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"By now we own eighteen cats!"

Translation:Inzwischen haben wir achtzehn Katzen!

November 21, 2015

107 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomb86

"Bis jetzt besitzen wir achtzehn Katzen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

bis jetzt is more like "so far" or "up till now" than "by now, meanwhile".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghettofridge

That's what I put too yet was marked wrong. Not sure if it should be reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kole-Wright

"Inzwischen gehören uns achtzehn Katzen" Can someone point out the error here? Dankeschön


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nukeman18

This would translate to "By now 18 cats belong to us", as opposed to "By now we own 18 cats".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferNarzt

Which Duolingo has in the past passed off as a legitimate translation for "own". So they should accept it as an answer here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jennacide_2

Technically, the sentence that Kole wrote is in the passive voice, not the active. The sentence to translate is in the active voice, however. Therefore the translation must in the active voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aself69

Why not: Bisher haben wir achtzehn Katzen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

"Bisher" means "so far," "until now," or "yet," none of which is the same as "by now."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

They're pretty synonymous to me...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

Well, "by now" is used when something should have occurred prior to now. "So far" and "yet" are used when something has not yet occurred. "Until now" is used when something just now ceased to occur or is still occurring. (There are additional meanings, but those are the primary ones.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

I have 18 cats so far. It doesn't mean that something hasn't occurred. It suggests that I will have more of them but the general idea is that at this point there are 18 of them, the same as with "until now" and "by now".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

What it means is that the number of cats hasn't changed yet. THAT is the something that hasn't occurred. If you said "Until now I have 18 cats," it would be incorrect. You could say "Until now I had (or have had) 18 cats," meaning you no longer have 18 cats. In other words, "so far" and "until now" are essentially used as opposites, not synonyms.

"By now I have 18 cats" means you anticipated that you would have 18 cats by this point in time and are assuming that is the case (although the implication is that you have yet to verify it).

So they're each quite different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lamosca.24

how about "Inzwischen gehoren wir achtzehn Katzen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

That would mean, "By now, we belong to eighteen cats".

gehören is "belong to" -- the subject is the possession and the owner is in the dative case.

So if you want to say that the eighteen cats belong to you, wir must become uns (dative case): Inzwischen gehören uns achtzehn Katzen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordanBrit3

I tried this and it's wrong - I can't figure out why though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

Because the verb "gehören" (with Umlaut ö!) needs a dative: "inzwischen gehören UNS achtzehn Katzen".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoiuGW

Inzwischen wir besitzen achtsehn Katzen ist falsch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

The verb needs to be in the second position.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferNarzt

But when is "second position"? I know that I've seen instances where the verb is the third word in the sentence (coming after the article & another word, I think a preposition), and it's still been described as being in "second position". :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

Second position does not mean second word. It means second semantic bit of information. The "first position" of a sentence can be taken up by an entire clause.

You can have an adverb, or a noun or noun phrase, or a clause in the first position of a sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpanGerm

Viele Dank! sehr hilfreich-Erinnerung1


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jose352749

Because it always goes second, German works that way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcBal77

Do you have some type of documentation or rule to point too? That would be helpful. It seems right (what you say), but sometimes I feel like I see the 'wir' before the verb in other cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jose352749

Check this page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/grammar/verbcomessecondrev1.shtml If you search something like "german verb second rule" in google you'll find a lot more, this one is short and goes right to the point, so I didn't look at the other results.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JMBarrett52

The verb is always in second position. jmescua04 is right. It's just how German works.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uberling

"The verb is always in second position."

Ist das richtig? ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

in Hauptsätzen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milorad22

What is wrong with this? Zurzeit besitzen wir achtzehn Katzen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duotedm

I think that would be closer to "currently" or "at the moment" we have 18 cats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/igelstorm

Why is the suggested translation "by now" when that's not suggested or even accepted as a translation for "inzwischen" in other sentences (e.g. "Und inzwischen haben wir ein Baby")?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/doublelingot

On the contrary, this is the exact translation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beninan

Just out of curiosity, how would you phrase this same sentence as a question? As if someone was wondering how many cats they own. Would it be "Haben wir inzwischen achtzehn Katzen?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

That's right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marvin657337

That was my answer! It was marked wrong with the word "Kater" underlined.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanni4-2

Why can't the verb (haben) be after we / wir. Why is it before?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

In German, declarative sentences (as opposed to questions and commands) always put the verb in the second position. "Inzwischen" is taking up position one, so "haben" has to come next.

Alternatively, we can start the sentence with "wir" so that "wir" is before "haben," and then "inzwischen" has to come somewhere after the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David841210

This sentence is awkward. Have never heard of 'by now we own...' in my life and I'm a native English speaker. If 'by now' was used to say something like 'should own a house by now' I would accept, but to say 'we have/own 18 cats by now?' instead of 'we now own 18 cats' is strange to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

The sentence appears completely normal to me.
Maybe we have started with only three cats some years ago, and in between their number has constantly increased, resulting in we have 18 by now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ichdien

I agree, both this and the "by now he has five kids" are not things said in vernacular English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpanGerm

Wir haben achtzehn Katzen inzwichen, ist falsch? Warum?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nukeman18

I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's because "inzwischen" can be translated as "meanwhile". So in this context your sentence would mean "We have 18 cats meanwhile", whereas saying "Inzwischen haben wir 18 Katzen" would mean "Meanwhile/ By now we have 18 cats".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpanGerm

Thank you. That makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/underthesamesky

Why is "Inzwischen besitzen wir achtzehn Katze" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duotedm

For one thing, Katze is singular, so you need Katzen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nurboterd

Warum nicht "Inzwischen wir haben achtzehn Katzen!"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DancingGeek

Word order: the verb must be in the second position


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pau153

It gave the correct answer as : "Mittlerweile besitzen wir achtzehn Kater!". Is "Kater" correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/turtlesir

That's what they gave me too. According to google it means Hangover or Tomcat depending on context haha.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

Well, the word "Kater" originally means "tomcat". But it is used as the word for "hangover" (in the sense of "effect of alcohol intoxication") as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blakewalk

Why might mittlerweile not be accepted here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because "mittlerweile" is not a translation of "By now we own eighteen cats".

However, some of the accepted translations do include the word "mittlerweile".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blakewalk

Clearly 'mittlerweile' does not translate into 'by now we own eighteen cats'. I used that word rather than 'inzwischen' in the fully constructed sentence. Either you were being imprecise or sarcastic in your response.

But my understanding is that 'mittlerweile' can also mean 'by this time'; I have heard it used in this sense where I live in northern Germany (SH).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I was being sarcastic because you were imprecise -- I had no way to guess what, precisely, your fully constructed sentence was.

Just knowing that your sentence contained the word mittlerweile is not enough to determine whether the sentence is acceptable or not. For example, the word order may be wrong -- just knowing which words were used (but not their order) will not enable any judgment.

Please always ask about entire sentences.

For example, if your sentence was Wir mittlerweile haben achtzehn Katzen!, that word order is not possible. But the problem is not the word mittlerweile but the fact that there are two items before the verb (the subject wir and the adverb mittlerweile) and that the verb is therefore not in the second position where it belongs. In that case, mittlerweile is not the reason that sentence is rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blakewalk

Thank you for the detailed reply. and example. My complete reply was: 'Wir haben mittlerweile achtzehn Katzen'. The word 'mittlerweile' was underlined in the subsequent red bubble.

I was, however, a bit surprised that you in your capacity as a moderator decided to give a sarcastic response to my sincere question, particuarly considering how polite and helpful you usually are on here.

That said, I will from now on always include the full sentence, and I do appreciate your time and attention.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"Wir haben mittlerweile achtzehn Katzen." is one of the alternatives listed in the backend, so if it was rejected, I'm afraid I don't know why.

I have heard of a bug that causes correct answers not to be accepted sometimes, but I don't know under what circumstances. I suspect you might have suffered from that one.

Unfortunately, it's hard to do good troubleshooting here when someone reports an error, because the sentence discussions do multiple duty: we can't tell whether the exercise that the user saw was multiple-choice "choose all correct answers", or "translate English to German", or "translate German to English", or "type what you hear", or "choose the one correct word that fits into the blank", or "pick the image that corresponds to this word". And we don't know what the user typed. And the users often just say "Why was my answer not accepted?".

Ideally, we would see the same screen the user saw when the error message appeared -- we would see the question and the answer and the error message. But we don't. So we have to rely on the information the user provides: the more, the better.

Also, the automatic corrections aren't as good as a human's would be. When an answer is wrong, Duo sometimes changes a different from what a human would have, or changes the wrong word to an alternative that is very different from the word the user chose even if there is a correct alternative that is closer and may be what the user had in mind or was aiming for.

It's all a bit more frustrating than it needs to be, for all involved.

Sometimes I let it get to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sleepy-Dragon

Why is it "haben wir" and not "wir haben"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the verb haben has to be the second 'item' in the sentence.

If you put an adverb such as inzwischen first, the verb must come next and so the subject wir can't fit before the verb as well, and comes after it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OdaFrigg

Since when was "Kater" the german word for cats? I wrote "Katze" and duolingo corrects it to "Kater". I realize that I missed a "n" to make it plural, but is "Kater" even a word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes.

der Kater = the tomcat, i.e. specifically a male cat. The plural is also Kater.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alidarbari

Why cant i put "wir" before "haben" ???????????????? "Wir haben" instead of "haben wir" ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What was your entire sentence?

Remember that the verb has to be the second item in the sentence.

So you can put the subject wir before it, or an adverb such as mittlerweile, but not both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamiraYazb

Why is "wir" after "haben" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the verb has to be the second thing in the sentence.

If the adverb inzwischen comes first, then the verb has to come right after that in order to be the second thing -- there's no room for the subject to be before the verb as well, and so the subject comes after the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emil240380

I typed "inzwischen, gehoeren wir achtzehn katzen" and it marked the space after wir and the "a" of achtzehn and told me that I used the incorrect word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

You can't use "gehören" like that; it works like "belong to," not like "own." Correct would be "Inzwischen gehören uns achtzehn Katzen" ("By now, eighteen cats belong to us"), with dative "uns." Also, German doesn't use a comma here.

Don't know what to make of the weird markings, but this is what your problem would be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

The position of the marker is wrong, but you indeed used the wrong word. It must be "uns" instead of "wir". Your sentence (without the comma) means "By now, we are owned by eighteen cats" :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mercilessltd

"Inzwischen behalten wir achtzehn Katzen!" I take it "behalten" is more like "keep" vs "own?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

"behalten" is indeed "to keep", but not in the sense it is sometimes used in English meaning "having animals" (that would be "halten"), but only as the opposite of "to give away".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

Right, it means "keep."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/desouza5d

"Inzwischen besizten wir achtzehn Katzen" was accepted, but considered to have a typo. Why is "haben" preferable here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

There is a typo: it is not "besizten", but "besitzen". "besitzen" and "haben" are synonymous here, the only difference is in the level of speech. "besitzen" is more elevated than "haben".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/desouza5d

I had to read your post several times to see it, haha. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaorioM

Why cannot put "inzwischen" at the end of the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

because that's not a valid position for such an adverb in German. Sorry, but I don't have a detailed rule for this.
The most common position is directly after the verb: "Wir haben inzwischen achtzehn Katzen." If you want to emphasize "inzwischen" you can bring it to the front: "Inzwischen haben wir achtzehn katzen.".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/farbodsalamat

I thought inzwischen translated to "meanwhile". Does it have a dual meaning or am I mistaken?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

yes, both are translations of "inzwischen"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjNJ5h

"Inzwischen eignen wir achtzehn katzen" ist falsch? wieso?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

Because "eignen" is not a valid word in contemporary German (there is a word "sich eignen", but this means something completely different).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"Inzwischen eignen wir achtzehn katzen" ist falsch? wieso?

Because eignen does not mean "to own".

Also, Katzen is a noun, so it has to be capitalised.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaanKaragl

And cant dabei be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

No. "dabei" means "with that".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Or "but".

Dabei haben wir achtzehn Katzen! "But we have eighteen cats!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

yes, that's true


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beholdzer

Wie wäre es mit "verfügen wir über..."? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

"Verfügen über" is more about having a resource available for use than merely owning something. So it would be rather odd to use it for owning cats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beholdzer

True! But cats are a very important resource...resource of happiness and relaxation :)

PS: But I can't be serious :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RussellCarpenter

Does eigen mean own? Is there a reason it is not accepted here or should I report it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

It means own as in "My own room." It's not a verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RussellCarpenter

The n ending made it sound to my brain like a verb. Danke.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

Why not simply Now we own eighteen cats?

Unless you are telling a story in the historic present, like some old 1930s detective story ("He enters the room silently. By now he is feeling a growing anxiety. By now he is surrounded by eighteen tigers") I can't see how "by now" makes any sense. The usual meaning of "by now" refers to something that should be happening simultaneously to the event under discussion. it should have started by now (by this time). He should be there by now (by this time, the time we are also in/at now). There is the idea of some sort of simultaneity occurring. Otherwise, we refer to the past: It should have started by then * refers to a time before* a past event to which you are referring, a sort of pluperfect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buttercup192719

Das ist Duo's Alptraum


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

Does anyone else think that the English sentence (By now we own eighteen cats) sounds strange and unnatural? I can only make it work by imagining it as part of a story told in the narrative present, for example: In 1984 we move to Hamburg. By now we have eighteen cats, but at least our house is big enough. Otherwise, the By seems unnecessary. How many cats do you have? By now, we have eighteen. I don't think so. Now we have eighteen or We have eighteen now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

The sentence does not sound strange, but you are right wrt. the expected context.And only in this context you can use the word "inzwischen" in German, which presupposes, something must have happened before. Without that you would translate the "now" by "jetzt" or "zur zeut", "derzeit" or similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BuffBuffCreamPuf

Geho(with umlat)ren was marked wrong. doesn't it mean own?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Checkmatek

Yes, it does, but the construct would be different then. The subject of "gehören" is the thing that is owned, and the owner is added in Dative: "Inzwischen gehören uns (wem? - Dative) achtzehn Katzen (Nominative, same form as Accusative)" would (should) work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No, gehören means "belong" -- so it's sort of the other way around compared to "own".

Die Katzen gehören uns. "The cats belong to us."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wilowah

I am really getting confused as to when prepositions or adjectives determine where the verb goes.

Maybe I am confusing adjectives as not counting when it comes to verb second, but prepositions do count?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/magdusz90

Why should it be "Kater" instead of "Katze"? I wrote "wir haben inzwischen achtzehn Katze" und as an error it shows me that it should be "Kater"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

It needs to be plural. Katze is a female cat (and also the default word when the gender is unknown) and the plural is Katzen. Kater is a male cat, and the plural is Kater.

So Kater or Katzen would both be acceptable answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/magdusz90

Thank you for your explanation. I didn't know the gender versions for cats, but I am surprised that default correct answer was a male cat :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef

it's not the default answer. But probably you have been presented this one because you had the wrong article and Duo always tries to show you an option which is as close as possiple to your (wrong) sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpanGerm

Mein Answort war: Inzwischen haben wir achtzehn Katzen! Aber danke an Delta1212 ich sehen Warum.

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