"Die Herren folgen den Damen."

Translation:The gentlemen are following the ladies.

November 6, 2013

100 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancisKon

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

July 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RebeccaHillary

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haleygrace

Well...

December 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Sapphira-

It's 19th century stalking . . .

February 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haleygrace

LOL!!!

February 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmitriyRud

It's you being obsessed

September 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWycliffe

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna_FA

Interesting. Thank you for that :)

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wikan

Wirklich? How would they talk?

September 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWycliffe

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulCamIlle

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

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dalingo8

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kpjsttd

Off to the left or right?

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ADJenks

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWycliffe

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColleenBra15

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sschantz24

Ooohhh

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tom-g

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

July 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandon435

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

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronWalle2

Could mean like, "Ladies first"?

March 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pebilorty

Nahhh. Ladies first.

January 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mz147

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andyengle

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/happy645

creepy

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jon947551

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TwiliDash

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimmyKing2

Den is 'the'for dative plural

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

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

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWycliffe

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

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

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john_hempel

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marco1603

"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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katherle

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.

See:

http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb_dativ.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_articles#The_Definite_Article

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marco1603

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john_hempel

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimmyKing2

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

March 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackeygrey

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LudmorHun

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kampfar

I take screenshots for this purpose :)

April 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Private_606

Kinda..... worrying...?

July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Garybald

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dusty_G

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

February 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theavic

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

February 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karmisson

Frauen-women. Damen-ladies.

March 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theavic

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karmisson

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

March 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theavic

Thanks

March 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qbasicmichael

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

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/musmoulay

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

February 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

December 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheGaromine

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

January 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stanthemanclan

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

May 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stanthemanclan

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

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stanthemanclan

A lot to learn but definitely worth it.

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kampfar

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

May 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.S._Bach

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

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarthhur

Gents should be a valid trabslation of gentlemen

March 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MANAN_SODAGAR

Why den Damen instead die Damen?

June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

folgen requires the dative case for its object

June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rita540340

I wrote "are following and it was marked incorrect?

July 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob20020

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

May 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CapnDoug

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

July 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nguyenhaichi0

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

May 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sharon182968

Why is this sentence in the dative case?

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AriSamAlao

Lovelt

January 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gedalyah

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElizabethB446411

As always. Stalkers

June 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronWalle2

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

March 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tylaantt

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dame

October 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/12345679u

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

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanFelker

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

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexFalconer

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

August 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EBuDDe

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

August 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWycliffe

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shyguy007

Thirsty buggers aren't they?

November 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FloopyDuper

M' lady

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BolisettyS

they are not gentlemen anymore

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qbasicmichael

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BolisettyS

it said Herren means gentlemen

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thefeinyx

weird sentence

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hobnob12

this doesnt make sense...

March 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maesterlewin

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

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaitlinMobs123

WHATTTTTT?

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeeaWeber

"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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeeaWeber

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

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Weaboo_69

pervert

November 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/feliceski

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

March 30, 2017
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