[Course Forum] German 1-7 by Memrise


(Redux2) #90

Hallo Dean Faccini,

I think someone wants to buy some clothes :slight_smile: (first one)

“Ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen” sounds weird. Here is etwas not necessary and it makes the sentence a little bit strange. “Ich möchte etwas zum Anziehen kaufen” is much better.

You can use both. I think there’s no difference.
but: durcheinander means also cluttered or messy .

(Dean Faccini) #91

Viel danke @redux2!

I shall use the ‘zum Anziehen’ sentence from now on. I do find it confusing as to why the word ‘etwas’ seems a little weird because isn’t this word a direct translation of the word ‘some’ and therefore relevant to the sentence ‘I want to buy some clothes’?

I’m grateful to you for your help :+1:t2:

(Gabriele Cramer Knebel2d) #92

You can’t ‘etwas’ Kleidung kaufen, this is completely wrong, The correct term is ‘einige’ Kleidungen kaufen. ‘etwas’ and ‘einige’ mean both ‘some’ but it can’t be used indiscriminately in most cases. In some cases they do mean the same.

‘etwas’ zum anziehen kaufen is correct.

verwirrt means confused.
‘Durcheinander’ means mixed, cluttered, a mess, messy and other terms,
Durcheinander (sein) as confused means to be in a state, to be in a mess.

@DeanFaccini: Did you mean “I want to ‘by’ some clothes” or "I want to ‘buy’ some clothes’
The first sentence is wrong, the second sentence is correct.

(Sir Cemloud) #93

To me the best to express confusion is :
verwirren for the verb to confuse
verwirrt for the adjective to be confused
verwirrend for confusing.

(Dean Faccini) #94

Thanks for the clarification @GabrieleCramer-Knebe. I think what confused me is that you can say “ich möchte etwas kaufen”, which allows the word combination of ‘etwas’ and ‘kaufen’. As the English translation of this sentence is “I want to buy something”, I must have thought that adding ‘Kleidung’ to this sentence would be the same as the English sentence, “I want to buy some clothes”.

By the way, I did mean “buy”.

(Mario2189) #95

also @DeanFaccini, the sentence “Ich möchte etwas zum Anziehen kaufen” is the better translation for “I wan to buy some clothes” and this is why we changed it from “Ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen” in our new official Memrise German courses. However, “Ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen” is not completely wrong! It sounds a bit archaic but is nonetheless a grammatical and valid German sentence and “etwas” is a direct synonym of “einige” in the example above. German “etwas” means both “some” and “something”, maybe this is where the confusion arose. To make things even more complicated, “etwas” can also stand by itself as in “ich möchte Etwas kaufen”, all three examples are valid. I hope this helped!
Have a great day everyone!

(Dean Faccini) #96

Thank you Mario for your explanation. Es ist sehr hilfreich.

I do have another question which I hope you (or anyone else) can help me with:

What is the difference between:
• Möchten
• Hättten

In German A1. Möchten seems to be the default verb to use when stating “to want” something. For example, the sentences that used möchten were:
• Wir möchte gern etwas zu essen bitte
• Möchten Sie gern mehr Bier
• Möchten Sie etwas essen

But in German Level 3, some of these sentences have had the verb Möchten replaced with the verb Hättten.

I am curious to understand why. When I try to construct my own sentences, I want to be sure when choosing between Möchten and Hättten.

Viel danke!


I think its : Would…?

(Gabriele Cramer Knebel2d) #98

The 30 years I lived in Germany I can’t remember ever hearing “Ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen” At least not in the Southern part (close to the border of France and Switzerland) I lived, which makes me wonder if it is said in certain parts of Germany only. Have you heard that sentence spoken?
Just curious.

(Redux2) #99

I live in the north of Germany near to the netherland border. And I have never heard “ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen”

(Sir Cemloud) #100

I guess the difference is between
"would you prefer to have" - hätten Sie gern
and “would you like” - möchten Sie

You would use the first one more when the verb is to have.
Hätten Sie gerne eine Tasse Tee ? / Möchten Sie etwas Tee trinken ?

(Mario2189) #101

also @redux2 I just meant that technically the sentence “Ich möchte etwas Kleidung kaufen” is not ungrammatical, since @GabrieleCramer-Knebe had said that it is “completely wrong” and people should use “Ich möchte einige Kleidungen kaufen”, which in turn would be wrong, since there is no Plural for German “Kleidung”.
However, this sentence seems to be confusing on so many levels that I might actually change it to something else very soon, so thank you very much for pointing this out!
Best wishes!

(Mario2189) #102

the difference is that “möchten” is a more polite form of “wollen” so “Ich möchte eine Tasse Tee” would be “I want a cup of tea”, whereas “hätten” is usually used in the expression “ich hätte gern” (“I would like (to have))”. I know this is a bit complicated, since both can mean the same thing: “Ich möchte gerne eine Tasse Tee” and “Ich hätte gerne eine Tasse Tee” both mean “I want a cup of tea” or “I would like a cup of tea”, with the latter being more polite. I am currently in the process of coming up with a better and more elegant way to teach this concept to German learners, thank you very much for drawing my attention to this issue!
have a great day!

(Overlord Hydroptère) #103

well, now you see why grammar is worth learning… konjunktiv, konditional, irrealis, and stuff :grin:

(Dean Faccini) #104

Thanks everyone. Your replies do really help with the learning process.


German 3, Level 4: “ich hätte gern ein bisschen Frühstuck” is translated as “I would like some breakfast please”. The German is missing the “please” element.

German 3, Level 8: “Frau” is translated as “Mrs.” and there is no form given for an unmarried woman. Would “Ms.” be a more appropriate translation?

German 3, Level 16: “sein (seine)” is translated as “his; to be”. Conflating the pronoun and the verb like this may cause confusion.

German 3, Level 18: “wofür” is translated as “where (for)”. Would “for what; for which” be a better translation?

(Gabriele Cramer Knebel2d) #106

This is copied directly from the Duden webseite http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Kleidung

GRAMMATIK :information_source:
die Kleidung; Genitiv: der Kleidung, Plural: die Kleidungen (Plural selten)

I grew up in School using Kleidungen as the plural and it was marked as an error if I did not use that Plural word. That is why I remember Kleidungen so much. And it’s not seldom (selten) used in the southern part of Germany. Blame it on our teachers. :grin:

(Gordon Shumway) #107

Course: German 7
Level: 1
Word: involvieren / to involve
iOS app

There seems to be a problem with the word involvieren. When I have to type it out, it says I was close, but wrong. But it shows me, You typed: involvieren and the Correct Answer as involvieren. No visible difference. It’s happened several times, since I keep getting it wrong. I’ve looked very closely and can not see where I am making an error.

I don’t know if it’s a Capital ‘I’ / lower case ‘l’ issue. The font used to have a little hook on the l’s, but the font now seems to be totally sans serif. I wish I could change the font.

(Mario2189) #108

oh yeah I did see that Duden entry, thanks for posting it! However, as it says there (and on many other websites on the topic), it is hardly ever used. In fact, when it is used in Southern Germany as e.g. in the sentence “Ich möchte einige Kleidungen kaufen” that still does not make it good German and in Modern Standard German, I’d say you would almost never hear “Kleidungen”. Another Plural form would be “Kleider”, which is a bit better in my opinion. Yet, there is “Klamotten”, something you would hear often, though it is pretty colloquial. Also, “Kleidung” can itself already have a plural meaning, since it refers to “Gesamtheit der Kleider” = entirety of clothes. So please remember that when English “clothes” is used, German would almost always (and only) use “Kleidung”.

(Mario2189) #109

Hi there and thanks much for flagging this issue! I tried to replicate the mentioned problem and the word works as intented. The problem is that it is easy to get it wrong because of the font: the lower case “L” and the upper case “i” look identical! We are currently working on a solution for this issue!