"Haben Sie eine bessere Person?"

Translation:Do you have a better person?

January 13, 2013

83 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Duolingo teaching us common phrases when buying slaves. Very useful, so very useful.


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

Except, this sentence in an HR office when they have a spot to fill.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oscar.Tov

What's the difference?


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

That was my immediate thought. These people are discussing a hiring decision.


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

Giving you a lingot just for making me laugh


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

in fact it may be useful in some countries, not that i support that.


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

Honestly I thought of matchmaking or job placements.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenryCharles1

This sentence probably wouldn't have been used as slaves were thought of as less then human, although I'm probably being to literal minded. Thanks for making me laugh by the way.


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

"Do they have a better person?" Why isn't that right?


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

In this case, I'm pretty sure we know it's you-Sie, not they-sie, because Sie has been capitalised. If it were "Do they have...", I believe the sentence would have to start with "Haben sie".


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

Sie in capital is the polite way of sie,referring to 1 person


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBaer1
  • 2141

But when the clue is audio-only, like it was for me, you can not tell if the Sie is sie. I agree that "Do they have a better person" is also a correct translation from the audio version.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertRick1

If you were listening to the sentence, that could be a correct interpretation since Sie and sie are distinguished by capitalization


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

I agree with farmafil. Context is everything and none is provided by Duolingo.


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

Have you a better person? would be an acceptable phrase to use in say a recruitment discussion although "Do you have a ..." would be more usual but it depends on the context.


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

The "have you..." construction is more common in British English, and the "do you have..." construction would be more commonly used by American English speakers. Both are correct English.


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

Dui's not that smart! lol


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

Duolingo introducing Human 2.0


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

"Do you have anyone better?" Why is this wrong?


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

Sounds OK to me, or "Do you have someone better"


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

"More qualified" would be "more better" (sic) :-)


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

This sentence might have been used more often in the 1500 hundreds, and i thought duo wouldn't ask this, i didn't know that he had slaves... B-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

What about the better person to be considered for a job position?


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

i guess it could be used either way


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

Nowadays we'd be even more technically formal by saying, "Have you a more qualified person?"


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

Still thinking that both you/they should be accepted.


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

No, Duo only lets you do that when the Sie is at the beginning of the sentence, when it's genuinely ambiguous.


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

Why is it haben if 'you' is singular? It makes me think it is 'they'... :/


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

"Sie" can be singular or plural. It's the formal way to address people, whether you're talking to one person or multiple people. "They" would be "Haben sie" (lowercase "sie").


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

Sorry we don't accept returns.


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

"have you a better person?" why this is wrong?


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

I'm from the UK, and I'd definitely say "Have you got a ...". This one really got me thinking...

You might use "Have you ..." for ultra-formal situations, but you'd never use it in everyday speech: "Have you any further questions for the witness" in a court of law, but only ever "Have you got a pen" in normal conversation, or even when being very polite, like a job interview. "Have you ..." feels Victorian.

I think, although they look the same, the informal version ("Have you got a ...") is actually using "have" in another way, to indicate the past tense. So there's this form in English;

"Have you got a better person?"
"Have you seen the movie?"
"Have you understood it?"

where "got," "seen," and "understood" are the verbs, and "have" is an auxilliary verb indicating something happening in the past. It's the same in the German perfect tense;

"Hast du deine Hausaufgaben gemacht?" - "Have you done your homework?"

So, in summary, I think "Have you a better person" is just something you would not say in spoken, modern, UK English.


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

No, in your examples the past is indicated by the present tense verb 'have' and the addition of the verb 'seen, in past tense' as an adjective form modifying the object noun "it". etc. Let's not confuse or confound the issue.


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

Not wrong but in US in nearly all situations it would be considered pretentious speech.


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

I don't think it is wrong! In farmafil's suggestion, I can just see someone saying this? (Possibly more likely to be UK, & "Have you got. . ." might be another way of saying it. "Do you have. . ." is more likely to be US). I don't htink it's that old-fashioned in the right context - just a bit formal!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pearl1080

'Do you have a better character?# why is this wrong?


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

Person does not mean character in English. Character would be Charakter or Persönlichkeit.


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

Why 'bessere' and not ' beßere'?


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

Because the e before the ss is short. The new German spelling rules specify that the ß only comes after a long vowel.

But it's not like anyone worries if you get that wrong. I gather some people think it's classier to follow the old rules, and some people think it's classier to follow the new.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandonrice910

This will come in handy at the brothel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielMann9

So "she" is spelt with a lower case S and "you" (formal) is spelt with a capital?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flying-elephant

"sie" = she

"sie" = they

"Sie" = You (formal)


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

She, lower case 'sie' is never used with verb form like 'haben', then it would mean 'they'. Due has marked 'Do you have' wrong when written "Haben Sie" when duo means 'they' contextually and formally. So, as in speaking, formal use of "Sie" is ambiguous, as German formal is always expected, until informal is agreed upon!

This avoids the occurrence, as happens in English, of the accusatory "You!" ex: You should not" vs the formal "One should not"

Ambiguity exists in most, if not all, languages. Except perhaps math, where the parentheses clarifies! ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmanuelAm661310

How is bessere different from besser


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Adjectives must match the noun they are describing in gender, number and case and for whether the noun is preceded by a definite article (weak declension or inflection), an indefinite article or possessive pronoun (mixed declension) or no article (strong declension, as the adjective must show everything for the noun as if it were the definite article), and also change endings for comparisons. At this site, you can click on the British flag to see explanations in English. http://www.canoo.net/inflection/gut:A

Here the noun is preceded by "eine" so it is mixed inflection or declension, the noun is singular, feminine and in the Accusative case and a comparative form is needed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkYoung194614

why isnt it habt Sie?


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

"Habt" doesn't go with "Sie"; it goes with "ihr"

http://www.canoo.net/inflection/haben:V:haben


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

Wouldn't this be "Do THEY have a better person"?


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

Only if it were lowercase sie. Uppercase Sie has to be formal you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danny4ever

Good question to ask on my next interview if things don't go too well :)


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

i love how her voice curls up at the end


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

Correct me if I'm wrong: "bessere" here gets "e" because it works as a Attributive Adjective for Person?


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

Do you have a superior? Is it correct?


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

I don't think so, superior would mean, in my point of view, a boss. So if you work for someone, that person is your superior.

In this case, the sentence just says a "better person" (note that your superior isn't necessarily a better person than you xD)


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

Yes, I meant a boss, a superior in range, especially since I've seen it's an option behind the word bessere.


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

I don't think so, a native could confirm but I'm almost sure it can't mean that.


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

I think you're right. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnoMac1

Can't you use the negative "Don't you have a better person?"


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

How do you differentiate between person, leute, and menschen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kristina.f1

.. im reading commentd but it still doesnt make much sense to me. "Haben sie" really sounds like "they have". And if it isnt ... Then what about "irh seid" wouldnt that be the formal you? .... Im so confused


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

"Haben Sie" is you-formal (capital "Sie"). "Haben sie" is they (lowercase "sie"). They would be the same when spoken, but you-formal is capitalized when written, so we know here that it's "you" and not "they."

"Habt ihr" is you-plural (informal).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kristina.f1

Danke! I see now :)


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

This question was spoken to me. How am I to know if it references "you" or "they" when I cannot hear that "Sie" capitalized?


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

You can't tell from the sentence itself. In the absence of context (which would of course usually make it obvious), "Sie" could be either. Thus Duo will accept both translations.


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

Only in this case they didnt, as it's not unusual for them to mess up, just to get us talking... Me thinks :-) But, I agree Formally, as in formal speaking, capitalized 'Sie' means you or they only understood in context and often means both you and they as to a group. For lower case 'sie' always look to the verb form... Always!


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

Capitalized "Sie" means only "you," not "they." "Sie" meaning "they" would be lowercase. Duo should not accept "they" for the written prompt; that would be wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatCarroll1

Why isnt "person" capitalised?


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

In German? It is: "Haben Sie eine bessere Person?"

If you mean the English sentence, English doesn't capitalize nouns like German does.


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

LoL, it does if one has a smart keyboard app with a European option! This allows AI like Google to distinguish nouns more quickly! Not first word in sentence and capitalized? = Formal noun!


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

I'm not sure what you mean by "formal noun." Nouns don't have formality. All nouns are capitalized in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicoletta236013

I believe this sentence should be translated as "Are you a better person?"


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

No, that's not what the sentence means at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elder965146

Salve guerreiros...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesarc780

this phrase will be useful when i buy a slave


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edgar285674

Why is not possible to use THEY here if SIE is also taken as the plural third person and the verb is in plural too?


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

Because "Sie" is capitalized here, indicating the "formal you" meaning. If it were referring to "they," it would be lowercase "sie."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael74real

Do they have a better person should be accepted


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

No, it shouldn't. Capitalized "Sie" specifically means "you"; "they" would be lowercase "sie."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael74real

why not "Do they have a better person"?


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

Because "Sie" is capitalized. Capital "Sie" is "you"; lowercase "sie" is "they."

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