"Haben Sie eine bessere Person?"

Translation:Do you have a better person?

January 13, 2013

129 Comments


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

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

October 4, 2014

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

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

January 30, 2015

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

What's the difference?

September 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ManuelJess926043

The difference is not to be killed, as authoritarian leaders like.

April 11, 2016

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

No... the difference is whether you have a sense of humor or not.

November 13, 2016

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

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

May 11, 2019

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

Giving you a lingot just for making me laugh

September 22, 2015

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

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

June 6, 2016

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.

March 15, 2018

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

Honestly I thought of matchmaking or job placements.

November 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garogarabed12

MADE MY DAY HAHAHAH!!

February 22, 2017

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

I find it that they've influenced by hannibal lecter...

January 18, 2015

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

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

May 23, 2013

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".

July 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJAU86

What if someone was speaking this sentence how would they know if you meant you or they?

July 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

Context.

July 17, 2014

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

In Duo there is no context. You forgot your own answer when you answered them. :-}

March 3, 2019

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

Giving you a lingot just for your profile pic XD I love Durarara!!

October 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benwiley40

Eye tracking? Lol

May 31, 2015

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

Haha that made me actually laugh out loud

December 8, 2015

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

sie - they / Sie - you

December 12, 2015

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

Wouldn't a formal - they- be capitalized 'Sie' ?

March 3, 2019

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

I'm not sure what you mean. German doesn't distinguish formal vs. informal for "they"; there's only a special formal form for "you." "Sie" meaning "they" is never capitalized (except at the beginning of a sentence, of course).

March 3, 2019

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

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

September 9, 2014

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

"Sie" is not a polite form of they for 1 person. "Sie" with a capital letter is the polite or formal "you" which can be used for 1 or more people. "sie" can be "they" and with a different verb form it can be "she"." http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang02.htm

June 18, 2016

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

Ty

August 29, 2015

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

February 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilan977224

It isn't they because 'Sie' is capitalized meaning that it is he/she/it

January 10, 2016

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

No Capitalized "Sie" is "you" formal form.

March 17, 2016

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

Because it's xenophobic,German people are very sensitive on the issue since Holocaust

March 2, 2016

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

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

January 28, 2013

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.

January 27, 2013

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.

April 10, 2015

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

Dui's not that smart! lol

March 3, 2019

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-)

January 12, 2016

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

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

March 17, 2016

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

i guess it could be used either way

March 18, 2016

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

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

March 3, 2019

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

In the far, far future

August 28, 2017

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

Duolingo introducing Human 2.0

October 20, 2017

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

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

September 8, 2013

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

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

October 10, 2014

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

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

March 3, 2019

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

Still thinking that both you/they should be accepted.

March 4, 2015

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.

October 11, 2015

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

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

March 9, 2017

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").

March 9, 2017

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

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

January 13, 2013

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.

October 10, 2014

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.

March 3, 2019

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

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

December 1, 2013

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!

July 24, 2013

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

Because in contemporary English, this is not a valid construction. In the same way that one can't say 'Drink you coffee?' or 'Make you bread?', the correct construction is either 'Do you have a better person?' or Have you got a better person?'. Don't let historical English constructions fool you!

January 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickS90

I've heard people say "Have you any ..." before, and I was born in 1990 (not ancient history, last I checked). I think we can settle on the conclusion that talking in that way with the verb "to have" is idiomatic. That doesn't make it wrong.

January 1, 2014

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

"Have you got a better person?" is also wrong to duolingo, for some reason.

January 14, 2013

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

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

April 12, 2013

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

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

October 2, 2015

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

I just did too. The same thing and it was still wrong. Not sure when you reported it, but it is April 5th today.

April 7, 2014

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

I don't think it is; that's what I put, too.

July 24, 2013

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

I put the same. Reported

March 1, 2014

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

Why 'bessere' and not ' beßere'?

January 18, 2015

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.

October 11, 2015

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

This will come in handy at the brothel

September 22, 2015

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

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

January 8, 2016

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

"sie" = she

"sie" = they

"Sie" = You (formal)

January 19, 2016

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! ;-)

March 3, 2019

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

How is bessere different from besser

March 30, 2016

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.

June 18, 2016

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

why isnt it habt Sie?

May 13, 2016

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

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

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

May 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashton_M_02

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

June 1, 2016

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

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

June 2, 2016

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

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

June 14, 2016

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

i love how her voice curls up at the end

July 10, 2016

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

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

September 24, 2016

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

Do you have a superior? Is it correct?

November 3, 2016

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

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)

November 3, 2016

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.

November 3, 2016

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

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

November 3, 2016

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

I think you're right. Thanks!

November 3, 2016

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

Bitte!

November 3, 2016

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

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

November 5, 2016

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

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

January 6, 2017

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

March 1, 2017

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).

March 1, 2017

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

Danke! I see now :)

March 10, 2017

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?

October 10, 2017

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.

October 10, 2017

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!

March 3, 2019

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.

March 3, 2019

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

Why isnt "person" capitalised?

January 17, 2018

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.

January 17, 2018

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!

March 3, 2019

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.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niloy19

Haben Sie einen besseren person ? Shouldn't it be that way? Since accusative mixed inflection neuter singular ? Danke

November 26, 2014

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

No, first thing, the "ein" doesn't change ending for neuter accusative, so the adjective ending indicates the gender, thus: "ein besseres Haus."

See: http://www.canoo.net/services/Controller?input=gut&features=(Cat+A)&dispatch=inflection&lang=en

Second thing, "Person" is feminine, genders just defy logic.

October 11, 2015

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

Viele danke

February 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niloy19

A person is a man or woman . A Neuter . How come it is considered feminine ?

November 26, 2014

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

Gender doesn't necessarily match the concept of the word. As another example, "Mädchen" ("girl") is neuter.

October 21, 2015

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

It says "female" is also a translation of person? How can we use it?

December 22, 2014

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

The word "die Person" in German is female. You cannot tell the actual gender of the person who is talked about from the word Person.

October 2, 2015

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

Right! "die Person" is not "female", but the word has the feminine gender. The person could be a male or a female.

March 17, 2016

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

Is "haben" not plural? Is not "sie" capitalized even when it means "she" when it is the first word of the sentence?

January 30, 2015

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

Yes, "haben" is used for "sie" which is plural "they", for "wir" which is plural "we" and for "Sie" which is formal "you" and can be singular or plural. So, it is not always plural. When "sie" means "she", the verb would be "hat". When "sie" is not capitalized and is followed by "haben", it means "they", but you are right if "sie" is the first word of the sentence then it will be capitalized anyway. "Sie" meaning "you" is always capitalized. When you see "Sie" capitalized and it is not the first word in the sentence then you know it means "you". If it is the first word in the sentence and is followed by "haben", then Duolingo will accept "they" as well as "you" unless there is something else in the sentence that will indicate which is meant.

March 17, 2016

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

isn't 'person' a male noun?

September 6, 2015

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

Nope. Feminine.

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mouss12

How can I say in German :
does she have a better person?

October 18, 2015

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

"Hat sie eine bessere Person?" (Note no capital letter on "sie")

October 21, 2015

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

i don't get it

November 14, 2015

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

This is just one of the random sentences used by Duo. The context could be something like "Do you have a better person for this task that I need doing, because this person I already have will fail abysmally at it". Hope that helped :)

June 12, 2016

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

Well, i guess it makes sense, otherwise how would he come up with such awful and rude phrases

January 12, 2016

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

I thought "Haben" indicated plural. Is it also used with formal "You"?

January 16, 2016

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

Yes, the konjugation of "Sie" is the same as it is for "they" (sie) or "we" (wir) which is the infinitive of the verb.

wir essen - we eat

ihr esst - you (informal) eat

sie essen - they eat

Sie essen - You (formal) eat

Also, the formal version You/Sie can be used both for one person and for more people.

January 19, 2016

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

What's wrong with "Do THEY have a better person"?

January 18, 2018

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

This question has been answered several times on this page (e.g., under lapidshay's, ItsLeAshton's, and kristina.f1's comments). Please read the other comments before posting questions.

January 18, 2018

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

I feel right now that the qeustion has been answered many times. Go and read some comments ;)

March 15, 2018

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

Isn't 'haben' used for plural pronouns? Yes the formal 'you' is 'sie' but when combined with 'haben' I would think 'sie' is plural and stands for they.

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

"Sie" is capitalized (and not at the start of the sentence). It can only mean the formal "you".

July 17, 2014

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

Hath you a better person .... why not?

February 4, 2013

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

Hath thou a better person? ;)

February 24, 2013

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

Wellaway! Methinks ye both should review your grammar forthwith. It is "Hast thou a better person?" that was correct in days of yore. However, Duolingo approveth not of such forms as are grown obsolete.

March 28, 2013

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

Interesting - in the English of that period, "Thou" was used exactly like Modern German "Du" - so singular, and only if on familiar terms; the formal "you" was just "You" plural whether speaking to one or more than one. Does this mean we're ahead of Germany, or just that they're more polite than us?

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

Well, English does come from an older form of German (it's a Germanic language), so it's not really surprising.

July 17, 2014

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

Wow ,this is rude. Out of context

September 9, 2014

[deactivated user]

    Ugh, "eine" translates as one, but it says "a" and I get it wrong?

    September 24, 2014

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

    Ouch....

    May 14, 2016

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

    Do you have a better person?.... WTHeck does that even mean?... If person translates to "character" as well (per DL) why "personality" is an incorrect translation???? I have written "Do you have a better personality" and it was not accepted. I think it should have been.

    August 23, 2014

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

    "Personality" =/= human being. "A better person" could be someone more qualified. Literally a different human. In English, "character" can be used to mean either a person ("a character in that show") or a person's demeanor ("that upbeat guy has a good character"). In the second example, "character" is describing an abstract noun. Substituting "personality" in makes sense. In the first, it does not.

    December 20, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lam.a01

    Y bessere

    June 21, 2015
    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.