Was denkt ihr über den Krieg?

Is there an implied nach missing from this sentence? That would seem to match better with the use of über instead of an and the more contemplative nature of the question.

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Uhm, what do you mean? Where would you like to see nach?

This sentence is correct (I’m a German native speaker).

Was denkt ihr über den Krieg? <-> What do you think about the war?

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English Translation

What do you think of war?

The phrase is more actual now than ever before.

That is difficult to explain.

“Nachdenken” is something you do quietly, like the English “pondering”.
Let’s imagine a situation:
You are sitting in a chair. Somebody enters and asks: “What are you doing?” Ich denke über den Krieg nach."
In this case the “nach” is obligatory.

But if you ask somebody “Was denkt ihr über den Krieg?” you are asking for an answer, meaning “What is your opinion about …”
and you cannot say “nach”.

I hope that helps (and once again I feel lucky that I learnt German as a toddler :slightly_smiling_face:)


Finnish also distinguishes between the neutral “denken” (ajatella) and “nachdenken” (miettiä), and even has a third verb (luulla) that expresses assumption.

So there’s three sightly different meanings:

English: I’m thinking about the war.
German: Ich denke über den Krieg nach.
Finnish: Mietin sotaa.

English: I’m thinking of war.
German: Ich denke an den Krieg.
Finnish: Ajattelen sotaa.

English: I think/believe his name is Tom.
German: Ich denke/glaube, er heißt Tom.
Finnish: Luulen/Uskon että hänen nimensä on Tom.