"Sie haben einen Unfall."

Translation:They have an accident.

December 30, 2012

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Seems a little gangster when you know germans often use the present to express the future!


English does this too.


"They are having an accident." is also accepted as correct. Which makes more sense if it is actually happening in front of us now. We would expect more information with the other version, for example: They have an accident every other year! How do they have such bad luck? or "They have an accident when they are not paying attention to the road. So we don't want anyone to text while driving."


Is that really true?


How would you say this is past tense? "They had an accident"


Sie haben einen Unfall gehabt. Sie hatten einen Unfall.


Stay tuned I guess.


'they HAD an accident' is correct in English.


Example: What happens next in the story? They have an accident.


But you changed the tense. :/


I don't know about the German, but in English "They had an accident" is much more likely to be used than "They have an accident." As soon as the accident occurs, it is past. Is there even a natural usage for the present tense of it (in English or in German)?


Yes, "they had an accident" is more common than "they have an accident." Would "they are having an accident" as the present-tense translation sound better to you? It would still be uncommon--usually by the time you could comment on an accident, it's over.

Perhaps in the context of a toddler . . . .


Fact is, at the time when I got this sentence, we had not yet been taught how to use the past tense in German -- which, imo, would justify DL's use of the present tense in this sentence.


But its not in past tense. 'They are having an accident' is correct for this sentence. It would just be really rarely used.


You can also build an accident: Einen Unfall bauen.dict.cc | einen Unfall bauen | W├Ârterbuch Englisch-Deutsch http://www.dict.cc/?s=einen+Unfall+bauen


How do we know this is not formal you as in "You have (are having) an accident."?

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