"Diese Haushaltsgeräte haben meine Eltern."

January 9, 2013


That's tricksy when the mouseover translation shows it as singular and plural. Maybe the mouseover for new nouns should show the article too? (I know I should have worked it out from haben..)

February 7, 2013

Well, 'haben' wouldn't have helped because it corresponds to 'meine Eltern', which is in the nominative. Cooky german word order! But you're right, it would help if the mouseover translation indicated which translation is correct for the given problem.

February 11, 2013

What exactly do you mean by the first part of your explanation?

June 10, 2013

Actually, I think I get it - The parents are the nominative part of the sentence, and seeing as there are two parents - this is why it is haben.

June 10, 2013

Why don't the appliances have my parents?

January 12, 2013

Yeah, exactly, imagine that this is a futuristic science fiction film sentence in which appliances (that are domestic robots) took your parents as hostages...

April 30, 2013

I don't know about them specifically being robots. I saw Maximum Overdrive once....

May 21, 2013

Syntactically, that's also correct. It's just implausible.

May 31, 2013

I agree! I thought about switching the word order, then decided that due to Duo's oft crazy sentences - it was probably that!

June 10, 2013

Or perhaps your parents were addicted to buying new appliances all the time, so they are under the appliances control?

May 8, 2013

I think this sentence is not of this level.

January 30, 2013

I've been doing this for a week and I got it first go. You just have to use a bit of creativity with German sometimes to break up the big words and get their meanings.

March 23, 2013

we got a badass over here

June 14, 2013

Would sentences like this generally be said in this fashion, or is it more Yoda-speak?

May 15, 2013

It's not that common, but I can imagine some situations in which I would say it that way. Especially when I want to emphasize on the appliances. We like to put things we want to emphasize as the first word in a sentence ;) So I would say that especially if I would emphasize this specific appliances as opposed to other ones. As in:

Diese Haushaltsgegenstände haben meine Eltern. Diese aber nicht.

Hope that helps :)

May 16, 2013

I don't know about the girl above, but this cleared it up a lot for me, so thanks! I do have to ask though, what about this sentence makes it impossible for it to be the appliances owning the parents? Aside from the context, I mean. For example, what if it were different objects? Substitute "Eltern" with "Robot" with "Haushaltsgegenstände" for "Hund". "Diese Hund hat mein Robot" How do you know who owns which?

I hope this makes sense as a question!

May 16, 2013

You are right. We can't tell which is which. With no stress indicated we should assume that Haushaltsgeräte is the subject. If the writer didn't intend this then the sentence is poorly wriiten (According to Duden).

May 17, 2013

You are right that we cannot tell which is which. But in the example with the dog we actualy can tell.

Dieser Hund hat meinen Roboter - This dog has my robot.

Diesen Hund hat mein Roboter - My robot has this dog.

That is the reason why you normally can switch the subject and object of a sentence. It is just a coincidence that it doesn't work so well in the original sentence with the parents. Because accusative and nomiative cases are the same in plural. You would have the same problem with female gender:

Diese Puppe hat meine Katze - You couldn't tell which owns which

May 17, 2013

Thank you. :) I felt the need to ask because with the original sentence I couldn't see any grammatical distinctions/cues. I guess I just need to make sure I know the cases perfectly and anything else should be easy enough to work out. Again, thanks!

May 20, 2013

I agree. This is not the typical word order. It just emphasizes "diese Haushaltsgeraete".

May 29, 2013
  1. How do we know this is plural appliances?
  2. Haushalt is Masc, and Gerat is Neut. When they are combined what is the gender?
May 28, 2013
  1. Singular is Gerät, plural Geräte

  2. In compounds it's always the gender of the last word. In this case "das" Haushaltsgerät. But since it is plural, it is "die" Haushaltsgeräte, just as every plural.

May 28, 2013

"In compounds it's always the gender of the last word" True, although it's worth knowing that you can be caught out by this rule.

Eg knife is das Messer but diameter is der Durchmesser. This is because messer comes from the suffix -meter or -measure which is masculine.

Another example where it is easy to be caught out is a compund word with the noun "Band" because it can be masculine (book volume) Feminine (rubber/elastic band) or neuter (group of musicians).

May 29, 2013

Didn't understand the meaning of this sentence

January 10, 2013

It means "My parents have these household appliances". First I thought was it that the appliances have the parents while there is no masculine at all, but then one has to just use his brains :D If this still doesn't make you understand this, I imagined a child showing a pic of household appliances to someone and telling "My parents own these".

January 10, 2013

"these household appliances are my parents" is not accepted?

January 25, 2013

"Haben" means to have, not to be.

January 25, 2013

I think he means are my parents as in, belong to my parents.. tricky possessive "s" here. Such as 'These oranges are Peter's oranges.' These oranges are Peters' These household appliances are my parents appliances, These household appliances are my parents. I myself never know if the apostrophe is needed in these sentences. Maybe someone better educated in language structure can explain the possessive here.

March 12, 2013

The apostrophe is used to express possession. I think you always write "apostrophe+s" (eg. Peter's) unless the name/noun already ends in an "s" where you only write "apostrophe" (eg. Jonas')

April 9, 2013

With the exception being "its".

April 17, 2013
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