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  5. "Wer trifft wen?"

"Wer trifft wen?"

Translation:Who meets whom?

August 14, 2013

69 Comments


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

it could also be a kindergarden teacher asking two students: Who hits whom

no?


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

Or "who is hitting whom?" .


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

It seems to me that the word "treffen" has nothing in common with "hit". Hot will be tranlated as schlagen or anstoßen. Treffen means meet somebody, catch or find somebody at home etc


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

English is not my native language, but the translation "hit" for the word treffen will be too rude. Treffen may mean "to hit by chance when you pass somebody by" or a kind of that. but mostly the word treffen is translated as : to meet somebody (who you know) by chance. "Hit" implies a deliberate action, a desire to hurt and treffen doesn't imply it. This word doesn't imply injuring ... I don't know, I may be wrong. correct me if I am ))


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

I've just asked my girlfriend about this question, she's German and speaks perfect English..

You are right, it does not translate to "hit". It would mean things along the line of "hit" by a gun. This is is clearly not the same. It is more like 'strike'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.S.Beg

Are you also German or American?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidsigala25

So does it mean more along the lines of "lets hit the town," which is sort of like make contact with rather than attack?


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

It seems more like "Look who I just bumped into!"

along those same lines in English: "We struck up a conversation." "We hit it off really well."


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

Did you read the two links?
There are some clear examples showing that it means hit. Do Ctrl+F and search for eg. Schlag, verletzen, hurt.......

der Faustschlag traf ihn im Gesicht/ins Gesicht

(mit einem Schlag, Stoß, Wurf, Schuss) erreichen und mit mehr oder weniger großer Wucht berühren [und dabei verletzen, beschädigen]

They are both about purposefully hitting someone, and them getting hurt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YD8Rl1Qm

meow_kisa, it does imply deliberate action:

treffen +haben (ins Ziel gehen):

treffen (Schlag, Schuss) to hit [the target]

der Schuss hat getroffen the shot hit it/him/her

gut/schlecht treffen to aim well/badly

nicht treffen to miss [the target]

https://en.pons.com/translate/german-english/treffen


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

Sorry. You're wrong.


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

Not quite the same -- "hit" in that sentence is more like "beat" and refers to an action with a certain duration; treffen for "hit" is the opposite of "miss", i.e. "connects with the target".

So you might use it if there is a big fight and you know that fists are flying but you want to know not just who is throwing their fists around, but you want to know whose fist lands where -- i.e. which of the fist blows are connecting with a target.

If you are asking about the action of throwing fists around in general, without considering whether those blows are hitting or missing a target (or whether they are even targeted), then it would be Wer haut wen? or a bit more formally, Wer schlägt wen?. (In kindergarten, though, I think you'd hear the verb hauen a lot more: it's what children would be more likely to say. A bit like "hit" versus "beat" or "strike" -- children wouldn't use "He struck me!", would they?)


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

Time after time, the answers you deliver are so very clear and as concise as seems possible. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skibo21776

I think you hit it.


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

What two cases is this?


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

Wer is nominative. Wen is accusitive.


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

would it be wrong to say "wer trifft wer" or "wen trifft wen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/richard.birks

A lot of confusion arises for English speakers, because whom is dropping out of common usage, and these days no one is going to get too upset if you use "who" instead of "whom"

Grammatically though, pronouns are still declined in English. If you can't get your head around the use of "who" and "whom" then it's perhaps easier to think of it in terms of "he", "she" and "her", "him".

For example, you might say:

"He is meeting him?" or "She is meeting her?"

Note: I took the liberty of changing the tense to progressive to make it sound more natural.

You wouldn't say:

"He is meeting he?" or "She is meeting she?"

Whom is used where you would naturally use "Him" or "Her", not where you'd use "He" or "she".

Hope that helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizzy0127

I really wonder what English I learned since my textbook used "whom" in these cases all the time so the German cases here make so much more sense to me.....I'm not a native English speaker btw.


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

Conservative English :)

Textbooks for foreigners sometimes have a more "proper" or conservative grammar and can sometimes take a while to catch up to how the majority of speakers speak.

"Whom" is not wrong, just getting less common. But some people, especially older ones who grew up learning "whom", consider using "who" as an object to be incorrect.

I usually use "whom" since I grew up outside England and learned my English mostly from my father, so my English is also a bit more conservative than what English people my age might speak.


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

Yes it's wrong, and it matters in German a lot more. In English we are more reliant on word order, so we can ignore the who/whom distinction most of the time, but German uses case to express meaning much more often than we do, so you really do need to be careful to use the right cases in German.

The main reason is that we tend to use SVO (subject verb object) order in English and we signal very clearly when we're not using it

'Ian likes cats' (Ian = subject, likes = verb, cats = object)

Or if we're using a different order, as in passive voice sentences we put in extra words and change the verb tense

'Cats are liked BY Ian' (notice the 'by' we need it in English because we have lost most of our case markers! It's there to tell you that Ian is the one doing the verb, even though he comes after it)

But in German you can say either

Ian likes cats

Or

Cats likes Ian

And have both those mean the same thing: 'Ian likes cats'

because you always have the cases marked so you know what the subject, direct object, ( & sometimes also indirect object) are.

It's really important to learn cases in German, even if you only intend to use basic SVO constructions yourself because in order to understand things you read and hear you'll need to recognise the difference between 'a man is biting a dog' and 'a dog is biting a man' - between a word being the subject or the object of a sentence.


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

Could you please explain why?


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

What is this site?


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

It appears to be a professor's university webpage--here's the full list of guides to german grammar: http://clasfaculty.ucdenver.edu/tphillips/grammar/grammar.html

And here's his main site with some other resources: http://clasfaculty.ucdenver.edu/tphillips/


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

Thanks Christian and NReilingh for this website. I have been struggling with the terms nominative, dative, accusative, etc, wondering what they meant. Just a cursory glance through this website has helped me to understand what they mean, and I think it's going to help me understand how to structure sentences in German as well. Thanks once again and have a lingot each. I recommend this website for beginners in German (I am one)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Heller

This is a very helpful link. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudithMett2

I had no problem understanding wer and wen as who and whom but choosing trifft from the other two was beyond me. Can someone explain in simple terms.


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

Perhaps the first step is to identify the verb ending.

A regular verb such as leben "to live" will have the following endings:

  • ich lebe
  • du lebst
  • er, sie, es lebt
  • wir leben
  • ihr lebt
  • sie, Sie leben

Here, the subject is wer which is considered third person singular, so you need the endings from the er, sie, es row.

That means you can discard treffen as that ends in -en and not in -t, leaving trefft and trifft.

For those, you just have to know that treffen is one of a group of verbs that changes its vowel in the du and er, sie, es forms -- so you have ihr trefft (no change) but er trifft (with changed vowel) and du triffst.

Compare also essen which has ihr esst but du isst, er isst, or sehen which has ihr seht but du siehst, er sieht, or geben which has ihr gebt but du gibst, er gibt.

These simply have to be learned.

Either by looking them up in an external grammar resource (for verb conjugations, I like canoo.net myself) or by trying them Duolingo and learning through trial-and-error.


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

I've seen the meet/hit used as a play on words in the German joke ' 2 Jäger treffen....beide tot'


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

I tried "who hit whom" but was marked incorrect. I believe that is a correct interpretation of trifft. Any thoughts?


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

For one, it should be in the present tense: "Who hits whom?"


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

That's what I wrote and it was still wrong. I'll report it.


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

It seems to me that the word "treffen" has nothing in common with "hit". Hot will be tranlated as schlagen or anstoßen. Treffen means meet somebody, catch or find somebody at home etc


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

"Treffen" can also mean "hit" as in the opposite of "miss".

"Er hat ihn mit dem Ball getroffen" = He hit him with the ball.

That is, he threw the ball at him and did not miss, but instead, the ball connected with him.

So if you're talking about a game of Völkerball (dodgeball?), it could be a reasonable question to ask who hits whom.


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

How do you know when to use "die", " das" and "der"? I can't understand why there are three different ways to say the word " the".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobJenki2

Sometimes it depends if it is Masculine, Feminine, or Neutral.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobJenki2

Somtimes because of the endings of the German words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/za_2001

why does "does" not need here? (I'm not english)


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

"does" is not needed if you use "who" to ask a question about the subject of a sentence.

(It is needed if you use "who" or "whom" to ask a question about the object of a sentence, e.g. "Who do you meet?" -- with conservative grammar, that would be "Whom do you meet?". Compare asking about the subject: "Who meets you?".)


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

I answered with who is meeting with who? It would be quite normal for me to say this instead of who is meeting who. Any thoughts


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

I think "who is meeting with who" is grammatically incorrect even though it's getting colloquial not to decline the "who" into "whom". The correct way of writing your sentence would be "who is meeting with whom?", even though nowadays many people say "who is meeting who". I'm not an English native speaker so take my word with a grain of salt.


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

Strictly speaking whom is the accusative pronoun so should be used. But it is falling slowly out of use, going the way of much case-based grammer in English. And good riddance. Not being a fan of unnecessary complication in language (which includes genders!!) I'm personally happy to see it go as long as the sense of the sentence is not lost.


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

Duolingo already accepts many sentences with ‘who’ instead of ‘whom’, but perhaps it objects to ‘with’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

This question is about "meeting with" versus "meeting". It is not about "who" versus "whom". So its about whether the verb "to meet" takes a direct object or whether it needs the preposition "with" to take an indirect object. The verb "to meet" is a transitive verb and therefore takes a direct object, as in "to meet someone" rather than "to meet with someone". However, irrespective of which is correct, the fact remains that in some dialects it is normal to say "meeting with". However my personal preference is just "meeting" with a direct object as is normally the case with a transitive verb.


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

I think that should be correct -it's not strictly correct in formal English but it's a common enough usage.


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

Difference between treffen and mieten?


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

treffen = to meet

mieten = to rent; to hire


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

"Who meets whom" is marked correct, but it seems odd.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobJenki2

Why couldn't we say wer trifft wer instead of wer trifft wen??Wen means when and wer means who so why couldn't we say wer trifft wer??


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

No, wen does not mean "when". You may be thinking of wenn (with two n's).

wen means "whom".

Conservative English grammar would say "Who meets whom?" (Which is also the version currently shown as the "best" translation.)

So you have "who" for the subject (German: wer) and "whom" for the object (German: wen).

Wer trifft wer? is just as wrong in German as "He meets he." would be in English (it has to be "He meets him.", with the object form of the pronoun).

Even though today's English often doesn't use "whom" anymore (using "who" even for the object form), in German, you have to keep the nominative and accusative forms separate. (And there's also a genitive and a dative form!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobJenki2

So then it is wer trifft wen?


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

That is correct -- just like it says at the top of this comment page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckel2005

why is who wer first, but then after trifft it is wen?


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

The form is wer in the nominative case (such as when it's a subject) and wen in the accusative case (such as when it's a direct object).

Conservative English also makes this distinction -- my father would say "Who meets whom?" with "whom?" for the object case instead of "who?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anthony622244

Based on the first comments and my understanding of the english language.... treffen is the same as to bump into someone. Its not necessarily hit them. You could use the term guess who i bumped into today.


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

Is it still used or it like in English where we basically stopped using "whom"


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

The accusative case, including the word wen, is still very much alive in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renae383

I'm curious if there is an audible difference between "wen" and "wenn". "Wen" here sounds most like "vane" while I have heard "wenn" sound like "vin". Is that accurate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmedRefaat101

So is triffen means meat or hit ?


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

Yes. It means "meet" and also "hit" in the sense of "not miss", i.e. "reach with a thrown projectile" or something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S.Heller

In English we have several words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and mean different things. Meet = to connect with some one " He meet his boss". Meat= the muscle structure of an animal used as food. " John likes to eat meat."

Dough= a combination of ingredients used to make a baked product, duch as bread, cookies, or cake. Doe= a female deer

There are several others you will need to learn.

Note: In slag term for money is "dough", but it is not used in grammatically correct english.


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

Whom meets whom is archaic English and not a phrase used in Standard British or American English


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

why not "who sees whom"?

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