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The Long Goodbye

That is actually the title of a classic detective novel by Raymond Chandler, but the long and short of it is that there are a number of ways to say goodbye in German – some of them longer than others! Let's start with what you probably already know:

 

Ja, damit sind wir fertig. Auf Wiedersehen!

Yes, with that we are finished. Goodbye!

Caption 77, Das 1. Newtonsche Gesetz: erklärt am Beispiel des Dodomobils

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Ich sehe Sie dann morgen. Auf Wiederhören.

I'll see you tomorrow then. Goodbye.

Caption 52, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Because of the -sehen in Wiedersehen ("see you again") and -hören in Wiederhören ("hear from you again"), auf Wiederhören is the proper form to use on the telephone.

 

Wiedersehen, vielen Dank! -Tschüss. -Tschüss.

Goodbye, many thanks! -Bye. -Bye.

Caption 25, Großstadtrevier: Von Monstern und Mördern

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Tschüss is an informal waym of saying goodbye that originally stems from the Spanish word for goodbye, adios.

 

Bis morgen. Ciao.

See you tomorrow. Ciao.

Caption 40, Bäppi im Fernsehstudio: Bäppis best model by Hilde Klump

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"Ciao" is actually from the Italian and can, depending upon the context, be used for hello or goodbye. It is not even translated as "bye" here as it has been adopted into English by most American and British dictionaries. It's usage in German is very informal.

 

Sie wissen schon, was wir meinen. Adieu.

You do know what we mean. Adieu.

Captions 64-65, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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The French word for goodbye, adieu, has also been adopted by English and is thus generally not translated.

 

Ich hab was vergessen. -Aha. -Wir sehen uns.

I forgot something. -Aha. -See you.

Caption 66, Die Pfefferkörner: Eigentor

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It is also common to say Wir sehen uns morgen ("We'll see each other tomorrow" or "See you tomorrow"), or Wir sehen uns wieder ("We'll see each other again"), and so forth. It sounds a bit impersonal to the ears of an English speaker, but you can also say man sieht sich, which translates as "We'll see each other" or simply "See you." 

 

Mir hat's super gefallen. Bis dann!

I really enjoyed it. Until then!

Caption 93, Frisbee: Karlsruher Weihnachtsturnier

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Hast du die Mathehausaufgaben denn schon fertig? -Ja, bis später.

Have you finished the math homework already? -Yes, see you later.

Caption 2, Knallerfrauen: Mathehausaufgaben

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Mach's gut, Herbert. Bis bald.

Take care, Herbert. See you soon.

Caption 4, Nicos Weg: Tschüss!

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Bis zum nächsten Mal.

Until next time.

Caption 21, Berlin: Domäne Dahlem

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Many of the ways to say goodbye using bis and some point in the future may be translated, depending upon the context, as either "till," "until," or "see you..." So if somebody says bis morgen, you could translate it as "till tomorrow," "until tomorrow," or "see you tomorrow."

 

Note that macht's gut, which could be literally translated as "fare well" or "farewell," is used as an informal way to say goodbye in some German regional dialects. Another good equivalent translation could be "have a good one."

 

But how do you say "to say goodbye" as in "to take leave" of somebody? The most common ways are Abschied nehmen and the reflexive verb sich verabschieden:

 

Aber als Flüchtling muss man eben oft Abschied nehmen.

But as a refugee, you often have to say goodbye.

Caption 35, Filmtrailer: Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl

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Und hier verabschieden wir uns auch von euch.

And we will say goodbye to you here.

Caption 39, 48 h in Innsbruck: Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Further Learning
I hope that learning about goodbye didn't take too long—this is a lesson and not a novel, after all! Look for some of the ways of saying goodbye on Yabla German, and take special note of how some are used in formal contexts and others in more casual situations. So until next time, mach's gut and stay healthy!

German Preposition Cases, Part IV

This week we're doing the last part of this German Preposition Cases series. Let's take a look at those tricky dual-case prepositions that require either the accusative case or the dative case for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. 

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The German dual-case prepositions are an, auf, hinter, in, neben, unter, vor, zwischen, and über. As a general rule, if the preposition suggests motion or movement from one place to another, it takes the accusative case. If there is no motion or movement suggested,  it takes the dative case. Please take a moment to review the dative and accusative cases in the previous lessons. 

 

The nominative pronoun ich becomes mir in the dative case and mich in the accusative case. Note in the following how "because of me" suggests no movement and uses the dative pronoun, whereas "send to me" suggests the motion of sending something and thus takes the accusative pronoun.

 

Er fragt sich: „Liegt es nur an mir, dass es jetzt schneit?“

He asks himself, "Is it just because of me that it's snowing now?"

Caption 10, Jan Wittmer - Weihnachtslied

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Wenn Sie sie einfach direkt an mich schicken würden...

If you'll just send them directly to me...

Caption 31, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

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The German feminine of the definite article "the" is die. In the next captions, there is no movement when discussing a scale of numbers, so the nominative die becomes the dative der. Apparently, viewing something conveys some motion in that you are actively looking at something, thus a "view of a bridge" uses the accusative die.

 

Auf der Skala eins bis zehn: Bei dir bin ich zehn

On a scale of one to ten: With you I am ten

Captions 16-17, 2raumwohnung - Liebe mit Musik am Laufen halten

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Das ist die Draufsicht auf die Brücke.

That is the view of the bridge.

Caption 40, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Back to the nominative personal pronoun "I," which in dative becomes mir and in accusative becomes mich. As you'll notice, the passive phrase "is situated" gets the dative case, and the active phrase "to get it behind me" receives the accusative case:

 

Hinter mir befindet sich die ehemalige amerikanische Botschaft.

The former American Embassy is situated behind me.

Caption 3, Berlin - der alte amerikanische Sektor

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Ja, ich wollte es einfach hinter mich bringen.

Yes, I just wanted to get it behind me.

Caption 9, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Probleme

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Hopefully these examples will help give you an idea of when to use the dative (no motion, passive) or accusative (motion, active) cases with the above dual-case prepositions.

 

Further Learning
We just went through the dative and accusative cases for the dual-case prepositions an, auf, and hinter. Try looking on Yabla German for dative and accusative examples of the remaining dual-case prepositions in, neben, unter, vor, zwischen, and über. It will help you find them if you look for specific accusative and dative definite articles or pronouns when you do the search!

Indefinite Pronouns in the Dative Case: Jemandem

The words "somebody," "someone," "anybody," and "anyone" are indefinite pronouns that are usually translated as jemand in German. The indefinite pronoun jemand is similar to the definite pronouns I (ich), you (Sie or du), we (wir), or they (sie), but is referring to an indefinite rather than specific person.

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Just like the definite pronouns in German, jemand is also subject to changing its form when used in the dative case after prepositions like nach, zu, mit or von. In the dative case, jemand gets an additional -em ending:

 

Sie suchen nach jemandem für ihre Marketingabteilung.

They're looking for someone for their marketing department.

Caption 8, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Es ist lange her, dass ich so eine Verbindung zu jemandem gespürt habe.

It's been a long time since I felt such a connection to anyone.

Caption 53, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Die Verabredung

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Habt ihr mit jemandem Probleme, sagt's ihm ins Gesicht

If you have problems with someone, tell him to his face

Caption 57, Golo - Smile

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Der Vorschlag müsste von jemandem kommen.

The proposal would have to come from someone.

Caption 46, Pastewka - Neue Serie für Kessler

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This is also true when the sentence structure requires the dative case, such as when you give somebody something:

 

Jemandem einen Korb geben.

To give someone a basket.

Caption 17, Eva erklärt - Sprichwörter

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The above expression usually is an idiom that means you are rejecting something that has been offered. Another figure of speech that you may already know is:

 

Und wenn ich jemandem die Daumen drücke,

And if I press my thumbs for someone,

dann wünsche ich der Person ganz viel Glück.

then I'm wishing the person a whole lot of luck.

Captions 28-29, Eva erklärt - Redewendungen

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Further Learning
Look for other examples of how jemandem is used in a real-world context on Yabla German and try devising some sentences of your own using jemandem and have a fellow student check your work! If you're feeling brave you can explore the related expressions irgendjemandem and irgendwem!

 

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Reflexive or not?

Reflexive verbs have a substantial presence in the German language. There are quite a few verbs that are not reflexive in English, but always reflexive in German, for example, sich beeilen ("to hurry"). It is important to know which verbs require a reflexive pronoun in German, but also that certain verbs may sometimes be reflexive and sometimes not, which then affects their meaning. 

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For example, sich umziehen means "to change clothes," while umziehen means "to move":

 

Dann würde ich sagen, gehe ich mich mal umziehen. Hast du Klamotten für mich?

Then, I'd say, I'll go and change. Do you have some clothes for me?

Caption 13, Ultimate Frisbee - Oli erklärt das Spiel

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In wenigen Wochen werden Kato, Scratch und Lina ganz in den Zoo Neuwied umziehen.

In a few weeks, Kato, Scratch and Lina will move full-time into the Neuwied zoo.

Caption 38, Wie süß - Drei Löwen im Wohnzimmer

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Similarly, sich hinlegen means "to lie down" in the sense of going to bed, but hinlegen simply means "to set down" or "to put down." 

 

Ich muss mich beeilen, damit ich mich bald hinlegen kann.

I have to hurry so that I can go to bed soon.

Caption 68, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch - Part 1

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Hm, ich weiß genau, dass ich die Schwimmer hier irgendwo hingelegt hab'.

Hm, I know for sure that I put the floats down here somewhere.

 

Vorstellen means "to present," whereas sich vorstellen can mean either "to introduce oneself" (with the accusative pronoun) or "to imagine" (with the dative pronoun). 

 

Hallo, heute werde ich dir die Schultern, die Arme und die Hände vorstellen.

Hello, today I'll present the shoulders, the arms and the hands.

Captions 1-2, Der menschliche Körper - die Arme

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Ich könnte mir gar kein Leben ohne Kinder vorstellen.

I couldn't at all imagine a life without children.

Caption 15, Cettina interviewt - Mütter

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Könnten Sie sich uns kurz vorstellen und beschreiben, was Sie hier machen?

Could you quickly introduce yourself to us and describe what you do here?

Caption 6, Feuerwehr Heidelberg - Löschfahrzeug - Part 1

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Further Learning
Take a look at this helpful table and see if you can find some of the verbs on Yabla German.

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