Language question for Native German speakers

36 posts in this topic

That would be awful and would definitely mean the evil parents were in on the act.

But my example definitely works both ways. At least , where I grew up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, john g. said:

That would be awful and would definitely mean the evil parents were in on the act.

But my example definitely works both ways. At least , where I grew up.

 

Informal speech works this way.  But it could not be used in this way outside of speech, could it?  Say, the local newspaper would not report it like this?  Does this informal use invalidate the passive voice?  And, does German speech do this with the passive?  Which is the point of this thread, after all.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, snowingagain said:

On a possibly related theme, my father managed to avoid calling his MIL by her christian name.  Not sure why, but he was uncomfortable about it.  It was a family joke. 

What was her Christian name? 😂

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

snowingagain- Funnily enough, someone nicked my cassette  recorder in Bonn when I was 20. I used the German " ich habe meinen Cassettenrecorder stehlen lassen " to tell a German about it and he smiled. Definitely not the German way to say I didn't plan it! Funny the things you remember!!

 

( I had done "A" Level German at school but never spoke it. Remember one of the texts in the exam to translate, though. It was about a Nilpferd in der Badewanne but I didn't know what a Nilpferd was that day of the exam😄)..

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, snowingagain said:

 "We had our young daughter raped by our next door neighbour" ?

Bloody hell. Doesn t get less banal than that. Can we bring in some homosexual activity amongst male giraffes, do you think ?

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, john g. said:

What was her Christian name? 😂

 

Phyllis!  She was a somewhat formidable woman.  

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody hell, snowingagain! Like this bloke in our Cretan village and called Syphis oder so. I never quite got to grips with his name and often greeted him with " jassou, Syphilis."😂

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, optimista said:

Bloody hell. Doesn t get less banal than that. Can we bring in some homosexual activity amongst male giraffes, do you think ?

 

Sorry, was trying to make a grammar point. Talking about giraffes.  Not long ago our local Grundschule had policy of encouraging children to be nicer to each other.  So the goodies were giraffes, and the baddies were wolves. It was a big deal, drawing pictures and all sorts of nonsense.   What a fucking joke.  Male giraffes are can be very violent, that is the way the are, it is not a fault, it is the way they work.  Wolves live in much more mixed cooperative groups than giraffes.  I voiced my opinions at the Elternabend, and they said, it was just a way of explaining aggression to kids.  But such a load of crap.

 

And of course the male giraffes will back each other.  As do many male animals without access to a mate.  Humans deciding they love and are attracted to people of their own sex is somewhat different I think.  

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Dembo said:

 But is that the passive voice? I don't know what you call that; seems be an alternative to the passive voice from what I find on Google. "The office was cleaned" is diffferent from "We had the office cleaned."

 

Pedant chiming in: It's called the causative form, meaning the subject (in this case "We) caused something to be done. It's essentially a mix of active and passive, not to be confused with passive/aggressive (Sorry dear, did you grunt something?)

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Aussiedog said:

This sounds like a potential comedy goldmine - don't have any typical examples that you can share with us by any chance?

 

Just the typical stuff, like when SIL is doing one of her boring humblebrags in the form of an extended story and pauses for effect, my MIL will ask "und was wurde dann gemacht?" or "und was ist dann passiert?" instead of addressing her in the 2nd person at all. When we're at a big family meal and MIL wants something in a dish that's in front of SIL let's say the potatoes, for the sake of argument  she'll ask if anyone can please pass the potatoes instead of "DIL, please pass the potatoes".

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, john g. said:

Funnily enough, in English- " I had my car stolen yesterday " can also mean I organised it! Or I didn't and am upset!

Yeah that's why I would never say this. Much easier (and proper) to say 'my car was stolen yesterday.'

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, skinnypuppy said:

Pedant chiming in: It's called the causative form, meaning the subject (in this case "We) caused something to be done. It's essentially a mix of active and passive, not to be confused with passive/aggressive (Sorry dear, did you grunt something?)

Thanks teach. I knew it was something like that.

 

It confused me greatly when I first came to the company's office here in Stuttgart and saw a sign that said "Leise bitte. Hier wird gearbeitet!". - Here it is being worked? Eh?

 

Of course now I get it, and have heard for example "Es wird geschlafen!" = "Go to sleep!", oder "Es wird getanzt!". I don't think English has anything similar.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rather enjoy the semi-passive English construction needs/wants + ing.

"The apples need using up."

"The oven wants cleaning."

"The task requires volounteers."

Etc.

(Always casually thrown into the air by someone who actually has no intention of doing said job ...)

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Yeah that's why I would never say this. Much easier (and proper) to say 'my car was stolen yesterday.'

That's nothing in comparison to Polish "Jestem samochodem". Literally it means "I am a car", but it actually means "I came by car, I am driving" [and therefore, I won't share a shot of wodka with you]

 

I was also very reluctant to use this phrase in Poland, it sounds so weird (but for Poles totally ok). 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, snowingagain said:

... the male giraffes will back each other.  As do many male animals without access to a mate. 

22 hours ago, snowingagain said:

 

Human males do this too in some circumstances. Think prisons and detention camps such as The Gulag or Papillon s Devils Island. Some men take 'wives' although they would not exhibit homosexual behaviour in any other scenario. Apparantly such couples have a better survival rate.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now