think this is wrong, please say so.

        Note: My lecture on the word "shall" applies to English only.


        Indeed the meaning of "soll/sollte" is a bit different in a question from what it is in a statement.

        Ich sollte nach GB gehen = I should go to GB (and it would be a good thing if I did.)

        Ich soll nach GB gehen = Somebody gave me the order to go to GB (like it or not)

        Soll ich nach GB gehen? = What do you think? Would it be a good thing for me to go?

        Ich soll nach GB gehen? = What? Why ME?

        Sollte er nach GB gegangen sein? = Might it be the case that he went to GB?

        Sollte ich in der Lotterie gewonnen haben? = Should it be the case that I won the lottery? (Just wondering)

        "Sollte ich nach GB gehen?" is poor German. "Sollte ich?" is about uncertainty, more than "Soll ich?". But when thinking aloud you could say: "Sollte ich nach GB gehen oder nicht?"


        That clears things up nicely. Thanks for your input!


        That be the case, then why not "Shall I go to GB" in the English sentence? Somehow, I'm not wrapping my brain around "should" = "soll."


        What are some good sites to learn more about sentence structure ?


        I often see 'sollte' instead of 'soll'. Is there a difference? Is one more common for some situations than others?


        There's a difference in the tense in which the verb is being used. It's hard to explain because the translations of both into English are "should", but German verbs have retained meaning and tenses that English ones have lost


        soll = is supposed to; sollte = was supposed to.


        I was under the impression that “sollen” is “shall” while “sollten” is “should.” However, as greenbajr notes, “sollten” is also the past tense of “sollen”; this is an unusual modal verb in German in that it does not show difference between past tense and subjunctive tense.

        I’m still thinking that the above sentence ought to have been “sollte,” not “soll,” as in “Shall we visit...” vs. “Should we visit...”


        Also, Should I go to England?

        [deactivated user]

          Hey, you are right I should have answered in context of our original question.

          "Soll ich nach Großbritannien gehen? " or

          "Sollte ich nach Großbritannien gehen? "

          This translates to:

          A: Should I migrate to England, B: Should I relocate to England, (as an expat) C: but not really travel, because in case of travel the German sentence would be:

          "Sollte ich nach Großbritannien reisen/verreisen/fahre/fliegen but not gehen? "

          Hope that clears it up.


          England and Great Britain are not synonymous. The former is the nation of England, the latter is the whole island, and includes Scotland and Wales. And for reference, the United Kingdom is different too, as that includes Northern Ireland.


          Help! There is about 5000 different words for 'to/too' it seems and I can't seem to figure out which one to use when. Any explanation, or has someone found a site with good resources for it?

          Previously I thought it was supposed to be: Nach (after to/according to, not often used with an article) and Zu (often used with an article, too/to, usually towards something (person) )

          But this doesn't seem to be following the same 'rule'.


          "Soll" just doesn't sound right here. Shouldn't this be subjunctive?

          "Should" is the subjunctive of "shall" in English.

          [deactivated user]

            WW2 flashbacks intensify* sorry guys had to do it


            No please it's awful stay in Germany


            Ridiculous that I got it wrong by typing Gt Britain instead of Great Britain! I AM BRITISH! NO ONE USES GREAT BRITAIN!!!!!!


            You should look it up then. You will find that your use of "nobody" is greatly exaggerated.


            Shouldn't it be 'to THE Great Britain'?


            Why doesn't it accept England instead of Great Britan?


            They're technically different political entities. England is just the southern chunk of the island, while GB's the whole island, which includes England, Wales and Scotland.

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