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  5. "Ich sah ihn laufen."

"Ich sah ihn laufen."

Translation:I saw him running.

November 21, 2013



Could this not also be "I saw him walking?" Laufen is not necessarily restricted to running as rennen is, so whats up?


That's the way I went, it was rejected and this is what I got:

Correct solutions: • I saw him walk. • I saw him running.

So it accepts walk and runinng, but not walking? Rather inconsistent...

  • 1624

Report it! "I saw him run" is accepted as well.


Other lessons on duo use laufen as walk, and dict.cc has walk as the second top hit. So, I'm inclined to agree with you. However, dict.cc also has laufen mainly as run by a large margin, so maybe this whole thing is a duolingo inconsistency.


    It's accepted now.

    For what it's worth, I remember hearing some Germans speaking once and someone said Ich bin geflaufen, aber nicht schnell... so it seems that even native-speakers sometimes they need to clarify whether it means running or walking.

    • 1728

    Maybe they walked a bit (gehen), then run a bit (rennen), and then walked some more and then run some more and so on, and to average it they say laufen?

    Could be laufen = (gehen + rennen) / 2? :)


    laufen,rennen = running / gehen = walking; But laufen is colloquially (umgangssprachlich) used for gehen aswell (maybe not in all german speaking areas)


    As in Dutch --> lopen = walking


    how is the grammatical information here? two verbs in one sentence? In English, we say I saw he was running right?


    Why is "laufen" in its infinitive form here if "ihn" is doing something in the past?


    Verbs of perception and some other verbs (hören, sehen, spüren, lassen, others I can't think of off the top of my head) can take a dependent infinitive, sort of like modal verbs. As in English, the subject of the infinitive (the person or thing performing the action) is usually in the accusative case.

    There are some finer points (a lot, actually), and I don't know if Duolingo teaches them: z.B., Ich lasse mir die Haare schneiden when someone has something done to/for someone, including himself, or Wir helfen dem Kind lesen where the principal verb takes an object in the dative case.

    I skipped these lessons, so I don't know for sure, but doesn't Duolingo give you a page of grammar before you get to the exercises? At any rate, you should get a German grammar book for reference while you're learning. Duolingo is a good beginning, but really just that--a beginning!


    I'm not sure, but what I can tell is that "ihn" is being used in the accusative case here, and as an object, it can't be doing something. Hopefully someone will answer this because I want to know too.


    What is the difference between "laufen" and "rennen", besides that the former can also mean "to walk"? Danke!


    .Rennen is run.

    Laufen is run or walk, depending on context--also run when talking about films and go when talking about projects.


    Does this mean, "I saw him running." Or, "I saw him while I was running." I just figure that the masculine pronoun should be in the nominative rather than accusative case since he's running.


    I saw him run/running, and the masculine pronoun is not in the nominative case in English either. The idea is that you saw him--the infinitive just adds more information.


    "I saw him run" and "I saw him running" have two different meanings in English. First is you watched him do it from start to finish, latter is you had a glimpse during the act. (If i'm not mistaken) is there a way to express this difference in German?


    While there are definitely nuances between the two, neither past progressive nor simple past imply you saw (or didn't see) the whole thing.

    "I saw him run in the marathon." = "I saw him running in the marathon."

    https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/simpas-paspro http://www.5minuteenglish.com/mar10.htm


    Thank you for your answer. I was refering to cases where one is the whole thing and the other is a glimpse. Here are some references: http://www.pearsonlongman.com/ae/azar/grammar_ex/message_board/archive/articles/00066.htm http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/verb-patterns/hear-see-etc-object-infinitive-or-ing

    I understand now that in some cases, both forms mean "seeing part of the progress". That leaves me a bit confused, though keywords may help I guess (i.e.: marathon, hard to observe the whole thing)

    My question was how to express the nuance (when there is) in German.


    So, he's doing the running. If I was doing the running it would be: Ich sah ihn während ich läufte? - I saw him while I was running.


    Ich sah ihn während ich lief.

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