Forum Rocket German German Grammar 10.3 Und da habe ich gedacht, dass ich mich am besten schon mal informiere, um ein gutes Angebot ausfindig zu machen.

10.3 Und da habe ich gedacht, dass ich mich am besten schon mal informiere, um ein gutes Angebot ausfindig zu machen.

sfpugh

From 10.3
Und da habe ich gedacht, dass ich mich am besten schon mal informiere, um ein gutes Angebot ausfindig zu machen.

And I thought, that I'm the best informed at finding a good offer.

I am having trouble analysing this sentence, mainly with the middle part.

The first part seems straight forward - "And I thought"
And the last part "at finding a good offer. "

But the middle part middle part seems strange. Why is it present tense when "I thought " is past. 
I am not sure about the meaning of "schon mal" could it be translated as already? If so we how have something like " that I am already best informed" although possibly sich informieren could be "find out" or "research"

Could you explain exactly how the sentence is supposed to work. There seems to be a mismatch of tenses. The translation doesn't make sense in English.
 

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi sfpugh, 

This is a tricky one :)

I can assure you, that the sentence sounds completely natural and correct to me as a German. 
This is a case of indirect speech where the first part of the sentence is in Perfekt "Und da habe ich gedacht..."

The subordinate clause "dass ich mich am besten schon mal informiere" is in present tense because it's something you plan to do in the future (Präsens is often used to describe the future in German). 

"Schon mal" here means something like "in the meantime". 

"Sich informieren" means "find out"/"inform yourself".

I hope that helps. 

Best, 
Leah von Rocket German

 

sfpugh

Thanks for the explanation.
It is certainly a tricky one to translate in a way that shows the structure.
The translation shown doesn't make sense in English although it does preserve the present tense but it leaves out "in the meantime"

The closest I can come up with is:
I thought that in the meantime  I had better find out/inform myself how to find a good offer.

But tricky as it is, is so early in level 2 the right place for the sentence.

RobertR34

schon mal is one of those frequently used phrases by Germans; they love to add words for emphasis that don't necessarily add to the meaning but enhance the expressive nature of the exchange.  After three years, I found myself adding words without even thinking about it.  I guess it's a more articulate version of "you know" or "and so on".

sfpugh

Yes I thought that too, but Leah suggested it was "In the meantime"

On reflection I wonder if the handling of "am besten" was correct could it be:

"I thought that in the meantime I should investigate how best to find a good offer"
Or just:
"I thought that I should investigate how best to find a good deal."

I wonder which version best reflects what the German actually means.

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