Wo ist der Mann, der/den man...heißt?

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by archibaldworthington, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. archibaldworthington Senior Member

    American English
    Wo ist der Mann, der/den man...heißt?

    Which is correct? In the phrase "Ich heisse", I take it that German-speakers understand that there's a "mich" being omitted. That is to say, I am calling myself <name>; therefore, one says "I call (myself) <name>." But what if you're asking about what someone else is called? Shouldn't one say:

    Wo ist der Mann, den man...heißt? (using den)

    rather than:

    Wo ist der Mann, der man...heißt? (using der)

    I don't think the sentence above is like "Wie heißen Sie?/Wie heißt du?", where another Sie and a dich are being omitted.
  2. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Hmmm ... in my humble opinion, you can't use "heißen" that way, and it's also not reflexive.

    You could say: Wo ist der Mann, den* man XXX nennt?

    *You can't use "der" there, since "man" is the subject of the clause, so you need to use the accusative "den" to refer back to "Mann".
  3. Dopplereffekt Senior Member

    Well, I am no Germanist philogist, but "jemanden [...] heißen" is an old expression, as you already assumed, used for "call/ name somebody something". For instance, referring to your example:

    • "Wo ist der Mann, der mich einen Dummkopf heißt?!" which means nothing more than "Wo ist der Mann, der mich einen Dummkopf nennt?!" (Who's the man calling me/ who calls me a fool?!") or
    • "Wo ist der Mann, denn man einen Meister heißt?" (I could picture that being used in mediaeval or in swashbuckler movies for example)

    I would consider this form of wording old fashioned and maybe only used in rather poetic and literature contexts such as drama novels (plays) or poems these days.

    In modern times, nobody would normally say "I call myself..." when referring to one's name, unless you plan on becoming a superhero villain of course :D
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  4. Tom S. Fox Member

    German speakers don’t understand any such thing because it isn’t true. As perpend already said, heißen is not a reflexive verb, and you can’t just omit reflexive pronouns anyway. As such, you would simply say, “Wo ist der Mann, der … heißt?”

    Moderator note: The discussion "Er hieß ihn, den Raum zu verlassen. / "Er hieß ihn den Raum verlassen." has been moved to this new thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2014
  5. bearded

    bearded Senior Member

    I feel that it is necessary to give a simple reply to Archibald's question, leaving aside outdated or seldom uses that might confuse him.
    In modern German, heißen is usually an intransitive verb meaning ''to be called'': ich heiße Paul = I am called Paul (there is no pronoun omitted as you seemed to believe, since the verb is intransitive, not reflexive).
    Another meaning of heißen is ''to mean'', like bedeuten: was heißt das = was bedeutet das = what does that mean?

    At the beginning of this thread, both perpend and TomS. had started giving that explanation, but it seems to me that the subsequent discussion, in which different uses of heißen were considered, might have been misleading for the OP who had asked a simple question.
  6. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Here the word is "nennen".
    The refelxive word is "nennen" here.
    Ich nenne mich Anton. - it does not mean that my name is Anton, mostly it is my nickname or a pseudonym. It is just the name I tell to a person.

    Context, example:
    A: Im Forum nenne ich mich Hutschi. This pseudonym is derived from my surname.
  7. archibaldworthington Senior Member

    American English
    Ich verstehe jetzt. Vielen Dank an alle.

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