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  5. "Diese Haushaltsgeräte haben …


"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..)


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.


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


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.


Why don't the appliances have my parents?


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


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


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


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


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


I think this sentence is not of this level.


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.


we got a badass over here


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


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 :)


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!


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).


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


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!


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

  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?

  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.


"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).


Didn't understand the meaning of this sentence


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".


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


"Haben" means to have, not to be.


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.


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')


With the exception being "its".

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