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  5. "Wofür braucht man das?"

"Wofür braucht man das?"

Translation:What does one need that for?

August 31, 2013



Fun fact: in old English, 'wherefor' meant 'why'. You can see the Germanic roots of the word 'wherefor' by looking at the German word 'wofür'. Cool beans, no?


In Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, Juliete uses this to ask why does Romeo love here and not where is he (he is standing below her).


Actually, she's lamenting that he is who he is, as he's forbidden to her. "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name." Meaning, why did you have to be part of that family? Leave your family and that life behind. But, yeah, you're right about it not meaning where.


It does have a touch of where in it. Why are you from there in that family? It is not about where he is currently, but references where he comes from and who that means he is. That is a highly specialized "why". It would explain the phrase "the whys and the wherefores" that dictionaries say means "the reasons for something". if "wherefore" just means "why" why repeat "the whys and the whys", but if there is a slightly different flavor to it, then it is worth saying "the whys and the wherefores". What if it were really meant to say back when "the reasons and where those reasons came from" or "the reasons and the reasons for those reasons"?


isn't like somehow Wherefore is a more appropriate question pair to because than why? (when trying to get to the origin of the causes)


You have reminded me of my father he often said never mind the whys and the wherefores ( the questions and reasons!) just do as you are told! He was a great dad!


Just realized, isn't it supposed to be (almost) all iambic pentameter? Romeo is three syllables, so there's no way "Romeo, Romeo" can keep an iamb unless you pronounce the two differently. Is this supposed to be an exception, or is this play not in iambic pentameter? Or am I missing something?

Edit: Some googling tells me that Romeo is two syllables, but I've never heard it that way. Probably the pronunciation has been bastardized a bit over the years?


Instead of "Ro-me-o" it's likely pronounced as "Ro-myo"


Oh! If that's what it means, then in spanish is wrongly translated! In spanish, it is "Romeo, Romeo, ¿dónde estás que no te veo?" ("Romeo, Romeo, where are you as I can't see you?")


In Dainish we use the similar word "Hvorfor".


It means that in current English too...


Argh! Man needs to mean man! not "people" or "one"! That's just ridiculous. When I'm president of Austria I'm changing that!! and banning umlauts! and doch!



Man and Mann are actually etymological siblings, which makes sense. Man sort of means a human being in general and Mann means a male human being.


Problem is they both SOUND then same!!


Well Mann usually has an article in front of it like der, dieser, ein, etc. whereas Man does not. So while they sound the same, you can tell the difference from the context of the sentence.


Yes, and there are plenty of these confusions with the English language. For example : "I read the book" sound exactly like the color red, but you know it's part of the verb "to read" because of the context.


Thanks. That was helpful!


"It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". One of the most famous quotes in history, and it doesn't actually make sense. If he had said "it's one small step for a man", then that would have made sense as "a man" is what he is. But "man" can mean "mankind" (AKA "people") in English, and grammatically in the sentence Armstrong said without the "a" before "man", it does mean "mankind".

So think of the German "Man" like the English "man", in the sense of "mankind".


Some people argue the "a" got mashed into the "for" because of Neil's Ohio accent, which may have been even harder to hear because of the audio quality. http://www.space.com/21403-neil-armstrong-moon-quote-accent.html


Yes, it should have been "That's one small step for a man, ... ". Everyone including Neil Armatrong himself agrees on that. ;) www.snopes.com/quotes/onesmall.asp


The word man means one and it is not capitalized and Mann means man but it is capitalized and has double n.


You must have a look at a hungarian keyboard. I write on them 17 years ago but I still haven't learn where are the * öüóűőúéáí buttons. -.-


And I'm officially changing all der, die and das to just "diers," okay?


Corrected my answer from "Why do you need that?" to "What do you need that?" ...uhh not English


is "what is this for" really bad translation?


It's an acceptable translation. A perfect one would be: "For what is that needed?" If you want to sound even more posh, you could say: "For what does one need that?"


My dialect would say: What does one need that for?


Yeah, it's also more common to just say "What's that for?" where I am (although where I'm from it's more "fits at fae?") but I was referring to proper grammar, as opposed to what's just normally said. A sentence shouldn't end in a preposition, but, regardless, it's common and easy-flowing to ignore this rule, since, from what I gather, it rarely (if never) breaks the structure of the sentence.

Another one is double-negatives, although they are not acceptable, despite so many people coming up with confusing sentences that negates itself several times, typically in music, such as rap. Here's a classic example most of us will probably know:

"We don't need no education."

To quote Moss from the IT Crowd: "Yes you do! You just used a double-negative."

Viel Glück beim Lernen.


Yeah. But when I got it wrong, it told me the correct English translation is:

"What is that needed"

That doesn't make a lick of sense!!!


Really good translation!


I am sorry, but I do no get why " What is it needed for?" can count as correct.


why "wofur" not "wasfur"?? am getting so confused!


It seems to be a direct translation of the archaic english word "Wherefore", which means "why?" - it's the question that "therefore" is the answer to. Wherefore? Therefore.


Act II, Scene II in Romeo and Juliet.


You mean that Wherefore is a direct translation of German Wofur. English derived from German, and not the contrary. ;-)


Neither English nor German come from each other, they both come from Proto-Germanic.


Well, "wofür" simply is a German word that means "what for" when put at the beginning of a question. The word "wasfür" does not exist - sometimes things just aren't that literal... ;o)


This is slightly misleading. "Was für" exists of course, only it is written in two words, not in one.

It does not mean "what for" - its meaning is "what kind of"

For "what for" you can use either "wozu" or "wofür".


Like, for example: Was hast du für ein Auto? :) Although I still read that as "What do you have for a car?" that's how I learned it, and it still works for me. xD


Cud u tell me more of wofur? I mean, the tips and notes list six questions, and wofur isn't one of them.


Wo is conjugated as "what", sometimes. womit = with what. wofür = for what. wohin = to what/where. wobei = with what (I'm not too good with "bei" usage; it's similar to mit, but not completely) usw.


Why not "For what does someone need that?"


"What does one need that for?" was accepted. Someone is not the same as one. Someone is more specific. One can be anyone.


I put: "What does one need that for?" and it was accepted. it sounds weird though..


It's perfectly correct. It's just very formal and not too many people would speak/write in this manner.


"For what is this needed?" Was considered wrong only because "this" should have been "that". But in other sentences I translated "das" whith "this" and it was accepted!


wow! what an education i am receiving ! As i am trying to learn my second language,my eyes are being open every day. I am very appreciative of this site and all those who contribute ! Danke :)


What's man doing in this sentence?


"man" is a general 'you'. The English sentence could also be What do you need this for? or What does one need this for? Hope that makes it a bit clearer. :)


Thanks. I think I put something like that. Both of the translations duo gave me did not involve 'you' or 'one.' If I ever see the question again I'll report it.


I just used it as "one" and duolingo decided that it's wrong


Mann = Man in german. Man on the other hand is like oneself. (Man soll gesund essen.) one should eat healthy..And (wie sagt man Lastwagen) How does one say truck? Also (Man sollte nie trinken und dann fahren.) One should never drink and drive.


Why does "braucht" applies to "we" in this case? Should it not be "brauchen"?


Where are you getting we? I believe 'man' is treated like er/sie/es, so becomes braucht


Wait, i can't see the difference between "we" and "they" on this sentence.Anyone could help me?


There is neither "we" nor "they" in that sentence.


I entered: «What this one needs for?» and it isn't correct. Why?


I'd say it's because it's bad English.


The answer they give is bad English, too.


"this" or actually "that" is not describing "one" It should be "What does one need that for?" In English the direct object "that" comes after the verb "need" and to make a question we change the verb "need" to "does need" and invert the subject "one" after the conjugated part of the verb "does". If we had an actual person and an actual item, perhaps it would be clearer: for example, "What does the child need my ice skates for?" He needs them for a school project about specialized clothing. Well, if he isn't going to wear them, he can borrow them. (They would not fit him so he could not use them for skating.) Or, if you are looking for some simpler question, it is indirectly "What is that for?" but that could have been a simpler German question also and there is no place for the person involved if there is one. "Wofür ist das?" http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/Wo-And-Woulda.htm http://german.about.com/b/2011/10/27/building-german-words.htm


I put "Why does one need that?" because I equate "what for?" with "why?". Am I wrong in thinking this way?


Why do I want a boat? (Warum?) Because I love boats.

What for do you want a boat? (Wofür?) I want to cross the Street of Gibraltar.

Not quite interchangeable.


I put the same thing. It told me the correct translation is "What does one need this?" which is a little silly. Can anyone explain why 'why' in this context is incorrect?


I reported it to them and got word back that they now accept our answer!


As of September 30, "Why does one need that?" is still a heart-losing answer. [sigh]


Really? Hmm...maybe they changed their minds and decided not to allow it anymore.


That's daft, because it's completely correct English.

EDIT: Correct English, but not an accurate translation of the supplied German sentence, IMO, as has been explain a couple of times in these comments.


I translated 'For what one uses this?' and I was told I was wrong, but I think it is a proper translation.


That does not work. In the passive, "For what is that used?" could work, but the subject is unknown and it is really not exactly the same. "For what does one use that?" is grammatically correct, but you are going to get a different answer. I need that for my collection to be complete. I use that to fix my car. If you are going to use something, then you might need it. If you need something, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is something you are using to do something with. There are also things that you can use, but you can also get things done without them. I have used a credit card to scrape the ice off the car window, but that is not what I need my credit card for.


What is the German sentence for "What do you need this one for?" then?


Wofür braucht man diese/r/n/s?

Sorry, I was wrong, ... albeit a tiny bit. It's either diese, diesen, or dieses. Where I went wrong (must have been an old post) is that I forgot it's in the accusative, so there wouldn't be any "dieser", as far as I know.


Again a DL mistranslation.

"What does one need that for?" is "Wozu braucht man das?"

"Wofür braucht man das?" is "What does one use that for?"


I do not think so.

"Wozu" means "to what"

"Wofür" means "for what"

"Brauchen" means "to need"

"Do you need that?" is same as "Is that of use to you?"

"of use to" is not the same as "use"

http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/allemand-anglais/brauchen http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/allemand-anglais/wofür http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/allemand-anglais/wozu

What is that used for? "Wofür wird das gebraucht?"

It depends on your need. I need skates for skating. I need books to read. See how the preposition in English changes depending on whether you use the present participle or the infinitive. So "What do you need that for?" or "What do you need to do your project?" Both question words are probably used with this verb.

Isn't "Wozu braucht man das?" "What does one need that to do?"

Native German language professor help us out.


Why not "What for one would need that"


It's not correct English. "What would one need that for?" makes more sense.


«Why does one need it?» isn't correct? I thought wofür meant wherefor or why.


Why emphasizes the reason. What for emphasizes the use.

I think they're similar but they're not quite the same.


I translated : 'what for does one need that?' instead than 'for what...' Isn't that the same? I would like the opinion of an English mother-tongue.


Nah mate, you gotta do "for what does one need that?" or "what does one need that for?". "What for does one need that" sounds clumsy and is rather incorrect.

Totally irrelevant but you can say "I'll give you what for" as an expression to express anger, usually used by old people but it means that you're about to give someone a good hiding.


Could a translation for that be "What one is that for?" I tried but it came out with a simalar answer.


Nope, sorry. With the context you used, it would be "which"; Even some native English-speakers commonly confuse "what" with "which".


Im not english speaker but, "For what are you needing that?" is not the same as "For what do you need that?"

Thank you.


If put "someone" instead of "one", it was not accepted. I think it should


I would agree. There is an option to submit it as correct.


Straddling between two sentences, both of which are correct written the same way!


In English one would never say "What does one need it"


What for you need that


not proper english! this topic has been beat to death...


I dont get how man could mean we. The corrector tells me that the good answer should be either What does one need that for? or - What do we need that for?

is that true that you can use man for we? and if we use "man" for "we" we still write it braucht? not brauchen?



"What do we need it?" Doesn't even make any sense....


Shouldn't it be 'for what one needs this' instead of '...what we need..' cuz its man which means one


"What do you need that for dude?"


Why "Why does anyone need that?" is not correct? it has meaning, and I really don't understand "Why does one need that?" means!


it's nearly the same thing. the only difference is that anyone would be jemand instead. the difference between 'one' and 'anyone' in english is very slight, but is different


Why is " for what one needs it is incorrect " ?


What does "What is that needed" mean? That's a ridiculous sentence!


Oops... I forgot about "man" meaning "one," I thought it was a more existential kind of question... "What does Man (Mann) need that for?"


I think it needs to accept : "what do they need that for?" as a valid translation, someone please correct me. ina previous lesson, it showed: "Wohin bringt man Euch? = Where do they take you?" do I need to report it?


Is 'why do you need that one' totally unacceptable?


Strictly speaking it should be "for what does one need that" shoukd it not?


Or, as my South Indian friends have often heard, "what for you need that?" - making this word very easy to remember. Ha!


Why here is we instead of one?


I can't underatand ... where is "we"?! >.<


I just cant get throw this level of stupid Questions! höre auf mich!dummen Fragen!


For what does one need that for is not accepted. Why?


Ok.. In (tips and notes), it's stated that: "For the DAT, "was" changes to a compound of "wo(r)" + preposition." In this case, the preposition is "für". I think that "für" takes AKK not DAT (if i were wrong, please correct to me). That means we are asking here about an AKK and hence, "was" have to be as it is without changes.


This is about the time I start to feel like I've learnt nothing. :/ German is very hard!


I wrote : what for one needs that ?, was wrong. Can someone help why is it wrong ?


This sounds like "Wofür braucht Mann das?"


how is this wrong-for what one need that


"For what is this needed?" is correct but "For what is this one needed?" is not? -_- I assumed because of the "man" that "one" would be in the sentence...


"What does one need that for?" is right but "what does one need it for?" is wrong... on the same day, same strengthening lesson. "need it for" was wrong and the corrected suggestion was "use it for". Then next time I typed " use it for" and it marks it wrong and suggests " need that for". I assume this is an error on Duolingo. Frustrating inconsistency or error either way...


the sentence is wrong 'man' means 'one' not 'we' so this is a mistake


Could "What for is it?" be acceptable?


No, that is not correct English.


Thanks, Biggles.

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