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Re: interesting english syntax

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 20:13

caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...> writes:
>... > >Is Roger's example grammatical in German: "Kommt Heinrich, werden > wir > >die Begegnung beginnen"? (It sounds OK to me, but my last German > >class was very long ago.) Or is it grammatical in any other natlang? > > If that example is grammatically correct in German I should think it > would have to be "Komme Heinrich, werden..."
Well, the first one ('Kommt Heinrich...') is quite strange, but I think it's grammatical. The second ('Komme ...') is ungrammatical, though. The 'come spring' construction is not used in German in that way. However, it is very common with conditional mood (Konjunktiv II), so the other examples can easily be translated. Käme Heinrich, könnten wir anfangen. For me, it's still a bit short -- I feel the first clause should be longer to make a perfectly natural sentence. E.g. Käme Heinrich jetzt endlich, könnten wir anfangen.
> speech instead of an "if" clause (Had I but known...), but then, I'm > rather old-fashioned in some ways.
That's the most common style in German, I think. Hätte ich das mal gewußt... **Henrik