In German you can't say "es ist um", you always have to use the verb "gehen". I believe it also has to be "um" and cannot be "über", in order so say what something is about. For example:
In dem Buch geht es um ... - The book is about ...
In dem Lied geht es um ... - The song is about ...
In dem Streit geht es um ... - The quarrel is about ...
Worum geht es in dem Lied? Es geht um die Fans. - What is the song about? It is about the fans.
Thank you very much for the prompt reply. It's not letting me reply to your most recent post, so I'll reply to this one again instead. So if I understand you correctly, then: geht um = about | läuft um = walk/run/go around? So even though "geht" normally means "go", it changes to meaning "about" when it's paired with "um"? If yes, then does this apply to other conjugations as well? Like, sie gehen um die Fans = they are about the fans | sie laufen um die Fans = they walk/run/go around the fans? Is this right?
@HammadS: when separating the sentence I would count three positions: ("Es" subject) ("geht" verb) ("um die Fans"). The "um" is a preposition, introducing the last part of the sentence. This is the same as in English ("about the fans).
However, in both languages, specific prepositional phrases are tied to verbs. So you say "to ask for something", in German "fragen nach etwas". Although the preposition belongs to the "something/etwas", it should be learned together with the verb.
But then what about that other question which Duo keeps giving me, "Die Maus läuft um das Glas"? It says that this means "the mouse walks around the glass", and it doesn't use geht or herum. Wouldn't this be able to apply to this sentence as well? "Es läuft um die Fans"? If not, then somebody please correct me. Hell, even if I'm right, somebody please let me know. lol
Of course you can say "Das Buch geht um X". But you can replace "das Buch" by "es" ("it"): "Es geht um X".
But every sentence needs a subject. And if you start the sentence with "in diesem Buch" (not "das Buch"), then you definitely need the "es", because else the sentence would not have a subject.
I should clarify: There is the German word "umgehen" as in "Ich umgehe den Stau". That's what I was talking about. And that word is not separable (I'm German). I was not talking about "gehen" "um". Anyway, that verb "umgehen" does not apply in the sentence of Duolingo so the discussion here is a little nitpick. ;)
Because you would not say so in English, at least not if you want to express the same as the German srentennce does.
The German sentence says that the fans are the subject of what is tackled.
Your sentence could best be understood as that there is something that moves in a circle around the fans.
Can somebody go word by word and translate this literally? It would be greatly appreciated. Things related to geht confuse the hell out of me. Does it mean go in this case? Does um mean around? The only way I can think of to translate this is "it goes around the fans." Is that the literal meaning here, or do some words have different meanings?
I dislike simply memorizing idiomatic meanings, so explanations like this help me a great deal.
Agreed. I thought it was, "It goes around the fans," too, as based on the other one sometime ago, "Wir gehen um das Haus."
What I did just discover though, is if you try to translate, "It goes around the fans," via Google Translate it adds an extra word, 'herum', to the end—"Es geht um die Fans herum."
So perhaps that 'herum' word is the marker for when they specifically mean one context or the other in German, sort of like the word 'entlang' from a few lessons ago—"It goes along the street," "Es geht die Strasse entlang."
"Es geht die Strasse entlang." "It goes along the street."
"Es geht um die Strasse herum." "Is goes around the street."
"Es geht um die Strasse." "It is about the street."
(PS: Come to think of it, even in English that word 'about' could sometimes mean something like 'around'. Like, "She goes all about town doing her business," or, "The children are playing all about.")
I thought of a scenario that might help to understand the meaning of "es geht um". Context always makes it easier for me to understand a foreign language. Imagine someone tells you he is writing a thesis about rock'n roll and you ask him: "Is this thesis about musicians?" The answer then could be. "Nein, es geht um die Fans."
No, that would be a different German sentence. "Es ist für die Fans." http://context.reverso.net/traduction/anglais-allemand/It+is+for+the+fans.
The lesson is teaching how to say what something is about, i.e., what the subject is (of a book, or a movie, or a discussion, etc.). It's a phrase that you might very well want to use in conversation, or at least understand when you hear or see it. And since the meaning is not clear from a direct translation, you need to learn it by seeing how it is used.
"gehen um" means "to be about". So "Es geht um die Fans" is "It's (all) about the fans".
When you talk about a rumour going around, you would say "Es geht unter den Fans um". You'd use the word "umgehen" (stress on the first syllable, or else it has a completely different meaning) in this context, and certainly not an equivalent of "about", but of "around".
It is not the separable verb "umgehen" (which means "to walk past something", "to avoid") here.
Here it is just "gehen um", i.e. "gehen" with the preüposition "um", which means "about".
It is "about the fans" = "um die Fans". A preposition stands in front of the phrase it qualifies.
Neither "Was es geht um?" nor "Worüber ist es?" are correct German sentences.
a) the word order is wrong in two respects: - the verb needs to be in second position
- In German, you can't separate the preposition from the word it refers to. So it is not "was ... um", but "um was"
So the correct sentence is "Um was geht es?" (note the verb is in second position, because "um was" counts as one element).
b) "worüber" is the wrong preposition. It should be "worum". And you don't use "sein", but "gehen".
But "Um was geht es?" and "Worum geht es?" can both be used without a difference in meaning.