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viel Übung brauchen [nur unpersönlich: es braucht ...] ?  
von narionk (US/DE), 2013-12-02, 17:19  like dislike  Spam?  
Before I re-open this entry, I wanted to ask about it:

In English, "to take a lot of practice" can be used personally, as in "playing guitar well takes a lot of practice". Can the DE side be used similarly? Or is the only possible subject "es"?
von romy (CZ/GB), 2013-12-02, 18:56  like dislike  Spam?  
"Wirklich gut Gitarre spielen zu lernen braucht viel Übung" - this would be the analogy to your sentence in German. The whole part "Wirklich gut Gitarre spielen zu lernen" replaces the "es". Of course, you can also say, "Es braucht viel Übung, wirklich gut Gitarre spielen zu lernen". The meaning is the same. Does that answer your question?
I think so, thanks!  #736111
von narionk (US/DE), 2013-12-02, 19:23  like dislike  Spam?  
The point is, I'm wondering whether it should be changed so it doesn't say "nur unpersönlich" because "nur unpersönlich" implies that the only subject it can take is "es", like the verb "regnen".
What means "unpersönlich" anyway?  #736114
von romy (CZ/GB), 2013-12-02, 19:31  like dislike  Spam?  
I don't understand the comment [nur unpersönlich] either. You can also say, "Man braucht viel Übung, um wirklich gut Gitarre spielen zu lernen", or, "Ein angehender Bühnenkünstler braucht viel Übung....". I don't see anything impersonal in such sentences. I would suggest to delete the comment, but perhaps it is better to hear some other opinions first.
Meaning of "impersonal"/"unpersönlich"  #736116
von narionk (US/DE), 2013-12-02, 19:53  like dislike  Spam?  
I originally misunderstood the concept, but rabend pointed me to this link today, which explains that it means +a verb that can only take an ambiguous "it" as a subject+: (I copied the relevant text below.)

Don't get too caught up by the word "impersonal"; even the following sentence, which has nothing to do with any persons, is considered "personal" use of a verb: "The cloud moved."

I don't have proof, but I believe this is the same concept as an "unpersönliches Verb" in German.

The link reads:
An impersonal verb is one that is not used with a personal subject. In other words, such verbs do not occur in the 1st or 2nd person at all, nor the 3rd plural; in fact, they are used only in the 3rd person singular, and never with any explicit subject (common noun or pronoun). In other words, when translating an impersonal verb literally, the subject will always be "it."

English uses some verbs impersonally, e.g. "it is snowing." It would be silly to say "Herbert is snowing," "Are you snowing today, dear?" or "Gad zooks, the Cardinals really snowed yesterday!" Most verbs used impersonally in English are either so obvious as to require no explanation (as above), or have a rather archaic ring, as

It behooves you to study hard before a math test.
Ist es nicht so:  #736120
von ddr (AT), Last modified: 2013-12-02, 20:08  like dislike  Spam?  
Ich brauche viel Übung, um ... kann man zwar sagen, auch wenn etw. braucht viel Übung häufiger verwendet wird.
Aber kann man sagen: I take a lot of practice ....? Ich glaube nicht.
to take a lot of practice muss also im Deutschen mit etw. braucht viel Übung übersetzt werden. Das gibt die [Erläuterung] an, eher ungewöhnlich für auf der richtigen Seite, nämlich auf der, auf der die Information benötigt wird. (Was - weil so selten - irritierend wirkt.)
Let's distinguish the definitions  #736129
von narionk (US/DE), 2013-12-02, 20:59  like dislike  Spam?  
I now see that there are really three related meanings here that must not be confused.
1) If an animate object like a person "needs practice", it means they must work to become better.
2) If an inanimate object like a performance "needs practice", it means it must be worked on to become better.
3) Only an inanimate object can "take practice", which means it requires practice; however, this isn't because it isn't good enough, but rather because the thing, by its very nature, cannot be easily mastered.

It seems to me that definitions 1 and 3 both correspond to "viel Übung brauchen". Is that correct?

Note: it's possible to say something like "I take a lot of practice to get used to", but this sounds a bit weird and would normally be phrased using an impersonal "it" like this: "It takes a lot of practice to get used to me."

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