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  5. "Du bist einer Maus ähnlich."

"Du bist einer Maus ähnlich."

Translation:You are similar to a mouse.

January 8, 2013



why is it einer and not eine? is it genitive?


Dear Wataya! I studied Dativ after certain verbs (e.g. danken), prepositions (e.g. mit and von) and also with some adjectives (e.g. mir ist klat) and impersonal verbs (e.g. Mir geht es gut). So what rule applies here to use dativ anyway?!!

Thanks :)


As I wrote below, the verb "jemandem ähnlich sein" always takes the dative.


I think this may be a good way to remember this: ähnlich is 'similar', and when used in a sentence like the one above, it is 'similar to'. (Actually i think the word 'zu' or 'mit' or something is missing here, although i'm not sure which word, if any, is missing.) So the other part automatically goes to dative.


I believe that dative automatically adds "to". So einer = to a. At least this is how I think of the dative.


the verb " ähneln = resemble" takes the dative case. I'm wondering if there's a connection with ähnlich


Why is it dative? If you say "Du bist eine Maus" it is nominative, but if you say "Du bist einer Maus ähnlich" it is dative. Why?

I guess it is because in the second case you are explaining how you are whilst in the first one you are saying what you are directly...


It's dative because the verb 'jmd. ähnlich sein' requires the dative.


So that is one of those separable verbs, then?


no, it isn't.


I'm confused. If it is not a separable verb composed of ähnlich+sein, it's just sein, which I thought would always require a nominative. Could you please elaborate? Thanks in advance!


There are several possibilities to parse this. The most simple one being to view 'jemandem ähnlich sein' as a phrasal verb ('to be similar to someone').

The term 'separable verb' refers to something else, e.g. you have the verb 'anzeigen' which becomes 'ich zeige jemanden an': an affix is removed from the verb and placed somewhere else in the sentence.


It's nothing that's specific to phrasal verbs. Certain verbs require certain cases. Sometimes the meaning changes according to which case you use. 'jemandem ähnlich sein' requires the dative case (as indicated by the 'jemandem'). Equivalently, you could use 'jemandem ähneln' which also requires dative and avoids the construction with 'sein'. Your alternate way of parsing it should also be valid. From a practical point of view, I think it's a good idea to view such constructions as phrasal verbs and learn the whole expression ('jemandem/einer Sache ähnlich sein') as one big chunk of vocabulary. Learn it once, never get it wrong again.


Might this help? My dictionary simply says "similar to = aenlich + dative. The dative object would then be placed after the verb & before the adjective. Works for me!


Yes, the phrasal verb approach is easier to think about. I'll go with it, and try to contain the grammar junkie in me :)

Thank you for your help, wataya!


It seems I can't reply under your post, wataya, so I'll just stick it here.

So, phrasal verbs can require a different case than the main verb of the construct, even if there is no preposition involved.

Or we could parse it differently and have ähnlich ("similar") as the core of the predicate and "einer Maus" as a predicative complement. And the combination of predicate nucleus and the predicative complement's case would dictate a meaning, which could vary with case; and not all cases may be valid with all possible nuclei. In portuguese we have something similar that we call "regência nominal", but instead of cases we have prepositions.

I think might have overthought this...


I think the approach "einer Maus ähnlich"="similar to a mouse" mentioned in another thread actually reflects the reality of the language best. It is the adjective that "expects" to be developed by a dative construction. "Sein" just happens to be the verb in the sentence. "Werden" could be another. (I am not confident enough to suggest other verbs; "scheinen" perhaps?)


You can think of it as "You are similar (to a mouse)" where the construction "to + something" signifies the dative form. You would never say "You are similar a mouse"


Yes, this is also how I would explain this.


I think in english it is dative as well... i am similar to him. To whom am i similar?


Yep. It's dative in English as well.


If anyone can point out why ähnlich appears at the end, I would be very thankful. I've read articles on sentence structure and still can't identify why certain words (which are not verbs) are forced appear at the end of sentences. Thanks in advance if you can help.


how does this have to do with numbers?


THANK YOU! Nobody else noticed it!

[deactivated user]

    this is literally the best derogatory term ever


    Flowers for Algernon: June 23—I’ve given up using the typewriter completely. My co-ordina­tion is bad. I feel that I’m moving slower and slower. Had a terrible shock today. I picked up a copy of an article I used in my research, Krueger’s Uber psychische Ganzheit, to see if it would help me under­stand what I had done. First I thought there was something wrong with my eyes. Then I realized I could no longer read German. I tested my­self in other languages. All gone. This is nightmare


    I love "Flowers for Algernon"! :-)


    So why can't one say "Du bist ähnlich einer Maus"?


    Does that mean Duo wants to eat me?


    I like how quickly duolingo reads this sentence, it's delightfully angry and you can tell the sentence is an insult


    How about "Du bist ähnlich zu einer Maus" ?


    einer = "to a". Therefore you don't need to put "zu". But I think if you remove the "zu" your sentence is fine.


    Why is ähnlich at the end of the sentence here? Is there a reason for this in this context or is it like entlang where it just goes there because that's the rule for that specific word?


    The article "einer" is in dative form because "maus" is a die word, and whenever you put an adjective and a dative form together, whether it's an article or a personal pronoun like "mir", the adjective comes last. This is one of the things to keep in mind about the structural differences between English and German, so like for example saying "important to me" would be "mir wichtig" in German, not "wichtig mir" like it would be with English sentence structure. However, it would also be correct to translate it as "wichtig für mich", in which the case the adjective wouldn't come last since it's not using dative form.


    I got trapped. " You are a similar mouse " I translated. I didn't pay attention to the dative case of " einer Maus".


    Why is Anhlich at the end of the sentence? it is not a verb. I would have written: Du bist ahnlich einer Maus.


    I assumed this was one of those special cases, like "entlang" where the preposition goes later in the sentence, instead of right before the object"

    "Ich laufe die Strasse entlang."


    Can I say "Du bist ähnlich wie eine Maus"?


    Explain the German word order


    How would you say "You are like a mouse" ?


    My question, too. Nobody says: you are similar to a .... (whatever). We say 'you are like a ...' - and then we stand back, so it's less easy to punch us. :)


    You would say "Du bist einer Maus ähnlich." "You are like a mouse." is accepted as a correct translation.


    Would this be an example of a simile in German like we have in English?


    Don't you say "aehnlich wie"?


    I don't feel I'm like a mouse. I'm rather some kind of predator


    Can I say "Du bist einer Maus ähnlich zu" ?


    Is it because you love cheese, or is it because you are good at being quiet? Whatever reason, lol ;)


    How would you say "You are a similar mouse" in German? It seems like the German sentence structure could accommodate either translation.


    How dare you?! Takes hlove out, slaps face


    What is the difference between "wie" and "ähnlich?" I had thought that wie means similar. Are they interchangable? Or is there a better time to use one then the other?


    "Wie" is in English " as" or "like". And " ähnlich" means " similar". Almost the same meaning. You can use these words according to the context.


    why is the ahnlich after the mouse? this almost messed me up, so glad i looked at what is meant word by word.


    Du bist eine ähnliche Maus?


    Thanks, everyone


    Why is "alike" not accepted


    "Alike" requires at least two subjects, so you could say "you and the mouse are alike", but saying "you are alike a mouse" isn't proper English.


    Does this mean that the person actually resembles a mouse, or that they have certain characteristics of a mouse?


    Could be either or both.


    You're like a mouse. rejected???


    I wrote "you are a like a mouse" and it was not accepted. Why not, it means the same in English


    There's an extra article. If you meant "alike" then that would not be correct either, because like I've pointed out to someone else here, "alike" requires at least two subjects, so you could say "you and the mouse are alike", but saying "you are alike a mouse" isn't proper English.


    Sorry, that was a typo. I wrote "you are like a mouse".


    That should be close enough, though the literal translation of that into German would be "du bist wie eine Maus" and duolingo can be overly strict about translations sometimes.


    Why would 'you are like a mouse' be wrong? It means the same thing as 'you are similar to a mouse' (in English anyway)?


    Maybe because that would be the translation to the sentence "du bist wie eine Maus"


    "You are like a mouse" was not accepted on Sept 28, 2019.


    Why can't you say "you are like a mouse".


    How is "You are like a mouse" not acceptable? I sense an error!


    why is "ähnlich" placed at the end of the sentence?


    Why can't you use "same as" instead of "similar to" (Eng 2nd language speaker)


    Because that isn't merely about similarity, that is about equivalence. In German, it would be like saying "du bist dasselbe wie eine Maus".


    Don't know if this will help, however:
    "You are the same as a mouse." -> You = mouse
    "You are similar to a mouse." -> You ~ mouse

    • 1451

    You know your girlfriend is about to break up with you when she says...


    I don't understand the cases at all. They all are the same to me! German is becoming a terrible pain to me...


    Yeah, sometimes it is, but if you have to give up...


    why is "you are similar to a rat" wrong?


    Because a mouse is not a rat.


    please explain me why ahnlich should be placed at the end can't it be "Du bist ahnlich einer maus"


    because of the german sentence structure, the verb usually comes in the end.

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