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  5. "Worüber sprecht ihr?"

"Worüber sprecht ihr?"

Translation:What are you talking about?

September 15, 2013

78 Comments


[deactivated user]

    this is probably the question i ask an interpreter when i go to germany becuase i dont feel like im learning much :l


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jemeyer4

    Hang in there, this type of learning, in my experience, tends to sneak up on you. Just keep practicing and you end up pausing less on older things as you make more progress. It's a nice realization


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

    It hears like 'Worüber spricht er?'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sirdog84

    I agree and actually answered that way, but in English, you would want to say "it sounds like..." The verb "hear" is used with a living subject (you, me, animals, etc).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wofi2

    Your answer is a good way for Germans to correct missunderstandings. I give you +1.


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

    Sounds like yes

    Nothing ever "hears like"

    But you could say "I heard ..."


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

    I agree - Worüber sprecht ihr and Worüber spricht er are virtually homophones and it's hard to judge which is which without context.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johr-el

    It seems to me that Duo makes "er" and "ihr" sound the same. A german friend of mine said that "er" sounds more like "ea" in the word "air", while " ihr" like "ear". And he was very emphatic about it. This pronunciation problem extends to der, den, dem which very often are misguided by a "deer" "deen" "deem" sounds in English. Hope it helps. Sorry for eventual mistakes. Not a native speaker!!! ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zaman983

    You explained really well here. I learned the same way as 'er' sounds like 'ea' in 'air'. It helped me a lot pronouncing other words which starts with 'e' too.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvanaPopov3

    The -ER in the end of every word is read like A (which is not correct, based on the Hochdeutsch - official language in German, but you won't hear Germans reading it like -ER). So if you have words like er, der, Lehrer, etc, it is read like 'ea', 'dea' and 'Lera' (because you don't read H when it is the middle of word). :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/midori.now

    We talking about british english here, right?


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

    6/29/16 I heard the same thing "er". Without any context, an easy mistake. Doesn't benefit the learning process.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person243

    The vowels are good pronounced here. The short "e" and "i" are quite different. "i" is normally much higher and even shorter. And "ihr" and "er" is like confusing "ear" and "air". It can happen but for learning German one should get used to the differences. So I actually think that such sentences are a benefit to the learning process.


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

    When it's audio only, what benefit do you see? I realize that "ihr" is pronounced EAR and "er" is pronounced AIR. It would be far more helpful, in my opinion, to use the words in sentences that have context.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/person243

    Well, it seems that it is relatively difficult for an English speaker to get the difference between a German "e" and a German "i" sometimes, as there is no such sound as the long "e" in English. And it is important to hear a difference between "ihr sprecht" and "er spricht" or you will also get difficulties in other situations. Context will not always help you to understand something. There is a basic listening comprehension you need for understanding German especially if it is spoken in a more fluent and fast way than here. And how do you want to learn these sometimes seemingly subtle differences, which are not so subtle for a German, if they are not addressed in learning? Also you have a lot of context here. You have a verb and a pronoun you have to mishear before it makes a different sense.


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

    I have already given you my opinion. We obviously differ.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvanParra1

    Shouldn't "ihr" here be as Ihr?


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

    No, "ihr" refers to the plural you. Also the formal you uses the 3rd Person plural.


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

    That's correct, but note "ihr" (yous/y'all) can be capitalized when you write a letter to someone.

    Rule D 83.2 here: https://www.duden.de/sprachwissen/rechtschreibregeln/Gro%C3%9F-%20und%20Kleinschreibung#K83


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

    When do you use worüber as opposed to was when asking what type questions? Can anyone help me?


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

    was, at least in this context, can only be used for verbs that take the discussed matter as the direct object. These can be verbs like besprechen, bereden, diskutieren (though most of the time this word is used with the preposition über),

    „Wir besprechen das Thema.“ „Was besprechen wir?“

    worüber is used for verbs that take the discussed matter as a prepositional phrase with the preposition über. Verbs like sprechen, reden, tratschen (to gossip), diskutieren are examples for these,

    „Wir reden über das Thema.“ „Worüber reden wir?“


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

    Thanks for your help...I hope this becomes clearer as I study further. I find this very hard to learn


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

    Where did 'sprecht' some from?


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

    "sprecht" is the conjugation of "sprechen" for plural you (ihr). this table is helpful:

    http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb_sprechen.htm


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

    Gary Coleman is an American actor. He played a character on an 80s sitcom who had a catchline: "Whatchu talkin' about, Willis?" (What are you talking about, Willis?, Willis being of course another character on the show.)

    In English this question can imply incredulity, as though what you're saying is outrageous/can't possibly be true. It can also be a serious question, depending on inflection.


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

    Why not "About whom do you speak?" Duolingo accepts "About what ..." Would my answer be incorrect, and if so what would be its German equivalent?


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

    Yes, about whom would be incorrect. worüber isn't used for living entities:

    http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Wort/Pronomen/PronAdv/Funktion.html?lang=en#Anchor-wo-49575

    Alternatives would be „Über wen sprecht ihr?“ or „Von wem sprecht ihr?“ (On the other hand „Von was…“ and „Über was…“ work for things, too.)


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

    Danke schön. There seems to be a world of information in Canoo, I should spend some time looking at it! :)


    [deactivated user]

      Worum sprecht ihr


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wofi2

      Your answer would be: "Über wen sprichst du"


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

      If any of you also know spanish just remember it as 'sobre que' (Sobre=über, que=wo). I've found that knowing spanish also helps with remembering certain german words.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adolf618982

      Why is it not was for what


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

      Ok why is "what are you talking to her about?" Wrong?! Ihr is her. Why not just say "worüber sprichst du?" If it is "what are you talking about"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicole54843

      "Ihr" in this case is the plural of "du", so it has a different meaning ("you all" versus just "you"). It can't be "her" here because the sentence needs a subject/nominative pronoun, or we wouldn't know who was doing the talking.


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

      If you look to the verb, it is conjugated as "sprecht", so it can't be "du", otherwise it would be "sprichst". The verb helps to indicate the correct person.


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

      "ihr" in this sentence is the Nominative so it's plural you.


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

      Think of ihr being usted in this case.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sean.mullen

      You mean ustedes...


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

      I think "what are you talking to her about?" can be translated to "Woruber sprecht ihr sie?" Am I right?


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

      Spricht sounds exactly like sprecht, I put the former :( Seems when listening it's a 50/50 guess at times, as some things sound exactly like others and make perfect grammatical sense too!


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

      so Can I say Woruber sprecht er?


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

      No, as the pronoun er would require the 3rd person singular inflection spricht of the verb sprechen.


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

      what's that supposed to mean?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pberg70

      worüber was not mentioned yet in this course


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

      I translated this as "What do you say?" Why is that wrong?


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

      Still confused why it isn't her.


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

      her doesn't fit the grammatical case required in this sentence.

      In questions introduced by a question word the part immediately after the finite verb is (usually/always?) the subject of the sentence, in nominative case:

      <pre> Worüber sprecht ihr? [question word] [verb] [subject] </pre>

      her is a possible translation of ihr, but only for the dative case:
      „Ich schreibe ihr einen Brief.“ (indirect object) – “I write her a letter.”
      „Ich rede mit ihr.“ (preposition that takes dative case) – “I talk to her.”
      „Ich helfe ihr.“ (intransitive verb with dative object) – “I help her.”

      For nominative case as required in this sentence, informal plural you is the only possible translation.

      EDIT: An exception for the subject immediately after the verb rule is of course when you ask for the subject of the sentence:
      „Wer spricht zu den Journalisten?“ – “Who talks to the journalists?”


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

      Thank you. I've always had a mental block with "ihr" and this explanation is very helpful to me.


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

      I answered " worüber spricht er" is that wrong in German ?


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

      „Worüber spricht er?“ is a correct German sentence, but it's not the translation of the one given by Duolingo:

      „Worüber spricht er?“ – “What is he talking about?”
      „Worüber sprecht ihr?“ – “What are you (plural) talking about?”


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coach.shorty12

      Why doesnt "about what are you saying" work???????


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

      Bcuz dat be no good English.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blandy1

      Er sounds like ihr to me.can someone help me on that?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phosporousman7

      Why wouldn't "You speak about what?" be a correct translation?


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

      Is this used exclusively to inquire what a conversation is about, or can it also be used to deny a claim, as in english?


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

      ...because 'taking' looked like 'talking'. It's like they want to trick you in English too!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chessgeek2000

      I thought that there wasn't a "ing" suffix in German.


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

      We used sprecht what means he she or it speaks and then ihr what means she/her. So why is this question in second person?


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

      spricht is the 3rd person singular inflection of the verb sprechen. sprecht is the 2nd person plural inflection.
      „Er / sie / es spricht.“ – “He / she / it speaks.”
      „Ihr sprecht.“ – “You speak.” (informal plural)

      And while ihr can translate to her in the case of it being the dative case personal pronoun
      „Ich schreibe ihr einen Brief.“ (indirect object) – “I write her a letter.”

      …as well as the possessive pronoun
      „Ihr Brief liegt auf dem Tisch.“ – “Her letter is on the table.”

      …it's also a possible translation of the 2nd person plural personal pronoun in nominative case.
      „Ihr sprecht über/von…“ – “You're talking about…”

      P.S.: At the moment I can't think of a situation where one would translate ihr with she.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonnaHiggins0

      If i want to say.."what about the food?" Would I say Woruber das Essen ?


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

      No, that doesn't work in German. Probably the best way to say that in German is „Was ist mit dem Essen?“


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael.Falcon

      Why does my answer read wrong "what are you all talking about?"!?!?


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

      Duo could emphasize differences when using you as plural and you as simple


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

      How can I tell that ihr is you and not her here? Is the verb conjugated differently?


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

      the person speaking pronounces "er" and "ihr" the same way so both should be accepted until she can make a distinct difference between the two.


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

      In this particular sentence, „Worüber sprecht ihr“, the subject can't be er as this would require a different inflection of the verb sprechen as well:

      „Worüber spricht er?“ – “What is he talking about?”

      There are situations in which the 2nd person plural ihr and the 3rd person singular have the same verb inflection:
      „Wohin geht ihr?“ – “Where are you (plural) going?”
      „Wohin geht er?“ – “Where is he going?”

      But to be honest – and without having a sample of Duolingo's text to speech engine speaking the sentence „Worüber spricht er?“ – this particular sentence sounds unambiguous to me.


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

      What are you saying? ... Perhaps


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

      "What are you saying" seemed to have worked


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

      What's wrong with "You speak about what?" and what would that look like in German?


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

      Why not "was sprecht ihr?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sean.mullen

      That would mean "What are you speaking?" You have to translate 'about', and that's why worüber is used.


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

      Over in English has to do most often with the placement of objects. 'About' is the word you are looking for. I have never heard in English the phrase 'What are you talking over'.


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

      It isn't as common, but I've heard "Over what are you discussing?", and it is very common to hear something like "They have decided to talk it over"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ndc2

      It is usual to say "We are talking it over" in the context of reflecting on something and trying to make a joint(family/company), decision and someone could ask "What are you talking over". But I agree with blaineatkins that this has a different nuance to "What are you talking about"

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