Translation:The baby is showing a dress to a woman.
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?
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).
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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
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".
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.
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 )
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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").
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.
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."
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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,
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".
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?
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 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.
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.
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 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"
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.
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"?
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).
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?
Why is "The baby shows a dress to a woman" incorrect
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
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.
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?
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.
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)
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.
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."
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/