Dass ich das noch erleben durfte! (Teilsätze mit dass / ob)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by mattant, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. mattant Senior Member

    English - England
    Hallo zusammen!

    I've come across a construction recently which I'm not really sure how to use and how to interpret. A few examples:

    Dass ich nicht lache!
    Dass du dich ja warm hältst!
    Dass ich das noch erleben durfte!
    Ob ich es weiß!
    Und ob du mir was schuldest!
    Ob er mich wohl noch kennt?
    Ob es dir passt oder nicht!

    I can find translations of all of these, but I'm struggling to see a pattern here and how one should interpret them when you see them? Do they have certain shared qualities that I am missing? For foreign speakers, these sentences can be quite confusing, not least because they actually don't make sense grammatically, as (as far as I know) dass/ob clauses always require a Hauptsatz to qualify them.

    Furthermore, when does one use these sentences? Are they seen as colloquial and is it common to hear it in a normal conversation? If so, what sort of context would it be in and, coming back to the original question, what would it express? Or is it more reserved for literature/written texts?

    Danke im Voraus!
  2. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    The original main clause has been dropped, I think. I have no real clue if there ever was a set main clause.

    (Ich muss aufpassen), dass ich nicht lache.
    (Ich kann nicht glauben), dass ich das noch erleben durfte.
    (Ich weiß nicht), ob er mich noch kennt.
    (Ich mache das), ob es dir passt oder nicht.

    P.S. I've never heard of "Dass du dich ja warm hältst!". Do you mean "warm anziehen" or "jemanden warm halten" ?
  3. Frieder

    Frieder Senior Member

    und ob! = you bet!
  4. mattant Senior Member

    English - England
    Dass du dich ja warm hältst! = Mind you keep warm!

    OK, so are they just set phrases? Is it ever possible to just invent one, for example, (Ich bin mir sicher,) dass es morgen schneit!
    And when you hear such a sentence, how do you know how to interpret it? Taking the example of "Ob es dir passt oder nicht", how do you know that the preceding sentence is "Ich mache das" and not "Ich weiß nicht" or even "Sie ist immer unsicher"?

    I guess my question is more: Is it just about Sprachgefühl or is there a way to learn how to understand/use this construction? Are there any other examples that spring to mind for anyone, maybe not with dass or ob, but with another conjunction?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, but it's a construction we don't have in English and it 1) fascinates me, and 2) is something I'd like to learn, because it seems quite a nice construction :D
  5. Sowka

    Sowka Senior Member

    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    This would work only in the specific context:
    A: "Ich bin mir sicher!"
    B: "Worüber bist du dir sicher?"
    A: "Dass es morgen schneit."

    The ones you mentioned have become set phrases that can be used as (relatively) isolated phrases.

    Sohn: "Ich habe meine Hausaufgaben gemacht, ohne dass du mich dazu auffordern musstest!"
    Vater: "Dass ich das noch erleben darf..." (ironic)

    The sentence is always used in a situation, and it's the situation that explains how to interpret it.

    Yes, it's a fascinating topic that I hadn't been aware of before reading this thread, and my replies are only attempts at explaining what I can see right now...
  6. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    If I heard somebody say Dass es morgen schneit!, my assumption would be they are commenting, disapprovingly, on the weather forecast: It's really bad there's going to be snow tomorrow when I haven't mounted the winter tyres yet/Look at this: I was hoping for good weather for our outing.

    Cf. Dass er immer zu spät kommt!/Dass wir aber auch nie im Fußball gewinnen! ​(NOT from a German viewpoint)
  7. Dopplereffekt Senior Member

    Hi there,

    I'll try to cover the meaning of these sentences provided:

    • Dass ich nicht lache!
      --> A rather ironic or even sarcastic statement or remark conveying severe doubt of something that has been said or stated; often used when someone candidly and vociferously questions the subject matter or things that have been mentioned maybe during an argument or a (heated) discussion
      --> e.g.: "Und du willst mal studieren? Dass ich nicht lache!"

    • Dass ich das (sowas) noch erleben durfte!
      This can be used either to express genuine surprise and excitement about something that happened unexpectedly or something that you hoped for happening but had low expectations, however, that it could actually happen

      --> Or used as an ironic or sarcastic remark about something that: you may find ridiculous or histerical ("jetzt haben die Freistoß-Schaum bei der WM! Dass ich sowas noch erleben durfte! :rolleyes: ) or something that eventually happens which you thought would be a given ("Na, hat er endlich seine Fahrprüfung geschafft? Dass ich das noch erleben durfte!")
    • Und ob ...!; Ob ...!
      --> These are a rather defiant and opposing statements when you have strong thoughts and opinions about something in question maybe during a discussion; with this you make perfectly clear that you're not going to deviate from your opinion or simply show your strong conviction that that what you say is to be trused or just the truth itself ("Und ob das so ist!; "Und ob ich das mache!"); "you better believe it" is an equivalent I guess ("I will do it, you better believe it!")

      -->"Ob es dir passt oder nicht" is an idiom that is often used, as I indicated above, when you demonstrate strong conviction and an unflappable will to do something against anybody's possible objection or affirmation ("I'll do this or that, no matter what (you think)!"); you simply don't care about anyone's opinion no matter if they were positive or negative; often used to end an argument like "Basta!" ("and that's that" or "period") in such a context

    • Dass du ja...!
      --> Is idiomatic and quite commonly used to urgently/ ringly/ strongly remind somebody indirectly of the consequences (whatever they may be) caused by his/ hers actions or inactions ; functions mostly as a warning or reminder
      "Dass du ja nicht dort hingehst! (Sonst passiert was!)"
      "Dass du ja nicht vergisst, deine Hausaufgaben zu machen! (Sonst bleibst du sitzen!)"
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  8. mattant Senior Member

    English - England
    Thank you all for your help on this subject. I think the main thing from this is it is largely to do with Sprachgefühl.

    Many thanks once again!

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