sprechen über / von

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by hellen-oz, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. hellen-oz New Member

    Russian
    What is the difference between prepositions `über' and ´von´ when they are used with the verb sprechen? Are those prepositions all the same and if I can always use either of them with the verb ¨sprechen´?

    'Ich spreche von meinem Freund oder Ich spreche über meine Freund?'

    'Wir sprechen über deine Arbeit oder ich spreche von deiner Arbeit?'
     
  2. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    I think definitly correct is "über jemand/etwas" sprechen. Although you often hear "von etwas/jemand sprechen". I´m not sure if this is considered standard language.
     
  3. magnus Senior Member

    Marburg, Germany (temp.)
    Norwegian (Scandinavian), Norway
    I think "sprechen über" means to talk about a certain subject, this is neutral. On the other hand, "sprechen von" implies a characterization.

    1) Er sprach über eine bekannte Schriftstellerin (he talked about a well-known author)

    2) Er sprach von einer totalen Katastrophe (meaning: he called it a total catastrophe)

    Hope this helps.

    Magnus
     
  4. mannibreuckmann Senior Member

    Magnus is absolutely right and I was wrong!
     
  5. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    This is true and absolutely in the standard.

    In coll. language, "über" and "von" are often used synonymously in the first sense.

    1a) Er sprach von ihr als einer bekannten Schriftstellerin. (he talked about here as a well-known author)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  6. hellen-oz New Member

    Russian
    thank you for helping me
     
  7. Derselbe Senior Member

    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    I'd say:

    "sprechen über" = talk about
    "sprechen von" = mean sth.

    Like:
    A: Warum erzählst du solche Geschichten über Klaus?
    B: Ich spreche nicht von Klaus! Ich spreche von Peter.

    A: Why are you talking crap about Klaus?
    B: I don't mean Klaus. I mean Peter.

    hm. Somewhat strange. But "sprechen von" gives me the feeling that the speaker doesn't want to give me particular information but rather tries to clarify the topic.

    Does anyone agree?
     
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    This is true. But optionally it can also be true for "über".

    A: Warum erzählst du solche Geschichten über Klaus?
    B: Ich spreche nicht von Klaus! Ich spreche von Peter. - clarifies thee topic.

    A: Warum erzählst du solche Geschichten über Klaus?
    B: Ich spreche nicht über Klaus! Ich spreche über Peter. - clarifies the topic, too.

    In coll. language, you can say:
    A: Warum erzählst du solche Geschichten von Klaus? (meaning "über")

    But this can also mean that Klaus was the author.

    B: Die Geschichten sind nicht von Klaus sondern von seinem Bruder.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009

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