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werden, passive and future, how to process quickly in conversations

My questions are hard to put into words, but I will try. I would like to know how german people think, how they immediately process a conversation when they hear the word "wird [werden]" being used. Do you really wait until the end of the sentence to process the whole, complete thought? When does it first occur to you that the whole sentence is Passive, and not Future?

Example: Zum allerersten Mal wird der Begriff Ufo von den Behörden benutzt.

When I translate this to English, I translate as I read...
a) Zum allerersten Mal .... for the very first time
b) wird .... will
c) der Begriff Ufo ... the term UFO
d) von den Behörden ... from the authorities

e) .... and now I'm expecting a regular verb for the future tense, but BAM! ... I get this past tense verb, and suddenly I realize that the whole thought is passive.... and now, the speaker has already spoken another sentence while I've been processing this one.

1) Is there a shortcut for English speakers who learn German - so we can understand the sentence in a "left-to-right" fashion as it is being spoken?

2) When you hear "wird", is it the same thought in your head whether it is future or passive? I mean, if someone says to you, "ich werde...", do you immediately think there are 2 options waiting for you to process, or do you think only one thought for this word "werde", perhaps something equivalent to "I become".... ie, do you think of future tenses as something in English like, "I become go there" for "ich werde dorthin [gehen]" - so this way, it doesn't matter how the rest of the sentence ends up, because you only process "werde" in one way, in your mind ... ?

Man, the 2nd question was really hard to express in my own language... I hope someone understands!

Many thanks

For learning: German
Base language: English
Category: Uncategorized



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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Hi Choppy,

    interesting questions. And very well put. Answering it, or attempting to answer it, is equally difficult. However, two things are, in my mind, important:

    Often, if not nearly always, the context will lead the understanding process into a particular direction. Take your example:
    Zum allerersten Mal wird der Begriff
    "the term/phrase" is normally not sth. which actively does sth., so "wird" as auxiliary for future is rather unlikely. The term/phrase is unlikely to do sth in the future.

    Furthermore, before this sentence comes up, other sentences construct more of the context, which more than likely will direct the quick understanding even further.

    German does have this unfortunate habit of "Satzklammer" (sentence structure like a clamp) and one's mind is geared to listen to the end, anyway. This is specially true for seperable verbs. Mark Twain describes this in his most humourous way, I presume you know.

    There is a third element in this:
    My observations of many years have shown that students who translate word by word, fall into this trap of taking a wrong turn early on in the sentence more often than than others. I am not saying you do this and I understand your wor by word segmentation above as an example to describe your question, not necessarily your way of reading. Nonetheless: I think in German it pays off to work this strategy when reading:

    - spot the verb in position 2 in the sentence
    - check the last word of the sentence
    - is it a prefix of a seperable verb
    - is it a verb in infinitive, or, or, or....
    - put the meaning of those two together before going on with the rest

    That way, you have a clear understanding of the action in the sentence.

    Hope this is at least part of an answer.

    Kind regards,

    No need from my side to augment Ottos comments, he was simply faster. For me, I never had the question or I simply can not remeber it from my language aquiry age...

    Now it is simply automatic...

    As I found some days ago a link to Mark Twains Essay "The Awful German Language" here in italki I am able to post that link too, Choppy you are not alone.

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