"The woman sees the skirts."

Translation:Die Frau sieht die Röcke.

January 4, 2013

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/klaushorky

Die Röcke können nicht sehen

January 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liminal

would 'Die Frau sieht Die Rocke' mean the skirt sees the woman?

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
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No, because "sieht" is unambiguously 3rd person singular and the skirts are plural. The word order in the given translation stresses "the skirts". Your word order is "normal".

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/farukofaruko

How is a distinction made if the woman is looking at a single skirt then? Or what about if it were "women" instead of "woman"? In that case do you avoid the object-first sentence structure?

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
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a single skirt -> "Die Frau sieht den Rock."; women -> "Die Frauen sehen den Rock/die Röcke." The case with both plural forms "Die Frauen sehen die Röcke." might be considered ambiguous but since skirts are not capable of seeing, the subject of the sentence can only be "Die Frauen". Accusative object in first position is possible but I'd say that subject in first position is more common.

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/liminal

So can this sentence be translated as Die Frau sieht Die Rocke just as well then? It makes more sense in English to declare the woman first.

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
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The thing is that in English the word order is far more fixed (because of the major loss of case endings). In German SPO is standard. OPS is grammatical too but the object is more stressed.

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
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"The woman sees the man." "The man sees the woman." Subject and object look alike. You need a fixed word order to distinguish between them. "Die Frau sieht den Mann." "Die Frau sieht der Mann." "Die Frau" can be subject or object (as in the second sentence) but "der Mann" is clearly nominative and "den Mann" is clearly accusative. So you needn't rely on the word order too much to distinguish subject and object. That is why the word order is not as fixed as in English.

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Athee
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So "Die Frau sieht das Kind" and "Das Kind sieht die Frau" would be ambiguous sentences were you could distinguish between subject and object without context? And "Thank you!" by the way, Nina for providing your detailed explanations on this. I found them really helpful :)

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
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You're welcome! I'm happy to hear that. Yes, these sentences are ambiguous. The standard word order is subject - predicate - object. Without context this word order is likely but it could also be object - predicate - subject.

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/nyanomama

Why "die Dame" was wrong?

March 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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@nyanomama : That would be "the lady".

March 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nyanomama

OK, danke. I guess I shouldn't have ranked up.

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
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@nyanomama : Yes, probably that's why it wasn't accepted. Same gender, but different words.

March 11, 2014
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