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Lesson Transcript

M: Hello and welcome to German Survival Phrases brought to you by germanpod101.com, this course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Germany. You will be surprised at how far a little German will go. Now before we jump in, remember to stop by germanpod101.com and there you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
F: German Survival Phrases. Lesson 33, Asking for Permission in German
M: How many times have you been on one of your trips with your camera trying to immortalize particular moments? In Germany, it can happen so often that not only a landscape or a subtle building can around your curiosity but also many people. So I know you don’t want to renounce your marvelous album in Germany. That’s why today we will cover some phrases related to the one we saw in the previous lesson, can you take my picture [Können Sie ein Foto von mir aufnehmen] However this time, you will like to ask for permission, can I take your picture which in German is [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] The first word [Kann] means can. It’s the first person singular form of the helping verb [können] Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time [Kann] and [Kann] the pronoun [ich] meaning I follows. Next is [ein] a, an indefinite masculine singular article and then we have the noun photo, picture. Let’s break it down and say it once more [Foto] and Foto. The next word the preposition [von] translated as of is followed by the pronoun [Ihnen] which we translate as you in the formal way of speech. The plural forms [Sie] and [Ihnen] said in capital letters indicate the formal way of expressing the singular you. Let’s break it down and say it once again [von Ihnen] and [von Ihnen]. Lastly you have the infinitive verb [aufnehmen] to take. So to recap here, we have [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] literally this means can I a picture of you take but in this case, it means can I take your picture. If you are able to socialize immediately and you feel German people can all be as friends or even if you simply meet some young people, you can use [Kann ich ein Foto von dir aufnehmen] Can I take your picture? In this sentence, what has changed in the second pronoun. In place of [Ihnen] you have [dir] which means you, informal. Let’s break down this word [dir] and now let’s hear it one more time [dir] and altogether we have [Kann ich ein Foto von dir aufnehmen] note that we only capitalize the pronouns [Sie] and [Ihnen] in the formal way of speech while we do not capitalize the informal [du] and [dir]. When I worked in broadcasting, I once met famous German Canadian Oprah singer Randall [Jakobs] and his wife. After the interview, I desperately wanted to take a picture of both of them. So I asked them, [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] can I take your picture of you, two or more people. Judging by the sound of the words, nothing has changed. However in place of the capitalized [Ihnen] you this time we used lower case [Ihnen] which also means you, two or more people. Let’s break down this word [Ihnen] and now let’s hear it one more time [Ihnen]. And altogether we have [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] There may also be times when you want to take a picture of someone. For example, with one of the many street performers in front of Cologne’s world famous cathedral. In this case, you could ask [Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen] This means can I take a picture with you. Let’s break it down by syllable and hear it once again [Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen] In this sentence, what has changed is the preposition. Instead of [von] of we use [mit] with. So altogether we have [Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen] literally this means, can I a picture with you take. Finally what if you are in a museum, an art gallery or a shop and you want to ask for permission to take a picture. You could try and ask, may I take a picture here which in German is [Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen] The first word [Darf] means may or can. It’s the first person singular form of the helping verb [dürfen] Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time [Darf] The pronoun [ich] which means I follows. Then there is the adverb [hier] here followed by [ein] a, the indefinite masculine singular article and finally the noun [Foto] picture. Let’s break it down and say it once more [Foto] photo. Then you have the infinitive verb [aufnehmen] take. Break down this [aufnehmen] and one more time [aufnehmen] So altogether we have [Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen] Maybe one more thing we should mention before the end of the lesson. Questions such as these that start with a helping verb such as [kann] or [darf] always end with the infinitive of the sentence main verb. For example, [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] can I take your picture or [Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen] may I take a picture here
Okay to close our today’s lesson, we would like you to practice what you’ve just learned. I will provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer. So [Viel Glück] which means good luck in German.
Can I take your picture [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] Can I take your picture, informal version [Kann ich ein Foto von dir aufnehmen] Can I take your picture, two or more people [Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen] Can I take a picture with you [Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen] May I take a picture here [Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen].
That’s going to do it for today.

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GermanPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Better than taking pictures alone, I prefer taking pictures with everybody!

What about you?

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Germapod101
Saturday at 4:42 pm
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Hi Gloria,

You can also use "ein Foto machen" instead of "aufnehmen", it is more common!

But all sentences are correct! Fantastisch!:smile::thumbsup:

Jennifer

Team Germanpod

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Gloria
Wednesday at 11:37 am
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I learn the German language best by writing out my own flash cards and as I started to write them for this lesson, I got confused until I realized that the English sentences are one short for the German sentences. So I wrote out what I thought it should be. Please correct my mistakes.


1. Can I take your picture? (formal) - Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen?

2. Can I take your picture? (informal) - Kann ich ein Foto von dir aufnehmen?

3. Can I take your picture? (plural) - Kann ich ein Foto von ihnen aufnehmen?

4. Can I take a picture with you? (formal) - Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen?

5. May I take a picture here? - Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen?

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Gloria
Friday at 12:02 pm
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I learn the German language best by writing out my own flash cards and as I started to write them for this lesson, I got confused until I realized that the English sentences are one short for the German sentences. So I wrote out what I thought it should be. If I am wrong, please correct me.


1. Can I take your picture? (formal) - Kann ich ein Foto von Ihnen aufnehmen?

2. Can I take your picture? (informal) - Kann ich ein Foto von dir aufnehmen?

3. Can I take your picture? (plural) - Kann ich ein Foto von ihnen aufnehmen?

4. Can I take a picture with you? (formal) - Kann ich ein Foto mit Ihnen aufnehmen?

5. May I take a picture here? - Darf ich hier ein Foto aufnehmen?

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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 3:23 pm
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Hi Anitha,


The sentence is correct when you ask someone, if you can take a picture of -other- people. What you are saying is true, if you were asking the group of people directly, it would have to be "euch". Well spotted!


Regards,

Katrin

Team GermanPod101.com

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Anitha
Wednesday at 1:43 am
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Hi, the scentence for 2nd person plural is said as ihnen with small 'i'. Should it not be euch for 2nd person plural informal and Ihnen with capital i if its 2nd person plural formal? Why will it be 2nd person plural with small i? Please explain. Thanks.