What’s the difference between Wou, Wuer and Vu Wou?

Today  you will learn the difference between the three question words Wou? Wuer? and Vu wou? In English for all of these instances you would use “where“. But in Luxembourgish we distinguish between where, where to and where from.

Let’s start with

Wou? – Where? (at which place?)

Whenever you are asking about the location or the place of someone or something you would use wou.

Beispiller (examples):

Wou bass du? Where are you (informal)?
Wou wunns du? Where do you live?
Wou ass maïn Handy? Where is my cell phone?
Wou sëtzt hien? Where is he sitting?

Wuer?Where to? (to which place?)

Use wuer whenever you are referring to a direction – where someone or an object is going or moving to. Some native speakers use as well wouhin which means exactly the same.

Wuer gees du? (To) Where are you going? (informal)
Wuer fuert dir dëst Joer an d’Vakanz? (To) Where are you going on holiday this year? 
Wuer fiert dëse Bus? (To) Where is this bus going? 
Wuer hues du d’Schlësselen geluecht? (To) Where did you put the keys?

Vu wou? – Where from? (from which place?)

When we use Vu wou?  we want to know from where someone or something is coming from.

Beispiller (examples):

Vu wou kënns du? Where do you come from?  (informal)
Vu wou kommt Dir? Where do you come from?  (formal)
Vu wou hues du dës cool Schong? Where did you get these cool shoes from? 
Vu wou kënns du dann? Where do you come from? 

Vu wou kënns du dann? is used to ask someone Where are you coming from nowin the sense of Where have you been? For example your partner or a colleague at work could ask you that question when you are coming late hoe or at work

Now I will repeat these 2 questions and listen to the word stress.

1 Vu wou   kënns du?
2 Vu wou kënns du dann?

In sentence 1 the stress is on the verb kënns (kommen) and in sentence 2 stress is on the word du.

And in questions we often use the filler word dann to emphasize what we are saying but it does not change the message. Dann usually means then but when used in a question as a filler word, it can’t be literally translated

In this lesson you will learn the 5 most frequently used question words in Luxembourgish.

You can  watch the video of this lesson on youtube.

Übung

Find out the correct question word: Wou – Vu wou – Wuer

1 ______ gees du dann? Majo, ech ginn an d’Stad mat enger Frëndin.

2 ______ kënnt d’Lavinia? Hatt kënnt aus Mexiko.

3 ______  ass de Mark? Hien ass beim Coiffer.

4 ______ hues du dëse gudde Wäin? Aus Italien.


P.S. BIG NEWS! I’m creating a new online course “Luxembourgish Pronunciation Course” that will come out in July 2018! I can’t wait to share it with you! Just wanted to let you know 😉