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  5. "The cat plays with the girl."

"The cat plays with the girl."

Translation:Die Katze spielt mit dem Mädchen.

January 5, 2013



It is taking me a little while to understand all the cases, but could someone explain me why is it 'dem' and not 'den'? I thought 'den' had to be used if the word in the front was neutral, which I believe is the case of 'Mädchen'.


i have trouble figuring out the correct oder of words in this sentence...why couldn't I say "Dem Mädchen spielt mit die Katze" but have to put "mit" at the beginning of the sentence? any help please?


"mit dem Mädchen" is a prepositional phrase; you cannot tear that apart. "mit" reqires dative, that is why it is "mit dem Mädchen". "Mit dem Mädchen spielt die Katze." is grammatical but stresses the girl. The "standard" word order is "Die Katze spielt mit dem Mädchen."


that's reasonable! btw, does that mean we just put something at the beginning of sentence whenever we wanna address it?


Do you mean address or stress? I'd say both can be fronted or extraposed to the end of the sentence. Think of "Children, eat your eggs!" and "Eat your eggs, children!". The standard word order is subject predicate object. If you say, "[Mit dem Mädchen] [spielt] [die Katze]." it is object (prepositional object) predicate subject. Different word order -> (slightly) change in meaning.

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