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"what means" or "which means"



 
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"what means" or "which means" #1 (permalink) Sun Jun 08, 2008 13:45 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Hi out there!

I have a question:

Is the "what means" version gramatically correct?
example:

The first documented sighting of the monster was in 565, what means that it is a very old legend.

Of course, you can use "which means". Can you use "what"?

Thanks in advance
Tintiman
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"what means" or "which means" #2 (permalink) Sun Jun 08, 2008 13:55 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

You can't use "what" in that sentence. It would be grammatically wrong. "What" is not used as a relative pronoun.

My guess is that you probably speak German or a Slavic language. Am I right?
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"what means" or "which means" #3 (permalink) Sun Jun 08, 2008 14:05 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Yeah, Jamie, in Russian we can use the same interrogative pronoun for "which" and "what". It is "Что"
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"what means" or "which means" #4 (permalink) Sun Jun 08, 2008 14:06 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Good guess. German is my native language.

Thanks for the quick answer. I might come up with some more questions later. ;-)
Of course, the answer must have been relative pronoun. I should have figured it out for myself.

By the way, talking about German and English. Would you use the phrse: "I don't know any further?"
Tintiman
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"what means" or "which means" #5 (permalink) Sun Jun 08, 2008 14:45 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

tintiman wrote:
Good guess. German is my native language.

I knew it, because you use "was" instead of "welcher" to join sentences like that.

tintiman wrote:
By the way, talking about German and English. Would you use the phrse: "I don't know any further?"

We would say, "I don't know any more," or, "That is all I know." "I don't know any further," sounds like Germlish.

And, while we're at it, stay away from that favorite German expression "in former times"!
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"what means" or "which means" #6 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:28 am   "what means" or "which means"
 

Quote:
And, while we're at it, stay away from that favorite German expression "in former times"!

Why?
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"what means" or "which means" #7 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:31 am   "what means" or "which means"
 

Inga wrote:
Quote:
And, while we're at it, stay away from that favorite German expression "in former times"!

Why?

Because it's so highfalutin' formal that we virtually never use it. It sounds like it came from a history textbook, and we wouldn't use it in reference to something that happened two years ago at our company or in our neighborhood. Foreigners -- especially Germans -- often use this phrase so as to avoid learning several other phrases that are more suitable to each individual type of past situation and learning when to use which.

One really terrible expression that Slavic speakers use is "in the last days". When they say it, they mean to say "recently", but they're really saying "right before the end of the world".
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"what means" or "which means" #8 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:55 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

:)
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"what means" or "which means" #9 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 14:19 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Quote:
Would you use the phrse: "I don't know any further?"

It's used in this way:

"I do not know any further details as to the whereabouts/origin/location/existence of, etc."

"They did not know did not know any further work was to be done upon it."
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"what means" or "which means" #10 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 14:22 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Jamie (K) wrote:
And, while we're at it, stay away from that favorite German expression "in former times"!
Oh, yes, that is a favorite expression for many Germans. I suppose 'in former times' is simply a very direct translation of 'in frühere Zeiten'. I've told my students that, besides sounding extraordinarily formal to me, 'in former times' tends to take me so far back in the past that it practically brings dinosaurs to mind. :lol:
Jamie (K) wrote:
One really terrible expression that Slavic speakers use is "in the last days". When they say it, they mean to say "recently", but they're really saying "right before the end of the world".
Yes, I've heard that from my German students many times too, and they've received the same sort of feedback from me. However, I suppose it should be mentioned that if you add the word 'few' (in the last few days), then the expression does basically mean recently.
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"what means" or "which means" #11 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 14:26 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Molly wrote:
Quote:
Would you use the phrse: "I don't know any further?"

It's used in this way:

"I do not know any further details as to the whereabouts/origin/location/existence of, etc."

Yes, that's how it's used in English, but I'm quite sure that Tintiman is asking if it can be used as a standalone sentence equivalent to the German, "Ich weiß nichts weiteres," or, "Weiteres weiß ich nicht." These sentences mean, "I don't know anything further," or, "I don't know anything more." As a sentence on its own, "I don't know any further," is a Germlish calque of a German sentence.
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"what means" or "which means" #12 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 17:13 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Quote:
Yes, that's how it's used in English, but I'm quite sure that Tintiman is asking if it can be used as a standalone sentence equivalent to the German,

I'm sure he is. The answer is no, right?
Molly
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"what means" or "which means" #13 (permalink) Mon Jun 09, 2008 17:23 pm   "what means" or "which means"
 

Molly wrote:
Quote:
Yes, that's how it's used in English, but I'm quite sure that Tintiman is asking if it can be used as a standalone sentence equivalent to the German,

I'm sure he is. The answer is no, right?

Yes. I said no.
Jamie (K)
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