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    There isn't a German equivalent of "by the way". Closest you can really get is something like "ach ja, das wollte ich sagen...".

    The standard phrase for "it's my birthday today / on [date]" is "ich habe heute / am [Datum] Geburtstag", rather than "today is my birthday" (which is a rather strange sentence, really, because 'today' seems to be functioning as a noun, which it shouldn't do). Happy birthday.

    Incidentally, there is a rule (formally known as the "nominative of complement") stating that all nouns that are the 'object' of sein are actually in the nominative. "Mein Bruder ist ein (not einen) Idiot!"
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    Aha, yeah my girlfriend did say that there was a rule whereby there can be 2 subjects in a sentence but she didn't know what it is. I don't quite know what you mean when you say "nouns that are the 'object' of sein...". Maybe this is something I've not come across yet. Anyway thanks for the help
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    It's not something that's normally given in grammar books, but nouns that follow sein aren't actually objects (in the grammatical sense of the word). See my example in my previous post. You'd never say "*mein Bruder ist einen Idiot".

    Maybe your girlfriend meant something simpler, though, like "du und ich gehen heute Abend ins Kino".
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    There isn't a German equivalent of "by the way". Closest you can really get is something like "ach ja, das wollte ich sagen...".
    What's wrong with "übrigens"?
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    (Original post by wtid)
    Aha, yeah my girlfriend did say that there was a rule whereby there can be 2 subjects in a sentence but she didn't know what it is. I don't quite know what you mean when you say "nouns that are the 'object' of sein...". Maybe this is something I've not come across yet. Anyway thanks for the help
    Sorry, but your girlfriend has got it wrong. Better forget about that "two subjects" / "objects of sein" business straight away.
    The words you're thinking of are neither subjects nor objects, they're complements. "Sein" is an auxiliary, which is why it always requires a complement ("Idiot" in generalebriety's example).
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    It's not something that's normally given in grammar books, but nouns that follow sein aren't actually objects (in the grammatical sense of the word). See my example in my previous post. You'd never say "*mein Bruder ist einen Idiot".

    Maybe your girlfriend meant something simpler, though, like "du und ich gehen heute Abend ins Kino".
    That's actually just one subject, though: the noun phrase "du und ich". Subjects can consist of more than one word.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Sorry, but your girlfriend has got it wrong. Better forget about that "two subjects" / "objects of sein" business straight away.
    The words you're thinking of are neither subjects nor objects, they're complements. "Sein" is an auxiliary, which is why it always requires a complement ("Idiot" in generalebriety's example).
    More likely I have remembered it wrong I'll ask her what she meant, later. All this grammar terminology confuses me, :p:

    *makes a note to look up what an auxillary verb is*
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    What's wrong with "übrigens"?
    I don't think it works in every context... I could be wrong.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    I don't think it works in every context... I could be wrong.
    Could you give me an example? I can't think of a context in which it wouldn't work...
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Could you give me an example? I can't think of a context in which it wouldn't work...
    Erm, I dunno. "Übrigens, hast du die Hausaufgaben gemacht?" sounds clumsy to me.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Erm, I dunno. "Übrigens, hast du die Hausaufgaben gemacht?" sounds clumsy to me.
    Does it? There's nothing wrong with that sentence, as far as I can tell (although some people would probably invert it to "hast du übrigens").:dontknow:
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    When I type 'gefallen' into an online dictionary it gives me the english translation as 'please'...which doesn't seem right...?
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    It does mean "to please". Amongst other things.

    Remember that when you say "es gefällt mir..." you're essentially saying "it pleases me" rather than "I like it".

    What context were you seeing it in? /what were you expecting?
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    Problem with "gefallen" is that it can mean "to please", "(we/they/you) please", "fallen", "having fallen", and tons of other stuff with various prefixes...
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    no context- just been given a long vocab list to learn for a test. Thanks Fleece
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Problem with "gefallen" is that it can mean "to please", "(we/they/you) please", "fallen", "having fallen", and tons of other stuff with various prefixes...
    ...the dictionary just gave the translation as 'please' and gave loads of examples of what seemed to be unrelated sentences.
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    (Original post by Flyingtreefrog)
    no context- just been given a long vocab list to learn for a test. Thanks Fleece
    I guess in that case then it would be the infinitive 'gefallen' - to please.
    Assuming it was written in lowercase and wasn't the noun.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Problem with "gefallen" is that it can mean "to please", "(we/they/you) please", "fallen", "having fallen", and tons of other stuff with various prefixes...
    Or indeed "der Gefallen".
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Or indeed "der Gefallen".
    There's one of those? *looks it up*

    Ooh. 'Benefit', 'favour', 'zestfulness'. Ok.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    There's one of those? *looks it up*

    Ooh. 'Benefit', 'favour', 'zestfulness'. Ok.
    Yep. As in "jemandem einen Gefallen tun" or "an etwas Gefallen finden". Only the former of those is still commonly used, though.
 
 
 
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