Music playing is something one needs to be alone to do

zopqwe

Senior Member
Spanish (Arg)
Hi everyone!

Well, here's the thing, I wanna convey the idea that one needs to be alone to play music. I think I could simply say "Man muss allein sein, um Musik zu spielen" (please tell me if this sentence is correct), but what if I were to say something like Music playing is something one needs to be alone to do. My attempt would be Musik Spielen is eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun (machen?) or perhaps Musik ist etwas, das man allein sein muss, um zu tun. Now, I know these sentences sound a bit clumsy in english, and I bet they do in german too, but I would like to know whether, regardless of their clumsinnes, they are grammatically correct. Obviously, if you wish, feel free to advise me how best to (more idiomatically) express my idea.

P.S. Wenn Sie Englisch sprechen können, bitte antworten Sie mir auf Englisch. Ich lerne Deutsch seit 2 Jahren und finde es noch schwierig, alles zu verstehen.
 
  • paradoxa4

    Senior Member
    Venezuelan Spanish
    Hi everyone!

    Well, here's the thing, I wanna convey the idea that one needs to be alone to play music. I think I could simply say "Man muss allein sein, um Musik zu spielen" (please tell me if this sentence is correct), but what if I were to say something like Music playing is something one needs to be alone to do. My attempt would be Musik Spielen is eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun (machen?) or perhaps Musik ist etwas, das man allein sein muss, um zu tun. Now, I know these sentences sound a bit clumsy in English, and I bet they do in German too, but I would like to know whether, regardless of their clumsiness, they are grammatically correct. Obviously, if you wish, feel free to advise me how best to (more idiomatically) express my idea.

    P.S. Wenn Sie Englisch sprechen können, bitte antworten Sie mir auf Englisch. Ich lerne Deutsch seit 2 Jahren und finde es noch schwierig, alles zu verstehen.
    Ich kann Ihnen helfen. "Man muss allein sein, um Musik zu spielen" Das ist perfekt.

    Musik Spielen isT eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun: Auf Deutsch geht es immer ein T, Deutsch sieht ähnlich wie Englisch, aber sie sind natürlich unterschiedliche Sprachen. Und dein Englisch klingt sehr gut.

    Ich weiß nicht ob meine Antwort richtig ist, aber wenn das eine Prüfung wäre, würde ich schreiben: "Musik zu spielen ist eine Sache, an der man allein sein muss, wenn man tun will"

    Natürlich bin ich auch ein Ausländer, der lernen will. ;) Lass uns warten, bis ein Deutscher uns antwortet. (Glauben Sie mir nicht alle, da ich gesagt habe, kann das Fehler haben)
     
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    zopqwe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Arg)
    Thank you very much for the quick answer Paradoxa4.

    Musik Spielen isT eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun: Auf Deutsch geht es immer ein T
    Well, I know that, it was just a typo :). Of course your sentence sounds much better, but what I mostly wanna know is whether the two I wrote are "gramatically" correct. I know they sound rather funny, and I wouldn't use them, but I'm concerned with the structure. So, do you think they're acceptable from a merely grammatical standpoint?
     

    Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    ... but what if I were to say something like Music playing is something one needs to be alone to do. My attempt would be Musik Spielen is eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun (machen?):cross: or perhaps Musik ist etwas, das man allein sein muss, um zu tun.:cross:
    Grammatically correct but not particularly good style (and I find the message very questionable, by the way):
    - Musizieren (Musik machen) ist etwas, bei dem man allein sein sollte, wenn man es tut.
    - Musizieren (Musik machen) ist etwas, das man allein tun sollte.
     

    zopqwe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Arg)
    (and I find the message very questionable, by the way)
    Hehe, yep, I do too, it was just something I came up with on the spur of the moment in order to show you the structure I was in doubt about, i.e. X ist eine Sache (etwas), die (das) man allein sein muss, um zu tun meaning Man muss allein sein, um x zu tun. So, bottom line, I don't believe in the statement myself.
    Now, I was a little thrown by your answer. You say they're gramatically correct (albeit mediocre style-wise), but you put crosses in them, so are they or are they not correct (again, from a purely grammatical point of view)? If so, what are the crosses for? Just to point out that they're not particularly good regarding style? And, must I use tun or machen here?. Secondly, do you agree with paradoxa4 when he says that the first sentence, to wit: man muss allein sein, um Musik zu spielen is completely normal and correct german. And finally is this structure always clumsy, or you can imagine an example where X ist eine Sache (etwas), die (das) man..., um zu tun might actually work fine?
    Thank you very much for your time.
     

    Thomas W.

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    ...
    Now, I was a little thrown by your answer. You say they're gramatically correct (albeit mediocre style-wise), but you put crosses in them, so are they or are they not correct (again, from a purely grammatical point of view)?
    ...
    The crosses mean: the sentence before them is incorrect. (For some reason, a lot of posters in this forum are fond of those crosses and use them for "false". I, too, was confused by that at the beginning.

    ...And, must I use tun or machen here? ...
    As said in the posts above: You use "machen" in "Musik machen", but "tun" in "... es zu tun".

    ... Secondly, do you agree with paradoxa4 when he says that the first sentence, to wit: man muss allein sein, um Musik zu spielen is completely normal and correct german.
    Yes. (Except of the "Musik zu spielen" - this should be replaced by "Musik zu machen".)

    And finally is this structure always clumsy, or you can imagine an example where X ist eine Sache (etwas), die (das) man..., um zu tun might actually work fine?
    "..., um zu tun." is always incorrect.
     
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    Kurtchen

    Senior Member
    German - Norddeutschland
    Just for clarification, by "playing music" do you mean singing/playing an actual instrument or playing and listening to a recording? The difference is crucial for a proper translation. :)
     

    zopqwe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Arg)
    The crosses mean: the sentence before them is incorrect. (For some reason, a lot of posters in this forum are fond of those crosses and use them for "false". I, too, was confused by that at the beginning.
    I didn't mean to say I didn't know what the crosses stood for, what I didn't understand was how the crosses (stating the sentences were incorrect) tied in with the statement (and I quote): Grammatically correct but not particularly good style. If the crosses meant the sentences weren't correct then the statement was wrong, and vice versa.

    "..., um zu tun." is always incorrect.
    Does this mean this is incorrect cause an object is missing, and if I said um es zu tun then it would be correct, or that's wrong too?

    Just for clarification, by "playing music" do you mean singing/playing an actual instrument or playing and listening to a recording? The difference is crucial for a proper translation.
    By "playing music" I mean playing an instrument, and that's actually the reason why I didn't say Musik machen, cause I thought Musik machen might mean writing music, not playing it.
     
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    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    what I didn't understand was how the crosses (stating the sentences were incorrect) tiedin with the statement (and I quote): Grammatically correct but not particularly good style.
    I think that Robocop meant his own suggestions because the words are followed by a colon: Grammatically correct, but not particularly good style: (...)

    I would not use "Musik machen" for writing music; if someone said:

    Wenn ich Musik mache, möchte ich gern allein sein,

    I would understand that he wanted to play an instrument, sing, whistle, well... make noise in some way. ;) If I wanted to write a piece of music or a song, I would say:

    Wenn ich ein Lied / ein Stück schreibe, brauche ich meine Ruhe.
    Um ein Lied / ein Stück zu schreiben, brauche ich meine Ruhe.

    "... um es zu tun" would generally be correct, but in my opinion it would not fit well in this sentence.

    X ist eine Sache (etwas), die (das) man allein sein muss, um zu tun meaning Man muss allein sein, um x zu tun.
    The first sentence does not work. The second sentence is OK:

    Man muss allein sein, um Musik zu machen.
    Man muss allein sein, um nachdenken zu können.

    In order to create something similar to your intended first structure, you could say:

    Musikmachen ist eine Tätigkeit, für die man allein sein muss.
    Nachdenken ist eine Tätigkeit, für die man allein sein muss.


    But to me this sounds quite bureaucratic; I would probably not say such a sentence.
     
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    Thomas W.

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    I didn't mean to say I didn't know what the crosses stood for, what I didn't understand was how the crosses (stating the sentences were incorrect) tied in with the statement (and I quote): Grammatically correct but not particularly good style. If the crosses meant the sentences weren't correct then the statement was wrong, and vice versa.
    ...
    The "Grammatically correct but not particularly good style" in Robocop's post clearly refered to Robocop's own suggestions (after the colon).
    Your suggestions "Musik Spielen is eine Sache, die man allein sein muss, um zu tun (machen?)" and "Musik ist etwas, das man allein sein muss, um zu tun." are incorrect - grammatically and in any other way.


    Does this mean this is incorrect cause an object is missing, and if I said um es zu tun then it would be correct, or that's wrong too?
    It means that "..., um zu tun." is always incorrect.
    Correct would be "..., um es zu tun." (in a sentence like "X ist etwas, das man können muss, um es zu tun")
    or "..., um sie zu tun." (in a sentence like "X ist eine Sache, die man können muss, um sie zu tun.")
    (For "...allein sein muss" instead of "können muss" you need a "für" before "das"/"die")


    By "playing music" I mean playing an instrument, and that's actually the reason why I didn't say Musik machen, cause I thought Musik machen might mean writing music, not playing it.
    "Musik machen" means playing music. Writing music would be "Musik komponieren" or, as sowka suggested, "ein Stück/Musikstück/Song schreiben".
     
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    zopqwe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Arg)
    OK, now we're cooking! Thanks sowka and Thomas, it's all clear now. One quick question to wrap it up. If I added the es and the für, as in Musikmachen ist etwas, für das man allein sein muss, um es zu tun, that would be correct, right? Now, I understand, from what you've told me, that it sounds a bit strange nevertheless, but, how strange? I mean, would it be that noticeable if said casually, during an everyday conversation? Would it induce frowns or there's a chance it might pass unnoticed?
     

    Thomas W.

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    OK, now we're cooking! Thanks sowka and Thomas, it's all clear now. One quick question to wrap it up. If I added the es and the für, as in Musikmachen ist etwas, für das man allein sein muss, um es zu tun, that would be correct, right? Now, I understand, from what you've told me, that it sounds a bit strange nevertheless, but, how strange? I mean, would it be that noticeable if said casually, during an everyday conversation? Would it induce frowns or there's a chance it might pass unnoticed?
    It is not that strange. I would even prefer it if I wanted to make this point very forcefully.
    But it depends on the audience. Such a sentence could come across as a bit bookish or convoluted if you are addressing a hip or uneducated crowd.
     

    zopqwe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Arg)
    Such a sentence could come across as a bit bookish or convoluted if you are addressing a hip or uneducated crowd.
    Hehe, this is rather funny, cause this was the only sentence I thought of, merely because my poor german prevented me from coming up with any other, perhaps more idiomatic, possibility. So, paradoxically, because of my very backwardness in german, I run the risk of coming across as bookish :).
    But, all joking aside, I really want to thank you all for your trouble, you've been of great help.
     

    driFDer

    Senior Member
    (A)English
    So, paradoxically, because of my very backwardness in german, I run the risk of coming across as bookish :).
    Well, I am teaching myself German through (you guessed it!) books!! I've read english grammar books and the languange within them is indeed "bookish" sounding. So, it's no wonder! This reminds me of a "popular" German expression I came across in a book one day: "Das macht den Braten nicht fett." Only later was I told that it reminded people of something their grandmothers would say. So much for "popular". :DOkay, I got us off topic. :(
     

    ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    If I added the es and the für, as in Musikmachen ist etwas, für das man allein sein muss, um es zu tun, that would be correct, right?
    It's possible, but in my experience "um ... zu" is more equivalent to "in order to" than simply "to". So your sentence, translated back to English, would be a bit like saying

    "Making music is something for which one needs to be alone in order to do it".

    Not wrong, but maybe not exactly what you wanted to say. :)

    Cheers,
    Abba
     
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