You offer something that expensive?

vlaasek

New Member
Czech
Moderator note: Welcome to the forum, vlaasek! :) Thread split off from here. One topic per thread, please (forum rule 2). Many thanks! :)


I want to say: You offer something that exppensive?!
Say, a lady is in the shop and sees an ice cream label which makes her stare in amazement as they offer it for 20€.
To assure herself she did not wake up on another planet, she asks the shop assistant disgustedly: Sie anbieten etwas so teuer?!
Is the form of teuer okay? Or do I have to conjugate it somehow? May it be considered a predicate adjective?
 
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  • bearded

    Senior Member
    < ... >
    But I will try to reply all the same, to help you (maybe moderators will admit this one exception):
    I think the correct expression would be
    Und Sie bieten etwas so Teures an?
    (please note the separable verb 'anbieten').
     
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    Glockenblume

    Senior Member
    Deutsch (Hochdeutsch und "Frängisch")
    Sie bieten das (Eis) so teuer an?
    Sie bieten das (Eis) für einen derartigen Preis an?
    Sie bieten ein so teures Eis an?

    (etwas aggressiv: ) Sie bieten das (Eis) für einen solch unverschämten Preis an?

    @ bearded man:
    Und Sie bieten etwas so Teures an?
    > Der Satz drückt wahrscheinlich nicht das Gemeinte aus:
    Es würde heißen, dass 20€ zu teuer sind, nicht nur für das Eis, sondern überhaupt.
     

    vlaasek

    New Member
    Czech
    Thank you for your ideas, Glockenblume.
    The suggestions are a bit difficult for me to be able to integrate them into my current knowledge.
    But one question rises in my mind. How come there is a change in the ending of the adjective as
    seen below?

    Und Sie bieten etwas so teures an?
    Sie bieten das (Eis) so teuer an?

    Aren't etwas and das both neuters? Please, if the answer should be 'more complex' somehow,
    do not bother with that. I am a beginner. :)
     

    Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    How come there is a change in the ending of the adjective as seen below?

    Und Sie bieten etwas so teures an?
    Sie bieten das (Eis) so teuer an?

    Aren't etwas and das both neuters?

    In the first case "teures" is an (inflected) adjective, in the second case "teuer" is an (uninflected) adverb referring to "anbieten".
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    something that expensive - etwas so Teures is what vlaasek asked about. Teures is a noun: das Teure.

    teuer
    is an adverb. etwas (so) teuer anbieten is totally different in meaning: to offer something at (such) a high price
     

    vlaasek

    New Member
    Czech
    I see. It is easy to catch the meaning now. Thanks, Demiurg.

    To Schimmelreiter:
    I have a problem to find out the word das Teure in my dictionary.
    But at least I can understand the capital T in bearded man's answer.
    Thank you.

    Does etwas so Teures literally mean something of such expensiveness?
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    Das Teure is a neuter, substantivated adjective. It has practically become a noun, therefore the capital letter.
    Etwas so Teures means something so expensive.
    In German you say (for nothing expensive) nichts Teures , (for something expensive) etwas Teures....
    That construction probably corresponds to grammar rules you have not yet learned, but please go ahead and do not surrender!:)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Etwas so Teures means something so expensive.
    In English, 'something' is the substantive and 'expensive' the adjective. Likewise with 'nothing so expensive'.
    The puzzle to me is how things can be the other way round in German. How can 'something' or 'nothing' fail to be substantives?
     

    vlaasek

    New Member
    Czech
    I am not giving up learning German as far as Mord mit Aussicht is on.
    Thank you for clarification and encouragement, bearded man.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    In English, 'something' is the substantive and 'expensive' the adjective. Likewise with 'nothing so expensive'.
    The puzzle to me is how things can be the other way round in German. How can 'something' or 'nothing' fail to be substantives?
    etwas Mehl - some flour
    etwas Teures - some expensive thing


    It doesn't work with nichts, though. I'll have to dig deeper. :confused:


    PS
    I've dug deeper:

    etwas and nichts used to be used with the partitive genitive:

    etwas Mehls -"something of flour"
    nichts Mehls - "nothing of flour"

    etwas Mehls
    became etwas Mehl.
    etwas des Teuren
    became etwas Teures.

    nichts des Teuren
    became nichts Teures.
    But nichts Mehls did not become ​*nichts Mehl.

    Hope that makes some sense.
     
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    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    In English, 'something' is the substantive
    Isn't something a pronoun?
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/something
    http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/something?showCookiePolicy=true


    and 'expensive' the adjective.
    ... and if something is a pronoun, how could the expensive part in "something expensive" be an attributive adjective? I think it is the other way around: The appositional pronoun something takes the role of the attribute of the nominalized adjective expensive.

    compare in German:


    • nichts Neues
    • etwas Wahres
    • wenig (attr.) Gutes
    • viel (attr.) Schönes
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Isn't something a pronoun?
    Yes; a noun equivalent: in other words, a substantive.
    ... and if something is a pronoun, how could the expensive part in "something expensive" be an attributive adjective?
    How could it not be? The 'thing' is the object in question and 'expensive' is its attribute.
    compare in German:
    • nichts Neues
    • etwas Wahres
    That is what is puzzling.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    A pronoun is not quite equivalent to a noun, since it cannot be accompanied by an attributive adjective.
    In German as in English, an attributive adjective precedes a noun.
    This made me think I had made a mistake, whereupon I said to myself 'Silly me!' - which made me think I had not made a mistake.

    According to the OED, however, 'something' is: 'noun (and adj.) and adv.'
    According to Chambers English Dictionary (1990), it may be a noun or a pronoun.
    At any rate, we can say it is substantive in this case as it denotes the object - that is, the existing thing - in question.

    Any adjective qualifying a substantive may be said to be attributive in the sense that it expresses an attribute.
    As regards position, it is true that in 'You offer something that expensive?' the position of 'expensive' is predicative, not attributive; but that does not alter the fact that it is an adjective qualifying the substantive 'something'.

    The phrase 'that expensive' means 'as expensive as that'. The fact that the word is being expressed in this comparative sense also goes to show that it is an adjective.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    whereupon I said to myself 'Silly me!'
    I would not to subscribe to this statement at all, but again this example shows that even if you don't draw a clear distinction between pronouns and nouns, the attributive adjective (here: silly) precedes the (pro)noun (here: me).
    Any adjective qualifying a substantive may be said to be attributive in the sense that it expresses an attribute.
    As regards position, it is true that in 'You offer something that expensive?' the position of 'expensive' is predicative, not attributive; but that does not alter the fact that it is an adjective qualifying the substantive 'something'.
    I would see it the other way around: In this case it is not the adjective expensive qualifying the pronoun something. As I already said in post #14 I would consider the pronoun something to be the qualifier of nominalized adjective expensive:

    Something of that which is expensive

    ... and the relation between the qualifier 'something' and the qualified thing 'the expensive' is an appositional one.

    The pronoun something would thus be the appositive attribute of the nominalized adjective expensive.

    Even if it were vice versa with expensive as the appositive (not predicative!) of the pronoun, as an appositive it would most likely be a noun.
    en.wikipedia.org said:
    Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to identify the other in a different way.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apposition
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    Yes, something expensive means something of the expensive (pronoun + nominalised adjective in the partitive genitive) just like etwas/nichts originally used to be used with the partitive genitive in German (see #13).

    expensive is neither predicative nor a postponed attribute (of which instances are rare in English: notary public, secretary general etc., all of them Romance, unlike the something/nothing construction).


    Back to something that expensive = something so expensive: "something of the so expensive"
     
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    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    expensive is neither predicative nor a postponed attribute
    The genitive attribute des Teuren in German would still be an attribute following the pronoun etwas to which it refers. Likewise, the prepositional attribute (of the) expensive would be positioned after its referent something. I prefer synchronic analyses, though.
    (of which instances are rare in English: notary public, secretary general etc., all of them Romance, unlike the something/nothing construction).
    Phrases like heir presumptive, commander in chief etc. are inversion compounds according to Marchand, with the determinant (DT) following the determinatum (DM) [Romance model of compounding] instead of the DT preceding the DM (Germanic model of compound word formation)
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    The genitive attribute des Teuren in German would still be an attribute following the pronoun etwas to which it refers. Likewise, the prepositional attribute (of the) expensive would be positioned after its referent something.
    My bad. I should have written postponed attributive adjective.


    On the other hand, doesn't my immediately following relative clause

    of which instances are rare in English: notary public, secretary general etc.

    make it clear I meant postponed attributive adjective?


    This doesn't alter the fact, though, that you are right.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The difference between an attributive adjective and a predicative adjective is indeed one of position, but it is only relevant to the present case if the word 'expensive' is an adjective functioning as an adjective.

    Apposition means that two elements of the same function are juxtaposed without any grammatical connection: e.g. 'Champion, the Wonder Horse' or 'Edward I, Hammer of the Scots'. In each case, one naming expression just sits beside the other, linked only by position and punctuation, and performing the same role in the sentence.

    If etwas Teures means 'something of the expensive' then Teures is a nominalised adjective in the genitive case. On that basis it is equivalent to a noun, which explains why it is capitalised. The genitive case shows that this is not apposition, but a regular connection of two equivalent elements (substantives).

    However, in that case, etwas, whether we call it pronoun or noun, is equally a substantive and I am still puzzled as to why it has no capital, if the German rule is to capitalise a term which acts as a noun.
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    I think that indefinite pronouns are never capitalized in German (jemand, niemand, etwas, nichts...). Only substantivated adjectives (das Gute...) take the capital letter. There are cases though, when those pronouns are capitalized, but then they are clearly nouns (ein Nichts, mein Alles...).'
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    the German rule is to capitalise a term which acts as a noun.
    We don't have that rule. Pronouns acting as nouns aren't capitalised unless they are (turned into) nouns: das Etwas, das Nichts.



    Cross-posted, sorry. bearded man said it in other words.



    PS
    I've seen indefinite pronouns capitalised in older texts (Jemand, Alles etc.), must have gone out of fashion at some point.
     
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    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Is this also saying that it is only with the definite article that an adjective is capitalised?
    No:
    Wir sind in diesem Thread zwar jetzt vom (def. article) Hundertsten ins (def. article) Tausendste gekommen, aber ein (indef. article) Gutes hat es: Ø (zero article) Uninteresssantes war nicht dabei!
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Of course! I should have appreciated that.

    Thus: (1) etwas is considered to be an indefinite pronoun (whereas 'something' in this case is apparently best seen as a noun);
    (2) etwas, because it is an indefinite pronoun, is not capitalised;
    (3) the phrase so Teures is genitive and means 'of the so expensive'.
     
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    Glockenblume

    Senior Member
    Deutsch (Hochdeutsch und "Frängisch")
    Of course! I should have appreciated that.

    Thus: (1) etwas is considered to be an indefinite pronoun acting as a noun (whereas 'something' in this case is considered to be a noun);
    (2) even though acting as a noun, etwas, because it is an indefinite pronoun, is not capitalised;
    (3) the phrase so Teures is genitive and means 'of the so expensive'.
    > (1) Perhaps it's easier to accept if you make the parallele between indefinite pronouns and other pronouns and articles which have the same function:
    Ich sehe es. - Ich sehe dies. - Ich sehe das. - Ich sehe etwas.
    None of them are capitalized.
    Ich sehe dieses teure Auto. - Ich sehe das teure Auto. - Ich sehe etwas Teures.
    The nouns are capitalized.

    > (3) "is genitive"??? I would prefer to say: ... was perhaps a genitive in the beginning
    so Teures: the -es is the Neuter ending of nominative and accusative > An so Teurem habe ich kein Interesse. (dative)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    > (3) "is genitive"??? I would prefer to say: ... was perhaps a genitive in the beginning
    so Teures: the -es is the Neuter ending of nominative and accusative
    If it is accusative, then the two terms etwas and so Teures can indeed only be in apposition: which seems odd, to me at least, in the absence of commas.

    It is also odd, to English ears, to find so with a noun. To us, the word thus qualified can only be an adjective.
    In English, the use of a non-adjectival comparative qualifying expression rules out the idea of a noun: however, this is evidently not the case in German.
     
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    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    I gather that the issue was not settled, so I offer a new point.

    Suppose a father says to his son:
    I will not buy something so expensive [for you].
    That is the same as:
    I will not buy a thing so expensive. And that is the same as:
    I will not buy a thing [which is] so expensive [a thing].

    To quote from one of my favourite books† “of course, the noun is here dropped to prevent tautology”. And further, “But in our Bible translation many such tautological phrases may be found, which is a proof that about the time the said translation was made, tautology was not thought so great a blemish as it is now.... The following are a few scriptural tautological expressions that appear to me:— He will rejoice over thee with joy; he cried with a bitter cry; with sorrow he had afflicted me; strengthened with might in the inner man; filled with all the fullness of God; the comfort werewith we are comforted; I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.” (And in Lord of the Rings, what Aragorn said about Frodo and Sam: “praise them with great praise”.)

    † Rev. Charles J. Lyon, An Analysis of the Seven Parts of Speech of the English Language (1832), pp. 96-97. Available gratis at the Internet Archive/Google Books. (The forum refused to accept the URL.)
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    @ niku
    Although I don't well understand why the issue of tautology should have something to do with the problems we are discussing, I would like to remark that the fact that in a Bible translation many tautologies can be found, is mainly due to the circumstance that in semitic languages tautologies are a very common feature (e.g. in Arabic they often say ''a strong rain is raining'' and similar, and I am sure the same is valid also for Hebrew), so the result is just a literal translation from the original, but by no means does it tell us that ''tautology was not thought to be so great a blemish at the time of the translation''. That is my opinion at least.
    If you say that I will not buy something so expensive corresponds to I will not buy a thing which is so expensive a thing, how does that help us in determining how we should translate the indefinite pronoun, or whether the initial letter should be capitalized in German...? Can you please explain your point of view more clearly?
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    I will not buy something so expensive [for you].
    That is the same as:
    I will not buy a thing so expensive. And that is the same as:
    I will not buy a thing [which is] so expensive [a thing].
    If you say that I will not buy something so expensive corresponds to I will not buy a thing which is so expensive a thing, how does that help us in determining how we should translate the indefinite pronoun, or whether the initial letter should be capitalized in German...?
    Exactly my question, too.
    That's what vlaasek wants to say:
    I want to say: You offer something that expensive?!
    something that expensive - etwas so Teures is what vlaasek asked about. Teures is a noun: das Teure.
    niku,
    You're effectively explaining something by saying it means some [i.e. a] thing, ridding something of its pronominality. So? :) Are you telling vlaasek to say eine so teure Sache:
    a thing so expensive
    or eine Sache, die so teuer ist, or even eine Sache, die eine so teure Sache ist:
    a thing [which is] so expensive [a thing]
    since you're going to some length to defend tautology?

    See what hot water you're potentially getting him into by equating a pronoun with a noun?


    PS
    Picture where it would get us if we explained somebody by some body :eek:.
    I suggest we strictly keep pronouns and nouns apart.
     
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    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    Actually, I was speaking from the point of view Rev. Lyon promotes (following Tooke’s Diversions of Purley): that except for rare exceptions, words belong to only one part of speech.

    Why is it so expensive? = Why is it (=the thing being referred to; pronoun) so expensive [thing].
    Expensive: adjective, used here as a substantive. (so would be capitalized if this were in German.)

    Can you show me something less expensive? = Can you show me some (= a/one) thing [which is] less expensive [thing].
    Expensive: the same as above. Something: Since some-thing will fall in none of the other categories, I would classify it as an adverb. (This is how Tooke classifies something too, by the way.) Similarly, nothing. If a word-for-word translation of the phrase from E. to G. is permissible here, then I think something (etwas) would be classified as an adverb in G. too.

    And hence my original example:
    I will not buy something so expensive. = I will not buy some-thing [which is] so expensive [thing].

    Picture where it would get us if we explained somebody by some body :eek:.
    Why not?

    I see somebody. = I see some body/person.
    ‘Body’ has probably now lost an independent existence in the sense in which it occurs in somebody, nobody, anybody and everybody, i.e., meaning "man" or "person". "Happens all the time", you know!

    Someone please help me. = Some one/person please help me.
    ‘One’ as used in ‘One may say ...’.

    If it is a pronoun, what noun does it represents?

    ---
    As for what the final translated phrase would be according to me: Sorry, I have just started to learn G., so I am in no position to offer something with confidence! Also, check my reply to Schimmelreiter below!

    ---
    More general points:

    ... but by no means does it tell us that ''tautology was not thought to be so great a blemish at the time of the translation''
    I agree that other, original, texts of the time have to be consulted to make that statement. The author probably did check, though!

    ... Are you telling vlaasek to say eine so teure Sache:eek:r eine Sache, die so teuer ist, or even eine Sache, die eine so teure Sache ist:since you're going to some length to defend tautology?
    No. I am talking about what the English phrase stands for. Of course we cannot rely on a word-for-word translation (even after taking into account the grammatical issues)! If someone asks for the meaning of ‘How are you?’, and I tell him, "Are you comfortable with how things-in-general, for you, are / are developing" (ignoring for the moment that the phrase is often used simply as a greeting), it does not mean that I am asking him to translate the above monstrosity into German! That is the meaning, the equivalent German phrase has to hunted up next -- going by the meaning given! (And in which hunting we would first off all go through the list of idioms!)

    PS: I've dug deeper.
    May I know where you "dug"? Also, have you come across the website mentioned below?
    http://www.deutschestextarchiv.de/search/ddc/search?fmt=html&corpus=core&ctx=&q="etwas+teuer"&limit=10
    http://www.deutschestextarchiv.de/search/ddc/search?fmt=html&corpus=ready&ctx=&q="so+Teures"&limit=10
    And check, specially:
    http://www.deutschestextarchiv.de/doku/DDC-suche_hilfe
     
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    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    PS
    I've dug deeper.
    May I know where you "dug"?
    That referred to etwas and nichts having originally been used with the partitive genitive:
    PS
    I've dug deeper:

    etwas and nichts used to be used with the partitive genitive:

    etwas Mehls -"something of flour"
    nichts Mehls - "nothing of flour"

    etwas Mehls
    became etwas Mehl.
    etwas des Teuren
    became etwas Teures.

    nichts des Teuren
    became nichts Teures.
    But nichts Mehls did not become ​*nichts Mehl.
    I'd dug at my usual digging site:
    etwas
    nichts








    Since some-thing will fall in none of the other categories, I would classify it as an adverb. (This is how Tooke classifies something too, by the way.) Similarly, nothing. If a word-for-word translation of the phrase from E. to G. is permissible here, then I think something (etwas) would be classified as an adverb in G. too.
    That doesn't help the translation.

    I fear I have to uphold my reference to the partitive genitive:

    something (of the) so expensive - etwas des so Teuren > etwas so Teures

    This makes expensive/Teures a noun of course. Or a substantive (to those grammarians that use noun as a concept superordinate to, for instance, substantives and pronouns).
     
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    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    That referred to etwas and nichts having originally been used with the partitive genitive:I'd dug at my usual digging site:etwasnichts
    Thanks. Another useful page is http://www.koeblergerhard.de/wikiling/?f=home .
    I fear I have to uphold my reference to the partitive genitive: something (of the) so expensive - etwas des so Teuren > etwas so Teures This makes expensive/Teures a noun of course. Or a substantive (to those grammarians that use noun as a concept superordinate to, for instance, substantives and pronouns).
    Since I do not know German, I will accept whatever you say. I would like to note though that in practice, what you and I are saying would result in the same thing. Also, I too accept that expensive/Teures is a substantive. The only difference in our positions is that you are saying that if we were to analyse the sentence, for you ‘expensive’ will stand alone, and as a noun, while for me ‘expensive’ is really an adjective there (and everywhere else), though used substantively here (with the noun understood without being mentioned).
    Since some-thing will fall in none of the other categories, I would classify it as an adverb. (This is how Tooke classifies something too, by the way.)
    I meant Rev. Lyon, not Tooke.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    I'd say when an adjective is used substantively, it is a substantive: The faithful are assembled in the church. What unmentioned substantive would be understood to be modified here? On the contrary, the substantive faithful may be modified by an adjective: ​the happy faithful
     

    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    I'd say when an adjective is used substantively, it is a substantive: The faithful are assembled in the church. What unmentioned substantive would be understood to be modified here? On the contrary, the substantive faithful may be modified by an adjective: ​the happy faithful
    The faithful people are assembled in the church.
    The happy faithful people are assembled in the church.

    I think the example makes my point, as faithful here does not stand alone! For we could as well also say,

    The faithful men are assembled in the church.
    The faithful women are assembled in the church.
    The faithful children are assembled in the church.
    Or even,
    The happy faithful ducklings are assembled in the church.

    To find out which of the above possibilities is correct, we would have to check the context -- to identify the missing noun!
     
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    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    I found some usages of the phrase using the excellent Das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. (See link below. Please check it; this must be the best German dictionary page online!)
    Da aber gerade, als ich etwas so Teures wie die Heimat wiedergefunden hatte, da streifte mich abermals das Verhängnis und drohte, mir das einzige, was ich nach allem Umherirren gewonnen hatte, auf besonders schmähliche Art und Weise zu entreißen .
    Schaper, Edzard, Der Henker, Leipzig: Insel-Verl. 1940, S. 614. (Neudruck: Schaper, Edzard, Der Henker, Zürich: Artemis 1978.)
    Und auch jene nicht, denen Calixto Bieitos Mutter regelmäßig Essen aus dem Supermarkt holt. "Mit etwas so Teurem wie einem Opernhaus", sagt die Managerin Maria Goded pragmatisch, "kann man keine Revolution machen." Aber dort, gerade dort, wo Töne und Themen das Gemeinsame berühren, könnte eine Diskussion beginnen.
    Die Zeit, 15.02.2014, Nr. 07

    Links: http://www.dwds.de
    http://www.dwds.de/?view=1&qu=etwas+so+teures

    I offer it to others for discussion!

    ---
    Trivia:
    I meant Rev. Lyon, not Tooke.
    Bare ‘Tooke’ does not look good when I have put ‘Rev.’ before Lyon. So read ‘Tooke’ as ‘Mr. Tooke’. But, if I am willing to go "full retard", I may as well put ‘Late’ before the names!
     
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    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    niku,
    The translation has been clear since post #2. We've been exploring whether there's any common ground between German and English as far as the grammatical analysis of etwas so Teures and something so expensive is concerned. There doesn't seem to be any since the notion of expensive being nominalised is alien to English.
     

    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    niku,The translation has been clear since post #2. We've been exploring whether there's any common ground between German and English as far as the grammatical analysis of etwas so Teures and something so expensive is concerned. There doesn't seem to be any since the notion of expensive being nominalised is alien to English.
    Schimmelreiter, I disagree with your assessment above.
    < ... >
     
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