"Er und ich sind schon von klein auf gute Freunde."

Translation:He and I have been good friends since childhood.

January 10, 2013



This is a really interesting sentence. But the logic of it is escaping me. Would anyone mind giving me an literal English translation of it?

January 10, 2013


Literal translation: He and I have been good friends from small/little on. In german, we often say 'klein' for 'young'. 'von klein auf' is something like 'from or since being little onwards', if that helps you any further. Edit, after looking it up on wiktionary: 'von klein auf' is a collocation, by the way, and transfered into 'normal speach' it means 'schon seit der Kindheit' which literaly translates to 'already since childhood'.

January 10, 2013


Danke! That was very helpful.

So "sind" can also mean "have been"? I did not know that. I thought it was always present tense.

January 11, 2013


Yes, it can. In this case "have been" means that you are still friends, aren't you? So it is present.

However, phrases like "I have cooked the breakfast" can't be translated with Präsens, you'll have to use Perfekt: Ich habe das Frühstück gekocht. The structure is very similar to English Present Perfect.

February 16, 2013


I think this only applies in this special case. 'We have been friends for 10 years now' - Wir sind schon seit 10 Jahren befreundet. It only works for have been + for/since.

January 12, 2013


If the action began in the past and is continuing, use seit + present tense.

Wir sind seit drei Wochen/einem Tag/zwei Jahren/einer Stunde in Berlin. We have been (and still are) in Berlin for three weeks/one day/two years/one hour. http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Praepositionen/Prepositions.html#other

November 6, 2013


Danke schön. Das war sehr hilfreich

March 30, 2013


The only thing I was wondering about was "schon" but it seems as though it must mean "as far back as" or "as early as" in this context, according to the dictionaries I looked at. The dictionary hints given by Duolingo were VERY misleading here.

April 13, 2013


I think "since we were little" or "since we were kids" would be the most likely to be said by a native English speaker. I do understand that Duo looks for the closest to literal translation, but since we seem to be getting into idioms and phrases which don't translate directly as well, it seems like more flexibility would be reasonable provided the meaning is identical.

August 21, 2013


Can someone explain me the presence of "schon" in this sentence, I really can't grasp it's purpose.

April 11, 2014


It's useless, it would mean "already" if it were there, but the translation does not require it.

April 11, 2014


Did you have to translate from english to german not vice versa? When they give you to translate the german sentence it sounds like this: "Er und ich sind schon von klein auf gute Freunde."

April 11, 2014


Oh, You are right, sorry. Well, then it seems like it really is useless there :) But there are still many errors in this app. - I hope they'll correct it

April 12, 2014


:D Ok then, thanks

April 13, 2014


It feels to me a bit like hace in Spanish which takes a bit of getting used to.

November 12, 2018


how about: He and I, from young, are good friends

February 7, 2013


Or "have been good friends since we were little."

April 23, 2013


"from youth" maybe, but "from young" does not make any sense

April 2, 2013


"Since our youth" or "since we were young" but I'd just go with "since childhood" for simplicity's sake.

April 13, 2013


Why did "auf" come after "von klein" and not before it?

November 29, 2017


"von klein auf" is an expression that means "from an early age" or "since childhood".

March 30, 2018


OK, I think my English fails me this time... Why is "He and I are good friends since childhood." not accepted?

October 5, 2018


Because using the present tense (that is, "are") is not something a native speaker would do. For something that extends from a point in the past up to the present, you have to use the present perfect (that is, "have been"). Another example:

  • I am using Duolingo for two months. Wrong
  • I have been using Duolingo for two months. Correct

EDIT: Oops, I originally wrote "past perfect" - have now corrected it to "present perfect".

October 5, 2018


This sentence is easier for me to say if I make a verb inversion. The pauses seem in the right places then.

Schon von klein auf sind er und ich gute Freunde.

January 17, 2019


Why isn't this 'guten' Freunde? There is no movement so it seems like 'auf' should trigger dative, there is no earlier article so it seems like this should be strong declension, and Freunde is plural - therefore guten instead of gute. What am I doing wrong?

February 22, 2019


There is no prepositional phrase "auf gute Freunde" here. As Sufi72 has pointed out, the sentence can be re-arranged as:

Schon von klein auf sind er und ich gute Freunde.

So "gute Freunde" is in the nominative case.

February 23, 2019


Why not "ihr und ich" ? What the machine says is unintelligible so often!

April 6, 2014


He and i are since childhood good friends is correct

January 8, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.