"Vor, während oder nach dem Abendessen?"

Translation:Before, during or after the dinner?

October 3, 2013



This is very confusing without an Oxford comma.

November 18, 2014


While I personally wouldn't go as far as "very confusing", I do think the Oxford Comma should always be used in lists like this. Does anyone here know if this is debated in German as it is in English? Is it never used in German? It is an "Oxford" comma after all.

December 22, 2014


No, the Oxford comma is not correct in German. Unfortunately, ambiguity cannot be ruled out completely, so it means sometimes one must rephrase the sentence.

January 1, 2016


Good to know, thanks!

January 8, 2016


Germans do not have the Oxford comma?

August 30, 2018


It is incorrect to use it in German. However, in German all dependent clauses are separated by commas

August 15, 2016


Why dative, dem Abendessen? I am confused...

April 9, 2014


because "vor", "wahrend" and "nach" are in Dative, see here http://german.about.com/library/blcase_dat2.htm

April 9, 2014


Well, "nach" is in dative, but "vor" at least is a two-way preposition, right? (Not sure about "während".) Is the case chosen always the one that goes with the final preposition?

July 31, 2016


"Während" has either the genitive: "während des Essens". This is very old-fashioned. Or it has the dative: "während dem Essen". That is very bad german. (Used often anyway.) But both mean the same thing, whereas "vor" means something different with dative than with accusative. In this case, it has the dative. So they all have the dative in common anyway. You wouldn't want to put "während" last, because then everybody can see you are using it with dative, you want to cover that up a bit, so "während" comes in the middle, where it belongs anyway for temporal reasons.

If you put several prepositions in a sentence like that, and they go with different cases, it's awkward in any case, and I would probably first choose the case of the object according to the sense of the whole sentence, then I would put the preposition last that goes with the case of the object. Then I would delete the whole sentence and construct the whole thing differently, because it would still be horrible.

August 1, 2016


Haha, fair enough. Thank you for the extensive explanation. That was very helpful! Have a lingot.

August 1, 2016


Thx! :D

August 1, 2016


Ah, I see. Now I understand. Danke schoen!

April 11, 2014


Why dative prepositions, though?

July 10, 2016


I got this right, apart from the word "supper". Without thinking I used the word "Tea", which must be a British colloquialism...

June 21, 2014


In continental Europe there are 3 meals: breakfast, lunch (around 12) and dinner/supper at 6-7. Abendessen is this one. There's no tea at 4, biscuits at 4:15, a half a sandwich 10 min later etc. :)

May 21, 2016


Thanks, that made me laugh!

December 29, 2016


Laughed so hard I almost peed my pants!

June 26, 2017


I think tea comes from 'afternoon tea' originally, like tea, sandwiches, cakes etc at around 4/5pm but has moved to now encompass a later main meal, which if it was around 8pm would actually be supper. Whilst dinner, is defined as the main meal of the day, usually either around lunch or tea/supper time.

April 22, 2016


Not exactly. Tea originally referred to the evening meal. It still does in Scotland, the north of England and among the working class in the south.

September 9, 2017


I translated literally to "evening meal" which could be "dinner" or "tea" depending on which part of the UK you are from. However, it was wrong :-(

August 23, 2015


"Tea" is also an alternative to "dinner" in Australia.

May 21, 2017


I'm pretty sure that Duolingo's English is American, and in America, "tea" is a drink, not a meal. The only meals are breakfast (morning), lunch (noon), and dinner/supper (evening). Of course, if we were quoting Lord of the Rings, we might say that the meals consisted of: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.

April 21, 2018


I understand that colloquially, während is used as a dative preposition, but technically it's a genitive preposition. Is there a better way to say this sentence using während in the genitive, or will it get too clogged up as a sentence? How would you say this professionally, for example?

January 4, 2016


I'm still confused... I thought während is a Genitive case preposition.

September 14, 2016


What' an Oxford Comma?

December 14, 2016


When would one use wahrend and when durch to mean during?

April 26, 2014


This should help http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Praepositionen/Prepositions.html

Durch is an akkusativ form while Während is a genitiv form.

January 9, 2016


But isn't this sentence in Dative? "... dem Abendessen"

December 2, 2016


http://www.dict.cc/deutsch-englisch/hindurch.html.Here are some examples.My German text book has only two examples and it says that the word is then mostly hindurch.

May 7, 2014


so, which is the difference between "nach" and "danach"

August 20, 2016


"nach" = after; "danach" = after that

Nach dem Abendessen trinke ich Bier. // Ich esse Abendessen. Danach trinke ich Bier.

nach: You have to add, after what?

danach: There is no room to say after what, you said it in the sentence before.

August 20, 2016


That's right. It's kind of like "after" versus "thereafter", although that one in English is not used so frequently nowadays.

August 20, 2016


I suppose the modern equivalent of "thereafter" in that sense would be "afterward". But thinking of the more literal translation ("thereafter") makes it easier to remember. Thanks!

July 24, 2017


and i thought that vor meant "in front of", not "before"

August 20, 2016


It means both

August 20, 2016


Omg im so happy I understood this sentence entirely. Ive started translating word by word and understood all the meaning. ITS SO EXCITING!

June 19, 2019


We eat lunch translates as "Wir essen das Mittagessen". Would the definite article be added to Abendessen in a similar situation?

December 6, 2013


Yep, German adds definite articles to Frühstück, Mittagessen, and Abendessen.

January 20, 2014

  • 1253

Could I replace "nach" here with "hinter"?

February 28, 2016


No, "hinter" would indicate/work with a location, as in "behind" - " die Katze sitzt hinter dem baum", "die Kinder spielen hinter dem Haus."

nach- http://www.dict.cc/?s=nach -can be used with time (among many other uses)

hinter - http://www.dict.cc/?s=hinter

http://www.dict.cc/ is really good-it even lists expressions and has audio

March 20, 2016


"The dinner" says no native English speaker.

March 2, 2016


Seriously? What do you say? :D

October 1, 2016


Just "dinner" without the article, presumably. That's how I would say it. (Not a native speaker, myself, though.)

October 5, 2016


I would generally agree, as a native speaker. There is, however, one context in which I would use "the dinner", and that's referring to a dinner that's a special event--like a gala, company event or formal event. E.g. "I can't go see a movie at 6, I have a dinner then...but maybe after the dinner we could go?"

November 22, 2016


was'nt 'nach' used to mean 'to'?

July 27, 2016


nach can mean to (as in toward) but depending on context it also means after, to, past and more.

For example: wir werden spazieren gehen nach dem essen. - we will go for a walk after the meal/after eating

es ist zehn nach drei - it is ten past three

You can see here. This dictionary also lists examples http://www.dict.cc/?s=nach

July 27, 2016


if they are talking about dessert, than the answer is: every time!

August 16, 2016


Last time I had this sentence, I answered exactly like here, but it was market wrong! Duo said that correct it was "while" and not "during"!

October 31, 2016


Is dem needed here or can that be removed?

January 29, 2017

  • vor = preposition
  • bevor = subjugating conjunction. do X, before Y
  • vorher = before this point in time


March 2, 2017


Why isn't the "slow" speech available?

November 18, 2017


Why is there an article? Shouldn't it be "Before, during, or after dinner?" instead of "Before, during, or after THE dinner?"

February 25, 2018


German merely treats this word differently; there's not a reason, per se.

April 21, 2019


...did the murder take place?

July 20, 2018


who is meanwhile accepted (instead of during)?

April 29, 2019
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