Translation:Before, during or after the dinner?
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.
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.
It is incorrect to use it in German. However, in German all dependent clauses are separated by commas
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?
"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.
Haha, fair enough. Thank you for the extensive explanation. That was very helpful! Have a lingot.
I got this right, apart from the word "supper". Without thinking I used the word "Tea", which must be a British colloquialism...
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. :)
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.
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.
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 :-(
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.
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?
Durch is an akkusativ form while Während is a genitiv form.
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.
"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.
That's right. It's kind of like "after" versus "thereafter", although that one in English is not used so frequently nowadays.
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!
Omg im so happy I understood this sentence entirely. Ive started translating word by word and understood all the meaning. ITS SO EXCITING!
We eat lunch translates as "Wir essen das Mittagessen". Would the definite article be added to Abendessen in a similar situation?
Yep, German adds definite articles to Frühstück, Mittagessen, and Abendessen.
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
Just "dinner" without the article, presumably. That's how I would say it. (Not a native speaker, myself, though.)
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?"
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
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"!
- vor = preposition
- bevor = subjugating conjunction. do X, before Y
- vorher = before this point in time
Why is there an article? Shouldn't it be "Before, during, or after dinner?" instead of "Before, during, or after THE dinner?"