"I give an apple to her dog."

Translation:Ich gebe ihrem Hund einen Apfel.

2 years ago

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Inessa
Inessa
  • 22
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2

Why isn't "Ich gebe einen Apfel ihrem Hund" accepted?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

If you have two noun phrases ("einen Apfel" + "ihrem Hund"), one dative and one accusative, then you should generally put the dative one first.

The other order is not wrong per se, but rather less usual and is used for emphasis.

(If the direct object and/or the indirect object are pronouns, then the word order rules are different.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ebotchl
Ebotchl
  • 23
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Honestly the English sentence should be I give her dog an apple.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markbooth
markbooth
  • 23
  • 14
  • 13
  • 5
  • 29

Why? Both are equivalent in English and Duolingo is teaching us how German grammar differs from English grammar.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HeidiBerry5

Duolingo is 'teaching' us that.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mijiti

Could you please elaborate on the different rules when pronouns are involved please?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

If you have one noun and one pronoun, the pronoun comes first:

  • Ich gebe ihr einen Apfel (I give her an apple - indirect object pronoun comes first)
  • Ich gebe ihn meiner Schwester (I give it to my sister - direct object pronoun comes first)

If you have two pronouns, the direct object pronoun comes first:

  • Ich gebe ihn ihr (I give her it - direct object pronoun comes first, opposite order of English and opposite order of when you have two nouns)

By comparison, and as a reminder, with two nouns, the indirect object comes first:

  • Ich gebe meiner Schwester einen Apfel (I give my sister an apple)
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psebastianrc

Hey, mizinamo. I reply to the original post because it seems like I can't reply directly to your reply.

Thanks for the explanation. It seems very logical when you put it like that.

And, well, I meant to say that it's not common in English to say something like "I give her it" (that's why you need prepositional phrases). Again, I might be wrong, but I think I haven't heard something like that (unless it's informal speech).


If you don't mind, of course: what is your native language? Mine is Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

True, "I give her it" and similar is less common in English.

My native languages are English and German. (My father's from England, my mother from Germany; I grew up in Germany but went to school through English.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickVroman

Thanks for this very helpful explanation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psebastianrc

Well, actually when you have two pronouns in English, it's the same "direct object first" order. E.g. "I give it to her", "He gives that to them", "We give these to you".

It's said that it sounds more natural this way. Probably just a matter of style, I think, developed over time (as almost everything in languages).

http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/indirectobject.htm

You can certainly find it the other way around, but it seems to me that it is informal. (Maybe I'm wrong)

On the other hand, wouldn't the accusative form of the "es" pronoun be "es"? Thus saying "Ich gebe es ihr".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

"I give it to her" is not two pronouns next to each other; it's one pronoun and then a prepositional phrase containing another one.

And the accusative of "es" is indeed "es", and "Ich gebe es ihr" is correct if you are referring to neuter objects such as "das Buch" -- but I was using a masculine object, "der Apfel", in my examples, so you have "er" or, in the accusative, "ihn".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanBeaty1
SeanBeaty1
  • 25
  • 25
  • 620

This is extremely helpful; thanks so much.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonkunKotona
JonkunKotona
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2

I assume "ihrem Hund" would be the emphasized phrase in the end. But doesn't that mean that it's an acceptable translation? You could use the corresponding English sentence ("I give an apple to her dog.") to emphasize "her dog" after all.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OsoGegenHest
OsoGegenHest
  • 17
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Other Duolingo sentences have it the other way round.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/islem448802

Why is einen apfel in akkusative ?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Because it's the direct object of the verb geben -- it is the thing that "undergoes" the giving, the thing that is given.

Note: it's einen Apfel with capital A.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WolfVonPosen

But in other dativ quest duo except accusative first O_o

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Do you mean "expects" or "accepts"? "Excepts" doesn't seem to fit the sentence's meaning.

The accusative is first when it is a pronoun, e.g. Ich gebe sie der Frau where sie = die Blume.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WolfVonPosen

Ah yes should be "accepts" (this phonetic :V) So "Ich gebe einem Mann den" isnt correct?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Your sentence is not complete -- Ich gebe einem Mann den is indeed not correct because there is no noun after den.

Ich gebe einem Mann den Apfel is completely fine, for example -- dative noun before accusative noun is the usual word order.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Big_See
Big_See
  • 25
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • 7

As much as I am grateful for the replies above, as I'm sure the OP is, it still seems to me an inconsistency, especially when other questions allow the reverse order as a valid response.

While it's a fantastic app, after all this time I really wish Duolingo would provide a bit more clarity around questions of formality vs correctness. Being "informal" is not generally a good enough reason to mark something as incorrect, IMHO (assuming that is the only reason).

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Curran919

Why must the accusative come after the dative if neither are pronouns?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

It doesn't have to but I think that's the most common (and natural-sounding) order in general.

Putting the dative at the end would emphasise it: I give an apple to her dog (perhaps in contrast to: and not to her cat).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mbd-morgan

Can someone explain the different genders, conjunctions and cases for each part of this sentence please? I cant quite figure out what is what.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • Ich: I. Nominative, because it's the subject of the sentence.
  • gebe: give. This is in the first person singular to agree with the subject "ich". It's in the present tense.
  • ihrem: masculine dative form of "ihr", the possessive determiner meaning "her" or "their" (i.e. belong to one female person or feminine object, or to multiple people or objects). This is dative because the dog is the recipient of the giving (the indirect object of "geben"), and masculine because the dog is grammatically masculine (der Hund).
  • Hund: dog. This is in the dative case but you can't tell because that noun doesn't change endings in the dative singular.
  • einen: masculine accusative form of "ein". Accusative because the apple is the thing being given; it's the direct object of "geben", and masculine because the apple is grammatically masculine (der Apfel).
  • Apfel: apple. This is in the accusative case but again, you can't tell this from the noun itself.

In each case, all parts of a noun phrase are in the same case: "ihrem Hund" both in the dative, "einen Apfel" both in the accusative. You can't tell the case with these nouns but you can with some others.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sprlmnl

That is by far the best, clearest explanation I have yet seen. You've answered many of my questions with this answer. Thank you very much.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mbd-morgan

Perfect! Thank you. By cross referencing that with some charts, it now makes complete sense to me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/parasdox

Really confused. On this chart masculine dative is "ihren" not "ihrem" : https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/pronouns/possessive-pronouns

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Where do you see that?

I see two charts on that page, and for both of them, "dative - m/n - sie" is "ihrem".

Are you looking in the dative plural line or accusative masculine by mistake?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bekir978479

Ich gebe einen Apfel zu ihrem Hund? Would it be wrong if put in ''zu''? Kommt zu mir? When do I put the zu I do not understand.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Yes, it would be wrong in this sentence.

zu is something like "with the destination of" or "up to" in your sentence and is used for movement, but not for things such as the recipient of giving.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chiliscam
chiliscam
  • 18
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

should "ihre Hundin" be accepted?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

No - it would have to be "ihrer Hündin" (ihrer in dative case, Hündin with umlaut).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chiliscam
chiliscam
  • 18
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2

thank you :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/August3000

Sorry but wouldn't it actually be "ihren Hundin" because plural pronouns in the dative case take the -n, -en ending

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

There is no German word Hundin.

I was using Hündin (with umlaut -- or write Huendin if you can't make the umlaut) which refers to one female dog, so it takes ihrer (feminine dative).

The English sentence is about "to my dog" (singular), not "to my dogs" (plural).

If it had been plural, it would have been meinen Hunden (dogs in general) or meinen Hündinnen (female dogs). Note that the plural of Hund is Hunden with -en, not with -in.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/__cayac__
__cayac__
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 1001

Should 'Ich schenke ihrem Hund einen Apfel' be acceptable, or is there something about 'schenken' that means you can't use it here?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

schenken is used for presents... it sounds a bit odd to me to give a dog presents, but I suppose you might give them a special bone on their birthday.

But an apple as a present? That sounds a bit too formal for me.

Also, "give as a present" implies a transfer of ownership, but for food, I usually just let the dog eat it without first conveying the ownership of the food to the dog.

It's different with, say, a gift of chocolates to someone else: there, it's not a case of the other person being allowed to eat my chocolates, because I do give them the chocolates with the intention of conveying ownership to them so that afterwards they are that person's chocolates.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/__cayac__
__cayac__
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 1001

Thanks for the clarification. For some reason Duolingo teaches 'schenken' with the sentence 'Sie schenkt ihm ein Schwein'. Strangely, I never picked up on the 'present' subtext there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/capt.cacan

ok, i kinda understand the reason of the order "ich gebe ihrem Hund einen Apfel", but this literally means, "I give her dog an apple". How would it be "I give an apple to her dog?". I am not sure how to say this in german correctly

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

You would say those sentences the same way in German.

They mean the same thing.

In English you have the option to put the indirect object before the direct object, or to mark it with "to" and put it after it.

In German, if you have two nouns as objects, the indirect object (usually) comes first.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/capt.cacan

Oh, I see... let me see if I get this straight, then there is no other correct way around in German. Interesting, I thought that German being so close to English had that second order option... Thank you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AZAizaz1

Ich gebe einen Apfel zu ihrem Hund. why wrong?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Because the recipient of geben is marked only by the dative in German, not by zu plus dative.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CallumJudd1

zu often indicates movement too

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Drucicha

This word order is confusing... I've had to translate "wir geben das Buch einem Mann" just before, would this sentence also sound weird to a german ear or would the order of the objects also be influenced the usage of a definite or indefinite article?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Wir geben das Buch einem Mann sounds a bit unusual or marked to me - as if you want to emphasise that you give the book to a MAN (and not a WOMAN).

The neutral word order puts the dative object first, if both are nouns / noun phrases.

But you're right, I think the use of definite/indefinite article is part of the reason as well: indefinite articles are usually for new information, definite articles for old or known information, and new information often comes at the end of a sentence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewRangerG
AndrewRangerG
  • 23
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 5

I always subconciously see the dative as a 'to-article'

ihrem > to her thing

dem > to the

einem > to a

Is this a false assumption?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Yes and no.

That translation often works, but German sometimes uses dative where English does not use "to" (e.g. ich folge dem Mann "I follow the man", not "I follow to the man"; ich kaufe einem Kind ein Geschenk "I buy a child a present" or "I buy a present for a child", not "I buy a present to a child").

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Botulf
Botulf
  • 12
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

why do duo insist on feeding dogs apples and vice versa . is that how the first men befriended the wild dogs? is duo trying to teach us history aswell

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thatguy94
Thatguy94
  • 23
  • 11
  • 6
  • 6

Why does the word order change from english to german?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
Mod
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Because in German, the indirect object (the recipient) nearly always comes before the direct object if both objects are noun phrases.

In English, you have the choice between "I give her dog an apple" and "I give an apple to her dog"; in German, only the first of those works.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VolatileSky

I think part of why those of us that are learning this for the first time are frustrated, is prior lessons reinforced "ihrem" as "to her", and this leads to not just being incorrect, but second guessing what we just learned. The lesson could be a bit more clear regarding this usage?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JSavageIII

So most exercises accept accusative and dative in either order (assuming there is an article), but this one: nope. Just randomly denied. sigh...

1 month ago
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.

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