1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Freitag ist der fünfte Tag d…

"Freitag ist der fünfte Tag der Woche."

Translation:Friday is the fifth day of the week.

January 16, 2016



Why is is not der Woches?


The ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ ending that many nouns take in the genitive is a feature of masculine and neuter nouns in the singular; you can remember this by the fact that they are the two genders which pair with ‘des’ as their genitive definite article. Feminine nouns don't take this ending.

Don't, however, also assume that all masc./neuter nouns take an ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ in the genitive case. There are other endings which they could take. This page covers the matter more thoroughly than I could myself.


Why is nominative used for the "der fünfte Tag" portion of the sentence, and not accusative ("den fünfte Tag")? Danke.


With "A = B" type of sentences, both "sides" are in the nominative case -- both the subject and the predicate.

Freitag (nominative) ist der fünfte Tag (nominative).


Because the sentence is using "sein" (ist) and that makes both parts nominative.

Nom Acc: Der Junge hat einen Ball.

Nom Nom: Der Junge ist ein Ball.


As mizinamo said "A=B". You can say: "der fünfte Tag der Woche ist Freitag" and the sentence doesn't change its meaning. It works in English as well, "The fifth day of the week is Friday" and vice versa.


Danke sehr, alles!


If it's true that Germany considers Friday the fifth day of the week and, therefore, Monday the first, then what sense does it make to call Wednesday Mittwoch!? Thursday is in the middle of a Monday-Sunday week! Would Germans here confirm that they consider Monday the beginning of the week? Perhaps that was not so decades or centuries ago???


what sense does it make to call Wednesday Mittwoch!?

It's the middle of a Monday–Friday work week :)

Would Germans here confirm that they consider Monday the beginning of the week?

Yes, definitely. Calendars in German start on Monday and end with the weekend (Saturday + Sunday).

Perhaps that was not so decades or centuries ago???

Quite possibly. I think that Christians originally considered Sunday, the Day of the Lord, to be the first day of the week ending on the original Jewish Sabbath (Saturday), and so Mittwoch would have been the middle of a Sunday-to-Saturday week originally.

But nowadays, the week starts on a Monday in Germany, but we haven't renamed the day.


Good job on that one.


"Friday is the week's fifth day." That should be fine in English?


It sounds odd to me. 's possessives are more commonly formed when the owner is human or at least animate (John's book, the dog's tail).


Using "week's" in this way is fine, HannesESFL. While mizinamo is correct that possession is more often seen in conjunction with humans, it's not really odd to use the apostrophe-s with inanimate objects. Sometimes when I've reached the day's end, and my cigar's ash is ready to drop, and I'm savoring my scotch's flavor, I like to reflect on my native language's idiosyncracies.


Yes, of course, Hannes and zengator!


A bit unrelated question - do ordinal numbers in German get a gender?


They are normal adjectives, so they take gender/number/case suffixes as usual when they are before a noun.


then why is it fünfte here? it's nom male here right? how would it be for nom fem? and for accusative male would it be fünften?


then why is it fünfte here?

Weak inflection after the definite article der.

(The definite article der already has an -r for masculine nominative, so the adjective doesn't have to have that ending as well.)

der fünfte Mann, die fünfte Frau, das fünfte Kind

and for accusative male would it be fünften?

Yes. Almost always with a definite article before it (since "the fifth man" makes more sense than "a fifth man" -- can several men be fifth? perhaps, but...), i.e. as den fünften Mann.


you say that the adjective doesnt have to have the r ending - does that mean it's optional? or does it never get the ending? does this rule not apply in other cases? - cuz u said it's den fünften Mann in accusative - or could it also be - den fünfte Mann?

guess i better give some more attention to the adjectives lessons...


you say that the adjective doesnt have to have the r ending - does that mean it's optional? or does it never get the ending?

It never gets the ending.

der große Mann, der kleine Mann, der fünfte Mann, der neue Mann -- (nearly) all adjectives work the same way.

cuz u said it's den fünften Mann in accusative - or could it also be - den fünfte Mann?

The weak ending is -e only in the nominative singular (and feminine/neuter accusative, since those are always equal to feminine/neuter nominative).

The weak ending is -en otherwise (i.e. all plural, all genitive, all dative, masculine accusative).

e.g. der große Mann, des großen Mannes, dem großen Mann, den großen Mann; die großen Männer, der großen Männer, den großen Männern, die großen Männer.

So in the masculine accusative, it coincidentally looks like the strong masculine accusative adjective ending (e.g. ich kaufe den teuren Wein [weak], ich kaufe keinen teuren Wein [mixed], ich kaufe teuren Wein [strong]), since the strong and weak endings are both -en in that case. (And therefore, the mixed ending is also -en, since it's either the same as the strong or as the weak.)

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives


ok, in your last comment, i understood almost nothing - but i realized already that adjectives is a much more complicated subject than i thought, and started reading about it (pretty much the first subject that i had to actually read explanations and couldnt manage with only the exercises and comments here). so its not because the comment isnt good, but because i dont have enough knowledge in it yet. but thanks anyways.


I think in general the American week starts on the Sunday and the European on a Monday. Some countries start on Saturday. See link. http://chartsbin.com/view/41671.


ISO 8601 clearly states the week starts on Monday. Americans just didn't get the memo.


Not just Americans. Sunday is the first day of the week in Australia. Who cares what ISO 8601 says?


That is wrong THURSDAY is the 5th day of the week!!!


Don't take everything Duo says as gospel truth. Next you'll be telling me that your duck really drinks beer and your bear sits on your shirt.

Also, in Germany, Friday is generally the fifth day of the week; calendars here start on Monday and so Saturday and Sunday are at the end - as in "weekend".

Other calendars start the week on yet other days.


@mizinamo Aber meine Ente trinkt wirklich Bier :)


The Google's know that the start of the week is nigh arbitrary: WeekStart

I like starting mine on Monday, to keep the weekend together at the end of the week. Other's like starting on Saturday, to keep the weekend together at the beginning of the week.

My employer starts each workweek on Sunday, because splitting my weekend is of no concern to him.

It's all in how you like to see things presented.


In many countries Monday IS the first day of the week.


And, most relevantly, Germany is one of them, as are other German-speaking countries.


Why not Friday is a fifth day of the week?


How many fifth days of the week are there?

There is only one fifth day, and that's Friday. It's the fifth day.

When there is only one of something, "a" doesn't really make sense: we have "the Sun, the Moon, the Earth; the fifth day of the week; the highest mountain on earth; the best thing to do at the weekend; etc.".


Does it mean that there is a mistake in the English to French course where the owl says I eat a third crepe?


No, not a mistake. (Though "I'm eating my third crepe" would sound more natural to me. Or even "This is the third crepe I am eating.")

I'm not sure how to explain this; two attempts:

  • I am eating a crepe. What kind of a crepe? A third one.
  • I can eat four crepes and you can eat five crepes. After we have each eaten two crepes, we will both be eating third crepes. So "third crepe" is not a unique thing. (But there is only one kind of week.)


How do you figure out different cases and genders?


Can you be more specific?


The only one I've so far discovered with any consistency is that if it ends in -ung, it's a "die" (like "die Werbung", "die Zeitung").


der Sprung, der Dung :)

Though, granted, -ung is part of the word stem in those words, not a suffix.


no offence but why is it called "mittwoch" if it isnt even the FOURTH day of the week??????????? it LITERALLY means middle of the week


It's the middle of the work week (Mon–Fri), though.


In my part of the world counting of the days always started on Sunday (until very recently, when it has become a bit of a mixed bag, with some starting on Monday), so Wednesday IS the fourth day.


Just out of curiosity: where do you come from?


Cool. Here (in Poland) we have some (religious) calendars with Sundays as the first days of weeks. However, we also have a well-known radio programme called Siódmy dzień tygodnia (= The seventh day of the week), which is broadcasted on Sundays.


Mittwoch used to be Wodenestag, "Odin's Day" much as Thursday, "Thor's Day" is Donnerstag (Donar/Donner/Donder being Germanic names of Thor, whence English "thunder"). During Europe's Christianization the church outlawed mention of Odin in parts of Germany. Hence "mid-week" instead.


No it's not, and you can't change it. It has been for six thousand years, despite your regulations.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.