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Subject: Sprachhilfe rss

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Deb Wentworth
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This community has been a great help in answering my occasional questions about German. Hoping you‘ll advise me again.

German has a lot of verbs where you add a prefix that seems to change the connotation rather than denotation. Grüssen vs begrüßen, sterben vs versterben, etc. I often have a hard time figuring out which one to use.

I have a German version of Love Letter. If you play the Zöfe would you say ´ich bin geschütztˋ or ˋich bin beschütztˋ?

Thanks for any help!
 
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Sebastian Roehrig
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Both works fine and in my games both get used actually.
If you wanted to continue this sentences then you would say:

a)Ich bin vor dir geschützt.
b)Ich bin beschützt von der Zofe. (Die Zofe beschützt mich)

Both makes perfectly sense, but is a bit of a perspective thing, I think...
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Deb Wentworth
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Thank you Sebastian! Let me know if I can ever help with some nuances with English.
 
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Matthias M
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debwentworth wrote:
´ich bin geschütztˋ or ˋich bin beschütztˋ?

Both work equally well. The first version just means "I am protected" while the second version implies that there is someone who is protecting (or guarding) you.
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Deb Wentworth
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Thank you Matthias - that is exactly the kind of nuance that is difficult to appreciate just from reading online translators. I appreciate it!
 
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Semijawa
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I disagree that both can be equally be used. I'm not sure about the grammar, but the 2nd version sounds just wrong. It would work for me as 'Ich werde beschützt' or like Sebastian said it 'Die Zofe beschützt mich'. To say if it's completely wrong I would have to look up how you form a proper passive in German. Since, that's the different between the two I would translate

a) I'm protected.
b) I'm being protected.
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Sebastian Roehrig
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Irgendwer wrote:
I disagree that both can be equally be used. I'm not sure about the grammar, but the 2nd version sounds just wrong. It would work for me as 'Ich werde beschützt' or like Sebastian said it 'Die Zofe beschützt mich'. To say if it's completely wrong I would have to look up how you form a proper passive in German. Since, that's the different between the two I would translate

a) I'm protected.
b) I'm being protected.


I think you are able to use it (Ich bin beschützt) this way, as in "Ich fühle mich beschützt". Sounds like an old german way of saying it in my ears. So it might be outdated but not wrong in general.

And as I wrote in my first reply, at my table people (all natives) use both of the phrases mentioned by the OP, even if the second one sounds a bit off.
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Deb Wentworth
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Good to know neither is incorrect!

A vivid memory of this issue is from when I lived in Germany when I was younger. I had an elderly doctor, Dr. Garten. I went to see him once and was told ˋes tut mir Leid, aber Dr Garten ist verstorbenˋ.

I didn’t say it, of course, but I thought ˋverstorben? Warum nicht gestorben?´. I had not heard the verb versterben before that moment.

Thinking about it, in that particular situation, we probably would not have said something as blunt as ´Dr. Garten diedˋ in English either.
 
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Semijawa
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Sebiroe wrote:
Irgendwer wrote:
I disagree that both can be equally be used. I'm not sure about the grammar, but the 2nd version sounds just wrong. It would work for me as 'Ich werde beschützt' or like Sebastian said it 'Die Zofe beschützt mich'. To say if it's completely wrong I would have to look up how you form a proper passive in German. Since, that's the different between the two I would translate

a) I'm protected.
b) I'm being protected.


I think you are able to use it (Ich bin beschützt) this way, as in "Ich fühle mich beschützt". Sounds like an old german way of saying it in my ears. So it might be outdated but not wrong in general.

And as I wrote in my first reply, at my table people (all natives) use both of the phrases mentioned by the OP, even if the second one sounds a bit off.

Something being used by native speakers and something being grammatically correct are not always the same thing.
How many Germans say something like: größer wie, even thought it should be größer als? Or use the anglicism 'Sinn machen'?
Ich fühle mich beschützt is grammatically speaking something differnt than Ich bin beschützt. But as stated before I'm not an expert when it comes to German grammar, just a native speaker. My linguistic studies where related to other languages.
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Semijawa
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debwentworth wrote:
Good to know neither is incorrect!

A vivid memory of this issue is from when I lived in Germany when I was younger. I had an elderly doctor, Dr. Garten. I went to see him once and was told ˋes tut mir Leid, aber Dr Garten ist verstorbenˋ.

I didn’t say it, of course, but I thought ˋverstorben? Warum nicht gestorben?´. I had not heard the verb versterben before that moment.

Thinking about it, in that particular situation, we probably would not have said something as blunt as ´Dr. Garten diedˋ in English either.

A quick look to the Duden website said that 'versterben' is a 'higher language' verb which also explains why you hadn't encountered it before.

https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/versterben translates it like I would have with 'to pass away'
 
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Deb Wentworth
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Funny that you mention 'Sinn machen‘. Recently I’ve noticed Germans saying that and I was surprised - it sounded to my ears like an English speaker translating directly.

On a similar note, if I were to say that I lost weight, I‘d say ´ich habe abgenommen‘. I heard someone recently say ´ich habe Gewicht verlornen‘. Is that also a common way to express that or an English-ized version?

 
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Benjamin Pachner
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debwentworth wrote:
Funny that you mention 'Sinn machen‘. Recently I’ve noticed Germans saying that and I was surprised - it sounded to my ears like an English speaker translating directly.

Which is exactly where we got it from :) German is heavily influenced by the English language and we adopt many terms and phrases. "Sinn machen" used to be complete nonsense in German because you literally can not "create" sense (the English "to make" has a vastly broader meaning than the German "machen"). A correct German wording would be something like "das ergibt keinen Sinn". But then the phrase kept creeping into the everyday language, was mocked by many for several years and today it's considered normal German by a majority :)

The "I lost weight" thing may be exactly the same except the the wording itself (Ich habe Gewicht verloren) has always been okay in German - it's just not been used that much.
Edit: Thinking about it, I'd probably say "Ich habe abgenommen" if I actively tried to lose weight and "Ich habe Gewicht verloren" if it was for other reasons like being sick etc. But that's just my personal feeling about it.

Another example along these lines is "Ich erinnere das" (I remember that) which is not correct in German because "erinnern" is a reflexive verb and can not be used that way. However, give it a few more years and it will be considered standard usage :)
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Deb Wentworth
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Thanks for the explanation! Personally, I hate the influx of English into German - I wish you guys were more like the French when it comes to language purity.

I'm taking an Oberstufe course in German to brush off my rusty language skills. In the readings that we discuss I'm dismayed by how many English words and expressions have infiltrated your wonderful (but difficult) language.

I just found a way to watch the TV series Weissensee through my Roku - I've just started watching it. Since I lived in Berlin back when it was a divided city the theme is very interesting for me. And I love that I don't hear a lot of English influence in the language. I can understand most of what they're saying except when they get excited and speak very rapidly.
 
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Andreas
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debwentworth wrote:
Thanks for the explanation! Personally, I hate the influx of English into German - I wish you guys were more like the French when it comes to language purity.

I'm taking an Oberstufe course in German to brush off my rusty language skills. In the readings that we discuss I'm dismayed by how many English words and expressions have infiltrated your wonderful (but difficult) language.

I just found a way to watch the TV series Weissensee through my Roku - I've just started watching it. Since I lived in Berlin back when it was a divided city the theme is very interesting for me. And I love that I don't hear a lot of English influence in the language. I can understand most of what they're saying except when they get excited and speak very rapidly.


English and German are related languages. That is possibly the reason why English influences German more easily than Frnech, which is a Romanic language?
Up to my experience the use of anglicisms also very much depends on the social environemnt of the speaker/writer (e.g. "business speak").
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Marius Stein
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cuazzel wrote:
debwentworth wrote:
Funny that you mention 'Sinn machen‘. Recently I’ve noticed Germans saying that and I was surprised - it sounded to my ears like an English speaker translating directly.

Which is exactly where we got it from :) German is heavily influenced by the English language and we adopt many terms and phrases. "Sinn machen" used to be complete nonsense in German because you literally can not "create" sense (the English "to make" has a vastly broader meaning than the German "machen").


Don't be so sure about that. This opinion is widely spread but how can you argue in case of: "Schule machen"? "Ihr gutes Benehmen hat Schule gemacht."? There is no real alternative to this phrasing, is there?
Anyway, there is no English expression sounding anything like that one... It might come from another language though. (I checked French via an online dictionary and it also doesn't seemd to be used there...)
 
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Benjamin Pachner
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Moeper wrote:
cuazzel wrote:
Which is exactly where we got it from :) German is heavily influenced by the English language and we adopt many terms and phrases. "Sinn machen" used to be complete nonsense in German because you literally can not "create" sense (the English "to make" has a vastly broader meaning than the German "machen").

Don't be so sure about that. This opinion is widely spread but how can you argue in case of: "Schule machen"? "Ihr gutes Benehmen hat Schule gemacht."? There is no real alternative to this phrasing, is there?

That's a completely different case though. "Es hat Schule gemacht" means it was used as an example or it has been adopted - all things that work very well with "machen". I don't see any issues there.
Also there are many other possible phrasings: "Ihr gutes Benehmen diente als Vorbild / gutes Beispiel" or "Ihr gutes Benehmen wurde von vielen übernommen" or "Ihr gutes Benehmen fand viele Nachahmer" - how many do you need? :)
 
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