'They are opposite' is perfectly correct in English. 'Where is the bakery?' - 'It's opposite the library.' If someone asks you 'where are the taxis?' then answering 'they are opposite' if they're across the road from you is a correct way of phrasing it (or 'they are opposite us', but the 'us' is implied anyway).
it is correct, but unfamiliar. In the USA I think this would sound very weird. If you are talking about two people being completely different, one would say they are opposites or they are completely opposite.
I have never heard someone say "they are siting opposite from us" It is valid english, but "they are sitting across from us" is much more common. The same with any location. "The bank is across the street" never "The bank is opposite"
out in the colonies made me laugh :-)
I thought about it more this morning. I think that saying simply "they are opposite" is really the trip up here for me (and probably most Americans). If someone said "opposite from us" or "opposite from here" etc. I think it would be totally fine. As I said "across from" is more common in my experience, but "opposite" would not be completely out of place.
As they say, England and the USA - two countries separated by a common language.
I'm not sure what it is. If it is indeed, "They are opposite each other," then gegenüber is a dative preposition. This means that it requires an indirect object.
If it is "They are opposites," then it would be an adjective and not a preposition. But this is a good point Zoe.
This sentence is actually 100% correct.
Opposite, by definition is "on the other side". Why would "They are on the other side." be correct English, while "They are opposite." isn't? It's simple substitution.
In addition, putting each other at the end could change the meaning of this sentence.
Opposite is a word that shows 2 parties in opposition, hence the name. When you say "They are opposite.", they is ONE party. There still has to be another. The only option left is the speaker.
If you were to change the sentence to "They are opposite each other.", you've now introduced a 3rd party. The person making that statement is referencing two OTHER parties. They no longer becomes one party, but represents two opposing parties.
The same thing is true for "They are opposites." Once again, they is no longer referring to one party, but two.
What if the sentence had said "I am opposite."? You can't just make it "I am opposites." and still have it be correct.
Edit: If you're going to down-vote, do it because you have a counter argument you can use and not because you're feeling hurt that you might be incorrect. It does nobody any good when you're not willing to engage in intellectual discourse.
You can omit things in English too. Like in "I have to go to to the store", one could just say "Have to go to the store". The things that can get left out vary from language to language. You can't leave out "the street" or "the table" or whatever in "they are across the street/table/whatever" in English, but that doesn't mean that you also can't in German.
@Levi Regarding your example and Mark's question, there is a rule about this, you have to use the aquisative form of the preposition, so Levi's example should become: "Ich Muss in/zu die toilette" (@Levi: not too sure if zu can also be used but if it can then you shouldnt use "zur" as it means zu der ehich is the dative form for "die toilette" ) , other examples would be: wir mussen ins bad , ich mochte ins kino....etc. (Das bad, das kino ...respectively) . the verb gehen should be at the end "wir mussen ins bad gehen" but when you use an aquisitive preposition then it is implied . hope this helps.
hmmm! I still have troubles remembering which ones are the double case prepositions, but now I'm curious, I've never heard Zur being used like that before, usually it's either "Ins" or "in die", since the accusative case usually implies movement.
EDIT: Actually I do apologies,as I have now heard the Zur, Zum pattern being used just like ins: Wir mussen zum Markt, ich wolle zum zeitunghandlung....etc.
"Sie sind gegenüber" = They are opposite (one another).
You might use this sentence to describe a Mutt Jeff sort of couple. ;)
And Mutt might use, "Sie sind gegenüber," (You are opposite) to describe Jeff... although Jeff might not like it.
A good reference for this type of usage can be found at http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/opposite (The example provided is: You'd never know they're sisters - they're completely opposite ...)
Opposite (preposition) - From Merriam Webster
: on the other side of (something or someone)
: across from (something or someone) of an actor : in a play, movie, etc., with (another actor)
1: across from and usually facing or on the same level with (sat opposite each other)
2: in a role complementary to (played opposite the leading man in the comedy)
She lives in the house opposite ours.
The school is opposite a park.
I played opposite the best player in the league.
She stars opposite Clint Eastwood in her latest movie.
The meaning of gegenüber as you explain it requires the plural of opposite to be used-- Mutt and Jeff are opposites-- two people, with "opposites" being a noun. And Mutt would not simply say to Jeff "You are opposite" without including some other word(s) for clarification-- for example, "You are my opposite*.
Good example--and yes, opposite is an adjective in your usage (as it is in my example above regarding Mutt & Jeff). Similarly, one could say, "They are green in their environmental practices," or simply, "They are green." One wouldn't say, "They are greens in their environmental practices." To use green as a noun (Greens - capitalized), one would probably be trying to convey that the people in question belong to the Green Party or something similar.
Here's another one.
"Their political views are opposite," or "They (the political views) are opposite." You wouldn't say, Their political views are opposites. So no problem with "opposite" being confused with being a noun. lol. Just thought of an additional example. "Red and green are opposite." They are opposite colours... They are opposite.
The problem is, you are using "opposite" as a noun, which according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as "someone or something that is completely different from someone or something else". Since "we" is a plural subject, it follows that "opposite" should also be plural, thus "We are opposites". Merely saying "we are opposite" is confusing, since the meaning is not clear-- you could be referring to your location, such as "We are opposite... the post office". Saying "We are opposites" makes it crystal clear that you and the other person are "completely different from one another".
If Mutt and Jeff were sitting at each end of a long table and one said to the other "You are opposite.", one would assume he means at the opposite end of the table based on their surroundings. If one of them were instead to say "You are my opposite.", it would take on a different meaning and no longer be referring to their locations relative to each other.
As pointed out above, the clarification is implied if not specified.
"Sie sind gegenüber" = They are opposite (one another).
"Sie sind gegenüber" = You are opposite (of me).
Clarification here is kinda irrelevant without context. We just have to assume the speakers know the context and worry about translating. Maybe the preceding sentence was "Where am I sitting relative to you?"
I completely agree! I was wondering why this wasn't coming up. I thought that "They are opposite" sounds incomplete, so I decided to add the "s," because I was thinking of it in the "they have entirely different personalities/hobbies/etc." kind of thing. Only upon checking the discussion did I even think of it in the spatial sense. @-)
Would being opposites in terms of personality, as I thought it meant, also use this syntax, or would it use different words?
I think it can only mean "they are on the opposite side of something." Like most German adjectives, it can be used as an adverb, and that's the case here.
"Opposite one another" seems to be sich gegenüber.
"They are over there" is a correct translation of this phrase though it was marked wrong. This continues to be a pattern and a real shortcoming with this course, namely that it appears that the authors are not fluent in English as they are in German. The phrase "They are opposite" is very ambiguous in English and would never be used alone without some additional words or context clues like a gesture with the eyes.
It's not a bad sentence in and of itself, it's just not a translation for this sentence. "The way" implies some context which you have no clue to here.
Seems like most people here are only thinking of this sentence in spatial terms with some sort of street. In reality though, this sentence should be a valid construction for anything with two diametrically opposed parties. If I'm liberal and they are conservative, I could say "They are opposite." If I'm white and they are black, I could say "They are opposite." If I'm Yin and they are Yang, I could say "They are opposite." If I'm on one side of the street and they are on the other, I could say "They are opposite."
Some of these examples do sound a lot better with extra words to breath a little life into them, but at the same time you have to remember these exercises are more about direct translations than colloquial translations.
It depends on context. If they live in a house across the street I would usually say "They live on the other side of the road" or "They live across the road". If they are standing on the footpath (is that called the sidewalk in the U.S.?) I would just say "They are across the street" or "They are on the other side of the road". If they live in a house directly across from me then I would say "They live opposite us" or "They are opposite us".
And if they are sitting at the same table how I expressed it would also depend on whether they were directly opposite or just somewhere on the other side of the table.
I put: "They are the opposite". I can foresee others having an issue with this as a complete sentence, as opposed to a clause. "They're the opposite." Can be sometimes said in reply to something but does not stand on its own. Funny how many mistakes I make due to be a native English speaker familiar enough to bend rules and accustomed to doing so.
I found this from a previous lesson; there are three words which means "opposite". 1. gegenüber: opposite in position. wir sind gegenüber. We are opposite of each other. 2. gegensätzlich: opposite or contrasting personality. Wir sind gegensätzlich. we are opposite in personality. 3. entgegengesetz; opposite or opposing, as in answers. Was ist die entgegengesetzte Antwort. I hope this is correct and if there is an error, I apologize in advance.