"They wondered what else could be done"
I have the translation which is "Sie fragten sich, was sonst gemacht werden könnte" - I'm just curious how the last part is constructed? I understand it to be a passive but I'd be grateful if anyone could go through their thinking of how one would translate that particular part.
Happy new year
German passive + modal Watch
- Thread Starter
- 31-12-2012 22:14
- 31-12-2012 23:43
I think I can break it down for you.
Firstly, the present passive is formed with werden + a past participle.
ich wird gesehen- I am (being) seen
du wirst gesehen - you are (being) seen
er/sie/es wird gesehen
wir werden gesehen
ihr werdet gesehen
Sie werden gesehen
sie werden gesehen.
So, "what is being done?" would be: ,,Was wird gemacht?"
"What could be done?" is not only a passive tense, but it is also a passive infinitive.which is formed by combining the past participle of the verb with the infinitive werden. It is used with modal verbs.
So, "what could be done" can be translated as "Was könnte gemacht werden?"
However, in your example, it forms the second clause, and ,,was" behaves like a subordinating conjunction, like weil when it joins sentences/clauses.
So the verbs are flipped a bit, and so it becomes: ,,was sonst gemacht werden könnte?"
If none of this makes sense, tell me, and I'll try again. I'm not very good at explaining stuff.Last edited by Octopus_Garden; 01-01-2013 at 11:01. Reason: clarification