"verb acc. -ing" or "verb gen. -ing"

  • Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Are there any similar structures used in German, too?
    There's the nominated verb in German:

    1) I don't remember our learning this rule in school.
    2) I don't remember us learning this rule in school.
    "Ich erinnere mich nicht an das unsrige Lernen dieser Regel in der Schule" would be an obsolete way saying it in German, but no one would use a nominated verb with a pronoun before it today.

    A better phrase would be "Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, diese Regel in der Schule gelernt zu haben," which would mean "I don't remember my learning this rule in school." However, if you want to explicitly mention that it was us who didn't learn the rule in school, you'd need a conjunctional (causal) clause:

    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, dass wir diese Regel in der Schule gelernt haben.
    (literally: I don't remember that we learned this rule in school.)

    I'm sorry, if this answer isn't satisfying to you, but I need more examples (in English) to say whether it is possible at all to express it like in English. To my knowledge, it is always the best to use a conjunctional clause (employing 'dass') or - depending on the verb - the infinitive plus "zu."

    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, das gelernt zu haben.
    (literally: I don't remember to have learned this. = I don't remember having learned this.)

    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, dass ich das gelernt habe.
    (literally: I don't remember that I learned this. = I don't remember my having learned/learning this.)

    The latter is applicable to all pronouns regardless the main clause, but the former construction is only possible if both clauses use the same pronoun or person.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    There's the nominated verb in German:
    Who, "nominated" is the wrong word.
    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, dass wir diese Regel in der Schule gelernt haben.
    (literally: I don't remember that we learned this rule in school.)
    It's not literal. Literal would be: I remember myself not "on", that we this rule in the school learned have. ;) :D

    In fact, your English sentence is perfectly idiomatic English.

    "I don't remember that we learned this rule in school."
    "I don't remember that I mentioned this before." (I don't remember my mentioning this before.)

    You suggestion in English was exactly the one I was going to suggest as the best way to get from English to German. :)

    Gaer
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Who, "nominated" is the wrong word.
    I meant "nominalized." Sorry about the confusion. :eek:

    It's not literal. Literal would be: I remember myself not "on", that we this rule in the school learned have. ;) :D
    When I translate something "literally," (wörtlich) it still follows the main rules of the language I'm translating into. What you mean is "word-by-word" (wortwörtlich) to me. Or do you consider these two terms interchangeable in English? I'm not even sure myself if "wörtlich" and "wortwörtlich" can make this distinction, but I sense they are not the same in meaning.

    You suggestion in English was exactly the one I was going to suggest as the best way to get from English to German. :)
    Thanks. :)
     

    srt86hil

    Member
    England/English
    In fact, your English sentence is perfectly idiomatic English.
    Just a small point- this may be perfectly idiomatic American English, but in Britain we use "I can't remember", rather than "I don't remember".
     

    RobertofPoole

    Member
    UK . English
    Just a small point- this may be perfectly idiomatic American English, but in Britain we use "I can't remember", rather than "I don't remember".[/quote
    I disagree : I would probably use "I don't" more often than "I can't" , and I've been speaking BE for more than 50 years :)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    When I translate something "literally," (wörtlich) it still follows the main rules of the language I'm translating into. What you mean is "word-by-word" (wortwörtlich) to me. Or do you consider these two terms interchangeable in English? I'm not even sure myself if "wörtlich" and "wortwörtlich" can make this distinction, but I sense they are not the same in meaning.
    We have talked about this in another thread. Here are the sentences we were talking about here:

    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran, dass wir diese Regel in der Schule gelernt haben.
    (literally: I don't remember that we learned this rule in school. :tick: )

    Ich erinnere mich nicht daran=I don't remember

    dass wir diese Regel in der Schule gelernt haben=that we have learned this rule in school. :cross:

    That would be what I would call "too literal" for the simple reason that it sounds wrong in English.

    I don't think the words "literal/literally" apply very to translating. We use (at least in English): "too literal", "too stiff". I'm saying that your use of "literally" is wrong, because I don't think it is, but it's a bit ambiguous. The problem is that many people would apply this word to a translation that is awkward, forced or "mechanical" sounding.

    The problem is that we don't seem to have any term that describes a translation that is like your translation here, because it is not stiff or awkward sounding, at least to me.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that there are times when German and English are so close, we think we are being "too literal" when we are "spot on". When a translation seems really easy, we begin to second-guess ourselves and see awkwardness (or problems) when there is no problem. ;)

    Gaer
     

    srt86hil

    Member
    England/English
    I disagree : I would probably use "I don't" more often than "I can't" , and I've been speaking BE for more than 50 years :)

    Hmm, I'm not sure, but whenever I hear the former, I would suppose that the speaker has been influenced in some way by American English. The latter is definitely a lot more common in Britain.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I'm not? saying that your use of "literally" is wrong, because I don't think it is, but it's a bit ambiguous.
    Ich verwende ganz selten im Englischen "word-by-word", weil es mir zu sehr nach einer Wort-für-Wort-Übersetzung klingt. Leider machen das viele Schüler, die der Fremdsprache in dr Schule nicht gewachsen sind, und nehmen ein Wörterbuch und schlagen jedes Wort der Reihe nach laut deutschem Satzbau nach:

    I know not what you me said.

    Das ist für mich eine wortwörtliche Übersetzung: Eine wörtliche wäre so:

    I know not what you said to me.

    Und dies wäre eine idiomatische bzw. schöne Übersetzung:

    I don't know what you said to me/what you told me.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that there are times when German and English are so close, we think we are being "too literal" when we are "spot on". When a translation seems really easy, we begin to second-guess ourselves and see awkwardness (or problems) when there is no problem. ;)
    Genau das ist mein Problem. Ich will einen Satz so englisch wie möglich schreiben, dabei darf er mich nicht an den deutschen Satzbau erinnern! ;)
     
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