Skip to main content

Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

See other formats

Bird's-Eye View of Teutonic Grammar   301
SOLLEN—(contd )                                    DURFEN—(contd )
was soil ich tun^                                & hat mcht kommen durfen
what shall I do ?                               xhe was not allowed to come
sottte er vielleicht krank sein?              darf ich Sie um em Streichholz
can he be ilP                                       bitten*
may I ask for a match?
(i) penrnssion(moy>be allowed to)       (11) possibility (may)
darf (kanri) ich nun gehen*                 das durfte mcht schzver sem
may I go now>                                 that shouldn't be difficult
The beginner who is not forewarned may be confused about one
use of Iassen9 which is equivalent to let in the sense have a thing done
After this an infinitive is used where we should put a participle This
construction is common, e g
Er lasst sich ein Haus bauen          =  he is having a house built
Er hat sich em Haus bauen lassen  =  he has had a house built
Er wird sich em Haus bauen lassen ==  he will have a house built
Er hat mich warten lassen              —  he ha* kept me waiting
Broadly speaking we can always translate the dictionary form which
also does service for the present tense or the imperanve in English by
the German infinitive when it is accompanied by a helper or preceded
by to. The latter is equivalent to zu, which does not precede the verb if
it is accompanied by a helper We omit the preposition after two verbs
(see, hear} other than helpers listed on p 152, and sometimes after a
thud (help) Germans leave out zu after horen> sehen, and helfen^ and
also do so after a few others Of these lernen (learn) and lehren (teach)
are most common.
I saw him do it                             ich sah ihn es tun
I heard him say that                     ich hoi te ihn sagen> dass
Help me (to) find it                      Hilf mir dock es finden
She taught me to dance                 sie lehrte mich tanzen
I am learning to write Geiman       ich leine deutsch schreiben
The helper verbs (konnen^ mogen, durfeny wollen^ sollen> mussen^ lassen)
together with the last named (sehen* horeny helferi) have a second
common peculiarity In their past compound tenses the infinitive form
replaces the past participle with the ge- prefix, whenever they are
accompanied by the infinitive of another verb, e.g *
er hat mcht gewollt                        he didn't want to
?r hat mcht koren wollen                 he didn't want to listen.