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wie wäre es mit...

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by weewoo!, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. weewoo! Junior Member

    english
    Hey! My German book says that "Wie wäre es mit ... ?" means "How about ... ?" I have an oral/debate type German test tomorrow, and I want to make sure I know how to use this:

    If I wanted to say "How about you don't interrupt me?" would it be Wie wäre es mit unterbrechen Sie mich nicht mehr? I doubt this is right... it sounds confusing. But how is this expression used in German?

    Also, does this also mean "what about... ?" and if not, how could you say something like "what about all the starving children?"

    Wie wäre es mit allen den verhungernden Kindern (assuming it should be dative)? oder noch etwas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    You're quite right, Wie wäre es mit unterbrechen Sie mich nicht mehr? sounds awful. Thats why German breaks the phrase when the object of mit is a clause:

    Wie wäre es damit, wenn Sie mich mal nicht unterbrechen würden. Notice the little da. It acts as object of the preposition, making the clause complete, while promising that the real object will follow. As it does, all on its own, technically in apposition with da, but more importantly not confusingly intermingled with the main clause.

    It's worth learning this da+preposition trick to tame grammatical jungles. You will run across it all the time in German.

    Wie wäre es mit all den verhungernden Kindern is how you say it if the object of mit is a noun. I made a little correction, because all doesn't get declined in the position you used it in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  3. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    To answer this part of your question, I would prefer to use "Was ist mit ..." in such cases. In other words:

    Was ist mit all den verhungernden Kindern?

    (Note that "all" is not declined if followed by the definite article)

    Cheers
    Abba
     
  4. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    ABBA is right, in your example, Was ist mit all den verhungernden Kindern? would be better, because it really means what's up with all these starving children?

    But in other cases, "hardcore" how abouts, wie wäre es mit... is right. For example How about a quick game of Skat? would be something like Wie wäre es mit einem kurzen Skatspiel?
     
  5. weewoo! Junior Member

    english
    Thanks everyone! This helps a lot!
     

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