I thought Kind was child (singular) and Kinder was children (plural)? What is this Kindern?
The Dative plural of all nouns ends in "n". Such as Mannern instead of Manner
mizinamo, I just want to thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have read many helpful posts of yours :)
Are you a native German speaker?
My first language was English and I went to school through English but I have been speaking German since I was three years old and I grew up in Germany.
(The fact that my school education was not in German also explains why I'm occasionally hazy about the parts of writing that don't correspond to anything you can hear, such as comma placement, capitalisation, or writing words together versus separately -- I never got taught those explicitly. The fact that some of those conventions got changed in the spelling reform of 1996 onwards doesn't help, either.)
Seconded. I've learned so much more from you mizinamo than all of my previous German teachers combined. Your insights into stylistics and precision are a real gift. Thank you so much!
I didn't know bout the s-ending words, thanks.
I did know about the umlauts, just didn't bother to look up how to type them
But why is it dative? I thought that "Kinder" in this case is accusative?
Does anyone know the reason? Is it perhaps that the literal translation of "Ich helfe meinen Müttern" is "I give help to my mothers"?
Könnte mir bitte jemand helfen? ;)
While that's a possible wording for "give help to someone" (jemandem helfen) or "give thanks to someone" (jemandem danken), perhaps even "give congratulations to someone" (jemandem gratulieren), and "give an answer to someone" (jemandem antworten) and there's a construction involving "to" for "belong to someone" (jemandem gehören) and "appeal to someone" (jemandem gefallen), I'm not sure how to explain "follow someone" (jemandem folgen), and translating "believe someone" as "give credence to someone" (jemandem glauben) would be rather unusual a phrase in English.
It may just be best to learn a group of verbs that take an object in the dative case -- there may be some reason historically but nowadays it's not necessarily "logical" why some do so.
It's perhaps a bit like asking why "listen" requires "to" but "look" does not take "to" but instead takes "at" -- is there a good reason why we don't "listen at the orchestra" or "look to the beautiful sunset"?
helfen, danken, folgen, gefallen, gehören, wie geht es ...?, gratulieren, antworten was the set of "dative verbs" I learned at school, though there are more where those come from, e.g. jemandem dienen "to serve someone" (give service to someone?).
In Hebrew we are taught that accusative is the part of the sentence that gives a necessary information about the verb, and dative is considered what gives unnecessary info about the verb. I can't say it always works with the German division of dative and accusative but it does help. You can't just say "i give" and also not "i give you" you need to specify what you give - now in English I'm not sure it works but you can say - at least in Hebrew and i think in German too - "i give a book" without specifying who you give it to. Now in help it's a bit tricky at least in English but i think there's no real problem with "he helps" - it's not very informing - but i think it can stand on its own, therefore the info about whom he helps is unnecessary and therefore dative. So maybe that's the reason in German too - is that right - can you say "er hilft" without adding more info?
And about listen and look - i think it has to do with directing your attention - when you listen it's more specific, and when you look it can be just in a general direction. This way you can also find (at least some) reason in saying that it's necessary to specify what/who you look at, but who/what you listen to isn't a necessary info - because you always look somewhere even if it's out of focus or out of your attention so saying that you look doesn't give new info, but you don't necessarily always listen - you can hear without listening - so just saying that you listen does provide some info...
"Ich helfe meinen Muttern" is correct then?
I thought it wasn't all of them though, is that so?
No, Ich helfe meinen Muttern is not correct for "I help my mothers". (It would work for "I help my bolts/screw-nuts".)
Hint: the nominative plural of Mutter in the sense of "mother" is Mütter.
When you form the dative of that, you still need the bit that marks the plural (here: the umlaut).
And no, not all plural nouns have -n in the dative, but the vast majority do.
The two main groups of exceptions I can think of is nouns that have an -n in the plural already (e.g. der Samen, die Samen; den Samen or die Tanne, die Tannen; den Tannen) or those that form their plural with -s (e.g. das Baby, die Babys; den Babys).
Ok "Ich helfe meinen Müttern" then?
That seems to fit with what you described. If not, I didn't understand it fully.
can i say Die Tasche gehört dieser Fraun.? i mean i can add N to singular as well or only plural?
(Replying to VIJAYESH) No, "meiner" is dative feminine singular. But die Mütter is plural. "der Mutter" - dative singular "den Müttern" - dative plural
Here is a list of dative verbs : http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb_dativ.htm
Hey great thanks, I've been looking for some more info about that for a while :)
Why is it "meinen" and not meinem Kindern when it's dative? Isn't meinen Akkusativ?
"meiner" is dative or genitive singular for feminine nouns:
- Ich gebe den Ball meiner Mutter (dative singular)
- Das ist der Ball meiner Mutter (genitive singular)
It can also be genitive plural:
- Das ist der Ball meiner Eltern
And if it is not in front of a noun but stands by itself ("mine" rather than "my"), it can be masculine nominative singular as well:
- Das ist meiner. (That is mine. -- referring to a masculine object)
Remember guys :- NOMINATIV--------DATIV Das----------------Dem/einem/meinem... Der----------------Dem/einem/meinem... Die-----------------Der/einer/meiner... Die(plural)----------Den+n / einen+n / meinen+n...
Beispielweise (For Example):- Ich bin mit meiner Frau. (Aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu - immer mit dem Dativ) Ich helfe einem Kind. (Certain verbs always have dativ) Wie geht es dir? And of course, the example here.
Meinen dative or accisative. I know dative to be meinem so if its dative why the n instead of the m? Thanks.
Why does "helfen" take the dative case? This is messing with my understanding of the cases. Unless it's in the sense that help is given to the children... but it seems to me that when you help someone you are directly acting upon them, so it should take the accusative. Please enlighten me.
Why does "helfen" take the dative case?
I don't think there's an answer for that beyond "that's just how it is".
Why do we "listen to" a bird but "look at" a bird? Why don't we "look to a bird" or "listen at a bird"? In fact, why use a preposition at all? We don't "see at a bird" or "hear to a bird", so why can't we say that I'm "listening the bird and looking the bird"? Just like we can "watch the bird", we could "look the bird"? Aren't they both kind of directly acting on the bird?
Who decides that "look" takes "at" or that "helfen" takes the dative case? Nobody -- it's just how we learned the language from our ancestors.
I write the word CHILDREN but Duolingo writes to me it's wrong What is the problem????
Hello, can someone please explain why is "meinen" before the kindern? Thanks
As a native English speaker, here is my issue. DuoLingo marked as incorrect my phrase I help my children. I help my children versus I am helping my children. Please.