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"Das Baby zeigt einer Frau ein Kleid."

Translation:The baby is showing a dress to a woman.

November 1, 2015



What an intelligent baby!!


New hit show: Are you Smarter than a baby?


FEATURING... Are You Smarter Than a Baby?

Our first contestant: Duolingo!

Cough Cough All right. Can you show a dress to a woman right now?

Duolingo's Response: Sorry, No.

Cough Cough All right. Baby, can you show a dress to a woman right now?

Yes, daddy! [Shows dress]

Thanks for watching... Are You Smarter Than a Baby?


Sounds like something you could find in the Interdimensional Cable(from Rick and Morty)


Stop it, get some help...


I can't wrap my head around it........


Yeah! What an intelligent baby!


Ahah that is what i was thinking ahah


Wouldn't "the" be the same as "one" since "The baby is showing the woman a dress" be the same as "The baby is showing a dress to one woman"


"The baby is showing a dress to one woman" would be a correct translation here, if a little more unusual. But it's not like the sentence makes much sense anyway ;)


It just seems to overcomplicate the sentence. Since the dress is being showed to /A/ woman, you already know that it is just one woman. Really no need to clarify.


Oops that a was supposed to be bolded. :/


I think bolded text surrounds the text in question with two "*" (2 asterisks). (If I'm wrong, I'm going to look like a fool) :P

Also, just a friendly correction, "showed" in your initial post should be "shown".


You are correct. Also it could "a woman". There are a lot of these kind of mistakes.


Not entirely, ein/eine/einer/einen/ etc. is a/an, ein/eine also means one, but here, in this exercise, it's not meant as a number (how many there are), it's meant as indefinite article


"Ein" is an indefinite article, "Eins" is "one", so it´s not the same


Before a noun, "one" is ein, eine.

Instead of a noun, "one" is einer, eine, eins.

So eine Frau can be "one woman" or "a woman", ein Mädchen can be "one girl" or "a girl", etc.

English split up what used to be one word into two, "one" and "an" (which later lost the -n except before vowels), but they're still the same word in German.

Similarly with "the / that" which are now separate words in English but are still the same word in German -- der, die, das can all mean either "the ..." or "that ...", e.g. der Mann = "the man; that man".


It´s not true. Germans do not perceive "ein" as a "one" with nouns. This is typical only for native speakers of languages ​​where such a division exists. Because "ein" is used as an abstraction, it does not matter whether it is a specific "one" woman or an indefinite one. So in case, when it IS required to specify the quantity, germans use "ein mal" expression. It´s common for Latin group, the same you can find in french - "une fill" - indefinite for "la fill" (that girl).


No, The answer The baby is showing a dress to the/a woman.


Why is "the baby's showing" form not correct?


baby's indicates possession in its written form. However in speaking you will hear the perceived contraction because English is a stressed time language which means that their is a stress roughly 0.6 seconds in conversational speech, The focus words the carriers of meaning are adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns. the grammatical words show the relation between the focus words are reduced in volume and contracted. 1.DOGS EAT BONES 2. the DOGS EAT BONES 3. the DOGS are EATing the BONES 4. the DOGS will EAT the BONES 5. the DOGS might have Eaten the BONES All take exactly the same amount of time to say there is a stress roughly 0.6 seconds Now our Exercise BABY SHOWS WOMAN DRESS the BABY is SHOWing the WOMEN a DRESS Therein lies the reason why it sounds like baby_s I have been teaching accent training for 22 years knowing which words to emphasize by being louder will help with second language learner to be better understood.


You should have used "there is" instead of "their is".


"The baby shows to a lady a dress" why is this not correct?


Dec 1, 2015 - "The baby shows to a lady a dress" is incorrect word order in English. The English sentence should be "The baby shows a lady a dress" OR "The baby shows a dress to a lady"


I wrote "The baby shows a woman a dress" and I was marked incorrect :(


shows == is showing | is exactly equal!!


sounds just as good to me, a New Yorker! I was also marked inncorrect t=for it.?????


I'm sorry but it isn't incorrect word order. "To" doesn't effectively change the word order anywhere else and the sense of it is correct. It should be acceptable.


"which schewide to hym a tre" - Ex 15:25 Wycliffe. "gave to him a name" - Php 2:9 Young's Literal. "God yaf to hym place" - Job 24:23 Wycliffe. "He gaue also to her brother, and to her mother precious things." - Ge 24:53 KJV. "my true love gave to me a partridge" "He gave to her a ten gold ring"


I don't approve of downvoting this!! Learning about, and reading, older language can make one appreciate modern language more.

I understood a lot more about German after I spent a few months reading about (and, with great effort, just reading) Old English (also known as Anglo-Saxon, the language spoken in England before the Norman Conquest in 1066).

Meanwhile, Middle English (e.g., Wycliffe and Chaucer) combines a simplified version of German word endings with a much more Modern English vocabulary. (One of the main differences between Old and Middle English was the wholesale replacement of a lot of the original Germanic vocabulary by Old French words -- this is in fact the biggest reason why French is easier for monolingual English speakers to learn than German.)

Short version of the above: it's quite fascinating to see how much more German-like the English language used to be!


Rught?! Reading old french literature is actually easier for me than old english! French is not my first language, but because it hasn't gone through the same changes as english, it's easier to understand and the meaning is still substancial today. This is an excellent post and you've hit the nail on the head. I wish the lessons would show the closer sentence to translation first so that when we learn to form the German in our minds, we can use the word order better. I seem to be more accurate when I can recognize those patterns.


Wycliffe was, IIRC, was Early Modern English, which is why that word order is still comprehended, even if it isn't used today. :-)


Wycliffe was middle. Tyndale and KJV were early modern.


Thank you. :-)


I'm a native English speaker and it looks absolutely right to me?

Besides, I'm not here to try to fit a prescriptivist English model, here to learn German


Only if the indirect object goes after the direct object is when you need to add to. If the indirect object is before the direct object, you cannot include a to.

Indirect after direct: The baby shows a dress to a lady.
Indirect before direct: The baby shows a lady a dress.

See, there is no to in the second one but there is in the first one.


Placing the preposition "to" before an indirect object in a subject-verb-dative-accusative construction will sound odd to a native English speaker, but odd doesn't necessarily translate to incorrect, and I have yet to see an English grammar book that discourages this. Many native speakers find pronominal subject complements in the nominative case awkward in cases such as "it is I," "it is he," "the one you seek is I," but they are technically more correct than "it is me," "it is him," and "the one you seek is me" because the verb "to be" is intransitive. Omitting "to" in such a construction will sound considerably more natural, but there is no rulebook that postulates that it must be done.


Says who? Who makes that rule? I'll admit, "The baby shows to a lady a dress." sounds a bit odd, but it is clear.

Is this just some rule that some editorial board or academic somewhere made, or is it an actual rule in established English, and I won't find exceptions in poetry or old books?


You're right - it is not a rule - just a habit that usually treats the 'to' as redundant, much like "I go to my home". But that's true of so much of English grammar. The position of the "to a A" is an interchangeable indirect object phrase that can come before the direct object or after. Usually we place it after as a habit, unless we are trying to achieve an emphatic effect.


Yes, and they will be sending someone to you soon. To... fix this matter.


It is not a question of "cannot". Certainly the "to" is often omitted, but it isn't wrong.


This is and is not correct, much in the same way that you could say "Ich gehe ins Kino gestern." That makes sense in German, just as "The baby shoes to a lady a dress" makes sense in English; they are each grammatically correct and unambiguous. But they each sound horribly odd, because in (modern!) English, the preposition "to" is never used before the indirect object if it follows right after the verb, just as in German, any adverbial phrase about time always comes before any adverbial phrase about place. There is no logic to either of these conventions: they are each just the syntax that has become normal in the last few centuries for each language.


"Ich gehe ins Kino gestern" does not make sense grammatically ("gestern" vs. present tense "gehe")


You might want to say it if you had access to a time machine! :)


It's unusual in English but not incorrect.


Improper English


Why "ein Kleid"? Why not "einen Kleid"? If the question is the "what" then why do not became from "ein Kleid" to "einen Kleid"???(das-ein-einen) Help me pls vaaaa!!!! :) Thanks


It's accusative and "Kleid" is a neuter noun, so it's "ein Kleid". "Einen" would be correct for a masculine noun, e.g. "Das Baby zeigt einer Frau einen Baum".


I said, "The baby shows a lady a dress", and I got it wrong...

Pls halp


October 9, 2016 - The sentence is "Das Baby zeigt einer Frau ein Kleid. " Frau = woman Dame = lady Duo wants "The baby shows a woman a dress".


Thanks, that actually makes sense!


Duolingo had been accepting Lady/Ladies for Frau/Frauen, up until this lesson, but then reintroduced Frau and Mann as new words in this lesson (Dative Case lesson).

German may have a word, Dame, for Lady, but it also has a word, Weib, for Woman/Wife. So, where does that leave Frau? Frau is closer to Lady than to Woman, so while I think both should be accepted, I think Lady is more correct.


In modern German, Frau is the word for "woman" or "wife".

Weib is either old-fashioned (I think Luther still used it non-ironically in his Bible translation, for example) or insulting, or at best deliberately rude.


I cant distinguish 'a' woman from 'one' woman. Can someone help. Tks.


i guess it depends on context and here should both variants be accepted.


I show it to one woman = emphasis is being placed on the number of women (in this case, just one).


Ein = a, Eins = one. It´s two different words.


Ein = a, Eins = one. It´s two different words.

That's not correct here. eine Frau can mean both "a woman" and "one woman" -- and eins Frau is simply wrong.

eins is only used when standing alone, never before a noun.


I am trying to imaging a context, where "Eine Frau" can mean "one woman"... Es gibt eine Frau (there is a woman) - no... Ich habe eine Frau kennen gelernt (I knew a woman) - no... And only the case, when it could be "one woman" is contradistinction: Es ist eine Frau, sondern nicht zwei Frauen


I am trying to imaging a context, where "Eine Frau" can mean "one woman"

In der Schlange stehen fünf Männer und eine Frau. = There are five men and one woman in the queue/line.

In diesem Gebäude wohnt nur eine Frau. = There is only one woman living in this building. (Implying that all the other inhabitants are men.)


AkimKelar, what you wrote about ordering green tea is nonsense. If you want a green tea, you say "Ich möchte einen Grünen Tee, bitte". Noone will ask "how many". "Eins Grüner Tee" is not correct.


No, it´s not the right context. Because you can say even in English "a woman" without of meaning changes. The meaning is that there are some men and a woman in the queue. The second example I can agree with because of "nur" word, and it´s the same context - THE CONTRAST. So you´ve approved my statement )


By the way, I noticed, that in Germany if you make order in cafe saying "Ich möchte ein grüner Tee", you definitely get a question "Wie viel?". Then you need to say "Ein mal grüner Tee" or "Eins grüner Tee", while it will be understood that you would take a green tee überhaupt. Just try to translate this sentence.


I replayed the woman probably 15 times, and i hear "eine Frau" EVERY time. It might be correct, but I don't think she is actually saying "einer"


"-er" in the end is pronounced like "aR" in English [:a]. Probalby you just don´t differentiate yet [aine] and [ain:a]


So what is the dative case? I get that 'einem' is the indefinire article in the dative case but is it different for der die and das? And does the dative case always come after a preposition and a verb? The main problem with duolingo is the lack of grammar explanations :/


The main problem with duolingo is the lack of grammar explanations :/

Are you using a mobile app?

The fact that those don't show the tips and notes with all the grammar explanations is indeed a huge problem. I'm not sure why Duolingo made that choice. It must make for a frustrating and confusing learning experience. (And it certainly makes for a frustrating helper experience when people ask questions that have already been answered in the tips and notes.)

I suggest using the website, and reading through the tips and notes for each new unit before starting it. At least for learning a new unit -- reviewing it later can be done on the mobile app if you prefer that, e.g. to do something on the road.

To answer some of the other questions:

einem is the dative case of the indefinite article for masculine (der) and neuter (das) words. For feminine (die) words, the indefinite article is einer in the dative case, as here: einer Frau.

The dative case can come after a preposition but it can also stand without a preposition if the meaning of the verb allows an object in the dative case -- e.g. an indirect object as the recipient of verbs of saying, showing, giving etc., or sometimes as the only object of certain verbs that simply take a dative object for some reason such as helfen "to help" or folgen "to follow".


Yes I am using the mobile app! The only time I've ever used the web version is when I'm responding to comments in response to mine, like now, because I find the app so convenient. I didn't even know there were grammar tips on the web app! Thanks for letting me know, because I'll definitely make use of them now. Thankfully a lot of these basic modules I'm using as revision because I've just done a basic intensive course to A1 level, but stuff such as the dative tense wasn't included so I was just trying to muddle through and figure out the rules on my own! I now know the difference between einem and einer so thanks! What would a sentence without a preposition look like?


The sentence that's the basis of this discussion is an example of one without a preposition :)

Das Baby zeigt einer Frau ein Kleid.

The dative einer Frau is due to its being the indirect object of zeigen "to show", not because of a preposition that takes the dative case.

An example of a sentence where the dative case is due to a preposition is:

Das Baby spielt mit einer Frau. "The baby is playing with a woman."

Here, the preposition mit requires the dative case in the following noun.


I cannot hear the 'r' on the end of einer when the man speaks it. When I'm trying to learn dative case, it's very confusing to not be able to hear that 'r'


"-er" in the end is pronounced like "r" [:a] in English. Probalby you just don´t differentiate yet [aine] and [ain:a]


The baby shows a dress to a woman should be accepted


It is accepted in a translation exercise.


why not"The elephant is showing a dress to a woman"


why not"The elephant is showing a dress to a woman"

Why did you translate das Baby with "the elephant"?


It was just meant as a joke. I find some sentences in Duolingo nonsensical.


Is there specifically a German word for lady? It counted me wrong because I used "lady" instead of "woman"


Yep, "die Dame".
"Damen und Herren" = "Ladies and gentlemen"


thank you! I shall remember this


Sooo, "einer" is used for feminine nouns in the dative case?


That's correct.


Why is "the baby shows a woman a dress" wrong?


It's not wrong. And it's one of the accepted translations.


It could also be the baby shows a woman a dress, surely? So how is that wrong


Nothing indicate progressive mode. Any form of present tense should work as a correct answer


Any form of present tense should work as a correct answer

What was your entire answer?


Why is it "ein Kleid "


Why is it "ein Kleid "

Because that's the German translation of "a dress".

Can you be more specific about what problem you have?


Shouldn't this take "The baby is showing to a woman a dress"? Saying it's wrong but seems like it should be right too


Shouldn't this take "The baby is showing to a woman a dress"?

If the indirect object comes first, don't use "to".

Thus either

  • The baby is showing a dress to a woman.
  • The baby is showing a woman a dress.


Wrong sentence order!! The baby shows the woman a dress.


The baby shows the woman a dress.

einer Frau is not "(to) the woman". It is "(to) a woman".


There are really terrible meaningless sentences in that lesson! )-:


What is the matter with my sentence, Duolingo?


What is the matter with my sentence, Duolingo?

Duolingo is just a computer program and can't read comments or understand your question.

And we humans can't see what you wrote.

When you have a question about why something was not accepted, please always quote your entire answer.

Or even better, show us what you wrote: take a screenshot, upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur), then include the URL to the image in your comment. That way, we can see what you actually wrote (which is not always what you intended to write or what you think you wrote).


Should be correct - it is a contraction


Should be correct

The subject of "should" is missing. Nobody can see what you wrote, so please always quote the entire sentence that you are referring to.

If you wrote "baby's", do not that contractions after nouns are not generally accepted on Duolingo. Please write them out, e.g. "baby is".


Can someone please briefly explain the cases?


It is almost impossible to discern spoken "einer" from "eine". If the question is type what you hear there should not be this confusion. Maybe a different question could be clearer.


Why is this answer "ein" Kleid, not einen Kleid, when all the other answers have changed to that.... German is confusing!


Why is this answer "ein" Kleid, not einen Kleid

Because Kleid is neuter, not masculine.

einen would be masculine accusative.

Neuter accusative is ein -- same as the nominative.

Only masculine words have a distinct form in the accusative; feminine, neuter, and plural words all look the same in the nominative and accusative in German.


Why can't we use cloth for klied


Because "Kleid" means "dress," not the material "cloth."


What the difference to show to a woman a dress, and to show a dress to a woman?


What the difference to show to a woman a dress, and to show a dress to a woman?

"show a dress to a woman" is correct, "show to a woman a dress" is wrong and should be "show a woman a dress" instead.


is this Boss Baby's sequel, Personal Shopper Baby?


Good guess, but no. This is feeding the fire. Due
to Duolingo's "gamification" strategy, nonsense
sentences are deemed of value to the learning

Great feedback. Keep up the good work.


So is it also correct to write: Das Baby zeigt ein Kleid einer Frau??


Still don't get why it is "einer Frau" and then "ein Kleid" Is Frau a masculine noun?


Feb 1, 2016 - Our sentence is,"Das Baby/The baby (Nominative Neuter, it's the subject) zeigt /shows (transitive 3rd person singular verb) einer Frau/a woman (indirect dative object Fem.) ein Kleid/a dress (direct accusative object Neut.)"

Feminine Ein word endings (Ein-words are kein, mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer )

Nominative einE

Accusative einE

Dative einER


Thanks. This is going to take a while...


Thanks Eloise. I was trying to figure out why Ein was used with Einer and you helped to clear it up.

Even though Duo lingo has this sentence listed as Dative, it has both dative and nominative properties.

How does one tell when if a sentence is considered dative or nominative ? when both are present? in the sentence.




Sentences as a whole aren't dative or nominative or anything.

Parts of a sentence are in various cases, to show the role that that part plays in the sentence as a whole.


Why 'einer Frau'?


The woman is the indirect object of the sentence. The direct object "Kleid"/dress is shown to the woman (indir. object) by the baby (subject), so you need dative case for the "Frau" (Das Baby: nominative, ein Kleid: accusative).


Why is "the baby is showing the woman a dress" not accurate? I know it is indefinite but i use it all the time in colloquial conversation


March 21, 2016 - "the baby is showing A woman a dress"


Shouldn't it accept 'lady' for 'frau'?


No, Duolingo keeps the distinction between "lady" (Dame) and "woman" (Frau).


That's probably a throwback to the days of the nobility, when noble women were addressed as "Lady So-and-so", but in American English, at least, where there hasn't been (officially) a nobility since the 1700s, there's really no distinction between "woman" and "lady", although there are some set expressions that take one word or the other. For example, "little old lady", "lady's man", "Ladies and Gentlemen". However, there's essentially no difference between "She's a nice lady" and "She's a nice woman", or "Who is that lady?" and "Who is that woman?"


Can the word order be changed? as in: Das Baby zeigt ein Kleid einer Frau.


Yes, but it is not the usual emphasis. It gives extra emphasis to "to a woman".

As though it's perfectly normal that the baby shows dresses to men all the time, but it's exceptional that it now shows a dress to a woman. If you don't want that extra emphasis in what you say, use Duolingo's suggested word order.

Read a good long explanation about word order here.


Oh I think see now. That helps a lot. Thank you very much!


The word "lady" is not accepted !


wouldn't it be opposite i mean a baby can't show dress right


... but that's exactly what it means. It's a typical Duolingo sentence :)


I said "the baby is showing a dress to the woman" and it was incorrect. How?


Dec 12, 2016 - "Das Baby zeigt EINER Frau ein Kleid. " = "the baby is showing a dress to A (not the) woman"


Shouldn't it be "Das Baby zeigt einer Frau EINEN Kleid"? Isn't Kleid in accusative ?


Feb 8, 2017 - You are right, Kleid is accusative in this sentence. Neuter accusative singular for EIN is EIN, no ending.


Why is ein kleid and not einen ? Is akkusativ?


May 20, 2017 - Yes, it is accusative. das Kleid is neuter, and accusative neuter is ein and das.


if i write : "the baby is showing a woman a dress", is it wrong?


why not '... einem Kleid' in this case?


Because the dress is the direct object, the thing which is shown, the thing directly affected by the showing -- not the indirect object, the recipient of showing.

einem is dative case and appropriate for an indirect object.


"ein Kleid", why is it that a dress is masculine? My understanding: ein is masculine and eine is feminine.


ein is used for both masculine and neuter nouns; Kleid happens to be neuter.

The three noun genders are mostly arbitrary. "knife, fork, spoon" have three different genders -- mostly for historical reasons, not because spoons are particularly male or forks particularly female.

It's just an attribute that you have to learn. Don't try to attach any "male" or "female" meaning to a noun's gender.

Like learning irregular verbs in English. Why can't we say "The man seed a nice flower in a shop, buyed it and gived it to his wife"? You just have to learn that it's "saw, bought, gave"; you can't use logic.


Is correct the following? Kleidung = clothing Kleid = dress


In the singular, yes.

In the plural, it's a little more complicated because Kleider can mean not only specifically "dresses" but also "clothes" in general.


Is a lady interchangeable with a woman?


Duo insists on making the distinction. Frau = woman or wife, and Dame = Lady


But there's really no difference between "woman" and "lady", at least in American English. In British English, the distinction may still remain for all I know, since "Lady" and "Lord" ("Dame" and "Herr") are still used as titles-- such as Lady Diana, Lord Mountbatten.


I agree, Wolk, but for the purposes of DuoLingo, the distinction is made. Same for der Mann vs der Herr. Duo does this in Spanish, too.

I don't know if the distinctions are so strong in everyday speech in Germany and the Spanish world.

PS - In N America, do MC's still get a large audience's attention by saying "Ladies and Gentlemen! Your attention please!"? It occurred to me that "Women and Men! Your attention please!" sounds really weird. Just keeping up with my own culture!


I don't know about Canadian MP's (they're called Representatives / Senators (or collectively, Congresspeople or sometimes Congresscritters) in the US, but American politicians seem to prefer "My fellow Americans", "My fellow New Yorkers", etc.


what is the differnece in meaning by having the sentence as ' das baby zeigt ein kleid einer frau'?


None but generally, the dative object comes before the accusative object.


I wrote 'lady' and it marked me wrong, saying 'woman' was right...?


In general, "Dame" corresponds to the more formal/polite/distinguished "lady" and "Frau" to the more general "woman." There's some interchangeability between "woman" and "lady," but the best translation is "Frau" = "woman" and "Dame" = "lady." At the very least, this is what Duo expects.


Sometimes it accepts "The baby/child/ etc gives " and sometimes it accepts " the baby/child/etc is giving " but I can't tell when to use which


The verb "zeigen" means "show," not "give," so neither of those should be accepted here. But in most cases (this one included) it shouldn't matter whether you use the "shows" or "is showing" form; both are correct, and Duo accepts both.


Is the accusative the direct object and the dative the indirect object?


Sort of, though more the other way around: the direct object of a verb is put in the accusative case, and the indirect object of a verb is put in the dative case.

(The accusative and dative cases are also used for other purposes not related to being a direct or indirect object of a verb; for example, certain prepositions require a specific case after them.)


Thank you for your helpful and prompt reply


I suppose " Duo" makers or are bored, or try to show us what fools we are. haa, haa, haa ! Geniuses from "Duolingo", thinking does not hurt, really. Try it ! :)


Warum ist es "one", aber nicht "a" fur die sentence? Kann jemand erklaren?


Both "one" and "a(n)" are possible translations for ein, einer, einem etc.


Alles Klar! So they may be used interchangebly?


I'm not sure what you mean.

In English, "one" and "a(n)" cannot be used interchangeably -- it depends on whether you are counting or using the indefinite article.

In German, ein, einer, einem etc. cannot be used interchangeably -- the form will depend on the gender and case of the following noun.


I mean if you use "ein" for "One", then what do you use for "a"?


Also ein.

German doesn't make this distinction -- at least not in writing.

"one" and "an" used to be the same in Old English as well -- they split up into separate words later in English but in German the same word is still used for both meanings.

In speech, ein (eine, einem, etc.) are usually unstressed when English would use "a(n)" and stressed when English would use "one", but that's not marked in writing.


Why isn't it "einen kleid" or some other ending of ein..........??????


Because Kleid is a neuter noun.

Neuter things always look the same in the nominative and accusative cases -- in all Indo-European languages, as far as I know (from Russian to Greek, from Latin to German; even English has no separate accusative case for "it" even though it has "he/him" and "she/her").


Why can't is be : The baby show instead of "is showing"


Because the verb form is wrong. "the baby shows" would work but not "the baby show".


Obviously, these Duolingo sentences are for grammatical lessons ONLY. Context is only loosely based in reality...like having strong, agile, intelligent and highly independent babies giving fashion shows to female strangers.

Come to think of it, nearly all of Duolingos phrases dwell in unnatural messages. Dogs giving apples to a man, women showing lamps to unfamiliar boys, some guests are showing off their host's kitchen to some man, and I'm showing some kid my shoe...

I would LOVE if Duolingo would give sentences that work for real. - Something that we might actually come across or use. How about sentences that we can understand in both languages?!?

You know, unless these are actually spoken phrases (and situations) that occur in German-speaking countries, why do we practice them?

How would translating, "The moon cat screams no happy thoughts?" help anyone trying to learn English? Well, it doesn't make any more sense than a baby showing a woman a skirt.


I imagine that a lot of these odd-sounding sentences probably come from comic books, cartoon shows, computer games, regular TV shows, Märchen, etc. It would be nice to have some context.


Some sentences you get on here can be so weird.


Is there really any value in having such unnatural sentences as teaching models? I'm skeptical.


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


So you're asking if you can have a sentence with a dative and no accusative? (I'm not sure what you mean by "activated.") You can.

Some verbs simply use a dative for their objects. For instance, "Das Hemd gehört meinem Bruder"; "Mir fehlt ein Schuh"; "Ich danke meiner Frau."

And prepositions, of course, have only one noun after them that may be a dative with no accusative in sight. For instance "Ein Elefant ist in meinem Haus"; "Die Katze sitzt auf dem Tisch."


Half of Duolingo's sentences are so nonsensical...


Why can't you say "The baby is showing the woman a dress" ?


Because the German sentence uses "einer Frau" ("a woman").


Why is this incorrect: Das Baby zeigt ein Kleid einer Frau?


The dative noun phrase (here: einer Frau) should come before the accusative noun phrase.


I know that my question isn't connected to this topic, but i have no other place to ask, so forgive me, please. Does anybody know how the order of the words in one sentence looks like when we have two nebensätze, one by another? For instance, is it "Wenn ich relaxen will, es mir egal ist, was ich sehe", or "..., es ist mir egal, was ich sehe"? I'm so grateful for any kind of help that i would receive.


Wenn ich relaxen will, ist es mir egal, was ich sehe.

The main clause is es ist mir egal, with the verb in the second place.

If you put a subordinate clause at the beginning, that takes up the first place, so the verb has to come immediately afterward (to still be in second place) and the subject thus moves after the verb: es ist mir egal --> wenn ich relaxen will, ist es mir egal.


You can translate it as "shows" instead of "is showing"?


Yes. "Is showing" is probably more likely, but in the context of, for instance, the baby doing this regularly, "shows" can work too ("Every day, the baby shows a woman a dress").

German doesn't distinguish the progressive aspect, so just about any verb can be translated with either the "shows" or "is showing" form equally. (Just pick whichever sounds better in the sentence.)


How do i know that the baby is showing a dress to a woman and not a woman to the baby?


Because "das Baby" is in the nominative case (since the article is "das"), so it must be the subject, and "einer Frau" is in the dative case (because of "der"), so it's the person being given to.

("Das Baby" could be accusative of course, but there's no way to make the sentence make sense with a second accusative.)


The baby shows a dress to a woman? Why is that wrong?


"The baby shows a dress to a woman" is one of the accepted translations.


Thank you! I tried this and it worked fine!! בס״ד


The German course has the oddest sentences so far, and I'm on the Polish course.


Curious why its "ein kleid" and not "einen kleid".



Curious why its "ein kleid" and not "einen kleid".

Because Kleid is neuter, not masculine.

Only masculine words have a separate form for the accusative -- for neuter, feminine, or plural words, the accusative looks like the nominative, e.g. ein Kleid.

Also, Kleid is a noun and therefore has to be capitalised.


"The baby shows a dress to a woman." was accepted.



What's the pronounciation difference between "Einer" and "Eine"?


What's the pronounciation difference between "Einer" and "Eine"?

eine ends in shwa -- the neutral, central, unstressed vowel found in English in "About, circUs, sUpply".

einer ends in [ɐ], which is also a central vowel but a lower one, between shwa and a full vowel [a]. So einer nearly sounds as if it were spelled eina.


Why does Duo mark sentences such as "The baby SHOWS a dress to the woman" wrong, and replace them with "The baby IS SHOWING a dress to the woman." They are the same in German.


Why does Duo mark sentences such as "The baby SHOWS a dress to the woman" wrong,

Because einer Frau is "to a woman" and not "to the woman".

and replace them with "The baby IS SHOWING a dress to the woman."

I think it probably shows the correction as "The baby is showing a dress to a woman" instead.

Do you have a screenshot showing Duo correcting to a sentence containing "to the woman"?

As for which correction to show: Duo used to try to pick the accepted sentence that was closest to what the learner typed, if the learner's sentence wasn't one of the accepted sentences. But Duo's idea of what was "closest" often bore little resemblance to what a human would have picked.

I think now if there is a mistake, Duo simply picks the default sentence to show users -- which in this case contains "is showing".


why is "the child shows a dress to a woman" incorrect??


Because "Baby" should be translated as "baby" (an infant), not "child" (any young person under the age of around 12).


At the srart I flipped it (the women shows the baby) because I thought that the translation is wrong


In English, a baby is a very young person. There's no hard and fast definition of when someone stops being a baby. Some people continue to use the word for toddlers and others don't. But I wouldn't expect a baby to take the initiative to show a dress to a woman.

What is the German conception of who is a baby? Is it typical for someone who is old enough to show off a dress to still be called a baby?


The meaning is no different in German. Not all Duolingo sentences make logical sense; you will certainly find many sentences with even more implausible scenarios than this.


Thanks. I know that German bears don't drink beer and wear dresses, but it would be plausible for a child to still be called a baby at age three in one country but not another. I'm fine with sentences that make sense, ones that make no sense but can help distinguish between similar words, or even ones that are meant to be funny. It's only a problem when I can't tell.


Is it actually a problem though? What difference does it make to your translation if the sentence makes sense or not?

According to dictionaries I checked (and my own experience), "Baby" usually refers to a very young child that would probably not have the volition to show something to someone, and that's most likely what the intention of the sentence is.


I wish the sentences would be a bit more useful for day to day stuff... Not sure I ever had to say such a thing about a baby.... Not much use


I agree. I understand that the main purpose is to teach the dative, but I'd rather that they go back and use many of the nouns that we learned in the past, and substitute them in. I don't care if it's a dress or a bread or an egg, as long as I have to think about which articles to use. It would also be good for them to use some of those words in the nominative, simply so we could recall the gender through regular use.

Meaningful sentences would be nice, but what's worse is not knowing whether a sentence is meaningful because I don't know whether it would make sense to a German. In English, a baby is a very young person. It's open ended. Could somebody old enough to show a dress to somebody still be called a baby? Probably. But whether or not that would be true in Germany would depend on culture, and without being told one way or another, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that Germans might still use the word for a child who is probably too old to be called a baby in other places. So I can't tell if the sentence was done so that I could understand German culture better or whether I'm supposed to assume that if it's idiotic in English, it must be equally strange in German.


"The baby is showing a woman a dress" is marked as incorrect. I have used the sub/vb/indirect obj/direct obj in other sentences, which have been accepted, so why not in this?


"The baby is showing a woman a dress" is marked as incorrect.

That would surprise me; that's one of the accepted translation alternatives.

Do you have a screenshot showing that answer being rejected?


Thank you for your prompt response. No, unfortunately I do not. However, each time I have used that translation it has been marked as incorrect and gives the "The baby is showing a dress to a woman". I am just starting to get my head around the def/indefinite articles and case so this is really confusing.


Why is no one talking about the baby dress salesman?


The subject is showing to a(n) character, an object.
Makes perfect sense, even in today's English. There are times I feel this course is set or edited by someone who is not a native English speaker!


"The baby is showing to a woman a dress" does not sound like a natural word order to me at all. Even if it makes sense, it sounds odd.


Why is it "ein Kleid" and not "einen Kleid"?


Why is it "ein Kleid" and not "einen Kleid"?

einen is masculine accusative.

Kleid is neuter.

So you need neuter accusative ein Kleid.


I want to understand how this baby is showing the dress. Is it putting on a fashion show? Is it pulling samples as a stylist? Must be one very very advanced baby.


This is ticking me off. I put the baby is showing a woman a dress which makes perfect sense, and it follows the structure of the sentence in German. Other questions asking you to go from English to German have sentences structurally similar to what I wrote. I'm tired of guessing which way Duo wants English sentences written since they apparently don't know themselves.


I put the baby is showing a woman a dress

And it was accepted, right?

I'm not sure what your question is?


Mine should have been right too. I said showing to the woman a dress.


I said showing to the woman a dress.

That's wrong for two reasons:

  • We don't use "to" when the recipient comes first (we say "she shows me a dress" or "she shows the woman a dress", not "she shows to me a dress" or "she shows to the woman a dress"
  • einer Frau is "(to) a woman", not "(to) the woman"

[deactivated user]

    why are you so inconsistant? e\most times when I change the order of words you accept. cld you try letting me in on some secret grammar knowledge??????????????? Suppose that wld not provide duo with its fun - our distress.


    "The infant shows a woman a dress." rejected.
    "The infant shows a dress to a woman." rejected.
    "The infant shows a dress to one woman." rejected.

    "The babe shows one woman one dress." accepted.



    It should be einen kleid right as kleid takes accusative form


    "Kleid" is neuter gender. So we need the neuter accusative form, which is just "ein"; "einen" is for masculine accusative.


    This sentence makes no sense, I think that's just a way to fail people on a hearing test when they are supposed to translate such sentence...


    Why does the correct answer "ein Kleid" instead of "einem Kleid". I am wondering why is this part of the sentance is not dative case?


    Sentences don't have cases. Individual nouns have cases based on their particular roles in the sentence. So the subject of a sentence goes in the nominative case, a direct object takes the accusative, an indirect object takes dative, and so forth.

    In this sentence we have three different nouns that are each going to take a different case. "Das Baby" is the subject, so is nominative. "Einer Frau" is the indirect object (who the dress is given to), so is dative. "Ein Kleid" is the direct object (the item actually being given), so is accusative.


    why is it that in some of these senteces we say "ein kleid" and so "einem kleid"?


    why is it that in some of these senteces we say "ein kleid" and so "einem kleid"?

    Those are both wrong; Kleid is always capitalised.

    It's ein Kleid in the nominative and accusative cases (e.g. das ist ein Kleid and ich gebe meiner Tochter ein Kleid), einem Kleid in the dative case (e.g. mit einem Kleid).


    I put the sentence the other way round. The baby is showing a woman a dress. It means exactly the same thing. Why did it mark it wrong?


    Why did it mark it wrong?

    It didn't. "The baby is showing a woman a dress" is an accepted translation.

    Do you have any evidence of Duolingo rejecting that sentence as a translation? A screenshot, for example, that you can share with us by uploading it to a website somewhere and telling us the URL?


    This one keeps coming up red. Why?


    This one keeps coming up red. Why?

    Impossible to say, because nobody can see what exercise you had nor what you wrote. You will have to show us -- upload your screenshot to a website somewhere, please (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image.


    Shouldn't be 'einem Kleid'?


    Shouldn't be 'einem Kleid'?

    No. The dress is the direct object, the thing which "undergoes" the showing, so it's in the accusative case.

    It's not the indirect object, the "recipient" of the showing -- that would be the woman.


    Why is "The baby shows a dress to a woman" incorrect, because it isn't.


    Why is "The baby shows a dress to a woman" incorrect

    It isn't.

    Do you have a screenshot showing Duolingo rejecting that sentence in a translation exercise? If so, please share it with us -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and post the URL of the image here. Thank you!


    "The baby is showing a woman a dress" is grammatically correct, and should have been accepted


    "The baby is showing a woman a dress" is grammatically correct, and should have been accepted

    Of course.

    If your answer was rejected, then I'll bet you 50 lingots that you made a mistake.

    For example, writing a word wrongly, or replying in English to a "type what you hear" exercise where the voice spoke German.

    If you have a screenshot that shows the question you had and the answer you gave, then please upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and post the URL in the comment here.

    Tag me with @mizinamo #bugbounty and if the mistake is on Duolingo's end, I'll give you 50 lingots. (And see whether I can help fix it.)

    If the mistake is on your end, I'll explain what it was.

    Edit: I see a report from around the same time as your comment asking for the sentence

    The baby is a showing a woman a dress

    to be accepted as an answer.

    Was that, perhaps, what you wrote?

    In that case, the error is in writing "is a showing" instead of "is showing".

    This sort of thing is why I ask for screenshots, by the way -- re-typing your answer can easily correct such inadvertent mistakes and so what people write here in the comment threads is not necessarily what they actually wrote, even if it's what they meant to write or what they thought they wrote.


    Why are the sentences in Duolingo often so nonsensical? They don't represent what people say in real life.


    Id like to see you try and explain the scenario to this one


    This is a shocking example Duo Lingo, please fix this sentence, whenever would a baby show a woman a dress?

    Unless there is some sort of cultural difference between babies and children (age-wise) in Germany. Babies generally crawl, so it's more appropriate to say 'child' by the time a baby was able to actually walk and show an item to an adult for comparison/analysis!

    It's just unnecessary complexity that trips the learner up, it causes the learner to focus more on meaning logic rather than on sentence syntax, evident by the hundreds of posts on this task!


    Am I mistaken in assuming that "Baby" is a loanword from English? If not, did the Germans really not have a specific word for a person who's only a year or so old, or did "Baby" replace some other word that was used before (like "Kindchen" or something)?


    Am I mistaken in assuming that "Baby" is a loanword from English?

    It is indeed a loanword from English.

    Some words for very young children include Säugling ("suckling", i.e. literally a baby that still gets breastfed) and Kleinkind ("small-child").

    But Baby has become an extremely common word.

    Don't be afraid to use loanwords -- not using some loanwords will mark you as a foreigner!

    (As another example, if you use Schreibstube instead of Büro, people will look at you very strangely. And Gesichtserker instead of Nase is simply ridiculous.)


    Thanks! A lot of loanwords seem to be for modern creations (I'm reminded of my high school Spanish lessons including "los bluejeans"), which makes sense-- this thing didn't exist before, but the people who invented it call it "X." But infants have been around longer than any language, so it seemed unlikely to me that German wouldn't have had a home-grown word for them, even if that term has been supplanted by an English import.


    Okay, but can we talk about the elefant in the room? Why the hell is the verb "to show" make for a dative recipient?


    Why the hell is the verb "to show" make for a dative recipient?

    Recipients are generally in the dative case in German.

    I buy you a book.

    I show you a book.

    I give you a book.

    I explain the book to you.

    I tell you a story.

    I introduce the teacher to you.

    In all of those cases, German would use the dative case for the recipient of the giving/showing/telling/…:

    Ich kaufe dir ein Buch. Ich zeige dir ein Buch. Ich gebe dir ein Buch. Ich erkläre dir das Buch. Ich erzähle dir eine Geschicht. Ich stelle dir den Lehrer vor.

    Out of curiosity, what would you have expected, and why?

    How would you have expected the two objects of "show" to be distinguished? (1 - the thing which gets shown; 2 - the person who perceives the thing)


    My answer is right but it is considered as wrong. Why is that?


    it is considered as wrong. Why is that?

    Probably because you made a mistake.

    Since nobody can see what you wrote, nobody can tell you exactly where your mistake was.

    The next time this happens, please make a screenshot showing the question and your answer, upload the screenshot to a website somewhere such as imgur or postimage, and include the URL of the image in your comment asking for help.

    Thank you!


    Actually, that's a baby girl that is going to be very picky, and is showing the woman the dress that she wants.


    Why is it not einen Kleid?


    Because it's neuter accusative, and the neuter accusative form of the article is just "ein." (A masculine noun would take "einen" in the accusative, though.)


    The fast audio sounds like "Das Baby zeigt eine Frau ein Kleid.", which can be very misleading if I'm only given audio. I've got it correct only because I knew that eine would be incorreect there.


    Note that German's "-er" ending does not make the English "r" sound; it's just a vowel sound that sounds similar to "ah." The "-e" and "-er" endings can sound very similar if you aren't familiar with hearing the distinction, so it's not surprising that you heard "einer" as "eine."

    I recommend you listen to these pronunciations of "eine" and "einer" to better hear the difference.


    Why can't it be "The baby shows a woman a dress"? Means the same thing, is it just the syntax?


    What's up with this baby?


    Why is "The baby is showing a woman a dress" wrong


    Why is "The baby is showing a woman a dress" wrong

    As a translation, it isn't wrong.

    Do you have a screenshot of that answer being rejected in a translation exercise?

    Did you have a listening exercise, perhaps?


    ( Das Baby zeigt ein Kleid einer Frau ). Is that also right ??


    Feb 5, 2017 - Check out the posts below starting with lapetitoiseau. az_p has provided a very excellent link where the word order is discussed. Dative and Accusative object placement is less than a quarter the way down the page. https://yourdailygerman.com/2015/01/07/german-word-order/


    why not child but just baby?


    Because not all children are babies.

    A five-year-old is a child but no longer a baby, for example.


    I typed "The baby is showing to a woman a dress" Duo said it's wrong. Is Duo right to say I was wrong?


    I believe so.

    Using "to" when the indirect object comes first sounds wrong to me.

    Either "The baby is showing a woman a dress" or "The baby is showing a dress to a woman".


    Little irritated.....how is "the baby is showing a dress to a woman" and "the baby shows a dress to a woman" any different in this instance?


    Why is it not 'Das Baby zeigt einer Frau einen Kleid."?


    This question has already been asked and answered multiple times on this page. Do a search for "einen" on this page.


    Wow that's one ridiculous sentence.


    I like these weird sentences.


    Nice for yourself - but not all people like such infantile sentences. )-:


    Wow man if it bothers you that much then stop using duolingo. There are other apps you can use. Jeez. Get over it already. It's just a sentence


    why would a baby do such a thing? Its a baby!!! Makes the lesson confusing :(


    I'm kind of surprised that DuoLingo doesn't do more stuff like this just to "really" test us. "Okay, logically I think I know what the sentence says, but it doesn't make sense. Do I have the guts to trust myself."


    "The baby shows to a woman a dress" why ist it incorrect?


    That's not how we would normally phrase the sentence in English. Better is "The baby shows a woman a dress" or "The baby shows a dress to a woman."


    the baby is showing the woman a dress - why not acceptable


    The German sentence has "einer Frau" ("a woman").


    Why not 'das baby zeigt einer Frau einen Kleid' ?


    "Kleid" is neuter gender, so you need the neuter (accusative) form of the article: "ein Kleid." The "einen" form would be appropriate for a masculine noun, e.g. "Das Baby zeigt einer Frau einen Hut."


    Why not use 'einen Kleid ' instead of 'ein'? Please respond, danke.


    "Kleid" is neuter gender. Neuter nouns take "ein" in the accusative, not "einen."


    You can also say: The baby is showing a dress to the woman


    No, you need to translate "einer Frau" as "a woman."


    Why is this sentence using einer with Frau?


    Why is this sentence using einer with Frau?

    Please re-read the comment threads started by Ann390834 and Kycor.


    Why isn't it einen Kleid? This is the accusative case isn't it?


    This question has already been asked (by kitsifetske) and answered (by me :) ).



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