1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sie trägt keinen Rock, sonde…

"Sie trägt keinen Rock, sondern einen Mantel."

Translation:She is not wearing a skirt, but a coat.

October 17, 2015

134 Comments


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

I hope this coat of hers is a long coat...


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

Is this sentence strange to Germans? I mean, wouldn't you question if she is wearing pants or something instead of the skirt?


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

It's a classic Duoism. There are many other fun ones out there for us to enjoy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leilani238

Duo is full of weird, hilarious sentences (search around a bit on Twitter), but I actually thought of a reasonable explanation pretty quickly: it looked like a skirt but that's actually just the bottom of a long coat.


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

there's also /r/shitduolingosays on reddit


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

And a twitter account.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neto77

I saw just a while. Made my day!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fabien394969

We swim because we are fish... The vegetables doesnt like vegetarians... Yeah me and my friend have numerous duolinguo inside jokes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George440392

Please tell us more, they cure depression


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephBrow114565

I want a girl with a short skirt, and a looooooooooonnnnnggggg jacket


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

Came here looking for Cake. Was not disappointed. Have an upvote.


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

And in this case, no skirt. +1 for cake


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

I need to meet this mädchen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Quant-Army

Dude, the word "mädchen", implies to a female child. I know what you meant though, better say "Frau" instead.


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

Wouldn't that imply you're a pedo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimothySch15

That's an awkward coat check.


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

Can't it be carrying also? "She is not carrying a skirt but a coat"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/one_half_3544

I've reported it.


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

Could it be "She is not wearing a skirt but rather a coat"? Hovering offers 'but rather' as a translation but maybe it doesn't work in this case? I wanted to report it but as I'm not 100% sure I thought I'd try to get some feedback here... [Also, my G-E dictionary lists only "but" for sondern, so that gave me pause.]


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

That sounds acceptable to me. "but rather", "but instead" could also be translations of "sondern".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJ180
  • 1558

mizinamo: why is it "einen" Mantel when a few sentences ago in the same lesson, it was "ein" Mantel - i.e., when do we use "einen" and when "ein"?


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

when do we use "einen" and when "ein"?

Use einen in the accusative case -- for example, when it's the direct object of a verb: sie trägt einen Mantel

Use ein in the nominative case -- for example, when it's the subject (ein Mantel liegt auf dem Tisch) or the predicate after the verb "to be" (das ist ein Mantel)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJ180
  • 1558

Thank you so much; really helpful explanation


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

I believe "sondern" means "but" but the kind of but that means "but rather". If you know what I mean. Its not the same as "aber". I thing duolingo throws in the "rather" to show us it's different.


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

can you tell me how to report mistakes or suggestions...


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

When you have just answered a question (either correctly or incorrectly), then - at least in the website version of Duolingo - there will be a "Report a Problem" button at the bottom left.

Choose that and then check the appropriate option, e.g. "My answer should have been accepted" or "The 'correct' solution contains an error" or "Audio is bad" or whatever.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackCampbell1839

Yes. Yes I can.

On the mobile app, once you have submitted an answer, there should be a little flag button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Click that, and then type in your problem and hit submit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wesna229

"She is wearing not a skirt, but a coat" - Why is this incorrect?


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

I think it's correct - so probably a missing alternative. I would recommend reporting it so that it can be added.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niteshm007

The sentence structure is grammatically incorrect here. There are 2 possibilities that I'm aware of. Either, "She is wearing no skirt..." or, "She is not wearing a skirt...". These are the grammatically correct sentences in English. Hope this helps :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesTS1

It can only be one or the other right?


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

Yes. "nicht ... sondern ..." (or here "kein ... sondern ...") is "not ... but (instead) ..." - specifically excluding the first possibility and stating that it is the second word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RabbiGlenLevy79

Why is it einen here rather than ein? There is a sentence in the same exercise which is: Es ist kein Buch, sondern ein Mantel. I'm sure I knew threason for the differnce but can't remember for the life of me. Surely both sentences are in the same case.


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

Surely both sentences are in the same case.

No, they are not.

tragen "to wear" is a transitive verb -- one that takes a direct object in the accusative case.

She wears a coat. The coat is worn by her.

sein "to be" is not a transitive verb, and it does not take a direct object.

Instead, it's a linking verb that links a subject to a predicate that says something about the subject.

In German, such predicates are in the nominative case, not the accusative case.

It is a coat. (You can't say: The coat is been by it.)

Thus Es ist ein Mantel but Sie trägt einen Mantel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rtg59302

A great explanation, Thanks


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

This sentence reminds me how plenty of people get confused about the outfit of the main heroine of the anime movie Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. She is in fact wearing no skirt but a coat and somewhat confusingly colored pants. If you were to explain that in German this exact sentence might come in handy.


[deactivated user]

    I don't know how to get this sentence pronunciation right. I even used the recording and Duolingo got it wrong.


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

    I feel like there is a better way to say this in English but cannot think of it at the moment. Despite something that we would rarely need to say, the English translation is terrible


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

    That was the ninth time I got this exercise in this lesson. Maybe time to look at the algorithm?


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

    Why does it have to have but in it? Why can't it just be rather? She wears no skirt, rather a coat. < not accepted because no but


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

    For me, it's better to learn this grammar by making up some other sentences that do make sense like "Du bist kein Professor, sondern ein Betrüger (impostor)"


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

    Du bist kein Professor, sondern ein Betrüger!

    Nominative case here - ist does not take an object!


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

    Whoops, didn't even notice that. Thank you very much!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Connor233942

    Duolingo is driving me up the wall. It's instead, then its but? Hopping one foot to the other. This is probably the most difficult part of German I have encountered so far with regards to conjunctions


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

    How about "She's not carrying a skirt, but a coat?" It seems to me the sentence could very well mean that. It wouldn't be as funny as the translation about what she's wearing, but it would make good sense. But this translation is not accepted. Why not?


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

    Not sure why it is einen Mantel rather than ein Mantel.


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

    Mantel is masculine, and it's the direct object of the verb tragen (to wear), so it has to be in the accusative case.

    Thus you need the masculinen accusative form einen before it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill763190

    This whole lesson has conjunktivitis


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

    "She isn't wearing a skirt, but a coat" was accepted.

    "She doesn't wear a skirt instead of a coat" was rejected.
    "She isn't wearing a skirt instead of a coat" was rejected.

    בס״ד


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

    "She doesn't wear a skirt instead of a coat" was rejected.

    Indeed. That means something else.


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

    But and Instead mean the same thing more or less. The only major difference is that But is positive and Instead is negative. When you use Doesnt or Isnt in conjuction with Instead it comes out a double negative, which is a positive in English, unlike other languages.


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

    The pronunciation on this one
    sounds almost as if the lady
    just burned her tongue with a
    cup of boiling hot coffee.

    בס״ד


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annehill10

    Funny sentences stand out thus helps you remember the language easier


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

    I did my own version of this sentence to practice

    Er trägt keine Hose, sondern einen Mantel


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

    Why is there no EIN before Rock, or does KEINEN just mean "not a" Or why not "Sie trägt ein Rock nicht" Can someone explain this?


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

    You got it - "kein" is essentially "nicht ein". (Here, it's "keinen", masculine accusative form.)

    Usually, "nicht ein" gets turned into "kein".


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

    Would "but instead a coat" be correct?


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

    How can someone be confused between a skirt and a coat? Does this happen often in Germany? Or just a software idiosyncracy?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luvbug3121

    Some girls like to wrap their jacket/coat around their waist so that they won't lose their jacket/coat, and it can be mistaken as a skirt.


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

    How do you say "she does not wear skirt"?


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

    In English, you would say it "She does not wear a skirt." or "She does not wear skirts."

    At least in my English, you can't use "wear skirt" in the singular without a determiner such as "a" before "skirt".

    German doesn't distinguish between "she does not wear" (simple present) and "she is not wearing" (present continuous), so the German translation would be the same in either case.


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

    My bad I meant "skirts" and thanks. Btw: happy streak year ! :)


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

    "She does not wear skirts" = Sie trägt keine Röcke.


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

    Duo, you're almost making me think the two are mutually exclusive...


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

    "But rather" sounds so awkward in English. And not just in this sentence. I would say "She is not wearing a skirt, rather a coat."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0408mike

    Can you say 'She is wearing a coat , rather than a skirt'?


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

    That is a correct English sentence but it's a rather free translation.

    In general, try to stick to something as close as possible to the original.

    Your sentence would be better as a translation of Sie trägt einen Mantel anstelle eines Rocks or perhaps Sie trägt einen Mantel und keinen Rock.


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

    Difference between kein and nicht?


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

    kein is kind of like nicht + ein, i.e. "not a" or "not any" -- English "no" sometimes has this combined meaning as well: "She has no coat" = "She does not have a coat".


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

    Shouldn't "She doesn't carry a skirt, but a coat" be right as well?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lili.licari

    i wrote : she is not wearing a skirt, but is wearing a coat. if the meaning is correct, why did DUO say that it was wrong? plz, if someone knows why this happened, let me know.


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

    der Rock has (a probably oldish?) second meaning: [2] Cut, Frack, Sakko, Blazer Source: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Rock


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

    I put "she is not wearing skirt but a coat". It went wrong!


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

    Yes. It should be "wearing a skirt", not "wearing skirt".


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

    It might be basics at this point, but why is it "einen Mantel" and not "ein Mantel", like in the book example?


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

    It's the direct object of trägt, so it's in the accusative case -- and since Mantel is masculine, the accusative case looks different from the nominative case, and you need einen Mantel, not ein Mantel.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielZeli3

    Would it be wrong to say, "She is not wearing a skirt, but rather she is wearing a coat,"?


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

    I’d say yes; the German sentence doesn’t repeat the verb here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielZeli3

    Thank you for the clarification.


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

    Why is it einen not ein is "Mantel" the subject of the sentence


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

    No. Mantel is the direct object of the verb tragen. Sie trägt keinen Mantel.


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

    why use "sondern" instead of "aber"


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

    Because you are replacing an incorrect option with the correct one. German has a special word for this “but rather, but actually, but instead” meaning of “but”.

    If you used aber, it would mean “on the other hand”, as in ”She is not wearing a skirt, but on the other hand, she is wearing a coat.”


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

    i need help with something. is it ein mantel or einen mantel? because i've seen many times different exercises where i had to use ein Mantel


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

    Why does this sentence use "einen mantel", but another sentence in this lesson uses "ein mantel"?


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

    This sentence does not use einen mantel -- it uses einen Mantel. Note the capitalisation.

    ein Mantel is the nominative case, einen Mantel is the accusative case.

    So you would say, for example, Ich habe einen Mantel. (the coat is the direct object of "have", so is in the accusative case) but Das ist ein Mantel. (the verb "to be" links a subject to a predicate in the nominative case).


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

    The English translation seems awkward. One would most likely say "She is not wearing a skirt but she is wearing a coat."


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

    why didn't i like my present simple version of this sentence? "She doesn't wear a skirt but a coat."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikolaSavk2

    Why is "einen" in front of both subjects?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

    Since neither are the subject, but rather a direct object affected by the subject, it changes the sentence's case to accusative. Rock and Mantel are both 'der' words, and that changes 'ein' into 'einen'


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

    'She is not wearing a skirt, only a coat' Should be accepted, surely?


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

    'She is not wearing a skirt, only a coat' Should be accepted, surely?

    Eh? No. "only" is not an appropriate translation for sondern at all.


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

    What's wrong with, "She does not wear a skirt, but a coat." ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tai673581

    when i'm doing lessons i don't understand when it says a sentence that has " ein mantel" but in this one it says " einen mantel" . Why is that , can someone explain ?.


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

    Here, the coat is the direct object of the verb tragen -- it is the thing which is worn.

    So you need the accusative case -- which, since Mantel is masculine, is einen Mantel.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tai673581

    So you say einen Mantel when it's worn?


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

    So you say einen Mantel when it's worn?

    Whenever it's "affected" or "targeted" by any verb -- when it's worn, owned, bought, sold, seen, etc.: Ich trage einen Mantel. Du hast einen Mantel. Er kauft einen Mantel. Wir verkaufen einen Mantel. Ihr seht einen Mantel. "I am wearing a coat. You have a coat. He is buying a coat. We are selling a coat. You see a coat."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tai673581

    Oh, Ok Thank You


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosettePor3

    why keinen rock and keinen mantel


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Super.Hans

    "Sie trägt keinen Rock, sondern ein Mantel" is incorrect but there are other questions like: Das ist kein Buch, sondern ein Mantel.

    I don't get the difference between these. Can someone explain this?


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

    tragen "to wear" is a transitive verb -- it has a subject (in the nominative case) and a direct object (in the accusative case, e.g. keinen Rock, einen Mantel).

    sein "to be" is not a transitive verb. It does not have a direct object. It's a copula or linking verb that joins a subject (in the nominative case) to a predicate that says something about the subject, and that predicate is also in the nominative case (e.g. kein Buch, ein Mantel).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martinpj4565

    Hi Mizinamo could you pleaae expand upon your answer. I am a native English speaker and I can't follow what you are saying. For instance where does sein come into the above?


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

    where does sein come into the above?

    In the sentence Das ist kein Buch, the word ist (is) is a form of the verb sein (to be).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martinpj4565

    Thank you that does help, a little bit. I really struggle with German grammar.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe515977

    Shouldn't "She does not wear a skirt, but instead she wears a coat" also be considered correct? It was marked incorrect. The given English translation seems incomplete, since I've been led to believe that "sondern" means "rather", not merely "but."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ABHIJEET870941

    She does not wears a skirt, but a coat.... This should be okay


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

    She does not wears

    That is not correct English.

    The helping verb "does" already has the -s ending to agree with "she"; the main verb "wear" thus appears in the infinitive form, without -s.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BIll406241

    So...no skirt, but only a coat..like totally wierd dude


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna901742

    Why is the translation " she doesn't wear skirt but a coat " incorrect?


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

    Why is the translation " she doesn't wear skirt but a coat " incorrect?

    "skirt" is countable and needs a determiner before it in the singular. It has to be "She doesn't wear a skirt but ...".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariHaapal1

    I answered correctly but it told i was wrong?!


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

    I answered correctly but it told i was wrong?!

    Show us, please: upload your screenshot to a website and tell us the URL.

    Or at least quote your entire sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fabien394969

    Why is it einen Mantel tho, is the phrase in accusative form?


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

    sentences aren't in any particular case -- parts of sentences are.

    In this case, einen Mantel is in the accusative case because it's the direct object of the transitive verb tragen.


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

    "She isn't wearing a skirt, but a coat." accepted.
    "She is wearing not a skirt but a coat." accepted.

    "She doesn't wear a skirt instead of a coat." rejected.
    "She isn't wearing a skirt instead of a coat." rejected.
    "She wears no skirt rather one coat." rejected.
    "She wears no skirt but instead a coat." rejected.
    "She wears not a skirt but rather one coat." rejected.

    בס״ד


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

    How do you destinguish "She" from "They" in this sentence?


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

    By the verb form.

    • sie trägt "she wears"
    • sie tragen "they wear"

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

    Duo lingo says ""dress" is wrong. I know there are different words for "dress" and "skirt" in German, but what is the difference between them? I always thought they were just different words for the same thing (also "frock")


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

    A skirt (Rock) starts at the waist (like trousers/pants).

    A dress (Kleid) starts higher up, at or near the shoulders.

    Try doing an image search for "skirt" and for "dress" to get some prototypical examples.


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

    I wrote she do not wear a skirt and I got marked wrong


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

    Yes, that English sentence is wrong.

    With "he, she, it", the verb has an -s at the end in the simple present tense.

    However, "do" becomes, not "dos", but "does".

    So you would have to write: She does not wear a skirt.


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

    Yes, I changed it to "she does not" and I passed it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the.pyat

    Sounds weird in American. A closer translation might be "except"


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

    The english translations of sentences using sondern all sound weird...I would say "She's actually wearing a coat, not a skirt." The duolingo translation sounds forced and somewhat archaic to me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariana_N00b

    I think it translate more easily into "She brings no skirt, but (she brings) a coat"


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

    tragen is not "bring", though. It's "carry" or "wear".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariana_N00b

    sorry, messing up with my portuguese expressions x-x when we say "bring" it's implied that she's wearing or carrying

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