[Course Forum] German 1-7 by Memrise


(Dean Faccini) #110

Re: “ich hätte gern ein bisschen Frühstuck”.

Why is “ein bisschen” needed? If those two words are used, why is the translation not "I would like a little breakfast?

Or why is this sentence not used?

"“ich hätte gern etwas Früstuck bitte”.

(Mario2189) #111

Thanks for reporting these things!

  1. “ich hätte gern ein bisschen Frühstück”: I just changed the item to “ich hätte gern etwas zu frühstücken”, since it is better German. The word “bitte” is not necessarily needed in the sentence, because “ich hätte gern” is already very polite and conveys the message of “please”

  2. I have changed the English “Mrs.” to “Ms.”, because German “Frau” does not indicate whether a woman is married or not and neither does the English “Ms.” so that should be a lot better now!

  3. this may indeed cause a bit of confusion, but German “sein” means both “his” and “to be” and at the moment we don’t have a more elegant solution for that I’m afraid, since we also don’t want to introduce the same item twice with different meaning.

  4. I have just changed the English meaning of “wofür” to “for what”, as you are right that “where (for)” is not a very good translation!


(Mario2189) #112

see below, the sentence was just changed to “ich hätte gerne etwas zu frühstücken”, as the old German sentence sounds awful…

(Sir Cemloud) #113

Thank you @mario2189 for being so responsive on this course.

(Dean Faccini) #114

Das ist Großartig! Danke Mario.

Ok, one more question. I am really struggling to understand this sentence:

“sieh dir das mal an”
(look yourself that once on).

Is this really the correct way of saying “look at that”?

It seems overly complicated and it doesn’t make any sense to me. Would “Schau dir das an” or “sieh dir das an” not work?

(Mario2189) #115

well, yes this is the correct way of saying “look at that”. The German sentence “sieh dir das mal an” is a bit ambiguous though, since the word “mal” adds an almost idiomatic meaning of “just look at that”!
But I guess the Englisch phrase also has both meanings: 1) you ask someone to have a look at something as a pretty emotionally neutral statement and 2) you convey the meaning of being really surprised about a particular situation
Also, the sentence sounds a bit unnatural without the particle word “mal”. So I’d prefer to have it the way it is rather than “sieh dir das an” or “schau dir das an”, although of course these would also work.
Hope this helps!

(Gordon Shumway) #116

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was beginning to question my eyesight.


Thank you for the work you do here. :slight_smile:

I assumed that “ich hätte gern ein bisschen Frühstuck” was missing “bitte” because the previous sentence (“wir hätten gern etwas zu essen bitte”) does include it. Does this mean that it’s just completely optional in requests that use “gern(e) hätten”?

(Mario2189) #118

okay, so I would say that you generally do not need to use “bitte” and “ich hätte gerne” in the same
sentence in a restaurant setting when you order something. So I think I will actually change the
sentence “wir hätten gerne etwas zu essen bitte” and get rid of “bitte” here, since it sounds a bit unnatural and
overly formal and polite.

(Johnbr) #119

The same is true in a number of sentences. Often the context is obvious the first time round, because for example it’s grouped with other sentences about ordering food in a restaurant, or with other other formal sentences. But come time for review days or weeks later, it’s easy to forget that ‘would you like more beer’ was intended in a formal restaurant setting. A sentence like ‘do you take credit cards’ is unambiguously formal in every imaginable context, but it’s quite likely you could ask a friend if she wants more beer, to speak slower, to turn left, or to tell her she speaks too quickly. Not a big thing but seems easily cleared up with a ‘(formal)’ prompt in more of the sentences.

(Dean Faccini) #120

I have a new question!

I’m confused with the German for ‘enough’.

In German level 3, I was asked what the German for ‘to be enough’ is. My mind immediately went to things:

  1. Reicht
  2. Genug

My first response was to type in ‘Genug’ but this did not show as being correct. I then thought of “das ist reicht!” but I couldn’t recall what the correct verb was. Obvioulsy the answer Memrise was looking for was “reichen”.

So this lead to my confusion. What are the differences between the words reichen and genug. Do they not mean the same thing?

(Guess who's back 🤩🤩🤩) #121

Reichen is a verb genug is not a verb. To be enough indicates that you need to type in a verb

(Sir Cemloud) #122

Das ist genug = that is enough
Das reicht = “it reaches” as in it has reached the appropriate level.

(Guess who's back 🤩🤩🤩) #123

Das reicht also means - It’s enough


genug sein,
should all work as a translation for to be enough.

reichen has a much broader meaning: to reach and to stretch.

(Guess who's back 🤩🤩🤩) #127

(Guess who's back 🤩🤩🤩) #131

I thought I fixed the R at the first attempt (right after posting it… it seems I didn’t. Then I noticed I had typed “ist”, so if i translated it to Estonian (my mother tongue) it didn’t make any sense at all.
I had to delete the ist. Again the big R didn’t want to leave me.

So, I am guilty. This kind of noun Reicht does not exist.

(Guess who's back 🤩🤩🤩) #133

And I’m grateful for what you did

(Dean Faccini) #134

Thanks everyone. I still think there is confusion over the teaching of reichen and genügen. What doesn’t help is the lack of explanation from Memrise to differentiate the two words. In the same lesson (Handy Phrases, Level 2), I was told:

  • ‘genug’ translate as ‘enough’
  • ‘Das reicht!’ translate as ‘that’s enough’
  • ‘reichen’ translates as ‘to be enough’.

For an English speaker trying to learn German, this is very confusing. My initial thoughts were, “why am I learning two German words for the same word?”, and then I wondered why ‘that’s enough’ couldn’t be translated as ‘Das ist genug’.

(Dean Faccini) #135

Here’s another confusing issue for me.

Sie hat braune Augen und graue Haare.

I understand why the word ‘braune’ has an ‘e’ at the end but why does ‘graue’ and ‘Haare’ also have ‘e’? I understand the word ‘braun’ has an ‘e’ added due to the word ‘Auge’ being made into a plural word. But I don’t understand why this has also happened to ‘grau’ and ‘Haar’.

Ich schreibe jeden Tag geschichten.

Why is the sentence formed as "I write every day stories?

I know I have previously commented on Memrise no longer providing helpful mems to explain grammar changes (and I know Memrise is doing some work on making mems more helpful) but I feel removing them completely from the learning process is putting people at a real disadvantage. I some complained that they were very confusing but but removing them completely is forcing people to learn phrases without understanding the how or why behind every grammar change.