"Hast du Eltern?"

Translation:Do you have parents?

1/7/2013, 7:05:34 PM

91 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/darmendariz1998

Batman?

2/8/2014, 3:42:25 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/shayok

Harry Potter?

8/31/2014, 5:22:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleDino

"Voldemort meine Eltern getötet."

5/23/2015, 6:35:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

The verb has to go second.

  • Voldemort hat meine Eltern getötet

or maybe

  • Voldemort tötete meine Eltern

but I expect the first one is more likely.

6/3/2015, 12:54:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleDino

What is the difference between my/your sentence(s)?

6/3/2015, 6:32:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

[Edit, sorry, I didn't see either of your responses before posting or I would have saved you a little more grammatical fuss. Anyway, there's my shot at an explanation.]

Suppose you wanted to talk about eating apples. You could say,

  • I ate apples.

  • I have eaten apples.

but not

  • I apples eaten.

  • I eaten apples.

because a past particle cannot stand on its own; you need the "have." It's the same with this sentence. "Getötet" means "killed," yes, but "killed" could be part of two different sentences

  • Voldemort killed my parents. (Here "killed" works like "ate")

  • Voldemort has killed my parents. (Here "killed" works like "eaten")

In German, those are two totally different words. Literally:

  • Voldemort killed my parents. = Voldemort tötete meine Eltern.

  • Voldemort has killed my parents. = Voldemort hat meine Eltern getötet.

Except, using the simple past tense is not actually very common at all in German, unlike English, and tends to get replaced with the past participle construction; that is, even though in English it sounds most natural to say "Voldemort killed my parents," in German it is much more natural to say "Voldemort hat meine Eltern getötet." You can verify this for yourself by putting each sentence in turn into Google within quotation marks so that it shows you only exact results. When I just did this, I got only one result for, "Voldemort tötete meine Eltern" and 934 for "Voldemort hat meine Eltern getötet."

6/3/2015, 7:18:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sninguistics
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Your sentence didn't have a verb. getötet is a participle, and needs to go with a main verb (haben).

So his sentence means 'Voldemort has killed my parents'. If you want to say just 'Voldemort killed my parents', you can't use getötet. You must use tötete like in his second sentence.

6/3/2015, 7:01:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleDino

@Sninguistics Them my sentence translated to something like "Voldemort, kill, my parents"? (The 'kill' being grammatically inappropriate)

This is a lot of German grammatical fuss over a tragedy.

6/3/2015, 7:13:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/nona.2.10

Voldemort hat meine Eltern getötet.

6/7/2015, 5:37:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/alphaspegal

I was a boy. Now, I'm a bat!

11/20/2014, 4:59:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Matin677721

-you gotta S in case we forgot what its for stupid boy. -its my people symbol for hope -Hope starts with an H stupid...

5/13/2017, 9:59:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Songhan21

Half of DC superheroes?

6/2/2015, 9:10:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/varkay00
5/9/2015, 7:40:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/GivingTree06

No. I'm Batman. SSSHHHH!!

5/5/2016, 8:41:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ferno9107
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Frodo?

11/21/2018, 4:23:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zoidb

Adam

7/6/2017, 3:30:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/OfirMarom

Hahahaha

5/5/2014, 11:24:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cristti

F*ck, beat me to it.

5/3/2014, 6:31:34 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TreyzMeName

lol

9/30/2015, 10:38:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/castaner
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That's a good conversation starter

11/1/2014, 10:06:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/nivishsharma

lol

2/18/2015, 6:24:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/EliRath

Nein, ich bin vom Himmel gefallen. :p

9/25/2014, 4:16:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/nefter
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Sad question. Yes, we all do have parents, but not forever.

7/22/2014, 1:46:35 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/BojanPekic

And we all have legs, right?

2/22/2015, 7:41:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/nefter
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No, not everyone. I note certain "obviousness" in my comment, but don't you know disabled people since they born? As far as I know, I have never known somebody without biological ancestors.

2/23/2015, 3:27:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/minouche.b

What is the singular of this word ? How do we say one parent ?

8/22/2014, 11:54:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/garreth.br

"Ein Elternteil". Very rarely used.

11/7/2014, 12:55:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/justinpease

Why is it rare that only one parent is spoken of?

8/9/2016, 2:06:35 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/OgnjenG.

I don't know, but this word itself does not have singular, it is always plural - Die Eltern.

9/22/2014, 12:55:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Armistice023

Usually you'll say, "My parents" Otherwise, when speaking of a specific parent (ok, I can see that a singular word would work in that sense), you'd just say, "My mom/ dad"

9/27/2014, 4:05:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sninguistics
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What about 'Have a parent sign this form'?

5/24/2015, 4:41:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Xerbuki
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'Lass einen deiner Eltern dieses Formular unterschreiben' (Have one of your parents sign this form) if you want to be exact, but since one signature is normally enough you would just say 'Lass deine Eltern dieses Formular unterschreiben' (Have your parents sign this form)

6/3/2015, 4:40:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sninguistics
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Nicht so schlecht! There are always workarounds if native speakers don't want to say something! Danke schön!

6/4/2015, 5:58:06 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Inguin-freyr
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Then what is a single-parent household called?

12/8/2015, 4:22:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/igille4731

Elternteil is how you say one

12/18/2014, 1:20:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PatrickBau3

Nein, ich bin ein Spielzeug

7/7/2014, 8:53:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/4of92000

Is this understood to mean "Do you have parents here?" at a party or something?

10/17/2013, 4:23:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Xristian

Isn't this question a little... rude?

4/20/2014, 1:22:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DieterKunz
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This makes no sense. Everyone has parents.

10/5/2013, 8:02:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheWingGundam

Ever heard of Batman?

7/18/2014, 12:44:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/F4V9XR
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C'mon! Only God has no parents.

3/14/2019, 6:15:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
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It makes sense; it only needs the context. It's not a sentence you'd imagine between adults, but perhaps from an orphaned child to someone else.

10/12/2013, 11:02:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanx666

It can make sense in context. it is a question which enquires whether one's parents are alive or not.

11/12/2013, 4:14:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/F4V9XR
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And still, to God everyone is alive.

3/14/2019, 6:17:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MiloMonsterLove

Not everone...

6/13/2014, 7:26:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ashley292371

Thats true i bave parents but there not my real parents. My real parents were killed in a shooting accident.

8/16/2018, 11:26:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/F4V9XR
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But still you talk about your "real" parents. And even if they passed away, to God everyone is alive.

3/14/2019, 6:17:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Gavdolia

I agree this is odd translated this way in English. (It sounds vaguely offensive to me, like, "Were you born in a barn?") I'm not sure what a German would mean with this question. Is it, "Are your parents living?" or "Are you adopted?"

1/12/2014, 2:18:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
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Look up "orphan"

7/18/2014, 11:19:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ByrtheBoma

Not everyone

12/21/2013, 10:23:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

What?

12/24/2013, 1:21:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
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In the sense of living parents; this is especially likely to be applied to the circumstances of one who never knew their parents.

12/24/2013, 1:47:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/YukiShinozaki

Hast du eltern? Why was hast first? But when translated: Do you have parents.. Im confused..

1/29/2015, 10:00:00 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

In German, questions are formed in two ways.

1) By adding a question word, such as "warum," "wo," "wer," "wie," "welcher," etc.

Where are my shoes? = Wo sind meine Schuhe?

Who is talking? = Wer spricht?

2) By inverting the subject and the verb. We do this in English, too, actually, it's just that we often drop the "do" in positive statement, which makes it less obvious.

He is talking. --> Is he talking? (Er spricht. --> Spricht er?)

You will go. --> Will you go? (Du wirst gehen. --> Wirst du gehen?)

She has seen it. --> Has she seen it? (Sie hat es gesehen. --> Hat sie es gesehen?)

They are there. --> Are they there? (Sie sind da. --> Sind sie da?)

We (do) have bread. --> Do we have bread? (Wir haben Brot. --> Haben wir Brot?)

I (do) eat an apple. --> Do I eat an apple? (Ich esse einen Apfel. --> Esse ich einen Apfel?)

You do not have any water. --> Do you not have any water? (Du hast kein Wasser. -->Hast du kein Wasser?) ("kein" = "not any")

He (does) play with the cat. --> Does he play with the cat? (Er spielt mit der Katze. --> Spielt er mit der Katze?)

1/31/2015, 11:03:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/NoOneLovesMe

In english it can be rude because in a nasty tone it may sound like an insult. Whats wrong with you. Do you have parents? You litter all over the place. Etc. But we are trying to understand eachother. In English it is more assumed to be an insult because it is commonly used that way.

9/17/2015, 1:25:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/dstradling

How are we supposed to know the correct pronunciation, when the fast and slow examples sound so different? For example: in this passage, the woman pronounces Eltern two different ways.

4/27/2015, 9:13:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Well, in normal, everyday speech, you probably would actually pronounce things a bit differently if you were trying to talk really slowly to help a language learner out. My favorite example of this is "I am going to go to the store," which is often slurred into, "I'm'n'a gotothe store," when said quickly, or at least, "I'mgoingte gotethe store" or "I'm gonna gotethe store" or some other such thing. But if you slowed down, you would pronounce it much more clearly. Of course, with the computer, it could well actually be the faster version that is more accurate, depending on how the sound files are constructed. . . I'm not sure, but in any case, if you ever have a doubt about how a word is pronounced, you can look it up in several online dictionaries, and check their sound files, or you can look it up on forvo.com:

http://www.forvo.com/word/eltern/#de

Also, it might help to read up on German pronunciation rules:

http://joycep.myweb.port.ac.uk/pronounce/

4/27/2015, 10:36:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PsychProfBoy
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I'd like to keep this to my movie, can we please not discuss my private life?

6/7/2015, 4:32:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeCisner

When do we use das Elternpaar ?

1/17/2016, 8:31:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Urdaris_Nox

Who prepares these kind of questions? I mean, there are hundreds of creative questions that would make learning easier and fun, all you need is a bit of... love in your work? What about - and based on the comments in this discussion - Does Batman has parents? How are Harry Potter's parents doing? Are your parents bears?

12/22/2014, 2:05:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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They can't use HP in a question or sentence because they might get sued. There was a website (German one I think) that was sued for having a vocabulary list that only translated some words from German to the English, Allegedly, they were sued by the German publisher Carlsen and had to lessen their word list to only include a small amount of words that could apply to anything. Rather sad, really. I lost their link a long time ago, so can't find them now. Carlsen published the HP books in German.

2/19/2015, 12:17:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Urdaris_Nox

What is HP?

2/19/2015, 8:23:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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Harry Potter, that book we all loved. Sorry for using short-hand.

2/19/2015, 3:52:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/nivishsharma

The Duolingo staff is strict and very teacher like. They dont give a damn. They might even delete mine or your comment.

2/18/2015, 6:26:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sikul

Would this be taken as insulting to ask someone? The only time I can think of this being appropriate would be asking a lost child if they were someplace with their parents and got seperated

1/24/2015, 6:37:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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My mother would not have been insulted by this question. Her parents died when she was 9. Now, a person who just lost their parents, wouldn't be insulted so much as saddened. I can't understand why people would find this insulting. Yes, everyone had parents as one time, but I don't see that as an offense when someone is not assuming that my parents are still with me.

2/19/2015, 12:21:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

Velvel, are you a native English speaker? The English sentence could be misinterpreted in a variety of different ways. As someone said above, "Were you born in a barn?" comes to mind. I would steer clear of this phrasing in English. As for trying to determine if someone's parents are deceased, I would say, quite logically, that if you are not close enough to someone to know the answer to that question already, then you are not close enough to ask. This is personal information that should be volunteered, never requested.

2/19/2015, 2:27:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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Yes, I am a native speaker. Its fine if you are offended by the question, but keep in mind that we are learning a different culture that is NOT offended by this question and therefore, we have no rights to be offended, unless of course, you are being forced to learn German.

Personally, I think its time we just get on with learning and learn to have thicker skin. It will make this learning experience a lot less feisty without all this silly discussion about people being offended because question in a GERMAN culture offended the uber modern ENGLISH culture of "over the top political correctness" where by we look for offense and how to be offended for everyone we know. My mother is not offended and she had a hellish childhood. I take my lessons from her and have thicker skin, because of it. I am glad for it as I can learn a Foreign Language and not be offended by any question I see.

2/19/2015, 6:26:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

velvel, that's all well and good but I think your family history has led you to drift from the original point commenters were trying to explore with their questioning posts. This board is being used by many to learn German THROUGH English (ie, they are not native English speakers). It is only fair that we, as native speakers, give them every advantage and hint as to what is appropriate to say. It is easy enough for non-natives to fall into a trap of saying something that accidentally comes out off-color or inappropriate. Because they are not native speakers, much can be forgiven by those around them, but it is no less embarrassing to them when mistakes are pointed out after the fact.

So, for any non-native speakers out there still looking for clarification, allow me to put a fine point on it now: It is ALWAYS rude in a small talk conversation to ask if someone has parents, period. It's right up there with asking a stranger if they are pregnant, how old they are or what their weight is. You just don't do it unless you don't mind being thought of as nosy and crass. And again, this "parents" question in particular smacks of the implied insult that you must have had a substandard upbringing.

Now, as for whether or not "Hast du Eltern?" is a rude question, the jury is still out. Because as far as the comment section is concerned, all I have seen is speculation, no definitive answer. Given the nature of DuoLingo's automated sentence building process and resultant history of bizarre sentence examples being offered in lessons, peoples' concern that this question may be rude in German as well, is certainly very valid.

2/21/2015, 9:54:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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My point is that....we do not need to comment to every single person how offended we are.

Secondly, I Did ask around and No One I know is offended. My sister who is extremely easily offended (and I'm not lying! She thinks she is extremely easily offended - laughed. She can't see how asking someone if they have parents are offended. I explained and she still couldn't see offense. Sorry, but I guess we hearty northerners just aren't offended (where I live.)

Now, I am find with ONE "I am offended". Fine, then we move on. But to comment that to every single person you can make it fit with what they posted is way too much and I find offensive. Its spam. Its ridiculous. Its over kill. And yes, I do not do well with people who feel the need to hammer home that "they are offended" or whatever it is thats on their mind. Its like they are bragging about how offended they are even though they are clearly NOT bragging. (Emphasis only, not yelling.)

Thanks! And with this, I'm done with this stupid conversation (and I am including MY comments in the "stupid" bit.)

2/21/2015, 11:48:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

Velvel, in rereading the thread the ONLY reference to offense or use of the word "offended" has been by you. I have not used the word once. Your misquoting of me is disingenuous. I have remained respectful and on topic. Why so angry?

(Edit: I see the email version of your post is substantially different than the post here in the thread so perhaps you haven't fully pulled your thoughts on the matter together yet. If, upon further consideration, you decide it would be prudent to further refine your post to clarify your intent, please feel free to do so.)

2/22/2015, 2:39:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

As an afterthought, I just can't help but go slightly off topic (my apologies to other subscribers) and point out to you, that for a question you ardently insist is completely unoffensive ... that you take so much offense to the discussion of it. Clearly it stirs deeper emotions in you than you are willing to admit. For your difficult childhood, I am truly sorry. And this is EXACTLY why this would be a very dangerous question to ask you (or any person) in real life. And with that, I bid you well.

2/22/2015, 2:50:13 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigScott6

You have parents doesn't work?

7/25/2015, 6:30:06 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell
  • "Hast du Eltern?" = "Do you have parents?"

  • "Du hast Eltern?" = "You have parents?"

Both are valid ways of asking a question, but they are used in different contexts. The first form, with the subject and verb properly inverted, is used when asking a simple, factual question. For example:

  • Space Alien: "I don't have brothers. I don't have sisters. I don't have aunts or uncles or grandparents."
  • Human: "Do you have parents?"

The second form, with the sentence phrased just like a normal declarative sentence but spoken with a question inflection, is used to express surprise, or to request special clarification. For example:

  • Robot: "I like to navigate complex mazes on my birthday. It is my favorite activity. My parents take me every year."
  • Human: "Wait, what! You have parents?"

You wouldn't use "You have parents?" as the response in the first scenario, nor use "Do you have parents?" as the response in the second scenario, right? So we need to keep them straight in our translations as well.

7/26/2015, 4:59:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/dantan94
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"Madam, I'm Adam."

7/13/2016, 2:32:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TripCode
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Yes, this is a totally normal question to ask someone.

1/31/2018, 8:22:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SLeason

Is this a liable question? It seems sort of obvious.

3/2/2018, 10:40:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dope_Squid_Boi

no. you're adopted

3/11/2018, 9:03:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JohanInBerlin

What a stupid question. Eine blöde Frage.

6/15/2018, 7:59:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cristi_Here
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Elter reminds me of elder in English :)

11/18/2018, 12:54:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottReaney

Saddest phrase in duolingo

5/11/2016, 6:17:51 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/EllieHalpert

Never have, never will...

8/14/2016, 8:50:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MegaSpy
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Bless those who don't...

10/15/2014, 5:58:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/inumae

If it's do you have parents why do you have to put have you parents for it to be right

1/15/2015, 2:25:46 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/velvelajade
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Do you have parents? is correct. It marked mine as correct. Perhaps it used to be a bug back when you did the question?

2/19/2015, 12:19:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/cowacola
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This is rude, I don't have father :(

3/3/2015, 1:04:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/inumae

there are many people with out parents they're looking at it from a different perspective

3/10/2015, 2:32:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/asehastly

this question popped after "your daughter has a father" (sounds like that).... So, this is what they teach you in german huh?

4/13/2015, 10:10:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenaLee8
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How rude!!

1/17/2016, 12:56:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/QuentinWhite2

I hate when people say they don't have parents, if you're alive, you have parents, whether or not they abandoned you, you still have parents, you just don't talk to them.

8/29/2016, 5:00:09 PM
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