deber y tener que

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Whodunit

Senior Member
Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
elroy said:
No, I did not mean "solltest" - but rather "sollst."

"Solltest" would mean that it's my opinion - I think you should help your brothers.

"Sollst" expresses a universal moral obligation - one "should" help one's brothers.
But it would also be possible to say "one is supposed to help one's brothers" as a general statement, wouldn't it? In this context, "sollst" and "solltest" can be used interchangeably, but they actually different things. I could also say "Man sollte seinen Brüdern schon helfen" as I could say "Du sollst deinen Brüdern helfen" (which sounds like the Eleventh Commandment :D)
 
  • Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    In that example, the German "sollte" would translate to simply "should" - without the extra luggage. "would have to" = "müsste"

    Ich sollte meine Hausaufgaben machen, ansonsten... =

    I should do my homework, otherwise...
    "Ich müsste meine Hausaufgaben" and "Ich sollte ..." actually have different connotations in German, but do they have them in English as well?

    I should do my homework, otherwise I was not allowed to go out. (here the speaker refers to a past action)
    I should do my homework, otherwise I will get a bad grade tomorrow. (here the speaker refers to a future action, consequence)
    I would have to do my homework, before I can go out tonight. (here the speaker refers to the allowance that it is necessary to do one's homework, otherwise going-out in a club or the like will be permitted by your parents.)

    Do these examples really differ in English? I think in German you can differenciate them very well, so I just tried to translate my examples literally).
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    Who, Inés asked me to translate her post for you, so hear goes:
    Actually, I knew the sense and what the text was about, so I didn't need a translation. My passive understanding is pretty good, because I often read Spanish threads in here ... however, now I know the details as well, Elroy. :thumbsup:
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    But it would also be possible to say "one is supposed to help one's brothers" as a general statement, wouldn't it? In this context, "sollst" and "solltest" can be used interchangeably, but they actually different things. I could also say "Man sollte seinen Brüdern schon helfen" as I could say "Du sollst deinen Brüdern helfen" (which sounds like the Eleventh Commandment :D)
    Mag sein, but the point is that "sollen" refers to a moral obligation. The same goes for "deber."

    "Is supposed to" has nothing to do with our discussion. That expression has its own shades of meanings that we would do better not to get into here. :)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    Nix und! I just wanted to say that there're as many expressions in English as in German. I don't even know what you wanted to prove with your German "rain" examples. :confused:
    That "is supposed to" ≠ "may" and by extension
    "sollen" ≠ may

    Alc was referring to one of the possible meanings of "sollen" in German; that is, "is supposed to," and he suggested "may" as a possible translation. I was showing how "sollen" = "is supposed to" but "may" never equals "sollen" - hence the multiplicity of examples.

    Alles klar?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    "Ich müsste meine Hausaufgaben" and "Ich sollte ..." actually have different connotations in German, but do they have them in English as well?

    I should do my homework, otherwise I was not allowed to go out. :cross: "should" by itself never refers to the past. In this case, you would have to say "I had to" (here the speaker refers to a past action)
    I should do my homework, otherwise I will get a bad grade tomorrow. :tick: (here the speaker refers to a future action, consequence)
    I would have to do my homework, before I can go out tonight. :tick: (here the speaker refers to the allowance that it is necessary to do one's homework, otherwise going-out in a club or the like will be permitted by your parents.)

    Do these examples really differ in English? I think in German you can differenciate them very well, so I just tried to translate my examples literally).
    But in the last example, I would say "müsste" and not "sollte" - wouldn't you?
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    Actually, I knew the sense and what the text was about, so I didn't need a translation. My passive understanding is pretty good, because I often read Spanish threads in here ... however, now I know the details as well, Elroy. :thumbsup:
    I was just responding to the request. :)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    Mag sein, but the point is that "sollen" refers to a moral obligation. The same goes for "deber."
    elroy said:


    "Is supposed to" has nothing to do with our discussion. That expression has its own shades of meanings that we would do better not to get into here.




    Okay, so let's stop here ... allahumma illaa du möchtest noch was bijwerken. :D Oh my gosh, such a polyglottal discussion.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    That "is supposed to" ≠ "may" and by extension
    "sollen" ≠ may

    Alc was referring to one of the possible meanings of "sollen" in German; that is, "is supposed to," and he suggested "may" as a possible translation. I was showing how "sollen" = "is supposed to" but "may" never equals "sollen" - hence the multiplicity of examples.

    Alles klar?
    Clear ... I'm sorry I was lost.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    But in the last example, I would say "müsste" and not "sollte" - wouldn't you?
    You can - and I would. But as I said, there're some very subtle situations where you can't decide which use is correct ... but nevertheless, we should by all means ask in the German forum if you want more information.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    Okay, so let's stop here ... allahumma illaa du möchtest noch was bijwerken. :D Oh my gosh, such a polyglottal discussion.
    Al7amdu lil-laa meinst du?

    Bijwerken? Sollte das etwa Niederländisch gewesen sein?

    Polyglot, indeed. :) You even created a word.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    You can - and I would. But as I said, there're some very subtle situations where you can't decide which use is correct ... but nevertheless, we should by all means ask in the German forum if you want more information.
    Einverstanden. This thread has gone sufficiently out of control. :)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    elroy said:
    Al7amdu lil-laa meinst du?
    Wenn as auch "es sei denn" (unless) heißt, dann schon. Wie wäre es mit "illaa idhaa"?

    Bijwerken? Sollte das etwa Niederländisch gewesen sein?
    I suppose so.

    Polyglot, indeed. :) You even created a word.
    Doesn't the ending "... glottal" exist at all? I'm sure I've already seen it once or twice.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Whodunit said:
    Wenn as auch "es sei denn" (unless) heißt, dann schon. Wie wäre es mit "illaa idhaa"?

    Doesn't the ending "... glottal" exist at all? I'm sure I've already seen it once or twice.
    "Illa ithaa" geht schon - das andere nicht.

    "Glottal" exists but not "polyglottal."

    And now we're really stopping. :) Any further comments belong in a new thread.
     

    Fonεtiks

    Senior Member
    Esp-Eng-Ita-Por-Deu(learning)
    Whodunit I read your previous message about the use of tener que and deber with the examples, found them quite interesting, and I think, as a Spanish native speaker, that deber y tener que are not very different, and they are interchangeable.

    1. I have to go home
    Tengo que irme a casa = I have issues I need to solve at home, I feel sick or uncomfortable. I could stay.
    Debo irme a casa = Someone told me to go home or someone requires my presence. I can't stay by no means.
    Interchangeable

    2. Why do I have to go to school?
    Por qué tengo que ir a la escuela? = I don't want to go today but is there a way out?
    Por qué debo ir a la escuela? = Is there a reason why we are supposed to go to school? Is it to learn? Society tells us to go.
    Interchangeable

    3. Is there some reason why I should concentrate on school?
    Hay alguna razón por la cual tengo que concentrarme en la escuela? Do I need to concentrate there? I could just loaf around
    Hay alguna razón por la cual debo concentrarme en la escuela? I know should means "debería" but I am writing what my mind tells me to write without a second thought. Maybe "debo" here has a connotation similar to "por qué debemos respetar a nuestros mayores?" why should we respect our elders? In English "must" would sound as a law. I guess morality is more clearly involved in this case.
    Interchangeable

    4. Do you have to do your homework right now?
    Tienes que hacer tu tarea ahora? Do you really have that wish? I know you could do something more fun!
    Debes hacer tu tarea ahora? Are you compelled to do so? Someone told you to do so?
    Interchangeable

    5. I hate having to do chores (interesting example)
    Odio (el) tener que hacer faenas (interesante el uso de "el") in the end it's up to me to do it or not.

    And whereas I'd never say "Odio deber hacer faenas" I could say "odio el deber de hacer faenas" I hate the fact that society tells us to do so, I hate that I am being forced to do it.
    Not interchangeable

    In conclusion,

    1. tener que = it's necessary but nobody tells you to, the final decision is up to you.
    2. deber = it's necessary because you are practically being compelled, or it is morally accepted.

    My mind is about to see the light... is it my impression or, in my conception, the German word "sollen" = deber and "sollten" = tener que?
     

    dominoz

    Member
    RU
    Hola, Fonetiks, I think your above explanation is excellent. :thumbsup:
    I would also say that I think the difference between "tener que" and "deber" could be paralleled with the difference between "to have to" and "must" in that the latter seems to imply some kind of moral obligation or duty, whereas the former perhaps accentuates just the necessity by itself. (Maybe this is just my own personal interpretation though... not too sure!)
     
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