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  5. "Der Rhein ist ein Fluss."

"Der Rhein ist ein Fluss."

Translation:The Rhine is a river.

December 26, 2015



French distinguishes between 2 sorts of rivers, fleuve (bigger) and rivière (smaller) while English uses only one word for both. Same for German ?


As chovanecm already said, both can be translated to "Fluss (m)" when used in the neutral sense. However, there is also the word "Strom (m)", which can denote a wide and possibly faster-flowing "Fluss", and which is only translated to "fleuve" (see e.g. here).


I on clicked jjd1123's link and it was translating from German to French. Translating from German to English, Strom can mean current as in either an electrical current, or the current in moving water. Also, Strom can mean a large river, and even a stream.

EDIT: I'm having trouble with pasting the url in here. So for more info, go to:

http://de.pons.com/%C3%BCbersetzung and look up the word Strom


Are you sure? I see only "Strömung (f)" as a possible translation for e.g. a water current on Pons.de. These words are related, but not the same. As far as I know, "Strom" can only be translated to "current" (and vice versa) in the context of electricity.


I went to: http://de.pons.com/ I typed in Strom and here's what I found:

Strom (el.)

Strom = current

Strom = electricity (no indef art, no pl)

Strom führen = to be live

elektrischer Strom = electric current

Strom führend = live

unter Strom stehen (elektrisch geladen sein) = to be live

Strom (großer Fluss): Strom = [large] river

Strom (fließende Menge): Strom = river

Ströme von Blut = rivers of blood

ein Strom von Schlamm = a torrent of mud

in Strömen fließen = to flow freely [or like water]

das Blut floss in Strömen = there were rivers of blood

Strom (Schwarm):

Strom = stream

Ströme von Fans/Besuchern/Kunden = streams of fans/visitors/customers


in Strömen gießen [o. regnen] = to pour [down] [with rain]

mit dem/gegen den Strom schwimmen = to swim with/against the current

mit dem/gegen den Strom schwimmen = to swim with/against the tide [or go with/against the flow] fig fam


Exactly, it only lists "current" as a translation for "Strom" in the context of electricity (and in the ideomatic expression "mit dem / gegen den Strom schwimmen"). An "ocean current" is a "Meeresströmung".


Aha! I see what you've been saying.

When I saw the sentence, mit dem/gegen den Strom schwimmen = to swim with/against the current" that gave me the impression that Strom could mean a current in water. I see that perhaps Strom can mean current in that phrase, but that die Strömung is the word to be used when referring to an air or water current. Thanks, jjd1123! :)

PS: Do you think I should delete my lengthy previous post, or is that information that would be useful to leave for other students?


I would say both is Fluss, but of course there is also "der Bach" for a creek (or ruisseau in French). Have a look at http://defr.dict.cc/ and you'le see that both fleuve and rivière translates to Fluss :-)


German distinguishes between 5 different types of natural streams depending on their width. 1. Rinnsal (less than 1 m wide) 2. Bach (1-3 m wide) 3. (kleiner) Fluss (small river/stream; 3-10 m wide) 4. (großer) Fluss (large river; 10 m wide and more) 5. Strom (10 m wide and more; ends in the sea) It does not distinguish between the intensity of the current.


We have lots of words for watercourses in English. A river is big, and a stream, burn, or brook is small.


The point is that English seems to have only one word for a large watercourse, namely "river", while French and German each seem to have two, namely "rivière" / "Fluss" and "fleuve" / "Strom" (the distinction is apparently not 100% identical, but it's still similar).


As a native English (american) speaker, we actually have quite a few words depending on size. There is river, stream, crick, creek, brook, tributary, watercourse, etc :)


English for small river is "stream".


Why is it not "Fluß"? Has the recommended spelling changed? I know that's how it was spelt when I was a child.


Yes, according to the "new" spelling reform of 1996, a sharp s-sound that used to be written "ß" according to the old rules is now spelled "ss" after short vowels and "ß" after long vowels or diphthongs. For example:

  • Schloss, Fluss, Wasser, müssen, dass, Nuss
  • Straße, fließen, Maß, Muße, Strauß, weiß

However, sharp "s"-sounds that used to be written as a single "s" even before the reform are still written like that, e.g "Bus", "das", "Haus", etc. I can't guarantee that there aren't any exceptions to what I just said since I'm not that familiar with the old rules, but that should be the gist of it.


sehr hilfreich! danke

[deactivated user]

    We have to use "the" with the names of rivers, do I remember well?


    What the heck is a rhine? I never heard that word before.


    It's the second longest river in Germany after the Danube, and it's quite famous.

    Where are you from, TylerKloos?


    Probably America......


    Why not just google search it? It took me less than 10 seconds to find out what it was rather than asking the question and waiting days for a response...


    Why do you need the in front of the river name in English? I don't think it is ever used in front of proper names


    In English the definite article is always used before the name of a river.


    Why is it 'ein' Fluss, and not 'einen' Fluss? Danke!


    Because "Fluss" is in nominative here. If a sentence describes some sort of identity between subject and object (or expresses that the subject belongs to a category etc.), e.g. when using the copula "sein", but also for verbs like "werden" ("(to) become/turn into/...") or "bleiben" ("(to) stay/remain/..."), then the object will be in nominative as well.


    Is there a reason that 'Der' is used here instead of 'Das' or is the Rhein simply masculine?


    The Rhein is simply masculine. In fact, all rivers I can think of are either masculine or feminine, not neuter.


    I heard "Der Wein ist ein Fluss," which I personally find to be a better sentence.


    Why is "Rhine is a river" is not accepted? Proper names don't take an article in English


    Why is "Rhine is a river" is not accepted? Proper names don't take an article in English

    River names do take an article in English.

    We talk about "the Nile", "the Amazon", "the Thames", "the Mississippi", etc.


    Argh, yes. You're right!


    Where is this Rhein river located.


    It runs from Switzerland through western Germany (part of it forms the border with France) through the Netherlands to the North Sea.



    All the German rivers have the female Gender. But why not this?


    Not all German rivers have feminine gender.

    Besides der Rhein, there is also der Main, der Inn, der Neckar, der Lech, der Kocher, der Regen, der Rhin.


    Since when do we use definite article "The" with a proper noun like "Rhein"? I am not a native English speaker but I thought that I already know this!


    Since when do we use definite article "The" with a proper noun like "Rhein"?

    With rivers? Basically always.

    As in English: "the Mississippi, the Amazon, the Rhine, the Thames".

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