1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Wir geben das Buch einem Man…

"Wir geben das Buch einem Mann."

Translation:We are giving the book to a man.

October 6, 2015

213 Comments


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

Doesn't dative usually go before accusative? Shouldn't it be "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s33br0wnb0x

Yes. It is typically written as such; however, it makes much more sense when pronouns come into use i.e. the order is always determined by the direct object and not the indirect object e.g. Wir geben es ihm. Wir geben es einem Mann. Wir geben ihm das Buch.

Hope that helps.


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

Exactly, but here there is no pronoun, yet the order is still akk then dat


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

"Akkusativ," i.e. "accusative." Similarly, "dat" is "Dativ/dative."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcoAntni439472

I understand your point, but I'm afraid no pronoun is being used in that sentence!


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

Doesn't help at all, I'm sorry to say.


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

Correction: the order is always determined by the pronoun, not the direct object. In your example, "Wir geben ihm das Buch," "ihm" is an indirect object pronoun while "das Buch" is the direct object


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

When there are two pronouns, the direct object goes first. See the other example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The.Mule

I think with German there's a lot more scope for rearranging stuff in sentences; it's why the pronouns and articles are so varied. For example, "The man eats the apple" can be written as "Den Apfel isst der Mann." The den/der articles should tell you that the sentence cannot be read as "the apple eats the man."

Edit: corrected per Rhotias.


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

Incidentally, den and der are definite articles in this example, not pronouns as you and the preceding comments suggest. They would be pronouns if they were used on their own in lieu of objects, though, such as "Das im Schrank" (the thing in the cupboard)

You're correct though that the German case system allows extra meaning to be carried in the articles, so objects can be switched to different locations in the sentence with no ambiguity


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

Agree, but in another ex it demands daiv before akusativ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin876054

I've seen this also. The pre-lesson demonstrates the flexibility of the sentence structure with even an example of the nominative coming after the verb as long as it remains next to the verb. Which I find interesting. But a different lesson stresses a preferred order where 1) with two nouns or two pronouns the dative should be first after the verb, or 2) with one noun and one pronoun the pronoun should come first regardless of case. These two lessons leave me a little confused. Is the preferred order only applied to sentences with pronouns? With flexibility for sentences with nouns?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Two nouns have a preferred order of Dative first, but the order is flexible and Dative can come last to stress new information which is evident here from the use of “einem” rather than “dem”. Two personal pronouns actually have Accusative before Dative, but a pronoun always comes before a noun.

Be careful though, because no rules are absolute.
https://yourdailygerman.com/german-word-order-explained/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin876054

@ALLintolearning3 Yes, thank you for pointing out that for 2 pronouns the order is usually Accusative then Dative and not the reverse. After seeing this I did some googling to confirm and indeed you are correct. When I come across the other pre-lesson where I saw that (it was on the phone app) I will try to figure out how to report it if Duo has it incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/an1k0

I think you are right. I think that the rule is if both objects are nouns first comes the dative case and then accusative, so the example should be: Wir geben einem Mann das Buch. When one of the object is noun and the other is pronoun - first comes the pronoun: Wir geben ihm das Buch. or Wir geben es einem Mann. And finally when both objects are pronouns first is accusative and then dative: Wir geben es ihm.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Yes, however, one can also put the new information last to stress it. “Das Buch” is a specific book that we already know about and “einem Mann” is someone that we have not talked about yet. If it were “dem Mann”, then it would come first, because we are talking about a specific man that had already been known.


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

Is this pat of some rule?


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

It's related to one tenet within information theory--the notion that in general, old information is presented before new information. Because the old information is what you already know, and makes it easier to comprehend incoming new information. This also accounts for why pronouns tend to precede full noun phrases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jasmine959

I used that sentence before and it was fine but then Duo said to use das buch before einem mann


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardGil10

That sequence certainly was drummed into my head in class!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank633327

The word order "we are giving a man the book" works in many other examples. This order should work.


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

Yes, that order works fine and is accepted for many other sentences. However the particular phrasing "giving a [something] the [something]" sounds very odd to me. If it were "a/a" or "the/the" or "the/a" it would be fine, but the phrasing just doesn't work so well with this combination of articles.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

I believe that is really more of a pronoun thing.


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

I think you give something to someone and not someone to something, right ?


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

Changing the word order doesn't change the meaning of the sentence. What matters is what case each noun is in. The noun conjugated as accusative is the thing being given, and the noun in dative is the person/thing that it's given to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

No, but we do "give someone something" and that is the same as "give something to someone.".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judy482408

I agree. Confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sawsan555

can we say wir geben einem mann das buch?


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

Is there any difference ?


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

Emphasis, slightly. As I understand it, when read the sentences sound like:

Wir geben das Buch einem Mann = "We give the book to a man"
Wir geben einem Mann das Buch = "We give a man the book"

[Source: 'German is Easy' blog]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/8Ivlg50M

You understand correctly


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

Why is it then emphasized that dativ should come before akkusativ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

That is the usual order for nouns, but you can emphasize the dative noun as new information if it has an indefinite article by putting it last.


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

'Wir geben einem Mann das Buch' sounds a bit unusually to me about like: "We give a man this (or that) book."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Wouldn't that be "Wir geben einem Mann dieses Buch." ?

Still, I understand that the one with the indefinite article is preferred last since the specific item starting with the definite article must have already been referenced.


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

I agree, like in English as if "we give a man that book" Also to my English ears, "we give a man the book" sounds rather odd out of context. Whereas, "we give the book to a man" sounds more the neutral position. As has already been said, German is like English in this respect, the new information (which is indefinite, 'a' or' ein') is emphasised by putting it at the end. These things are rather subtle, but consider this in English: Instead of giving the book to a woman, why don't we give the book to a man (the surprise bit at the end!) "why don't we give a man the book" really wouldn't have the same impact and sounds awkward.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben1inus

That should work yes. Even it it doesn't count as correct it's still one hundred percent understandable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Except that nouns must always be capitalized in German and only one typo will be allowed.


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

I was taught DAN PAD PIN: DAN Dative before Accusative with Nouns PAD Pronouns Accusative before Dative PIN Pronouns In front of Nouns


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

Not a hard and fast rule, but it'll work in general. For example, a noun that someone particularly wants to emphasize may be placed later, even if those guidelines dictate otherwise. For example, you can say "Ich gebe das Buch ihm" if you want to particularly stress that you're giving the book to him and not someone else.

But, emphasis aside, nouns with "das" will usually come before ones with "ein," at the expense of those other rules. So "Ich gebe das Buch einem Mann" (accusative first) but "Ich gebe dem Mann ein Buch" (dative first).


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

The rule I learned was: Both nouns, indirect object first. Both pronouns, direct object first. One noun, one pronoun, pronoun first.

I have the idea from the discussion that this isn't hard and fast. I can't imagine Wir geben ihm es.


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

If you're interested in a more flexible discussion of word order, check this article out: https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/15/german-word-order-explained/


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

Interesting, but I think that discussion is way over the heads of most people at this point in the course. Just adds more confusion, IMHO. At some point, in any language, you are not digesting on a per-word basis but in whole sentences. In which case, word order becomes less important. If you get the word order wrong, yes, it sounds strange to people but only because they rarely hear that order. I know of what I speak because my wife is a non-native English speaker (Russian/Ukr. are her native languages) and she is always, for example, putting the "time" word (e.g. now, tomorrow, etc.) in the "wrong" place because she's borrowing from her native language. There is no confusion in what I understand, but it clearly sounds "foreign." Now her use of unreferenced pronouns, that's another thing ... :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pr0genitor

What's the difference between einen and einem


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

"Einen" is the masculine accusative form of "ein." It's the direct object, the noun that the verb action is actually happening to.

"Einem" is the masculine or neuter form. It's the indirect object, which relates to the verb in some other way, in this case the receiver of the giving.

Here's a useful conjugation chart for "ein" (it conjugates the same as the "mein" chart).


[deactivated user]

    I am bit confused. According to my German grammar book, when the both objects are nouns, the dative should precede the accusative. So I think, it should be written: "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch." I am incorrect?


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

    That guideline works a fair amount of the time, but it's not at all a hard-and-fast rule. Other properties can affect which object comes first as well.

    Definite objects (with "der," "dieser," etc.) tend to come before indefinite (with "ein," no article, etc.), which is the key here; I would say this tendency tends to trump dative-before-accusative. You'll probably also find that longer objects (with, e.g., more adjectives) tend to come after shorter ones, also despite case.


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

    There are so many opinions here, I can't sort the guesses from those that are right. Could we have a moderator contribute some clarity and authority are, please?


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

    Why do i understand We give the book a man ? I can't seem to understand all the grammatic rules, I read it as i see it in English, why doesn't simple translation work in German it has to always be a like a hard puzzle to put together the grammatic structure.


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

    English uses word order to make it clear, and can't be rearranged without changing the meaning. German uses modified endings on words, and hence can be rearranged without changing the meaning (only the emphasis). They are different languages, you know...

    "We give a man the book" = Wir geben das Buch einem Mann or Wir geben einem Mann das Buch

    "We give the book a man" = Wir geben dem Buch einen Mann or Wir geben einen Mann dem Buch


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

    If you read the introduction pages of FSI public domain courses for diplomats etc it explains translation is never really exact. I don't think the DL approach works well for German grammar. Use another course to teach, DL to practice


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    In English the Dative case means "to a man" when the Dative comes after the Accusative. We would say "We give the book to a man.", but we omit the preposition when we use regular word order of Dative before Accusative, so that equals " We give a man the book."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca2528

    I put that we are giving a man the book and got it wromg. While in a differe t order, the meaning is the same. Why did it mark me wromg?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Try reporting, but keep in mind that the word order places a bit more emphasis on the last one: "einem man" We can do that in English by saying "We are giving the book to a man." The meaning is the same, but there is slightly more emphasis on the indirect object with the prepositional phrase.

    Even in English I like to say "We are giving the man a book.", but I prefer to say "We are giving the book to a man." and this is preferred also in German. The definite article flags something as specific, possibly previously talked about and the indefinite article tends to be newer information which German prefers to put later.


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

    "the indefinite article tends to be newer information which German prefers to put later." Ditto English


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tim724808

    Duo marked me correct for writing 'that book' in the sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simple-minded

    Why can't I say 'We will'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    That would be future while this is present tense.


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

    I feel like this should be clarified in the lesson which says "As a rule the dative object comes before the accusative object, if none of these objects is a pronoun" I understand the role of pronouns with the Dat/Akk but this example does not use pronouns.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    “As a rule” does not mean “always”. It means “usually.” They should add that indefinite articles such as “einem” are used with newer information which may be put last to stress the newer information.


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

    shouldn't "we give the book to a man" be accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    If the first letter of the sentence was capitalized and a period at the end of the sentence, then report it as also correct.


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

    Or even if they didn't write it that way. Duo generally ignores capitalization and punctuation, and reports take that into account too.


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

    I have a question; if we say we are giving a man the book is the same with we are giving the book to a man?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardGil10

    Amer-English is meine Muttersprache and for me both sentences have exactly the same meaning and either sentence might be heard spoken on the street..if one were to say such a thing!


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

    Yes, but "giving a man the book" doesn't really sound like a natural phrasing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jos598525

    Whatbis wrong with:" we give the man a book"?


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

    Please read carefully. The German sentence has "einem Mann" ("a man") and "das Buch" ("the book").


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David597830

    why is it not "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    That could also possibly be correct, but note that the one with the indefinite article is usually after the one with the definite article. https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/15/german-word-order-explained/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghaith415370

    Can i say( wir geben einem mann das buch)?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoSchribs1

    Ja, "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch" ist auch richtig.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghaith415370

    I typed ( we give the man a book) and it was marked as wrong!


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

    That's because it's a man and the book.


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

    The audio on this is terrible. It sounds like "Sie geben das Buch einem Mann".


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

    What's wrong with we give the man a book


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

    In the German version, it's "a man" and "the book." That's what's wrong with "the man" and "a book" in an English translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaMu93

    Why is this sentence correct but when I translated "They are giving beer to the men" as "Sie geben Bier den Männern" , it was marked as incorrect. Should I have reported the earlier one?


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

    "Sie geben den Männern Bier" would be a much better word order. Whenever you have a definite object (using "den," "das," etc.) and an indefinite object (with "ein-" or no article), the definite object will go first.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaMu93

    Thanks, this is a much better explanation than some of the others that I read.


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

    Why does it mark "we give" wrong? It is the same as "we are giving" in English.


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

    "We give the book to a man" or "We give a man the book" should be fine. If you wrote one of those, you should report this as an error (but I'm pretty sure that Duo accepts these).

    If you wrote something else, there's probably another mistake in your sentence. Duo isn't good at giving sensible corrections, so if your sentence was wrong for some reason, the correction may have just had "are giving" instead of "give" for no good reason.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidOldro1

    We're giving a man the book is the same thing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Please report it as also correct.


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

    Why the heck is everybody talking about pronouns?? I can't see any pronouns here and the word order contradicts what I've read! Is there something I'm missing?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Usually, the Dative noun comes before the Accusative noun, but “einem Mann” is clearly Dative case and German is flexible for this. You can put the newer information last. You are talking about a specific book that you probably already mentioned “the book” is not new information, but the new information is that we are giving the book to a man, someone new that we have not talked about yet.

    People are just saying that the rules are different for pronouns. You are right that it doesn’t apply to this sentence, except to say that Dative does not always come first.


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

    Warum nicht; " Wir geben dem Buch einen Mann" ?


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

    That would be "We are giving a man to the book" (i.e., the book is receiving a man). It matters which way you conjugate the nouns/articles.

    The accusative ending ("-en" in this case) is for the thing that's actually being given-- i.e., this would make the man the thing that we're giving. The dative ending ("-em" here) is for who's receiving the thing-- so in your translation, the book is receiving the man.


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

    Vielen Dank Copernicus !!


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

    Yes, what -Copernicus- said is right. You would be giving a man to a book.

    It's confusing to wrap your head around these translations because:
    1) We English speakers never really understood our own grammar and sentence structures.
    2) German grammar and sentence structures are similar but different, and everything is called something else.

    "We give a book to the man.":
    Subject (Nominative) = We
    Verb (Verb) = give
    Direct Object (Accusative [-en]) (What is being "verbed") = the book
    Indirect Object (Dative [-em]) = the man

    HERE IS A GREAT LINK THAT HELPS EXPLAIN ALL OF THAT:
    https://www.thegermanproject.com/german-lessons/dative-case


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    The sentence above is "We give the book to a man."

    The person you are answering has put German that would be translated to "We give a man to the book." as Copernicus states directly below.

    Yet somehow you switched the articles to "We give a book to the man." and you put it in bold which may confuse others.

    Again, the Indirect Object should be "a man" but you put the wrong article in bold. Please edit this.

    Also, even your first sentence put two indefinite articles which is not what Copernicus said, so it should be " We give a man to the book."

    The link will be helpful to many.


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

    So the accusative can come before the dative as long as there are no pronouns, correct?


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

    It also can if the accusative is a pronoun (in fact, it has to): "Wir geben es einem Mann." Or if both are pronouns: "Wir geben es ihm." But yes, if neither is a pronoun, the accusative might be first.


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

    But how about this?:

    As a rule the dative object comes before the accusative object, if none of these objects is a pronoun (things are a little more complicated if pronouns come into play)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    “As a rule” means “usually”, not always. Newer information such as a Dative noun with an indefinite article can come after an Accusative noun with a definite article to emphasize the newer information.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen83116

    As discussed in the thread, this should read "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch". Two nouns = indirect object first. I understand that it can be moved around for the purpose of emphasis, but Duolingo should accept both translations. It is marking me wrong for a text book answer just because it is trying to show that it can be written another way. Fix this thing, it is messing up my Cia...lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Take a screenshot if you have the correct articles with the correct nouns and report it.


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

    Would someone who knows explain the mystery? Here are the Tips and notes:

    As a rule the dative object comes before the accusative object, if none of these objects is a pronoun (things are a little more complicated if pronouns come into play)

    So why does this sentence contradict the rules?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    As a rule = usually, not always. So when you have “die Buch”, that is something that we probably already talked about, a specific book, but we are talking about “einem Mann” or “a man” someone new that we had not mentioned before — new information which can be put after the older information in German. So make sure that whichever order you put, the indefinite artcle is with “Mann” and the definite article is with “Buch”, but I think we need to report that this should be added to the tips and notes, for it is common to emphasize new information this way.


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

    Aha, okay, thank you. So when this happens, the word order priority goes to the definite nouns rather than to the mentioned rule..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizzyCronin617

    how does the word order work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Usually the indirect object noun comes before the direct object noun, but it can come after when it is newer information to emphasize that. A form of ein or a indicates that this has not been talked about before.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris930725

    The normal speed recording clearly says "sie geben". I didn't feel the need to listen to the slow version so got it wrong. As said before, more care is needed with th recordings. Some even sound double tracked.


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

    I'm glad to read that someone else has the same problem I do with "sie" and "wir" at the beginning of a recording. I don't think that it is "clearly sie" but it is surely more like "sie" than "wir."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    It clearly says veer which is how wir is pronounced.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasPa38063

    The German sentence is unnatural -- the indirect object should precede the direct object when both are nouns. It is the same rule in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    In English “We give a man the book.” = “We give the book to a man.”, but in both the English and the German having “a man” last puts a bit more emphasis on it. In German, this is done for new information: “the book” is a specific book that we probably already talked about. Now we are not giving it to someone that we have already talked about. “A man” could be anyone. If we were giving it to “the man”, we would probably not switch the order.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antoine898066

    I don't understand why "Wir geben" becomes "We are giving" and not "We give the book to a man". Could anyone help?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Either should be correct, but “ we are giving” is more commonly used as “we give” implies a regular habit or routine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antoine898066

    The thing is both sentences don't have the same meaning, as one is a punctual thing (simple presence), and the other is happennig in time (continuos present)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antoine898066

    Hi everyone. I don't understand why"Wir geben" is translated as "We are giving" and not "We give" a book to the man. Could anyone help?


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

    There is no difference in German between how "we give" and "we are giving" are expressed. There is no present continuous tense separate from the simple present in German. It is left to context to determine which is meant by "wir geben." There is no context in the exercises, so it is impossible to know which interpretation to give to "wir geben."

    When Duolingo asks you to translate "wir geben," it accepts either "we give" or "we are giving."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aryeh95

    I replied We're giving the book to a man and I got the answer wrong. We're and we are should be interchangeable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    Please report it as also correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WheelsC24

    The answer I gave was wrong. It wanted the present participle from of we are giving, not we give. Why?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

    The form "gave" is past tense and a different German verb form would have been used, but German does not have a separate form for present continuous. Both "we are giving..." and "we give..." are correct for "wir geben..."


    [deactivated user]

      Re object order. Why bring in exceptions to the general rule before the rule is learned?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickKat6

      Further to my own observations (but I am not sure), it seems that since the accusative is with a definite article, while the dative is with an indefinite article, the accusative could come first. If both nouns are preceded by definite (or indefinite) articles, the dative shouls come first. If both are pronous, then accusative come first. If the accusative is a pronoun while the dative is a noun, then also accusative comes first? Am I get it write? Kindly correct me if I am mistaken.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Yes, a pronoun always comes before a noun. Your question should be "Am I getting it right?" or "Do I have it right?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko246521

      Why confuse us in this way? The Tips say syntax should be subject + verb + dative + accusative. Then in one of the first practice sentences in Level 0 in this topic the syntax given is subject + verb accusative + dative. Why?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Riccardo111406

      This is confusing. The theory says dative before accusative and then this example is the opposite. I think that, like other languages, position can be changed to highlight concepts, but being the first lessons about dative, would it be better to stick to the common practice?


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

      Okay, Dativ comes before akkusativ if both are Nouns, right ? So, How is this case different. I see no pronouns and only nouns, eventhough the dativ is pushed back from the main verb. Why Man ? German is mad!


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

      Please read the top couple of discussions on this page.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gene.va

      why isn't it "we give the book to a man"


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

      Many times the programm indicated me to use a specific tense as an answer in the translation (present continious for example) and on purpose i wrote in simple present. Always the answer was correct. I think the same must happen and in your case.


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

      Mein Vater gibt dem Lehrer das Buch. This is the Mustersatz we were taught in learning German word order. Apparently Duo disagrees.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Those objects both have definite articles, but an indefinite article shows newer information which may go last.


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

      Duo is inconsistent in the rest of the sentences in this "skill" chapter. And that holds for sample sentences with indefinite articles before the noun as well as definite articles.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Emphasizing newer information is optional, though really common.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashanti69864

      Why can't I say "We give the man a book." I use that same sentence structure in everyday language, so I know it's not wrong. They should fix this.


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

      Because the German sentence has "einem Mann" (a man) and "das Buch" (the book).


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1010101A

      who is this not "we give the man a book"


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

      Please read carefully. The German sentence has "einem Mann" and "das Buch."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmed407279

      Meine Antworte war richtig


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

      What did you write? You'll have to provide what your answer was if you want help.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derbs13

      Shouldn't "We give ..." and "We are giving ..." both be acceptable?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicolas553623

      We are giving the man a book? whats the difference


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

      Please read carefully. The German sentence uses "einem Mann" ("a man") and "das Buch" ("the book").


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielDeRe15

      What is wrong here?


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

      "We are giving the man a book" why is this not correct?


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

      Please read carefully. The German sentence uses "einem Mann" ("a man") and "das Buch" ("the book").


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

      I think, they usually say: Wir geben einem Mann das Buch.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Yes, but this sentence is also correct and stresses the new information "einem Mann".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James302620

      why can it not be "we give the man a book"?


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

      Please read carefully. The German sentence has "einem Mann" ("a man") and "das Buch" ("the book").


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheJester666

      iss "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch" incorrrrectt? helpe ples !


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

      No, it's correct.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJacob1

      Why is 'we give the man a book' not accepted?


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

      Please read carefully. The German sentence has "einem Mann" ("a man") and "das Buch" ("the book").


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/red873236

      Despite giving the correct answer, word and letter perfect, it is marked as incorrect, three times so far. How do I get past this, or do I have to cancel the whole exercise and start again?


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

      Can you provide a screenshot of your rejected answer? (Upload to, e.g., imgur and post a link to it here.)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      We cannot see your page from here. Double check which language you were supposed to put. Sometimes the answer is the original sentence and not the translation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usama407458

      why das buch nutral and apfel is eine female for AKK


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Each and every noun is grammatically either masculine, feminine or neutral and you just need to memorize the definite article with the noun as part of its spelling to remember each noun's gender.

      der Mann, die Frau, das Buch, die is also used for all the plural nouns in Nominative case

      ein Mann, eine Frau, ein Buch, ein has no plural (Thank you Copernicus) but the negative keine is also used for all the plurals in Nominative case

      Just wait, " das Mädchen" is neutral too.

      https://www.thoughtco.com/why-girls-have-no-sex-in-german-1444813

      Ah here is the article that I thought would be useful: https://www.thoughtco.com/masculine-feminine-or-nueter-in-german-4068442

      You can also look up a word in a dictionary to find its gender: https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-german/apple You will see the m after the word showing that it is masculine, other words may have f for feminine or nt for neutral. You will also see examples of use in sentences, including "Der Apfel..."


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

      eine is also used for all the plurals in Nominative case

      That part isn't right, since "eine" is only for a singular noun. Perhaps you meant "die"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Of course, keine would have a plural, but not ein. You are right; I should have used "die" as the example.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usama407458

      why das Buch for nutral AKK and eine Apfel and not ein nutral AKK


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

      I don't believe I understand your question; can you rephrase? "Apfel" is masculine, so its accusative form is "einen Apfel." "Eine Apfel" is not a possible inflection.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catharine499251

      We should give it to a cat.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      My cat sure enjoys lying down across my book if I am trying to read.


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

      That would settle all the word-order issues: Einer Katze geben wir das Buch. They always come first.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      That would work in English in which the most important thing comes first, but in German the most important thing comes last, especially new information such as a noun introduced with an indefinite article. You could create a sentence such as "Der Katze geben wir das Buch." about a cat we already know.


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

      It works in German as well. I don't know of any other reason to front an object in German other than to emphasize its importance — either for contrast, or to introduce it as something new, or both.

      Mir ist kalt. I am cold. (It is cold to me.)

      https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/mir-ist-kalt.891723/

      Einem Mann haben wir gesagt, dass er ein Loch in der Hose hätte. Fronted because what was previously said was said to a woman. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Der_P%C3%BCtt_die_Kolonie_und_das_Bier_Gesch/PK_cBAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22einem+Mann+haben+wir%22&pg=PA82&printsec=frontcover

      Der Hund hat eine Frau gebissen?

      Nein! Einen Mann hat der Hund gebissen.

      German 101, to demonstrate that German sorts out what is subject and object through case forms. Fronted as new information to the listener, and to contrast it with the listener's understanding.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      When you put something before the verb other than the subject, it does get emphasis just because it is not in its usual place, but I maintain that the most important parts of the sentence go towards the end of the sentence in German. When the Dative comes after the Accusative, that creates quite a bit of emphasis. This is unlike English in which "I give a cat the book." = "I give the book to the cat."

      https://yourdailygerman.com/german-word-order-explained/ (Part 2, after the basics)

      https://yourdailygerman.com/german-word-order-3/


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

      My response to Catherine499251 was meant in the spirit of her post — jokingly, and much more about cats than about German. I certainly didn't mean to get into a "Who's the pedant?" contest.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Sorry, this was not about who knows more, but about word order.

      In the end, your version is better, because I forgot that the feminine Dative looks just like the Genitive and putting the Dative after the Accusative in that case could be confused with "a cat's book" rather than "the book to a cat" !

      My cat would really not like me to give her book away and, of course, she thinks that whatever I have is hers.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claire79633

      I was asked to type what I hear not to translate.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Ok, did you have a question about it? Many different exercises come back to this page. What did you put?


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

      What about "we are giving a man a book"?


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

      No, the German sentence has "das Buch" = "the book."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Please delete the copy of your question below.


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

      What about "we are giving a man a book"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abdelbagi13

      Although I give the correct answer it insisted in making it wrong .


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Did Duolingo ask you to translate to English or did they want it in German? What did you put exactly?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shana371

      Is it also correct to say Wir geben einem Mann das Buch?


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

      Yes, that is also possible.


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

      When I used this order for the translation of this exact sentence, Duo marked it as wrong. But when Duo writes it like that it is correct. How come?


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

      My head is exploding!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReneeH78

      Why can't it be "we give the book to the man"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardGil10

      This has been covered in the commentary: it's a man, not the man, which is significantly different.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      "We give the book to the man." = "Wir geben dem Mann das Buch."

      "einem" = "a" for this noun or "an" for a noun that starts with a vowel sound in English


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

      My sentence in English is perfect. It should not be considered wrong.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      What did you put? A perfect English sentence may or may not be a correct translation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gertrud254715

      As a native English speaker I often use contractions. In this case I used we're for we are. It should have been accepted as a correct translation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      Please copy and paste your entire answer as the error could be elsewhere and verify that the instructions were to translate to English as sometimes the answer is in German.


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

      There have been previous examples where it was counted wrong if I did not put the dative before the accusative, so I started to think that was rule. Now this example has the dative at the end. Is there some kind of exception to the rule going on here? I am positive there was one like "Sie gibt einer Frau einen Apfel" and it did not let me put einen Apfel before einer Frau.


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

      "Wir geben einem Mann das Buch" is also correct.

      it was counted wrong if I did not put the dative before the accusative, so I started to think that was rule.

      I'd say it's more of a tendency of German, and a decent guideline, to put the dative object first. But there are plenty of places where the accusative object comes first, so I'd be hesitant to call it a rule.

      In general:

      • If one object is a pronoun, it goes first, regardless of case. (If both are pronouns, the accusative goes first)
      • For nouns, dative ones generally come before accusative ones
      • Definite objects (using "der" or "dieser" or the like) often come before indefinite ones (using no article or an article like "ein")

      If those last two guidelines clash, as they do here, usually you can use either order ("... einem Buch das Mann" to put the dative object first, or "... das Buch einem Mann" to put the definite one first). Hence the order in Duo's sentence, though either order is fine.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      The problem with "einer Frau" is that it is the Dative form, but it is also the Genitive form which means you could make a German think that you meant "an apple of a woman" as in "a woman's apple".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/strawberrybush4

      If, in the world of duolingo, green bears can be transparent, why can't we give a book a man? Where'd the "to" come from?


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

      The English structure requires it. If the man is receiving the book, you can either say "give a man the book" or "give the book to a man" (the latter sounds better for this particular combination of "a/the").

      "Give the book a man" would mean that the book was receiving a man, which is not what the German sentence says.


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

      A literal translation, the dative exercises are trying to teach what the case means. So to a man is einem mann. If you drop the preposition, relying on knowledge, gives a man bread, then you won't understand the point of dativ case.


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

      Duo doesn't mind the wording without "to." A slightly different exercise would actually accept "give the man a book" as well as "give a book to the man" (though "give a man the book," as in this exercise, sounds a bit odd).

      "Give a book a man" is simply incorrect; it's giving the man to the book instead of giving the book to the man (and uses "a book" instead of "the book").


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

      One way I've seen it (on here, in fact) is that you can think of "einem" as being "to a" not just "a"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      The Dative case shows on “einem Mann”, so we know a man is receiving the book.

      If you wanted to say “We give a book a man.” That would be a different sentence in German which would include the Accusative “einen Mann” and since you put “a book” as the receiver, that would be in Dative case “einem Buch”.


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

      Well, quite, the Duolingo world has cats giving and showing women skirts! Think of these as excercises like twiddles on the piano which are used to strengthen your fingers and help you do gymnastics on the keyboard. You are meant to get them wrong to start with, to show your areas of development but, with practice, they become second nature. They allow you to play artistically the beautiful sounds in the song of your new language.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamDan417938

      Once again Duo teaches bad grammar. Unless there is a pronoun the dative object comes before the accusative


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

      That may be what your German textbook says, but it's not entirely correct. Often if one object is definite (using "der" or "dieser" or the like) and the other is indefinite (using "ein" or no article), the definite object will come first, regardless of each one's case. Here "das Buch" is definite and "einem Mann" indefinite, so "das Buch" goes first.

      Also a longer object (with lots of adjectives or other modifiers) might come after a shorter one, regardless of case. The reality is not really as simple as the textbook rule of dative before accusative all the time.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamDan417938

      Let's see who I find more authoritative here - every grammar book I have seen, every textbook I have used, my German teacher or on the other hand Duolingo and you. I think that I will stick with majority opinion.


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

      I often find that language textbooks and teachers tend to oversimplify rules, often just to make it easier on the students. Word order is tricky and nuanced, so it's convenient for a book to just teach a simple rule that generally (but maybe not always) works so the learner can move on to more important things like vocabulary.

      German word order is pretty flexible, so sticking to dative first for nouns probably won't sound jarringly wrong to a listener and will almost certainly be understandable; it's just not always the best wording. So that word order is very convenient to teach, especially at a beginner level, and it works more often than not.

      If you read the comments on other sentences like this one, you'll find natives agreeing with sentences that aren't dative first, and if you read other stuff written in German, you'll find that it doesn't always follow dative first either.


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

      Thanks for your sensible and patient words, Copernicus. Learning language is confusing. Don't people remember learning their first language when young? And English spelling and pronounciation, please! German is a lovely language to learn and far more logical than French, which is beautiful in its own idiomatic way. My non-nonsense Glaswegian French teacher at school always answered tricky "Why does French do this..." questions with, "Because 60 million French people say so!"


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

      Correction: 'no-nonsense', not 'non-nonsense'


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

      The level of English is deteriorating.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandy.Greg

      We give the book to Amy and should be accepted


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

      “Amy” ? No, but “We give the book to a man.” should be accepted as correct and it can be reported if it is not accepted. Was that a victim of auto-correct?

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.