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  5. "Ich sage dem Kind, dass ich …

"Ich sage dem Kind, dass ich schlafe."

Translation:I am telling the child that I am sleeping.

October 9, 2015



How is the action this sentence refers to even possible?!


Agreed, I am sleeping implies you're asleep. How can you tell anyone anything?


When you say something, it does not mean immediately that it is a right. You can say it to children because you want to have a rest for while :)


That's right. People say "Leave me be, I'm sleeping" all the time.


Well, they typically (if accurately) say "Leave me be, I'm 'trying' to sleep".


Nah, that doesn't work. Not in English.


People say it anyway.


Uh, yes it does. We say "I'm sleeping" all the time in English... but not "leave me be", if that's what you're referring to. No one says that anymore


You could talk in your sleep.


Or be dreaming it.


You could say it to a kid who woke you up with loud noises and you really need to sleep.

"Be quiet, I'm sleeping!"


That's just Duolingo sentences.


You could be lying. Or (I don't know if this works in German) you could be speaking in future tense.

"What are you doing on Saturday?"
"I am sleeping"


This could come up in a conversation to others. Literally, this sentence says "I say (dem/to the mask. dative) kid, that I am sleeping!"

The datives can roughly translate as "to the/you/me/etc," in most cases.

Ich sage dir = I say to you.

Ich gebe dem (mask. dative) Mann den (mask. ak) Apfel = I give to the man the apple.


It might be a philosophical comment. Having long since lost all hope in this world, I sleepwalk through the days until the peaceful release of the eternal sleep. For example.


You could be showing a child a photo


Clearly they are not being truthful


They probably mean "I'm telling the child I'm ABOUT TO sleep," although that is not the literal translation. :-)


Maybe you're writing a fantasy novel


dass doesn't require inverted word order? I wanted to write dass schlafe ich.


In Subordinating conjunctions like weil, wenn, dass, obwohl the verb goes last so "dass ich schlafe" is right, an example for the changing word order would be "Weil er auf dem bett SCHLÄFT" (Because he SLEEPS on the bed) :)


Don't think of it as inverted word order. Subordinating conjunctions like "dass", "weil", "solange" etc. cause the verb in the clause to go te the last position, nothing more.

At least up to this point in the skill tree (I have no idea about later parts -- yet!), they never move the verb to any position but last, nor do they ever move any non-verb word to the last position. So in this case, "schlafe" should be the last word, since it's the verb.


yeah me too! and by the way, there's another example where "dass" was used, and the order was changed. I just don't get it. it's wierd


More a problem with English actually, I thought "tell + direct object" was equivalent to "say to + indirect object". Since I'm Italian and we only have the second construction, I wrote "I say to the child" but it wasn't accepted. Is it wrong?


I say to the child that I am sleeping - that should be accepted.


Why is "dem Kind" in the dative case?


It's the indirect object of the verb sagen ("to say"). This becomes more obvious when you realize that you can say you say something to the child. The thing you say itself is the direct object.

In the future, please check to see if your question has already been asked. In this case, the answer was given in the post directly above yours (at least in my browser).


Hi Vincent - thank you for your reply. May I clarify - does this mean that sagen is considered in all cases, a "dative verb", like danken? I did not find sagen on internet lists of dative verbs. I do now see the answer that you mentioned -I apologize for asking again, I did not see it when I posted the question.


Hi Allison! I don't know if you would consider it a dative verb in that sense; really I think it's more of a ditransitive verb, like "to give"—at least a potential one, as in this context—where the indirect object (the person to whom something is said(/given)) takes the dative.

No problem :)


Can someone explain why "I am saying" is incorrect in this sentence? I don't understand why it's "telling" but not "saying"? Thanks!


That should be correct depending on how you are phrasing your sentence. If you're using "saying," you should use "saying to (the kid)."

"Saying to" and "telling" are interchangeable.


Can i ask why is "dass" with two "s"???? "/


Because it means "that", and not "the". I assume that is where your confusion lies.


Dass is a conjunction that comes after the comma.


That was my question too. I'm sure by now you have it well understood but for others finding it confusing like me... This article is helpful in going into depth of dass vs das: https://www.vocabulix.com/german/das-or-dass.shtml . The article explains: "Das" with one "s" is always an article or a pronoun and can be replaced with "dies" (this), "dieses" (this) or "welches" (which). "Dass" with two "s" is used only to start a relative clause and cannot be replaced with these words.

So how I am remembering it as a beginning German learner is that das and dass can both mean "that" but in the example: "Sie sagt das" you could reword it from "She is saying that" to "She is saying this" so using "das" with one "s" makes sense. In this example: "Ich sage dem Kind, dass ich schlafe" "dass" is a conjunction for the subordinate clause following the comma ("I am telling the child that I am sleeping") and you couldn't replace "that" with "this" or "these" for this example so would use "dass" with two "s".


I wrote “telling“ instead of “saying“ and it didn't consider it a right answer.


What was the whole sentence that you wrote?

Did you type, for example, "I am telling to the child that I am sleeping"?

I don't think that works in English -- "I am telling the child" should work, though, without the "to".


I thought so too, but for some reason I used the "to" as a reflex, and a started googling. It sounds weird in this case, but I am not sure it is wrong.

As per collocation, I believe it is

tell someone - (I told John.)


tell something - (I told it all.)


tell something to someone" (I am whispering your name / I am telling to the wind / Your love has ...)

Doesn't " I am telling to the child that I am sleeping" follow that last pattern?


(I am whispering your name / I am telling to the wind / Your love has ...)

Poetry sometimes uses unusual grammar. Don't rely on poetry (that includes song lyrics) to learn standard grammar.

Doesn't " I am telling to the child that I am sleeping" follow that last pattern?

No. Because you put the "someone" before the "something", so it's a different pattern -- "tell someone something" (I told my father that bananas are expensive).


Ich sage dem Kind , dass schlafe ich....warum nicht?


After dass, the verb goes to the end.


Okay, I'm a little confused here. Why is there a comma after Kind?


To separate the subordinate clause dass ich schlafe from the main clause Ich sage dem Kind.


I am telling the child that I am sleeping? What threw me off is that if you are sleeping how can you be telling the child? That you are going to sleep, or that you were sleeping, or that you want to sleep would work but not that you ARE sleeping. So...


My "I say to the child that i sleep" was accepted


Dou comes up with the weirdest sentences sometimes...


Any help in dem???

[deactivated user]

    Dative case, search for the table in internet... Read in wikipedia about german articles... The list is huge...


    why is there a comma after "Kind"?


    German often does that when introducing a new clause with a complementizer ("dass"), at least in certain contexts.


    Duo has super powers to talk in sleep...... or he's just sleeptalking


    What is the defference between: "I am saying" or "I say" and "I am telling"or "I tell"?


    Is the dass required? Can you just say ,, Ich sage dem Kind, ich schlafe"?


    No, you can't say that; the dass is required in German.

    Edit: well... if I think about it, in the command form Sag ihm, ich schlafe is possible, but Sag ihm, dass ich schlafe seems the "fuller" or "more elegant" form to me.

    In general, dass can't be left out. I'm not sure under which conditions it is possible to just put two main clauses together without dass.


    "sage dem Kind". So what verbs should be followed with Acc. case, and the what verbs should be followed with Dav. case. Danke.


    In this sentence, is "ice schlafe" is the direct object, and "dem kind" is the indirect object, that is why we use Dav. case "dem kind".


    Wie kann ich dem Kind sagen, wenn ich schlafe? (Is this grammatically correct??)


    Not really. sagen needs an object -- e.g. Wie kann ich dem Kind etwas sagen, wenn ich schlafe? "How can I tell the child something when I am sleeping?"


    When do you use commas in german? Does not sound right in the middle of the phrase just like that


    German requires subordinate clauses to be set off by commas.


    I say the kid that i sleep Say=tell Present cont=Present simple Kid=child Not accepte ×$$π^¥×{¶¢$$



    That is not correct. The two verbs do not have identical grammar.


    Can I know why "I tell the child that I am sleeping" is wrong?


    im telling to the child that im sleeping ?


    im telling to the child that im sleeping ?

    That is not correct English. The "to" should not be present in that sentence, because the "recipient" comes first.


    "i tell to the child that i sleep" What is wrong with my answer?


    You don't "tell to" in English. Either "I tell the child that" or "I say to the child that".


    i say the child that I am sleeping.Why did I get red?Please explain.


    The verb "say" never has indirect objects in English. You either tell someone something or say something to someone.


    i said the kid that i sleep - and why it is wrong ?


    You can't "say someone" in English.

    You "tell someone" something.


    "I say the child that i am sleeping." is incorrect. Why?


    "I say the child that i am sleeping." is incorrect. Why?

    Because it's incorrect English. You can't "say somebody".

    You can "tell somebody something".


    Sometimes dem means from the sometimes to the , confusing


    impossible; talking while sleeping


    Ich spreche, wenn Ich schlafe.


    So now telling people that you are sleeping while asleep is possible

    German translations sure sound interesting


    It's a game :"Nein, du bist nicht ... Ich sehe, dass du wach bist"


    "I say to the child that I am sleeping" as reasonably as this can be said


    If one is sleeping how can one talk??? (not counting talking in sleep)


    "I say that I sleep to the children." rejected.

    "I say to the child that I'm sleeping." accepted.



    "To the children" would be "den Kindern." "Dem Kind" only refers to one child. Still, I'm not even sure "I say that I sleep to the child" should be an accepted answer, since it does not at all sound like a natural English sentence structure.


    Why can't we use "I'm telling the kid that I /WILL/ sleep."? Isn't that the same meaning?

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