Use of the verb "werden"

PaulS108

PaulS108

I hope that I'm not violating any rules here by enquiring about something that was not specifically covered in this course; however, owing to the fact that my question pertains to level A2/B1 level German, I will stick my neck out!

The verb “werden” is one of the most elusive verbs for me in German. Sometimes the nuances arising from this verb are quite challenging. I'm stuggling with the differences in meaning among the following 3 sentences:

1 - Ihr werdet bestimmt reich.

2 - Ihr werdet bestimmt reich sein.

3 - Ihr werdet bestimmt reich werden. 

I assume that no. 2 would be translated “You will certainly be rich.” and no. 3 would be translated “You will certainly become rich.” If this is true, then what does no. 1 mean? Can it be used as a shortened version of both nos. 2 & 3?

Could you shed some light on the use of “werden", “werden…sein”, and “werden…werden"?

Thanking you in advance!

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo PaulS108,

 

Thank you for your question! You're definitely not violating any rules and I am always happy to help!

 

I believe what is confusing here is that “werden” has different meanings and functions. On it's own it means “to become” but it can also be used to form the future tense. And if that wasn't enough, it is common in German to use the present tense to talk about the future when the context is clear.

 

Let's have a look at the three sentences as written above:

1."Ihr werdet bestimmt reich." 

In this sentence “werdet” is a full verb in the present tense. Literally, this would mean “You become certainly rich.”

So grammatically speaking this is talking about the present, however, since Germans like using the present tense to talk about the future, this could also mean “You will certainly become rich.” So unless this is about the process of becoming rich which is taking place at the moment/in the present, you would assume that this is intended to be a statement about the future. 

 

If the context is not clear or you want to use the future tense for other reasons such as emphasis on a future event, you can say this:

2."Ihr werdet bestimmt reich sein." - “You will certainly be rich.”

3."Ihr werdet bestimmt reich werden." - “You will certainly become rich.”

Here “werdet” is an auxiliary verb. Together with the infinitive (sein or werden in this case) it forms the future tense (Futur 1). 

 

There is more about the future tense in lesson 12.8 ‘German Tenses’ and 12.9 'Talking about the Future'.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

 

PaulS108

PaulS108

Thank you, Julia. Your explanations throughout this course have been most helpful and have always shed light on the wider context of a vocabulary word or a grammatical difficulty. The ability to turn to the Forum for assistance has been indispensible! 

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Kein Problem!

HugoM5

HugoM5

Julia

great answer for this interesting question?  danke

 

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