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"Wann würden Sie präsentieren?"

Translation:When would you present?

September 8, 2013



When would you present what? It? Yourself?


Without context, the English sentence sounds somewhat strange to native speakers. To put it in context, something like this might help:

Mike: I'm thinking of giving a presentation of my new research at the conference this year. Susan: It's four days long. When would you present?


For everyone reading the rest of this ridiculous thread, this comment is absolutely correct. The addendum being that some speakers from various regions will disagree and think this sentence is strange.

Even if you are sticking to the strict transitive definition of "present", the implied object from the sample context given above makes Duo's sentence absolutely and 100% correct - and is a sentence I've heard many times in the academic world.

As a generalization, speakers from the Northern U.S. tend to be more lenient with implicit omissions of objects than those from the Southern U.S., so I'd guess that this sentence might sound just fine to most Northerners but sound odd to some Southerners.

Some of the comments here seem particularly arrogant to me. The phrase "this is how native speakers speak" is especially grating on a site with U.K., Australian, and U.S. speakers - are you really going to state that your specific way of saying anything is the only correct way? Especially when you have other native speakers disagreeing with you.


It would be much better with an object, if you asked when would you present in American English the person you asked would look at you strangely and ask you present what?


Not if you were at an academic conference.


It sounds strange even to a non-native speakers :D



Replace "present" in When would you present with "give" as "giving" in Mike's statement is actually a synonym here for "presenting". You wouldn't say; "It's four days long. When would you give?" would you? You would say; "When would you give it?" / "When would you present it?"

Or another example:

Mike: I'm thinking of supplying a school with new research this year.

Susan: It's late in the year. When would you provide? ---------- sounds ridiculous doesn't it?

It's transitive and needs an object. You would have to say; "When would you provide it?"


Or we can replace "present" with the dictionary's definition of "make a presentation." "When would you make a presentation?" requires no direct object because it is already in the phrase "make a presentation", and the sentence makes perfect sense without one.

I suggest that we should be focusing on the German sentence, where no direct object is used. Our job is to find a valid English translation. Some are saying English must use a direct object. Others are saying it's not necessary. It may depend on the word(s) you choose to translate "präsentieren."


I finally found it and yes, "present" can be used intransitively (word?!) so as I suspected, I definitely need to study up on transitive and intransitive uses but I also suspect that you have mistaken an example sentence that dictionaries provide with an actual definition. Whether transitive or intransitive, Duo's sentence still needs an object just like every example sentence online dictionaries give for 'present', much like the link you provided. Duo's sentence needs an object.


"Present" (verb) doesn't mean "make a presentation" (which dictionary says it does?), it means "give" or, in your example, it would replace "make". Yes, we're finally in agreement! As per my examples above; just as you cannot say; "When would you make?", you also cannot say; "When would you present?" Both need the direct object as both are transitive.

If you want to delete your original comment teaching learners incorrect usage of the English "present" then I would be quite happy to focus only on the German.


Did you not read the definition I linked in my previous comments?


As I already said, it is definition 4 under the section devoted to "present" as an intransitive verb. Since this dictionary offers "make a presentation" as a definition for the intransitive verb "present," my original comment stands.

As I've said, I don't need anyone to agree with it, and I'm not trying to "teach" anyone anything. You appeared to be asking a question which I attempted to answer. People can look at the facts, read the various opinions about those facts, and decide for themselves.


English still requires an object with 'present', even if it's already been mentioned earlier. I've reported this to Duo. The only context I can think of that 'might' be grammatically correct (but still sound weird) is when talking about presenting a TV show but then we'd say; "When would you be presenting?"


See definition 4 for "present" as an intransitive verb. No object is required.



But it's not intransitive in Duo's example...and even those examples for intransitive 'present' have an object in the sentence. A question or sentence never just hangs in the air with "present" like it does here.

Your original example requires "it" at the end. This is how native English speakers speak.


it is a complete sentence without specification


Duolingo marked my 'When would you make the presentation' as wrong but very helpfully gave 'When would you be presenting' as an alternative. :-)


ANd what does "would" imply? I can't think of a case where I would say that sentence or "I would present this on Thursday" (I think that present here means "make a presentation")


when would they present ? Wrong !!


"Sie" is capitalized, so it has to be "you."


I agree that we would never use this in English, unless we said when would you present arms? which is very archaic. I will report it.


Not really. "There is a conference tomorrow that I might give a lecture to." "when would you present?"


Still not good English. Colloquial at best. There really should be an object.


If the object is a presentation, then it sounds better to leave the object as implied. Saying "When would you present your presentation" is unnatural and unnecessary.


You'd be more likely to say "When are you presenting your speech/powerpoint/lecture/talk." The point being that you would probably call it something. Or "When are you giving your presentation." Typically you present this to someone. You don't 'present to someone'.


You might, but I wouldn't. Most of those are verbs already. No reason to use extraneous verbs with them. Instead:

"When are you speaking?" (When are you giving your speech?) "When are you talking?" (When are you giving your talk?) "When are you lecturing?" (When are you giving your lecture?) "When are you presenting?" (When are you giving your presentation?)

And PowerPoint? Most likely gets used as an adjective. "When are you presenting your PowerPoint presentation?" (When are you giving your PowerPoint presentation?)

Or as a noun: "When are you presenting with PowerPoint?" (When are you giving your PowerPoint presentation?)

Also you said: [Or "When are you giving your presentation." Typically you present this to someone. You don't 'present to someone'.]

"present to someone" and "present this to someone" are effectively the same ...

In both, you present TO somebody. In the first sentence, you just clarify what it is, although "this" is ambiguous.

Honestly, I would find it odd if a person chose to say "When are you presenting your speech/talk/lecture?"


Sorry but no, English requires an object with 'present'. As Khymsdragon said, you don't have to use 'presentation' as the object, you can just say 'it' or ask; "When is your presentation"?


I would argue that's debatable. For example, you said "Still not good English." Wouldn't "It is still not good English." be a better sentence. It DOES have the object in my version. Does that make it any clearer? Doesn't that sentence sound weird on it's own without an object?

Once again, it's debatable. I think in most languages, English included, dialogue has a tendency to reduce unnecessary words when presented with the right context. Granted, this isn't a paragraph so it's hard to give context, but my mind can easily fill in the necessary gaps. As did the guy's comment above you.

Here is my own version: Teacher: "Ok class. We have our show and tell tomorrow. We need to set up presentation times now so we are ready. Jimmy, you presented last during our previous presentations. That means you go first this time." Jimmy: "Awwww ... school is the worst." Teacher: "Now the rest of you get to choose what time slot you get. Rebecca, when would you like to present?" (Now this is the core sentence. I DID add "like to", but that wasn't an inclusion of a direct object. Here, "present" = "like to present" in the sense that you think of it as one piece. "Rebecca, when would you present?" would also work, but sounds a bit stiffer. Not incorrect, however.)

One more (shorter!): Guy 1: "Ungh. I've got to give some dumb presentation today." Guy 2: "That sucks brah. Maybe we can rip a bong later after it's over. When would you present?"

I think a lot more people would feel comfortable with "present" here if they thought of it in the infinitive "to present" or "give a presentation" instead of trying to think of "present something".

There has also been quite a few posts in this thread about transitive vs intransitive verbs. It seems like a lot of verbs can be both, including "present".

Examples: With object: "You eat food." Without object: "You eat."/"When would you eat?"

With object: "You write books." Without object: "You write."/"When would you write?"

With object: "You present things." Without object: "You present."/"When would you present?"

TL;DR Context means so much. English is far from a perfect language. Rife with exceptions and shortcuts, certain word combinations may seem odd, but in fact are correct. Here, "When would you present?" is synonymous with "When would you be giving your presentation?".

I think conman318 pointed it out best. Many of us are "native" English speakers, but from different parts of the world. Even within my own borders (USA), speech will fluctuate with location.


Because I chose to reply in colloquial shorthand does not negate my argument.

Your inclusion of "would like to" in your example changes the verb form. What you have done is change the verb tense to modal form which means that present no longer needs the direct object.

Finally the context usage of present as an intransitive verb is primarily confined to either the military or the medical fields. It's not common usage otherwise. Because none of the sentences have context, we must judge them as they stand and cannot assume some esoteric context that may or may not exist.

Bottomline: This is not a 'regional' usage issue. Those who object to the intransitive argument are from various countries.


English needs an object with 'present'. "When would you present" is incomplete. I'm no grammar expert but it might be because "present" is being used as a transitive verb but with the object missing, it becomes intransitive and the sentence no longer makes sense. Not sure, but perhaps another user can elaborate on why it's incomplete.


Please see the definitions under "present" as an intransitive verb here:


Definition 4 is "to make a presentation." That works in the sentence being discussed here, and since it's an intransitive verb, no object is required. It's not incorrect to include an object if "present" is used as a transitive verb, but in this sentence, it is not, and no object is necessary.


"Not sure, but perhaps another user can elaborate on why it's incomplete." - I was only stating a theory about why it's incorrect but what you will notice pmm123 is that absolutely none of those examples have no object in the sentence itself so it may not be the case that "present" is always transitive but it absolutely never appears in a sentence (with its meaning here) without an object or implied object in the sentence. Native English speakers should easily recognise that "When would you present?" sounds wrong. Plus, Duo's example looks transitive to me therefore it needs an object anyway (specifically belonging to 'present').

I don't understand your example, could you elaborate? If we're talking about presenting "a presentation" and asking a question about when it would take place, the question could only be: "When would you present it?" (replace 'it' with the actual item e.g. speech, theory etc.)

  1. The verb "present" can be transitive or intransitive.
  2. Intransitive verbs do not take a direct object.
  3. Therefore, it is correct to use "present" as an intransitive verb, meaning "make a presentation," without a direct object.

You asked for someone to explain how this verb can be used without a direct object, which is what I attempted to do. I'm not asking anyone to agree or disagree with the explanation. ;-)


DIctionaries also contain: Slang, obsolete words and other assorted things.

If you look elsewhere, you will see that the usage of present as an intransitive verb is mostly found in the military or medical fields. It sounds odd to everyone else. http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/06/do-mds-misuse-present.html

Are you happier with Wiki? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/present#English or perhaps OED? http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/present


If you prefer blogs to dictionaries, that's your prerogative.


When you leave out the object belonging to "present," claiming that it is implied, you have stepped into the world of technical and academic jargon. If this module described itself as German: scientific or German: academic, then by all means leave off the object. Duolingo is a download available to the general population and hence should stick to the most general usages. The Norwegian module does this, as do the Swedish, Danish, and Irish. ONLY in the German module do the sentences repeatedly come across as vague and often ambiguous, and ONLY in the German module is the user counted wrong for the dumbest semantics on earth. Duolingo, you need to scrap this module and PRESENT better German lessons.


when would you present yourself should be acceptable. Duolingo's sentence makes no sense

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