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  #21  
Old 04.01.2015, 20:48
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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I can help your husband. ""Es gibt"" requires an indefinite plural, and not a specific number of any kind
Very cool. Thank you!
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Old 04.01.2015, 22:25
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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" Es sind 76 Kilometer bis nach Rom."
so... now clear on es sind (not es ist, or es gibt). Thanks.

why "bis nach Rom"
why not bis (without nach)?

I'm used to bis & mit in dates (e.g. bis und mit Montag), and driving to a specific place (nach Basel), and passing a place on the journey ( A-xx bis Basel und weiter nach Somewhere-else)

Help
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  #23  
Old 04.01.2015, 22:39
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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I often know I am probably making a mistake with choice of words or word order.
As a funny side note, I recently read a little into the German language and oddly enough, the case system was supposed to mean that word order in a German sentence was irrelevant as cases were supposed to denote where the subject, direct object, possessing object and indirect object all were.

That said, there are likely conventions for word order anyway, plus in some cases word order must be used to disambiguate, e.g. feminine nouns are the same in the accusative and nominative cases, so without word order it could be difficult to determine the subject.
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  #24  
Old 04.01.2015, 22:47
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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so... now clear on es sind (not es ist, or es gibt). Thanks.

why "bis nach Rom"
why not bis (without nach)?
...
Both is OK. "Bis nach" in my ears sounds more formal e.g. higher level.

Back to topic:
no idea if it comes from French (German culture's reference point being France), anyway it's like in French:

Il y a -> es hat ; which implies a direct object. Like "hay" in Spanish. Not important if a singular or plural, it's always "es hat". Easy, so far, apart from the fact that it sounds southern German.



Much unlike "C'è" or "Ci sono" e.g. in Italian, which imply a subject.

In between the two there is

Ce sont -> es sind (not "ist"; meanwhile in modern French also "C'est" is used).

Besides that, also "haben" and all other verbs can be used in the 3d plural form, if the subject is inverted:
E.g. Es haben aber nicht alle einen Hut. Something like Ce ne sont pas tous qui ont le chapeau.
Es gehen nicht alle in die Kirche.
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Old 04.01.2015, 23:21
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Re: why use "sind" here?

Es gibt needs an Accusative object. Don't argue with German verbs, just submit to their power. Kilometer are not object here because the kilometers are not to be had, it's a quantity of a thing, not the thing in itself. As soon as you say the thing (Autobahn etc.), it can be accusative object hence you can use es gift. But in the sentence, Kilometer are subject, the es in front of it just fills the blank at the head of the sentence (syntactic expletive), but the agreement is with the actual subjects (the kilometers).

Ironically, French uses il y a in this case, not c'est/ce sont. Different grammar reasoning than in German.
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Old 04.01.2015, 23:40
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Both is OK. "Bis nach" in my ears sounds more formal e.g. higher level.
Beides ist OK in German, but Both are OK in English.

Also, you mean i.e., not e.g.

This are all very confusing, i.e. it is time for bed.
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  #27  
Old 05.01.2015, 08:11
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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I can help your husband. ""Es gibt"" requires an indefinite plural, and not a specific number of any kind
Es gibt diesen Widerspruch.
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Old 05.01.2015, 08:16
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Es gibt needs an Accusative object. Don't argue with German verbs, just submit to their power. Kilometer are not object here because the kilometers are not to be had, it's a quantity of a thing, not the thing in itself. As soon as you say the thing (Autobahn etc.), it can be accusative object hence you can use es gift. But in the sentence, Kilometer are subject, the es in front of it just fills the blank at the head of the sentence (syntactic expletive), but the agreement is with the actual subjects (the kilometers).

Ironically, French uses il y a in this case, not c'est/ce sont. Different grammar reasoning than in German.
I forced myself to learn "es gibt" as "it gives", rather than "there is" or "there are". even then, I go out of my way to avoid it
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  #29  
Old 05.01.2015, 08:44
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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I go out of my way to avoid it
Me too, sounds way too much like a Swiss trying hard to talk standard German... as if you hit "'s haett" with a sledgehammer till it somehow looks like proper German.
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  #30  
Old 05.01.2015, 08:54
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Re: why use "sind" here?

The OP's fundamental question still hasn't really been answered: Why does "es" (3rd person singular) not have to agree with "sind" (3rd person plural)? Given that there is more than one kilometre being discussed, why is the correct form not "Sie sind ..."?

(My stab at an explanation -- which, on re-reading, is pretty much what Faltrad wrote: in this context, "es" should be taken to mean "there", rather than the 3rd person personal pronoun. So "sind" agrees with the plural subject "76 Kilometer", not with "Es".)
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  #31  
Old 05.01.2015, 08:56
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Beides ist OK in German, but Both are OK in English.

Also, you mean i.e., not e.g.

This are all very confusing, i.e. it is time for bed.
True - to a certain extent, it depends on context.

"How far is it to Rome?" "It is 76km"
"How many KMs are there between here and Rome?" "There are 76km"

The former implies that the number of KMs describes the distance (singular) - the latter requires the number of KMs

The same is true of time:
"How will it take to get to Rome?" "It is 45 minutes"
"How many minutes in an hour?" "There are 60 minutes in an hour"
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  #32  
Old 05.01.2015, 10:08
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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...
Ironically, French uses il y a in this case, not c'est/ce sont. Different grammar reasoning than in German.
I see the difference between German and English in this grammar thing, not between German and French.
That diction uses some verbs in a certain context, others in another, doesn't overthrow the concept.
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  #33  
Old 05.01.2015, 12:53
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Me too, sounds way too much like a Swiss trying hard to talk standard German... as if you hit "'s haett" with a sledgehammer till it somehow looks like proper German.
for the Swiss from the German part of the country, the distance to Rome in km is much less important than the wait at the Gotthard.



in fairness, "it has 76 km" makes a lot more sense in terms of literal translation to English than "it are" or "it gives". this is just one reason the shorthand translations used by language instructors to try and simplify the learning process can be frustrating and also confusing.
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  #34  
Old 05.01.2015, 14:21
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Es gibt diesen Widerspruch.
Sounds like very poor German.

"Es gibt Widerspruch" or "Dieser Widerspruch existiert / ist manifest" or whatever. I.e. either indefinite quantity with "es gibt" or without "es gibt" in a context of already known or countable things.

Never "es gibt" plus direct article or precise number of countable items; Wolli was right.
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  #35  
Old 05.01.2015, 14:49
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Sounds like very poor German.

"Es gibt Widerspruch" or "Dieser Widerspruch existiert / ist manifest" or whatever. I.e. either indefinite quantity with "es gibt" or without "es gibt" in a context of already known or countable things.

Never "es gibt" plus direct article or precise number of countable items; Wolli was right.
In that case, the quality of German to be found in Duden is seriously lacking. Naturally, I realise that Duden is not slavishly kept uptodate with regard to all Swiss variant of German, but its use as a German reference here cannot be lightly ignored. See for instance, heading 15 : http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/geben , for example 'es gibt einen Gott'
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Old 05.01.2015, 15:53
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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My Swiss hubby concurs. Thankfully folks here are very forgiving, in my experience. If I used es gibt in this context, most people would know what I meant and continue on. I just wish more people would (politely) correct me when I say something totally wrong. I often know I am probably making a mistake with choice of words or word order. How am I ever supposed to get it right if you never tell me I messed up and how to fix it?
Well, I totally agree with you. That would suit me as well for my own English. But it does not happen by my English speaking colleagues, neither! Further, my experience is also that the reaction is not always positive when I try to follow your advice. So, I stoped doing it, for the most occasions. And finally, it really hurts the conversation flow, of course. And this can be even more disturbing for the personal relationship between my talking companion and me.

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Try the native language[*]: 'sch hät 76 km uff Rom

That works in both singular and plural.[*] Buyer beware - non-native speaker
I suppose you are living together with somebody from the Wallis? I would never use "haben" for distances, neither in Swiss German.

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I can help your husband. ""Es gibt"" requires an indefinite plural, and not a specific number of any kind
I suppose you mean unspecified amount of instead of indefinite (unendlich)?!

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so... now clear on es sind (not es ist, or es gibt). Thanks.

why "bis nach Rom"
why not bis (without nach)?

I'm used to bis & mit in dates (e.g. bis und mit Montag), and driving to a specific place (nach Basel), and passing a place on the journey ( A-xx bis Basel und weiter nach Somewhere-else)

Help
I think "bis nach" is simply wrong, and a colloquially unconsidered mix of "Es sind noch 300 km bis Rom" and "Wir fahren nach Rom" and "Wir fahren bis Rom". So I suppose, "bis nach Rom" is simply very bad (unconsidered) German. (but I am not 100% sure)

BTW: "Wir fahren bis Rom" is also perfect German, but has a different meaning (but not further, and do not stop earlier) than "Wir fahren nach Rom" (that's our destination/intention) !!!!

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I see the difference between German and English in this grammar thing, not between German and French.
That diction uses some verbs in a certain context, others in another, doesn't overthrow the concept.
Faltrad is totally right. "Il y a" exactely means "es gibt/hat" in German (il = es).

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Sounds like very poor German.

"Es gibt Widerspruch" or "Dieser Widerspruch existiert / ist manifest" or whatever. I.e. either indefinite quantity with "es gibt" or without "es gibt" in a context of already known or countable things.

Never "es gibt" plus direct article or precise number of countable items; Wolli was right.
"Es gibt einen Widerspruch" is perfectly correct German! (see Faltrad's explanation: accussative object)

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In that case, the quality of German to be found in Duden is seriously lacking. Naturally, I realise that Duden is not slavishly kept uptodate with regard to all Swiss variant of German, but its use as a German reference here cannot be lightly ignored. See for instance, heading 15 : http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/geben , for example 'es gibt einen Gott'
In which case???
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Old 05.01.2015, 16:46
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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In that case, the quality of German to be found in Duden is seriously lacking. Naturally, I realise that Duden is not slavishly kept uptodate with regard to all Swiss variant of German, but its use as a German reference here cannot be lightly ignored. See for instance, heading 15 : http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/geben , for example 'es gibt einen Gott'
Yes, "es gibt" in a context of one single item of a species,


or one category as a whole is OK.


More than one would be strange. "Es gibt dort 2 Lichtschalter" instead of "Dort sind 2 Schalter" might still be accetable.


But not "Es gibt 2 Kirchen", "Es gibt mehrere Widersprüche" or whatever.

Either it's "Dort sind 2 Kirchen" (for the buildings), respectively "Es existieren 2 Kirchen" (related to institutions) on the one hand,
or "es gibt Kirchen" or "Es hat Kirchen" for "There are some churches" on the other. But never "Es gibt die Kirchen.", i.e. plural determinative.

Didn't think that German would be so difficult.


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...
"Es gibt einen Widerspruch" is perfectly correct German! (see Faltrad's explanation: accussative object)
...
Not in my ears (it sounds odd, infact lexically wrong). I'm not as far Fischkopp as Faltrad, but somewhere in between southern and northern.
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  #38  
Old 05.01.2015, 20:55
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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The OP's fundamental question still hasn't really been answered: Why does "es" (3rd person singular) not have to agree with "sind" (3rd person plural)?
I answered that already: it's an expletive.

P.S. There is nothing wrong with a plural after es gibt as long as it's not definite.
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  #39  
Old 05.01.2015, 21:01
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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I answered that already: it's an expletive.
The @*&! it is.
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Old 05.01.2015, 21:04
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Re: why use "sind" here?

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Both is OK. "Bis nach" in my ears sounds more formal e.g. higher level.

Back to topic:
no idea if it comes from French (German culture's reference point being France), anyway it's like in French:

Il y a -> es hat ; which implies a direct object. Like "hay" in Spanish. Not important if a singular or plural, it's always "es hat". Easy, so far, apart from the fact that it sounds southern German.



Much unlike "C'è" or "Ci sono" e.g. in Italian, which imply a subject.

In between the two there is

Ce sont -> es sind (not "ist"; meanwhile in modern French also "C'est" is used).

Besides that, also "haben" and all other verbs can be used in the 3d plural form, if the subject is inverted:
E.g. Es haben aber nicht alle einen Hut. Something like Ce ne sont pas tous qui ont le chapeau.
Es gehen nicht alle in die Kirche.
"(German culture's reference point being France)"

Well that is an interesting point, does Switzerland come into it?
I`d say that it is not declined and that the subject is not inverted (sic)
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