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  5. "Das Kind spielt mit seinem M…

"Das Kind spielt mit seinem Mittagessen."

Translation:The child is playing with his lunch.

January 2, 2013



Using 'its' to refer to a child is rather uncommon and strange (a child is neither inanimate nor animal). It seems better to use 'their'


It's extremely common for German speakers. I once worked at a camp whose director, from NYC, had "gone native" in the Austrian countryside as an adult and married a German. This usage had even crept into his English: he constantly referred to a child forgetting its towel at the beach or wishing it could go home. However, he never used this when referring to a specific child whose gender we knew.


"Their" is plural while "the child" is singular, so that is not an appropriate match. "Das Kind" is neuter gender and so should be referred to with "it" if the child's gender is unknown. We say "The child is playing with their lunch" a lot in English because 1) we don't like to refer to a child as "it." 2) while referring to a singular, unknown child in English, "he" is grammatically correct (last thing I knew). However, political correctness frowns upon this, but saying s/he is burdensome. Thus, people started referring to a singular, unknown person with "their" to avoid the gender issue.

This sentence could also be translated as "The child is playing with his lunch."


do you mean in an English sense, or a German sense? Remember, that the point is to learn the underlying meaning in German, not English


I think it is because Das is neutral, so you pick "it". If it was Der Jung you would translate to his. Children and the young are typically gender neutral articles.

Anyone care to correct me or confirm me?


It could be they mean he is playing with an animal's food. Like his dog's.


"That child plays with his lunch" should be correct.


I was marked wong for using "That". I also apparently forgot that Kind was neuter and therefore "das Kind" is "the child". So this brings up the question: how do you differentiate "the child" from "that child"?


I wonder that as well. German grammar is proving to be quite complex to me... then again English grammar has some oddities compared to other languages as well. I suppose there really is no way to differentiate between the two, but I'm far from being an expert.


exactly, I think both have to be correct


Why its food and not his food


Probably because no gender info was provided. Another correct translation would probably be "with their food"


Their was marken wrong for me, it said rhe correct answer was 'her'.


Why not "This child" ?


that would translate as Dieses Kind. "Das" is a nominative pronoun (like "the"), not a demonstrative one.


Why must it be translated as lunch? Regional differences in the UK call both lunch and dinner the same meal.


Wouldn't it be "their" as well? Their is a common way of using a pronoun without knowing the gender, even in German (I verified this with my mother, whose first language is German).


Would dinner not be just as good as lunch? Or am I just too colloquial in my language?


Why is his lunch not her lunch? How do you tell from this sentence


seinem means his (or its) in the dative case (mit is a dative preposition) for masculine or neutral nouns


Then how does one translate "Das Mädchen spielt mit seinem Mittagessen". The girl is playing with HIS lunch?


In this case, "seinem" means its. In German, when using a pronoun or possessive pronoun in place of a common noun, the noun's gender determines whether you refer to it as "er" (masculine), "sie" (feminine), or "es" (neuter). "Mädchen" is neuter, so you would refer to it as "es", and the possessive pronoun of "es" is "sein".


I have two questions, I guess.

1) Why is Mädchen neuter, when it means girl?

2) If "sie" (as in"she") is the subject, would you use some form of ihren/ihrem to describe her lunch?


I do not know why Mädchen is neuter, but I think it has to do with the structure of the word as opposed to its meaning. To answer your second question, "sie" is NOT the subject of this sentence; the subject of this sentence is "das Mädchen" or "es". In English, we determine which pronoun to use (he, she, or it), based on the definition of the word (natural gender), whereas in German, they determine which pronoun to use based on the gender of the word (grammatical gender). Because "Mädchen" is neuter, the pronoun you would use to refer to it is "es", NOT "sie".


Mit Essen spielt man nicht!


How would I say "The child is playing with your lunch" - a) Das Kind spielt mit eurem Mittagessen. B) Das Kind spielt mit dienem Mittagessen ?


Die Mutter zu ihrem Kind: "Spielen mit deinem Essen ist nicht gut!" Would this sentence be correct?

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