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  5. "Ich zeige einem Kind meinen …

"Ich zeige einem Kind meinen Schuh."

Translation:I am showing a child my shoe.

October 19, 2015



Sure... your shoe.


Kids have all been warned not to help strange men look for lost puppies. But nobody thought to warn them about men inviting them to see their little shoe.


Could I say "Ich zeige meinen Schuh einem kind"? - I mean, could I change the word order?


no the indirect object is first. The only exception is with personal pronouns. Then it is reversed


The only true exception is that German is full of exceptions.

Indirect object before direct object is a tendency. Said tendency may be overcome by other, conflicting word order tendencies or a decision by the speaker/writer to deliberately change the word order to change emphasis.

Dealing with Duo, you will find most examples conform to structures where tendencies do not overwhelm each other because Duo wants to be able to mark answers correct or incorrect. Thus indirect before direct works on most but not all Duo examples.

Your point about the pronoun reversing the customary word order is true but only if the direct object is a pronoun. If the indirect object is a pronoun, then the tendency to put indirect before direct remains in place. Of course, there is that conflicting tendency to put pronouns before nouns but hopefully Duo won't put students in a position of having to guess which one takes priority in any given sentence.


Actually, I've been playing around, and Duolingo takes all orders - including "einem Kind zeige ich meinen Schuh" and "meinen Schuh zeige ich einem Kind." As long as the verb is the second part of the sentence, they're legal - but I don't know how uncommon they are or how strange they'd sound to a German.

But as a native English speaker, I'll stick with the indirect object-direct object order -- easy to translate from English to that order, and more likely to understood when I get the endings wrong.


If the indirect object is a pronoun, then the tendency to put indirect before direct remains in place.

I am not a native speaker but I think your statement could be misleading to some learners. If I am not mistaken, if both indirect and direct objects are pronouns, then the tendency (or clear rule?) is to put the direct object before the indirect.


So, would that be "ich zeige ihn einem Kind?

  • 1805

While generally the direct object (in Akkusativ) would come after the indirect object (in Dativ), your example is valid. It gives a different emphasis.


In german the dativ case comes at prirority and then accusative case


Isn't showing someone your shoe a euphemism for threatening to kick them? Sort of like "showing them the door?"


Yeah, like "you kids shut up or I'll show you my boot"


I think that euphemism has to involve "the bottom of..." said shoe or boot to be shown.


In (English) English, showind a child 'the slipper' was a threat of physical punishment. In the Levant its a sign of disgust. I believe the person setting the questions is not in fact a native English speaker.


It's a sign of disgust only if the bottom of the shoe is pointed at them (eg. sitting with your feet up, with the bottom pointed towards the other person).


I think the Dative should have more exercises - its challenging to understand the relationship between the object and indirect object


The best way to remember it (if you haven't got a handle after two months, which I'm sure you have) is to break it down and think: The direct object is the object that is DIRECTLY affected by the verb, i.e. I kick --the ball.-- And the indirect object is often the destination of the direct object i.e. I kick the ball --to my friend.--

Hopefully this can help others if you didn't need it :)


How did you know he'd been at it for two months?


The comments (at least on the web) have a time code that shows how long ago they were written.


But that isn't always the case. For example "Ich helfe dir" in this case "you" should be the direct object, but still is in Dative.


I agree. Especially for those learning German for the first time, or for whom the last time was decades ago... And it wasn't easy then either. All the -ems, -ers, and -ens are a pain. As are the seins, deins, meins, etc. that "need" those endings to denote direct & indirect objects. My brain is already full.


Agree too: this is most challenging part of the German language and we just get a few exercise on this.


I get the 'einem Kind' part,it's Dative,but i don't get why is it 'meinen Schuh' and not just 'mein Schuh'.


Schuh is the object (accusative case)

Schuh is also masculine

Mein in this example should be considered a possessive adjective. It isn't used as mine. It is used as my to modify a noun. As such, it takes the gender and number of the noun it modifies.

The masculine accusative ending form is meinen.

Accusative case = ......den, die, das, die.......in masculine, feminine, neuter, plural order. When used as a possessive adjective as it is here, mein conforms to that rule.


It depends on which native language you're coming from.

For example, mine is Egyptian Arabic and these concepts are not foreign to me at all, on the contrary having a grasp of grammatical cases and inflection is very important in Modern Standard Arabic esp. when authoring any piece of literature or journalism.

So, I feel kind of home when dealing with German but I think that my initial take on German that it's bit difficult in that regard than MSA since you usually only deal with these convoluted grammatical rules (Which are btw more stringent and far reaching) when writing only unlike German that apparently expects to observe these rules even in the spoken language.

Always remember, Deutsche sprache, schwere sparche


If you grew up speaking an inflected language, such as Egyptian Arabic, would you even be consciously aware of the cases and inflections?


Mm hmm, but Duolingo isn't the only place to learn German.


Can this mean beating the child with your shoe?


In English, to "show someone the shoe" is more of a saying, so this direct translation would most likely be in the literal sense.


Yes, the use in this case is subtle. It could mean literally showing a child your shoe, but it could also be short for "showing a child the bottom of your shoe." If you're showing someone the bottom of your shoe, you are definitely beating them with it.


This sentence doesn't have such a meaning in German but 'über das Knie legen': 'Man sollte dich übers Knie (knee) legen!


My answer was: "I show to a child my shoe". Why is wrong?


I am a native speaker of American English; I will give my opinion. "To" doesn't fit where you are putting it; I think "to" assumes that the object which is being said to be being shown (in this case "to" the "child") has already been taken up / referred to. It has to do with word order - word order matters in English.

  1. Example of an acceptable formulation: "I show my shoe to a child." What is being shown ("show my shoe")? The shoe. Who is the shoe being shown to ("a child") ? A child.
  2. Example of an unacceptable formulation: "I show to a child my shoe." What is being shown ("I show _ ? _ to")? _ ? _. Who is _ ? _ being shown to ("a child")? A child.

I am not a professional, so maybe this is an unprofessional way of explaining it; but, basically, the word order is unacceptable.


But this is not an English exercise, it's a German exercise. I think that incorrect English word ordering should still count as a correct answer as long as it shows that you've understood the German correctly.


I think that incorrect English word ordering should still count as a correct answer as long as it shows that you've understood the German correctly.

Remember that Duo is a machine. It can match answers to lists of acceptable responses but it doesn't actually understand English or German.

If you want more flexibility or lenience, I recommend that you get a human teacher.

Adding incorrect English to the list of responses is not something we do (for starters, our job would never be done; you'd be surprised at the variety of mistakes that get reported).


Thanks, that makes sense.



Nothing wrong with altered word ordering in English most of the time. All you have to do is insert the correct punctuation to make it grammatically correct.

But Denis238941PLUS doesn't have the correct punctuation included in his arrangement. I assume that is because he isn't aware that his word order is non standard and the sentence needs some kind of adjustment in order to leave it as it is.

His word order is not incorrect. His failure to include the proper punctuation for that particular word order is an error. Had his answer been accepted he would not know that it isn't correct as written.

However, all that being said, even with correct punctuation the sentence is unwieldy and is an attention stopper. The listener's attention is diverted from the content to the speaker's manner of delivery.


Ah, yes. I remember. Mostly it was my father saying "Don't make me take off my shoe!", but sometimes he took it off and waved it at me, wordlessly.


Thanks Duo for generating another questionable sentence to translate.


Why "I am showing my child a shoe" is wrong?


Because the German sentence has einem Kind "a child" and not meinem Kind "my child".


"Ich zeige einem kind mein schuh" is that wrong really


Yes, it is.

  • you forgot to capitalise the nouns Kind and Schuh
  • mein is the wrong form of that word, because Schuh is masculine and is in the accusative case here (being the direct object of the verb zeigen), so it has to be meinen. mein could be either neuter accusative (wrong gender) or masculine nominative (wrong case) or neuter nominative (both).


Please guys, when to use 'EIN', 'EINE', 'EINER' and 'EINEM'? I can't understand, please reply back!


It depends on the grammatical case (nominative, accusative, dative or genetive) and the grammatical gender of the noun (feminine, masculine or neuter). Masculine indefinite articles are in nominative form "ein", in accusative form "einen", in dative form "einem" and in genetive form "eines". Feminine indefinite articles in the same order are "eine", "eine", "einer" and "einer". For neuter indefinite articles it's "ein", "ein", "einem" and "eines".

[deactivated user]

    German is a little weird

    • 1126

    this is after the guests showed the man the kitchen ...


    S + zeigen + D + A


    what does the "S" stand for?


    S, D, A = Subjekt, Dativ-Objekt, Akkusativ-Objekt

    • 1002

    "I show my shoe to a kid" is ok, so, why not "I show to a kid my shoe" ? I know "I show a kid my shoe" is correct, but I don't understand why not with the "to". (In French, we could reverse, as here, but keeping the "to" - which is "à" : "Je montre ma chaussure à un enfant" / "Je montre à un enfant ma chaussure". Even if the second is more written than spoken.)


    In English, we almost never say "I show to a kid my shoe" it's very irregular.


    Ima start saying "ima show you my shoe" when i mean im gonna kick you in the face


    What is wrong with "I show my shoe to the child"


    "Einem" is an indefinite article.


    why meinen? and not meine?


    why meinen? and not meine?

    Because Schuh is masculine, not feminine or plural.

    So you need the masculine accusative form meinen before it (since it's the direct object of the verb zeigen -- the thing that is being shown -- and thus has to be in the accusative case).


    "I show my shoe to a child." was accepted.



    I show my shoe to a child. Why not?


    I show my shoe to a child. Why not?

    That is one of the accepted translations.


    then why not "I am showing my shoe to a child"


    then why not "I am showing my shoe to a child"

    That is also one of the accepted translations.


    Whenever my dad did this, that meant I was about to be swatted by said shoe.


    kind is child but could it also be translated as kid?


    It could depending on what context and dialect you are going for.

    However, I wouldn't try to use that here in a language course.


    Is this a German expression for kicking a kid?!?


    The woman bot's voice is pronouncing einem with an "n" at the end. She is saying einen.


    The audio doesn't play for me at all on this one. I had to get it wrong just to see what it's "supposed" to be.


    I'm glad you said shoe


    This is not correct.


    So einem is used for both masculine and neuter whereas einer is used for femenine objects?


    if the dative is activated does that also mean the accusative will also activate?


    if the dative is activated does that mean the accusative will also activate?


    if the dative is activated does that mean the accusative will also activate?

    No, not necessarily. You can have sentences with dative but no accusative, e.g. ich helfe dir "I help you" (helfen requires the dative) or ich schreibe meinem Vater "I am writing (to) my father", where the accusative object (e.g. "a letter") is not required.


    hey du leck mein schuh


    Why isnt it einen kind, if dativ for neutrum das is den?


    Dative for masculine and neuter das is "dem" and therefore "einem" Kind.


    Why is einem kind and not einen kind?


    Kind is the dative (indirect object), the one seeing the shoe and is therefore "einem". Schuh is the accusative (direct object), the item being shown so it is meinen.


    Golddurn kids scuffed my new shoes!


    Anyone getting a wierd audio problem with this question? I get a little sound that sounds like a drop falling in water in between ,,einem" and ,,Kind"


    Yes. Children love looking at my shoe.


    why is it meinen no meine?


    why is it meinen no meine?

    Because Schuh is masculine, not feminine or plural.


    Why not shoes?


    Why not shoes?

    Why do you think it could be "shoes"?

    It says Schuh, singular, not Schuhe, plural.


    I agree. I think the sentence would not seem as "abusive" if both shoes were involved. lol


    Hello, I am not a native English speaker. Then, I would like to know: Does the part "a child" from "I am showing a child my shoe" equivalent to "for/to a child" when it is located in the middle of this phrase structure? Why? Is it common in native English?


    First of all, the word "does" does not fit into that question. There should be the word "is", because the word it's referring to is an adjective ("equivalent"). "Does" should be paired with a verb.

    To answer your question, it is equivalent to "to a child", but I'm not sure about "for a child". I think this is the more common structure for a sentence like this. The reason is probably the tendency to put the indirect object before the direct object. The indirect object here is "a child" and the direct object is "my shoe".


    Thank you, Kristian Kumpula. I confused "equivalent" as a verb, but it's an adjective in reality. This was a false cognate. This position of indirect object was new to me. Prepositions "to" and "for" have similar functions sometimes.


    Why does the man's voice pronounce "kaind" instead of "kind" here?


    It sounds like "kind" to me


    "I show my shoe to the child" Should be an accepted translation.


    "Einem" is an indefinite article.


    Yeah, I got the article wrong.


    "I show my shoe to the child" Should be an accepted translation.

    Why do you think so? einem Kind is "to a child" and not "to the child".


    why "one" You used the wrong word. I show my shoe to one child


    Why "meinen" and not "mein"?


    Why "meinen" and not "mein"?


    • Schuh is masculine
    • and the direct object of the verb zeigen (it's the thing that is being shown)
    • so it has to be in the accusative case
    • thus you need masculine accusative meinen before it

    mein would be masculine nominative (wrong case for the use in this sentence), neuter accusative (wrong gender), or neuter nominative (both wrong).


    When is duo going to understand that I show the child a shoe is just as valid as I show the shoe to a child ? Etc.


    And when is duo going to get I show a child a shoe is as valid as I am showing the child a shoe ? It gets it sometimes, but not consistently.


    Both of your comments have internal errors of the type that Duo is testing for.

    Neither of your comments are related to the Duo example that this page is linked to. This Duo example talks about meinen/my shoe


    And when is duo going to get I show a child a shoe is as valid as I am showing the child a shoe ?

    Are you saying that "a child" can be replaced by "the child"?

    Those are different things.


    I just could not understand the English translation. Why they did not use "to" in English.


    That's not necessary because the recipient is an indirect object preceding the direct object. However, changing the order into "I am showing my shoe to a child" would be correct. Also, the word order in that second sentence is wrong, because it's an unfinished statement, not a question. It should begin with "why did they not..."


    When I was a boy and did something bad, my mother would show me "the shoe" my father would "show me" the belt.


    Somewhere that, somewhere this: I am confused about this!!!!!iii


    Why is it einem kind?


    Because of dative case.


    Why is it "meinen" schuh, and not "meinem" schuh?


    Why is it "meinen" schuh

    It isn't. It's meinen Schuh with a capital S on Schuh.

    The verb zeigen has two objects here:

    • a direct object (the thing that gets shown) in the accusative case
    • an indirect object (the "recipient" of the showing) in the dative case

    Thus you have einem Kind in the dative case (the child sees the shoe that I am showing it), and meinen Schuh in the accusative case (the shoe is what is being pointed at or being handed around).

    meinem Schuh would be dative case -- having two dative objects would not make sense here ("I am showing to the shoe to the child"??).

    And schuh with a small s is simply wrong.


    Weird Flex, mais d'accord.


    I know that "einem Kind" is new information, but is "meinen Shuh" also new information? Does it behaves like indefinite articles or like definite articles? I already know that when you have a"definite article in the accusative object and an indefinite article in the dative object it´s needed to put dative at last because it´s new information, so it´s more important.


    That's probably a rule of thumb at best. The direct object can be placed before the indirect object if it deserves more emphasis. The presence of the dative and accusative cases preserves the syntactic relationship.


    I relieved you said shoe i gotta say


    When to keep child first and shoe later? I mean why cant it be ' I am showing my shoe to a child'? For few sentences it includes to and at the end but for few it is vice versa like 'I am showing a child my shoe'. Thanks in advance


    "I am showing my shoe to a child." is correct.


    Shouldn't "I am showing my shoe to a child" be accepted?


    Shouldn't "I am showing my shoe to a child" be accepted?

    It is accepted (in a translation exercise).

    Do you have a screenshot of that sentence being rejected for a translation exercise?


    No, I don't. I looked at it carefully, but I couldn't see anything wrong with it. Duolingo said the answer should be: "I am showing a child my shoe." I was wondering if it was because I changed the order of the sentence.


    Both of those translations are fine.

    Now I wonder whether the message you saw was not "Wrong; it should be '...'" but rather "That's right! And another correct answer is '...'".

    But without a screenshot, we can only guess.


    Actually I remember it that scramble words came where 'to' was missing. So it was either ' I am showing my shoe a child' or 'I am showing a child my shoe'. Hence makeing the latter a correct option but I was wondering. Danke!


    It was definitely marked incorrect.


    Es ist ein female voice. Vielleicht die Mutter has kauft herself ein paar of new Schuhe and now sie ist showing them off to ihr Kind?


    I don't see why the gender of the speaker could be relevant.

    1. I understand the indirect object direct object hierarchy. Then i also came across that
    2. if any of the two is pronoun then it takes the precedence. By then shouldn't it be "Ich zeige meinen schuh einem Kind " .

    P.s : 3. also from the objects taking definite indefinite articles, thr definite would come before the indefinite object , implying "known information following the unknown information" .

    Hence by all that inference 2 and 3 , won't the "Meinen schuh" (my shoe- pronoun , known info though direct obj) precedes the a kid (indirect object but no pronoun and unknown info taking indefinite article) ???


    Yes, "my" is a possessive pronoun, but it isn't the object "shoe" is the object.
    "my" is used here as a determiner, like if it was "einen Schuh"
    For example: Ich zeige einem Kind einen Schuh. - I am showing a shoe to a child.

    If there was a pronoun, like "es" then yes, that would come first:
    Ich zeige es einem Kind. - I am showing it to a child.


    In a threatening manner?


    This sounds like a euphemism for kicking them xD


    Meinen... The 'N' means plural right? So why is the translation 'my shoe' and not 'my shoes'?


    Meinen... The 'N' means plural right?


    mein inflects like ein and kein, so meinen is either masculine accusative (singular) or plural dative.

    (Compare how den is masculine accusative singular or plural dative.)

    Plural nominative/accusative would be meine like keine or die.


    Why is it my shoe and not my shoes? I thought meineN means plural..


    I thought meineN means plural.

    meinen, like den, can be either plural dative or masculine accusative.

    In this sentence, it's masculine accusative.


    So if you wanted to say "my shoes" then it would be "meiner Schuhe"


    It depends on the syntax of the sentence.


    So if you wanted to say "my shoes" then it would be "meiner Schuhe"

    In the genitive case, yes.

    In nominative or accusative, meine Schuhe.

    In the dative case, meinen Schuhen.


    Why is it not "I am showing my shoe to a child"? That should also be a correct translation, no?


    Why is it not "I am showing my shoe to a child"? That should also be a correct translation, no?

    That is another accepted translation.


    You can say that in english it has the same meaning


    What's the difference between "zeigen" and "anzeigen"?


    zeigen - show

    anzeigen - display


    Why is Kind masculine?


    Kind isn't masculine, (das) Kind is neuter.


    What a weird sentence!


    Showing someone your shoe in some languages means threatening to kick them, literally or figuratively depending on the culture and time period.

    In modern Germany, I suppose this would mean that you threatened a child with corporal punishment even though it is probable the child would not believe you would actually kick them or do anything like that.

    • 1805

    In German, it means that you show your shoe to a kid ;) As in:

    Kid: "Hey, can I see your shoe?"

    Me: "Yeah, sure! Check this out, it has LeBron James' signature on it!!"


    "I show to a kid my shoe" is somehow wrong. I hate this.


    "I show to a kid my shoe" is somehow wrong.

    Yes, that's right. We don't use "to" when the recipient is mentioned first.


    This grammar makes no sense!!


    German grammar can be very difficult, but don't give up! Generally in these sentences, the dative noun goes first. As you can see Ich zeige 'einem Kind', which is the dative part because it is the indirect object, the one receiving the direct object or the 'accusative' one which is the shoe. Which is why it's meinen Schuh. To help, think of it like this.

    (In order of Masculine, Feminine, Neuter, Plural) Nomative - der, die, das, die Accusative - den, die das, die Dative - dem, der, dem, den Genitive - des, der, des, der

    I know it can be confusing, but this chart will help you determine the endings of the articles c:


    (Duolingo: Please, please, please, find a different phrase to replace this potentially abusive one. It's not really an appropriate statement in American English any longer. We can no longer even joke about these things.)


    Wow. Beruhig dich! It's just a sentence



    But the example is designed to test your understanding of German not your feelings about such things in English.

    Also you are speaking for yourself when you say we can no longer joke about these things.


    Ilsav.R: In UK--English, it means how it sounds in a literal translation. Someone is showing their show to a child. I would suggest, looking at the number of comments and questions posted, it is an excellent sentence for demonstrating a particular point of German grammar.

    Perhaps your post indicates that it is time for you to 'let go' or 'work-on' some past emotional trauma! ( Have a look at, https://www.oxfordmindfulness.org ).

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