what does the question mean?

0
votes

Does the following question mean from where are the germans, or where are the germans?

De donde son los alemanes'

1818 views
updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by ani

6 Answers

0
votes

Ah, good point. I hadn't thought about that context. Yeah, I guess it could be "Where are the Germans from'" i.e. those four German people over there, what city are they from'

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by Colleen-H
0
votes

I think that was a reasonable assumption, since we were given the phrase by the original poster, and it included the article.

BTW, no one has mentioned that "Where are the Germans'" would be "¿Dónde están los alemanes'" in Spanish. The estar/ser usage here makes the meaning extra clear.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

I (arbitrarily) assumed that the question was about a particular group of Germans that had been previously mentioned; that's why I wrote "the". It is hard to know without a context.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

And not that it makes any difference whatsoever, but, for any native Spanish speakers out there, who are learning English (and who are oh so helpful to us Spanish-learners so frequently), in English, we wouldn't say "Where are the Germans from'".. we would just say "Where are Germans from'" (at least if, as I'm assuming, this was part of an assignment to ask country names.. "Where are Germans from'" (Germany) "Where are Italians from'" (Italy), etc.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by Colleen-H
0
votes

Just to elaborate on what Lazarus said, Spanish is more particular about the position of prepositions in a sentence, and while it could be argued that "From where are the Germans'" is more logical (I would say so), that just isn't how we say it in English. But that IS how we say it in Spanish.

Where are you from? =
¿De dónde eres?

Where did you get it from (What did you take it out of)? =
¿De dónde lo sacaste'

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

¿De dónde son los alemanes?

Now with the corrections it means "Where are the Germans from'".

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907