"Mein Zug hatte Verspätung"

guyper

Senior Member
French Creole
"Mein Zug hatte Verspätung"

I realized that there is no ein that precedes Verspätung but I would like to ask if it's optional or you must really not put it in at all?

Thank you
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "Verspätung haben" is a set phrase. You wouldn't say it any other way. If you know how much delay the train has. you can say: "Mein Zug hatte 10 Minuten Verspätung".
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Hallo, Bernd. Wie ist es mit "Mein Zug hatte eine Verspätung von zehn Minuten"? Ist das zumindest theoretisch eine legitime Alternative?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Oh yes, of course, that is correct as well. Only if you want to say "to be delayed" without any qualification then "Verspätung haben" is a set phrase where you wouldn't insert an article even though it would make sense.
    In "Mein Zug hatte eine Verspätung von zehn Minuten" you mention a concrete delay, therefore it can have an indefinite article. In "Mein Zug hatte Verspätung", "Verspätung", delay, is an abstractum, much like "Lust" in "Ich habe Lust".
     
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