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infinitive for imperative

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by diego-rj, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. diego-rj

    diego-rj Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazilian Portuguese
    So I was playing video game and discovered I could set the language to German, so I decided to play it in German so that I could practice a little bit. Then I noticed that several times the infinitive was used instead of the imperative to give orders (for exemple "Aufmachen!" instead of "Machen Sie auf!").

    Is it something common? I usually don't trust very much in video games translations. If it is normal, is it used in specific situations? (I had the impression it had to do with the du-Sie formality).
  2. pterois New Member

    Geneva, Switzerland
    German - Germany
    Hello Diego-rj,

    Great idea to practise German that way! :)

    The infinitive is a common replacement for imperative. We use "Mach auf!" (du) or "Machen Sie auf!" (Sie) when we know who is behind the door. "Aufmachen!" is impersonal, we use it when we don't know whom we're talking to.


    Her child hiding in her room, the mother says: "Mach auf!"
    The anxious new teacher hiding in the classroom, his colleague says: "Machen Sie auf!"
    The police officer standing in front of a locked door, says: "Aufmachen!"

    I hope this helps?
  3. diego-rj

    diego-rj Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Oh, that makes sense now. Vielen Dank :thumbsup:

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