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"Er trifft einen ehemaligen Freund."

Translation:He meets a former friend.

October 17, 2013

65 Comments


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

Does ehemaligen mean "old" as in a friend from years back, or "former" as in they currently aren't friends, but they were?

Thanks in advance for the reply :)


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

I believe it can mean both. However, it translates also as an ex-boyfriend.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123

No, it cannot mean an "old friend" who's still a friend now, just a former (boy)friend. The sentence does imply that he isn't a (boy)friend any more.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ericb337

Maybe it implies that in German, but it doesn't imply that in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeddyNoodle27

So how would you say an old friend who's still a friend now? Just "ein alter Freund"?


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

Interesting. So then in German it requires context.


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

Why is "He's meeting with a former friend" wrong?!


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

It definitely shouldn't be. In fact, simply "meeting an old friend" (without "with") is a bit unclear and potentially nonsensical. I prefer your definition, in fact.


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

I wouldn't say that "he's meeting an old friend" is anywhere near nonsensical. It's adding "with" that sounds odd to me


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

Nonsensical was probably not the right word—I should have focused simply on the lack of clarity when "with" is not included. Merriam Webster's editor, Peter Sokolowski, elaborates: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/meet-and-meet-with


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

Nonsensical is a pretty accurate description here. Meeting someone implies that you've never met before, which is not possible with a former friend. Meeting with someone implies that you decided with the person (whether or not you've met before) to get together somewhere. If the meeting is simply a chance encounter with the former friend, then we would say something like "I ran into my old friend". In any case, one would never say "He is meeting an old friend".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ericb337

In any case, "he is meeting an old friend" is not at all nonsensical and is very much common in English.

"What is Steve doing tonight?"

"He is meeting an old friend."

Of course, the "with" could be added, but meetings don't have to be chance encounters. Your assertion that that is an implication is obviously false (at least if you mean necessary, which is clear from your comment).


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

"die Ehe" means "the marriage." "EHEmaligen," is there any kind of connection here, or does this word simply arbitrarily have "Ehe?"


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

Ehe also means before. So, ehe-mal-ig would mean something like time-befor-y.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenLatham29

Hmmm this interaction sounds juicy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grammatica007

Why is erstwhile not an acceptable translation for ehmaligen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123

It should be. It's probably just not in the list of acceptable translations because the course creators didn't think of it and nobody has reported it so far.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grammatica007

Thanks!! It struck me as the most direct / literal translation. How does one go about reporting / suggesting an addition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grammatica007

Thanks. Clearly suffering from extreme tunnel vision.


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

Can this also be translated as He hits a former friend?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123

It wouldn't normally be understood that way, but in principle it's possible if you mean it in the sense of hitting somebody with a ball or other throwing object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scintilla72

I just tried, and it was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackDoxey1

What about 'He meets the erstwhile friend?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123

See grammatica007's question from two months ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akos.horva2

ex-friend should be okay, isn't it?


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

Ex-friend is slang and not proper English. Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, however, is ok.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akos.horva2

Thank you for the explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samnex
  • 2141

Old is definitely wrong here. Why is ex friend not accepted


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

Ex-friend is slang and not proper English. Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, however, is ok.


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

Ex-boyfriend/-girlfriend is incorrect if you're talking about a platonic friend rather than a romantic partner.


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

"Old" is just fine. Like an old/former classmate or old/former coworker. "Ex" implies a falling out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123

"Ehemalig" ("former") definitely means that they're no longer friends, though.


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

Haben "ehemalig" und "vergangen" die gleiche Bedeutung?


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

Can you tell me the difference in English? I understand your question but can't find the answer.


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

It's a bit like the difference between "former" and "past"(/"bygone"/"preceding"), respectively.


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

So ehemaligen means "former" as in "no longer" and vergangen means "from the past"?


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

Wenn du nach Bedeutungen auf Deutsch fragen kannst, empfehle ich dir Duden ;)

http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/ehemalig
http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/vergangen_Adjektiv


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

sich treffen=meet treffen = come across Correct me if I am wrong


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

Guys, you know in the X-Men movies when Charles and Erik always address each other as 'old friend'.. so could they say like, "Auf wiedersehen, mein ehemaliger Freund"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjd1123
  • "old friend" - "alte(r) Freund(in)"
  • "former friend" - "ehemalige(r) Freund(in)"

While I don't know what translation they used for the German dubbing of these movies, this doesn't seem like a very good translation (it certainly wouldn't be a very faithful one), and it would be quite weird to address someone as "ehemaliger Freund" anyway (and I'd suspect that addressing someone as "former friend" would be equally weird in English).


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

So, I translated this as 'He visits an old friend.' and this answer was rejected. The "corrected" suggestion was 'He hits an old friend.' which I understand would also be more acceptable but I don't understand why my answer was rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ben.gardne

Why does this page say that the sentence translates to "He meets a former friend" yet when I wrote that in I was marked incorrect, the translation the page gave was "He hits an old friend" if there are 2 translations possible depending on context why was I marked wrong?


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

I've been waiting for you, Obi Wan. We meet again, at last


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

Duo did not accept my translation which was "He meets a one time friend". I do think that is a correct translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jerome1014

Why do we add the -en -en? Anyone please help me! Argh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

That is because this is in the accusative case, and mixed inflection. Accusative case means 'ein' becomes 'einen' and mixed inflection makes 'ehemaligen'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karolius2

Duo so funny, lvl 1 and i have additional word meat xD and just used it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WLB357314

Why not "He meets an ex-boyfriend."?


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

Because "ehemalig" isn't how German expresses the concept of an ex-partner. It would be very unusual for this sentence to be used to refer to one's ex.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WLB357314

Fair enough. Do you happen to know how to say "ex-boyfriend" or "ex-girlfriend" in German?


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

"He meets a former friend" is unnatural. To "meet someone" implies that is the first time. To "meet with someone" implies that you already know each other, which is clearly the case with a former friend. "He meets with a former friend" should be accepted. (It was not) "He meets a former friend" should not be accepted.


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

can i say "an old-time friend"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fast-Eddy

'a friend from the past' should not be marked wrong!!!


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

Well, it's a good answer, so report it. Our beloved DL is, however, only a computer program run by fun people, so we have to see it as a game with more limited rules than real life. These discussions, though, are where some real life blood flows!


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

Couldn't agree more. And "a friend from the past" has some mysterious mood :-)

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