"Die Herren folgen den Damen."

Translation:The gentlemen are following the ladies.

November 6, 2013



Is what is being described in the sentence being just creepy or...?

July 18, 2014


If it were meant to be creepy I think it would be more appropriate to use Männer instead of Herren. I don't believe that gentleman would be stalking the ladies.

August 5, 2014



December 22, 2014


It's 19th century stalking . . .

February 12, 2015



February 12, 2015


It's you being obsessed

September 19, 2019


In Germany, it is customary when a boy/man and a girl/woman are walking down the sidewalk for the man to walk behind her, especially if they're married or dating.

April 21, 2015


Interesting. Thank you for that :)

October 7, 2015


Wirklich? How would they talk?

September 5, 2016


It's a custom, and one that is fading with globalisation, not the most common practice by which couples walk down the street. They don't walk far behind them, either (I think half a step is common, but sometimes he may be entirely behind her). There are also other dating customs, but most of them are fading in modern Germany as well.

September 5, 2016


weird custom but that's sad it's fading just like customs in my country

May 13, 2017


Why do you say it's a weird custom?? It's probably part of etiquette (Bonton), so why would that be strange.

October 18, 2018


Off to the left or right?

January 29, 2018


I couldn't find a reference to this custom anywhere online. If you or anyone could show me I'd like to read a bit more about it.

October 30, 2017


I heard it from two people who've spent more time in Germany than I have, but they're both older and it's possible the custom was only a phase or something.

January 5, 2018


I suspect it is similar to a tradition elsewhere in the world. My father said a gentleman walks slightly behind and between his lady and the road. It was originally to save her from being splashed, rtc.

November 4, 2018



June 14, 2017


Not necessarily. It could just be "the gentlemen follow the ladies ... into the drawing room".

July 28, 2014


Yeah well it could also be "...into the dressing room."

August 13, 2014


Could mean like, "Ladies first"?

March 8, 2015


Nahhh. Ladies first.

January 3, 2017


I thought of the kind of "following" you are doing when you dance. There are some traditional dances, when it looks like Herren folgen den Damen.

April 18, 2018


Doesn't have to be. What if the dudes are the husbands of the chicks, but don't want to be part of their conversation?

October 23, 2018



August 2, 2017


I do not undersand "den" here. Why can it not be "The gentlemen follow THE ladies" but rather "ARE following the ladies" or "follows THESE ladies"? I do not get it. Still when I scroll over "den" for a clue, it is "the". Seriously....WTF!

February 11, 2016


German doesnt have the "ing" form so "the gentlemen are following" and "the gentlemen follow" would be the same.

And I think den can't be "these" in this case, lol. It's den because it's dative plural of a feminine word, die Dame. Apparently the word folgen recuires the object to be in dative.

February 24, 2016


Den is 'the'for dative plural

March 24, 2016


But lingo says the plural dative is "Denen" not "Den", is this a mistake? (it is in the lesson explanation).

November 6, 2016


When used as an article, as it is here, die does not decline to denen but den. However, it can also be used as a pronoun meaning that, which, who, whom, whose and this word does decline to denen in the dative plural. Duo must've confused the two words and given the wrong declension.

November 6, 2016


OK.. the declension is not the easiest thing for me. thanks for explaining though.

November 6, 2016


I don't understand why "den Damen" is in the accusative case; shouldn't this sentence be "Die Herren folgen die Damen."?

November 6, 2013


"den Damen" is not accusative, it's dative. The verb "folgen" requires the dative case: "Wem folgen die Herren? - Den Damen."

Accusative would be "die Damen", e.g., "Die Herren sehen die Damen. - Wen sehen die Herren? - Die Damen."

November 6, 2013


Like Marco said, it's an exception. Normally, the direct object is in the accusative case. However, after a limited number of special "dative verbs" such as "folgen" (to follow), "helfen" (to help) or "danken" (to thank), the direct object is in the dative case. "Den Damen" is dative plural.




November 6, 2013


Ach Katherle, deine Erklärungen sind immer so gut und gründlich. Da kann man selbst als Muttersprachler noch soviel lernen. Ich würde mal raten: Linguistikstudentin ?

November 6, 2013


Oh OK. I forgot that the dative plural was den, and i forgot about the whole concept of transitive verbs (I think that's the right word for hilfen, folgen, etc.). Thanks a lot, both of you!

November 6, 2013


Den is 'the' for dative plural. Simple as that

March 24, 2016


Dear Dulingo, the users should have a feature to save their favorite comments from other users. This would allow one to organize and track the information relevent to one, for later reference or study or any desired purpose.

September 8, 2015


I would prefer not having to rely on comments to get essential information. :( Duolingo needs to transfer the information from the most helpful comments to tips and notes, or popup information or anything like that.

December 3, 2015


I take screenshots for this purpose :)

April 15, 2017


Kinda..... worrying...?

July 22, 2014


Looking at the german sentence (being this dative case) I can't really say if the plural form of "Dame" is "Damen" or "Dame", can I?

March 12, 2015


How does Damen also translate to Kings? Is it like Der Damen= King Die Damen= Ladies Like that?

February 25, 2015


What's the difference between Frauen and Damen? And is Dames not an acceptable translation

February 27, 2015


Frauen-women. Damen-ladies.

March 17, 2015


Thanks - but what does that mean?

I'm not sure I understand the difference. Is there an actual difference in where you use it?

Is it just like in English? You'd address an audience as "ladies and gentlemen"?

March 22, 2015


Yes, I believe so. You would address a group as" Meine Damen und Herren" Ladies and Gentlemen.

March 23, 2015



March 29, 2015


Both mean Lady, Mistress, a woman in a position of power and authority. Frau is Germanic. Dame is Latin/French.

April 25, 2017


when would "denen" be used - this is mentioned in the notes?

February 13, 2016


Why does it say "DEN Damen" instead of "Die Damen", it is plural and in the accusative. and even if it was in the Dative case, it will "Denen Damen".. please someone explain to me

November 6, 2016


It is plural and dative (because folgen takes the dative case), and the dative plural definite article is den (not denen).

December 26, 2016


I have 3 words to describe this sentence: Creepy, love, and romantic

January 15, 2017


Why does it seem like the definite articles are switched around?

May 9, 2017


den is masculine accusative singular, but also dative plural; die is feminine nominative/accusative singular, but also nominative/accusative plural regardless of gender.

Every form of the German definite article refers to at least two combinations of gender, number, and case, unfortunately.

So thinking of e.g. die as "the feminine article" may be more harmful than helpful, because die is also used in the plural (for all genders); similarly, den is not exclusively "masculine", either, and even der shows up not only in the plural but also in the genitive and dative of feminine singular nouns.

May 11, 2017


Shieeet thanks man. I know I should be studying my articles and I've been putting it off for a while.

May 11, 2017


And then along comes things such as die Leiter ("the ladder" or "the leaders"?) and der Leiter ("the leader" or "of the ladder" or "to the ladder" or "of the leaders"?) :) Ambiguous articles can be annoying.

But yes, getting all sixteen down properly will be a good thing -- and knowing which one can show up in which combinations of gender/number/case.

May 11, 2017


A lot to learn but definitely worth it.

May 12, 2017


If you go through the lessons "Accusative", "Dative", "Nominative" and "Genitive", you'll get the answer :)

May 10, 2017


So if 'folgen' wasn't a dative verb, would the sentence be, "Die Herren folgen die Damen"?

March 20, 2019


Presumably. Much as you would say, for example, Die Herren sehen die Damen. with the regular transitive verb sehen.

But it is a dative verb, and so it is Die Herren folgen den Damen.

March 20, 2019


Gents should be a valid trabslation of gentlemen

March 31, 2019


Why den Damen instead die Damen?

June 10, 2019


folgen requires the dative case for its object

June 10, 2019


I wrote "are following and it was marked incorrect?

July 4, 2019


I wrote "are following and it was marked incorrect?

Yes, because you did not translate die Herren or den Damen.

(What was your entire answer? Often, the mistake is not where you think it is but instead in the word order somewhere else, the wrong gender of an article, etc. Please always quote complete sentences.)

July 5, 2019


Dame: Die Dame: SINGULAR Damen: Den Damen: PLURAL But I thought ALL plurals are feminine in german. Someone?

May 6, 2015


It is plural. As explained in other comments: "Den Damen" is dative plural.

July 1, 2019


why can't we translate into the gentleman follow the ladies

May 21, 2017


"the gentleman" is singular (there is just one gentleman)

"the gentlemen" is plural (there are many gentlemen)

The German die Herren is plural, so you should translate it into an English plural.

May 21, 2017


Why is this sentence in the dative case?

December 14, 2017


Sentences (as a whole) aren't in any case.

den Damen is in the dative case because the verb folgen takes an object in the dative case.

(Why dative for this verb? No idea. But there are a dozen or two reasonably common verbs that take an object in the dative case, such as helfen - danken - folgen - gefallen - gehören - antworten.)

December 15, 2017



January 17, 2018


Does thia have a connotation of "the men ARE PURSUING the women," as in they're trying to get close to them?

March 28, 2018


No - that would be Die Herren verfolgen die Damen.

folgen just means they are going the same way, either simply behind them / after them, or using the ladies as a guide because they don't know the way themselves.

March 28, 2018


As always. Stalkers

June 29, 2018


Damen also apparently means "checkers", but when I put that in, I got it wrong. : )

March 8, 2015


Why isn't the word "dames" accepted here, in English?


October 18, 2016


uhh, that is really...well I won't grace it with a discription.

April 19, 2017


A misogynist would prefer "Den Herren folgen die Damen."

June 4, 2018


please try to avoid pedantry. Follow and "are following" are English

August 25, 2019


That doesn't sound like gentlemen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 22, 2016


As I commented above, it is customary in Germany for a man to follow a woman when walking down the street, especially if they are married or dating. However, a man generally walks through a door first. Both customs may be throwbacks to ancient and less certain times. They both allow the man an opportunity to see a threat coming without putting his lady in danger. However, I think the former custom may be becoming less common.

August 23, 2016


Thirsty buggers aren't they?

November 6, 2016


M' lady

November 16, 2016


they are not gentlemen anymore

March 29, 2017


Who said anything about gentlemen? Herr is an older man, specifically one with gray hair. It means Gray, and by extension: Senior, Elder (though alter Mann would be more specific). The Bible uses it for Lord, but that is not its core meaning, and Meister would probably have been a better translation.

April 25, 2017


it said Herren means gentlemen

April 25, 2017


weird sentence

August 2, 2015


this doesnt make sense...

March 30, 2017


lets just hope they are as gentle as their name suggets...

April 3, 2017



April 3, 2017


"Translate this text

Die Herren folgen den Damen. The gentleman are following the ladies Continue You used the wrong word. The sirs are following the ladies."

I'm right! I know I'm right and I'm tired of being told I'm wrong when I'm right. I have reported it, but I am really angry that I have to give the wrong answer to get this right. Even my English grammar checker says sirs is wrong. It things that should be sins.

April 3, 2017


The plural of gentleman is gentlemen, with -e- in the last syllable just as the plural of man is men.

die Herren is plural, so you should have used the plural the gentlemen.

The gentleman is not a right translation of die Herren.

April 4, 2017


Your right. :( It was a missed typo error. But using "sirs" I still wrong

April 4, 2017



November 10, 2016


That is not English! It makes no sense! It should be 'the men are following the women'.

March 30, 2017
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.