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  5. "Der Vater sagt dem Kind, das…

"Der Vater sagt dem Kind, dass es wichtig ist."

Translation:The father tells the child that it is important.

October 9, 2015



Why is 'ist' after 'wichtig' and not before? Like in 'Der Vater sagt dem kind, dass es ist wichtig'? And why is 'dem' used and not 'das'? Please, this is all very confusing


Ist is after wichtig because you move the verb to the end of the sentance after dass (and some other conjunctions). Dem is used instead of das because it’s in the dative case, which means to (as in to the child).


Thanks, here's a lingot!


That is only a rule in main clauses. In subordinate clauses (something that can't stand alone as a sentence).

The father tells the child [main clause] , [comma indicates a subordinate clause here] dass es wichtig ist [subordinate clause pushes all verbs to the end]


I wonder if when saying is specifically directed toward someone that means it becomes tell. All through the lessons Duo has accepted say for sagen. Here it does not. It requires tell.

The only difference that I can see is the presence of the dative case.


In English, you can "say something TO someone" or you can "tell someone something".

If "say" was rejected and "tell" suggested, perhaps you forgot the word "to"?

You cannot say, for example, "The father says the child that it is important".


Sir, this was what I was looking for. Fantastic explanation!


Think of: "the father says something to the child" as equivalent "to the father tells the child something" That shows why the dative is needed... Agreed they both mean the same thing and both should be accepted, that should be reported if it hasn't already!


"The father tells that child that it is important" was marked incorrect, may someone please give me an explanation to that. Thank u!


Just a missing alternative.


But the German Duo example has der which is an article rendered as the not that .

The two alternatives mean much the same thing but only one of them translates the words in the example.


Remember that German makes no distinction between the definite article and the demonstrative determiner.

dem can mean "to the" or "to that"; der can be "the" or "that"; etc.


Actually, you are right. It is so important to separate out the demonstrative in other languages that I always forget it doesn't work exactly like that in German.

I always use different forms to distinguish between the and that in German but that doesn't mean the German language or most German speakers require it.

Wait until you get to Japanese where they just drop everything like that if it isn't necessary for emphasis or to be understood. Subject, object, nouns, pronouns, verbs, the whole works.

Went means.... I went to the store and bought some ice cream .... if you had already been talking about a new ice cream store. Comes from being reluctant to tell the other person to direct his attention to something if it isn't necessary to do so, I suppose.


Happens in English, too.


I think that "es" here refers to " das madchen" = the girl = she


Could be, but the sentence has 'Das Kind' not Das Madchen'. How do we know it should be 'she' rather than'he'?


Should be "tells the child."


Why propose as an answer "...that SHE is important" when it is "...IT..."? doesn't let me pass now; help!


Same here: cannot figure out where is "she" comes from


The father is telling the child that something is important, ie, to look both ways when crossing a road, not that the child is important. So the 'es' refers to that thing. The 'es' does not refer to the child, although technically it would be correct to say 'it' if the important thing referred to, was the child, because there is no indication of the child's gender.


Why "dass" and not "das"?


Because it's a conjunction here, not a relative pronoun / definite article / demonstrative pronoun or determiner.


You can translate like "that" but as a conjunction while das is an article.


Is the father telling the kid that the child is important or that some other subject is?


Could be either.


DUO is wrong again. The translation here is "the father tells the child that it is important" YET this answer given to the original question is marked WRONG and DUO then translate it as "The father tells the child HE is important". Clearly that is wrong.


"The father says the child that it is important" is marked wrong. Should i report?


No -- "The father tells the child that it is important" is possible, but you can't "say a person" in English.


An accepted translation is "The father tells the child that he is important.". Does not "es" means "it"? Why is "he" accepted?


Usually, es is translated as "it" on this course.

But German has grammatical gender, and the gender of the third-person singular pronoun er, sie, es will usually agree with the grammatical gender of the referent.

English has lost grammatical gender, and so the gender of the third-person singular pronoun "he, she, it" will usually agree with the natural gender of the referent.

This means that while German will use es (neuter) to refer to das Kind (neuter), many English speakers will use "he" or "she" to refer to the child, if they know that the child is a boy or a girl, respectively. (Many English speakers even refuse to use the neuter-gender "it" to refer to a child at all, even if the child's gender is not known; others will only use it for very small babies but not for older children.)


So, "es" is used for the "neuter" grammatical gender too.

I was confused, because I knew that "it" is used to refer to things that are not humans (and sometimes is not used for pets either) and never to things that are humans or pets. I have assumed that the rule for using "es" is the same, i.e. "es" cannot be used to refer to a human (e.g. child - Kind) or a pet.

Thank you a lot!


Here is an inversion in the word order after "dass". However in another Duo sentence with "dass" there was no inversion. I refer to " Ich sage dem kind dass ich schlafe" Why?


The verb goes to the end of a subordinate clause, such as one started by dass.

In both sentences, the verb (ist, schlafe) is at the end.

Whether the result looks inverted or not depends on how many elements are in the sentence; at any rate, inverting or not inverting is not what the word order rule is about.


Why is "the father says to the child that it is important" wrong?


It seems fine; report it.


My answer was contained "est" instead of "es" which is surely a typo....but was rejected.

Would be good to get a bit more liberal with English answers to make learning less frustrating.


What is the difference between say and tell.


I think this is a question for your English teacher.

Or for Google (try searching for "say tell difference" or something like that).

This course is for English speakers and generally doesn't explain English.


Try using Google translate.


would it be okay if it was written like "..dass es ist wichtig"?


No, dass requires the subordinate sentence that follows to have the verb at the end.


I've not yet seen dass used anywhere in any lesson before getting this sentence spoken to me for translation.


I got dass a while ago, I think in the conjunctions lesson. By redoing some of the lessons, I found out that not all words and sentences are necessarily given each time.


What's wrong with: "The father is telling to the kid that it is important"?


"tell" does not take "to".

"he said to me" or "he told me" but not "he told to me".


Do you need the dass?


Yes. You may not omit it in German the way (that) you can in English.


I didn't contract "it is" and it is marked incorrect?


Was this a "type what you hear" exercise or a "translate German to English" exercise?


Could this also be interpreted as: "the father says the child that he {the child = das kind = es} is important" ? Does this "es" refer to an impersonal "it,something" in this case or to the child?


Why does "ist" come at the end?


Because the conjunction dass starts a subordinate clause, and those have the verb at the end.


Indeed, you are correct. I realise that now.


Why "The father says the child that it's important" is wrong?


Yes, it's wrong. You can't "say a person".

You can say something TO a person, or you can TELL a person something, but you can't "say a person".


I had to translate to English "Die Gäste zeigen einem Mann die Küche". And one accepted translation was "The guests are showing a man the kitchen.". It is not the "to" before "a man" missing? Or is this the same as TELL a person something as mizinamo mentioned above?

  • "The guests are showing a man the kitchen."
  • "The guests are showing the kitchen to a man."

Use "to" when the indirect object comes after the direct object. Do not use "to" when the indirect object comes before the direct object.

So in "The guests are showing a man the kitchen", "to" is not used. (And it works similar to "tell a person something", where the person is the indirect object and is before the direct object without "to".)



All true and well put.

Except dropping the to is an awkward construction. Grammatically correct but not very good style.


Perhaps this depends on where you're from?

"Give me that book!" sounds just fine to me, for example -- preferable, in fact, to "Give that book to me!"

Similarly with "Can you show me the way?"; I would not ask "Can you show the way to me?"

Where are you from?



Dropping the preposition forces the listener/reader to use word order or context to be sure exactly what the sentence means.

Your examples of expressions that are used all the time that don't have the preposition are exactly that. Give me and show me are stock phrases that are so common, much of the time they don't even have to be finished before their meaning is understood.

The context in your example, The guests are showing a man the kitchen might seem abundantly clear but not to developers of intelligent kitchens in smart homes, designers of smart security systems and followers of performance groups called The Kitchen. They will have to use calculating the word order to render a judgment as to which is the direct object and which is the indirect object in the sentence. Not an impossible task or even difficult. But it is a distraction from the flow of the sentence, easily rectified by including the preposition.

Good style isn't about following rules so much. Instead, it is more about making it easier for people to understand what you say and write. A lot of times it is about ....why not? Why not put the preposition in the phrase or sentence if it helps? At least that is the case where I am from.


You are great. most helpful comments are for you.


es wichtig ist - Can someone explain me this and when I should do these changes?


In subordinate clauses (e.g. after dass)


Why not "Das Vater sagt das Kind..." I'm a bit confused here.


It is not "Das Vater", because Vater has the masculine grammatical gender and it is in the nominative grammatical case. And it is not "Das Kind", because Kind has the neuter grammatical gender and it is in the dative grammatical case. And it is in dative, (I am not so sure on that, but it is something that could be looked for) because "sagen", the infinitive form of "sagt", requires the dative.


I saw that the "dem" from "Schreibst du dem Großvater?" could mean "your".

Could also the "dem" from this sentence mean "your"? Or probably "his"?


Dem is the dative case of der


How to know the list of nouns that take the dative case? Or how to understand where to use dative


I'm a learner, but as far as I see, it's not about the nouns. Until now, evey noun can take the dative case (until now, I did not meet an exception). If you want to make some lists, three lists could be: 1. dative verbs 2. dative prepositions 3. nouns that don't end in "-n" when they are in Dative, Plural


Why is "is telling" vs "tells" wrong?


"The father says the kid, that it is important."- was marked incorrect. I'm confused. Help, please!


Everything after says in your sentence is what the father actually says. But the German sentence does not have the father saying ....dem Kind/the kid. In the Duo German example the father says something to the kid.

You tell a child something or you say something to a child.


Got it. Thank you very much! :)


"Say" and "Tell" are not synonymous, since they conform to different contexts in a sentence. When you "Say" something, you are making an statement (as in the german sentence). When you "Tell" something, you are just referring to something related, which is clearly not the meaning of the german sentence.Duo often makes this sort of mistakes, so please check them up and correct it.


I didn't have all the words


So I presume that the "it" here refers to the child (because das -> es). Can this also refer to some other "it", or would you have to be more specific?


Ein Hallo an Alle : Kann mir Jemand erklären, wann man to tell, wie hier erwartet, und wann to say, wie ich es versuchte (war falsch), benutzt? Vielen Dank im Voraus!


Hi Duo, I'm getting the answer right, but you are marking it wrong... please see to this, my regards


Can someone explain the need for and placement of the comma in the German sentence. Thank you


Can someone explain the need for and placement of the comma in the German sentence. Thank you

Subordinate clauses are set off with a comma in German.

dass introduces a subordinate clause, so there is a comma before it.


Hmm, why is translating this sentence to "The father tells that it is important to the child?" wrong?


It would help if Duolingo was consistent with its pronunciation of Kind. One version, clearly wrong, sounds like a very rude English word.


Shouldn't be correct to say: "The father tells the child that is important". That works here as a pronoun and makes "it" not necessary. Or am I not correct? Cheers


Shouldn't be correct to say: "The father tells the child that is important". That works here as a pronoun and makes "it" not necessary. Or am I not correct?

You are not. The German sentence has es (= it) and not das (= that). So using "that" as a pronoun rather than "it" is not correct.


When you tap the words, the male voice pronounces "Kind" like the English word "kind." This has been a consistent issue with the male voice, and not just with that word. Its fine when it reads a sentence but the individual words are not right. Someone needs to check the coding.


Dem vs Den

And if you're more the video type, maybe these will help you out. When you've got a regular noun in the Dativ case, the article changes again. Der becomes dem, die becomes der, das becomes dem and the plural die becomes den.



Why not "The father tells the child what is important" ?


Why not "The father tells the child what is important" ?

Because the German sentence doesn't say Der Vater sagt dem Kind, was wichtig ist.


Thanks - I got it right after I asked the question. :)


why is my answor incorrect? "the father tells to the child, that it is important"


"The father says to the child that it's important." NOT ACCEPTED jun 16 2020. Someone please reply why this is rejected, thanks.


"The father says to the child that it's important." NOT ACCEPTED jun 16 2020. Someone please reply why this is rejected, thanks.

It should be "The father tells the child that ...".


How to say this, that, there in German because Duolingo always gives only das for all three? What is the meaning of diese, dieses, dort?


Why is it "der Vater" and "dem Kind"? Wouldn't both be dem? Dem Vater sagt dem Kind.... And if not, why?


Why is it "der Vater" and "dem Kind"? Wouldn't both be dem?

No -- why? Then you can't distinguish between the subject and the indirect object of the verb any more.

der Vater is in the nominative case as the subject of the verb.

dem Kind is in the dative case as the indirect object of the verb (the "recipient" of the telling).


can someone clarify .....how is the child here a dative object ....since the father is telling something directly to the child.


You yourself used to in your sentence asking why it is dative. Where is the father sending the comment....to the child.


ooh right....danke

[deactivated user]

    How is this sentence dative?Can someone please explain this


    How is this sentence dative?

    Sentences aren't dative.

    Parts of sentences are in various cases to show their roles in the sentence.

    In this sentence, der Vater is in the nominative case because he is the subject of the verb sagen and dem Kind is in the dative case because it is the indirect object -- the "recipient" of the words.

    The direct object of the verb sagen is the clause dass es wichtig ist.


    "it is" seems wrong to my ear, i would definitely say "they are" instead.


    Is 'es' is an accusative here?

    If it is so, then using 'seins' would be right or wrong?


    Is 'es' is an accusative here?

    No. It's nominative, the subject of ist.


    Thank you. I am a beginner can you please explain me how.


    "The father tells the child that is important " is something wrong with this one?


    "The father tells the child that is important " is something wrong with this one?

    Yes. You didn't translate the word es = it. "The father tells the child that it is important." would be correct.

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