Du bist der Tommy...

gazrj01

Senior Member
English - Australian
Hello again everyone!

I have a question regarding the German in this sentence. I hope that the context in which the split sentence lies is enough to explain. Tommy is a man's name.

"Du bist der Tommy?" she said, in German, her eyes wide. She ran to the shop door and yelled inside, "Papa, komm; hier ist der Tommy aus England!"
As some of you may be familiar with my posts, it is for one of my novels. I do wish the German to sound natural. I would be grateful for any feedback.

thank you
 
  • manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    That sounds good - generally. "Hier ist der Tommy aus England!" doesn't work, though. You'd say that when you introduce Tommy to another person.
    "Papa, komm; der Tommy aus England ist da!" is more likely.

    edit: rethinking punctuation... something bugs me with your semicolon here. Better use: "Papa, komm! Der Tommy aus England ist da!"
    That's how it would be vocalized, as 2 distinct exclamations.
     
    Last edited:

    Frieder

    Senior Member
    Is Tommy his name or is it an englishman? Germans used to call English soldiers Tommy during the world wars (and after). But then there would be no sense in "... aus England".

    Note that the use of the article before a name (der Tommy) hints to the speaker being for southern Germany (at least in a historical setting. Today these differences are blurred). Whereas the use of der Tommy as in "the Englishman" would be correct in all parts of Germany.
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Guten Morgen :)

    Note that the use of the article before a name (der Tommy) hints to the speaker being for southern Germany (at least in a historical setting.
    Not necessarily. I could imagine a child speaking like that if the name Tommy was mentioned in family conversations before.

    Is Tommy his name or is it an englishman? Germans used to call English soldiers Tommy during the world wars (and after). But then there would be no sense in "... aus England".
    It's in the first post. ;)
    Tommy is a man's name.
     

    gazrj01

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    I suppose that I wanted to use "der Tommy", as it refers to a man that this particular family have all heard about, and know well, but have not met yet. He arrives, unexpectedly, as a surprise. It's a particular Thomas, not just any Thomas from England.

    (Just for extra information, regarding Frieder's comment about Southern German; the child is a descendant of an emigrant who grew up in Breslau, and emigrated to the United States at the end of the nineteenth century.)
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    (Just for extra information, regarding Frieder's comment about Southern German; the child is a descendant of an emigrant who grew up in Breslau, and emigrated to the United States at the end of the nineteenth century.)
    Close enough!
    If Trump had married a model from Breslau instead of a Czech one, he'd probably be equally known as "the Donald", I suppose ... :)
     
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