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  5. "That is on the house."

"That is on the house."

Translation:Das geht aufs Haus.

January 16, 2013


  • 591

"That goes on the house" is a valid English sentence which works better IMHO with the German counterpart. I think it is quite a stretch to figure out that "is" needs to be translated into "geht".


I think the problem is that "Das geht aufs Haus" is an idiom and means that the owner of a bar or restaurant provides you with free food or drinks. English is not my native language, but AFAIK you wouldn't say "That goes on the house" in this context.

Of course, without further context you could also interpret "Das geht aufs Haus" or "That is on the house" literally and imagine something climbing up or being on a rooftop. But that would be a rather far-fetched interpretation.

  • 591

Oh, I hadn't thought of that. I was thinking that it was about something like a parabolic antenna (for instance), which should go on the roof / house.


EXACTLY! "It is on the house"...
- The antenna is on the house.
- The roof is on the house!
- Santa Claus is on the house!!!
- An elite group of highly trained ninja-samurai assassins is on the house!!!!!!

Basically saying, yeah, something is on the house...like the chimney...or downspout.


My German-speaking husband points out that, usually, he'd say about those things that they were "on the roof", rather than "on the house".
"Es geht aufs Dach"
"Es steht auf dem Dach"


Well, it makes much more sense. Thank you. What about, say, free drinks? Does the idiom exist in German (on the house), please


If you read the other comments, you will see that that is in fact exactly what it means in German.


If an antenna, Santa, chimney, &c., is on the house, es steht auf dem Haus. Much different than something going onto the house (or onto the house's tab in the case of this idiom), which would be auf das (or aufs) Haus.


But thats not active, so why would it take the accusatory and not dative.


It's an idiom, in both languages, meaning "That [food or drink] is free". In English, it's "That is on the house", but in German, it's "Das geht aufs Haus". Note that the verb "gehen" does make the accusative correct. (PS, not "accusatory", that means something else)


yes, also - a sign is on the house.


Ahh thanks. now I understand...its on the house!


lol I was thinking literally also..


Yeah, no one in English has ever said, "That is on the house" meaning "It's on the house." They said "It's on the house, or "On the house."

The first time you see this, there's no way a native English speaker would get it right.


Wow. Of course people have said, "that is on the house".
Joe: "Here is the bill for your stay at our hotel"
Bob: "Oh, what about the bottle of champagne you sent up?"
Joe: "That is on the house, my friend."



Of course you're right: I'm sure it's happened. I thought that was obvious enough to make my absurdly rigid assertion seem comical. My failed attempt at being humorous (I forget that humor does not come across on these message boards).

The underlying point stands, as reiterated by many others on this page: there's no way to know that this is the sort of "on the house" Duolingo has in mind, especially since most people have never heard and will never hear anyone say in real life, "That is on the house." (I feel like I saw this in an Aaron Sorkin master class commercial somewhere.)


@DavidMcCar743097 - Haha, yes, I'm afraid humour is difficult to identify amid many serious assertions from people who declare themselves "outraged" that their version of some turn of phrase was not recognized by the computer. Over on the French tree, we have a person who posts the same "correction" on one page every day or two, even though it makes no sense, and totally ignores several people's attempts to reason with them. I have personally appealed for the phrase "nobody says" to be banned, because, almost invariably, it is followed by something I do say. Makes me feel quite slighted, it does. ;-)


I wouldn't say it so strongly, but I agree it obscures Duo's intended meaning. As a native English speaker, I was very confused by the tranlation at first (thinking that something was sitting on the roof of a house). I had to come to the comments to realize that they meant it idiomatically.


In English, we only say "something is on the house" (meaning it is free of charge). We never say "something goes on the house".


I put "Das ist gratis." just for fun and it was marked correct lol.


The last part of your statement is not true.

"The siding goes on the house." "The paint goes on the house." "The lights go on to the house."

The German equivalent probably isn't "...geht aufs...", but English definitely uses the concept. My guess at the German is, "Man stellt das aufs Haus."


Wenn etwas auf ein Haus gestellt oder montiert wird, sagt man es auch so. Der Spruch sagt hier eindeutig dass die Kosten das Hotel/die Kneipe oder der Wirt übernehmen. Wenn jemand mit der Leiter das Dach erklimmt, könnte man sagen ER, SIE oder ES geht /steigt aufs Haus. Aber ganz unwahrscheinlich DAS.


I still think that " is on the house" is even correct for the saying of a free drink at a bar, etc. not goes on the house.


I think they meant in terms of the idiom for something being "free of charge" in English we never say "goes on the house" for that idiom. Our English idiom is "is on the house" or just "on the house."


Thanks, it makes a lot more sense that way. We do indeed say something is "on the house" in this way in English.


I was asked the German, and put in "Das ist kostenlos", and it want accepted. Sure, it's not a direct translation, but it's accurate, no?


@ebelebel : The outcome for the punter would be similar, but no, what you suggested isn't a good translation at all. You wouldn't use it in the same context. Direct translations aren't what duo should be aiming for either. It just happens to be that the exact same idiom here exists both in English and German. Perhaps it should go in the idioms category.


In the literal sense (i.e., ignoring the idiomatic definition), if something is on the house, wouldn't it be "Das ist auf dem Haus", versus something that is going onto the house, which would be "Das geht auf das Haus"?


Me too, I thought something was on top of the roof.


Well, you are partially right but the idiom must be used with context. Without context, in English, it means something actually is on the house, like a chimney for instance. Here there is no context, so . . .


Idioms should belong to Frases, shouln't they?


Wow! Didn't know it's an actual expression and also its meaning! And would probably have never known something this much interesting and informative from DL alone! Have a lingot my friend :)


I agree that it's harder to make the leap / connection when you're learning the language, but I think this extra effort is worth it. When you're in a foreign country and trying to function, you may think of something you want to communicate, and you think of it in an idiom in your native tongue; it might be something like "That is on the house" and even if you had heard "Das geht aufs Haus" you might slip into a more literal translation in the moment...and then it comes across as awkward (and in some cases people might not even know what you mean). I've done this!

I'd much rather struggle with connecting idiom to idiom by deep meaning, and learning to skip over the literal meanings, because I think that skill is worth really developing thoroughly. This is one thing I think DuoLingo does exceptionally well, particularly in the German course.


They now accept 'Das ist'


But with "das ist", shouldn't the case change? Das ist auf dem Haus. I don't know if the idiom encompasses that, though.


Yes! Das ist auf dem Haus is Dative. But the other version that translates the same to English is Accusative. The key here is that Gehen is involved, so it is Accusative. The meaning of the sentence is idiomatic.


Ahh got it! Active Accusative Dative Dormant!


That is a metric often used for us newbies, but in fact it is a bit misleading. The significant factor is not whether the verb implies activity. What you want to look at is whether it refers to a location (where something may be still or in motion) - this is the Dative usage - or a destination - the Accusative.

Er läuft ins Haus - he runs into the house (i.e., from outside)
Er läuft im Haus - he runs in the house (i.e., maybe around in circles in the living room)


Ok. I do just want to clarify then... In Germany, we would likely hear a bartender say this if he is offering us a free drink. "Das geht auks Haus." does indeed mean "It is free of charge." as it does in English speaking countries, not "That thing is on top of the house."?


In English, to say that the bartender is giving you free drinks, the bartender would say that "it is on the house". It's a case of the idiom almost directly translating.


One of the answer proposed is "Das ist aufs Haus". Why is the accusative "auf das" correct here?


it isnt. i am a native speaker and i wouldnt use that sentence nor would i know what it is supposed to mean. maybe when im in a bar and the bartender will say that when he serves a drink, i will understand it and think that he uses a weird german, because the idiom is "das geht aufs haus".

another possibility could be that you leave the subject and the participle off when it is clear what is meant, e.g. you see a throng that surrounds a plane wreck in a ruin and ask someone what happened, he might answer you while he is pointing to the plane: das (flugzeug) ist aufs haus (gefallen/geflogen). but it would have to be a really taciturn person.

in most other situations this is absolutely nonsense.


Because the accusative is used when the subject in movement toward the object in question. Dative is used to describe the static position of the subject.


There are six accusative prepositions and ten dative prepositions. There are also nine that go back and forth. 'Auf' is one of those nine. http://www.graf-gutfreund.at/daf/02grammatik/04praeposition/gr1_praepositionen.pdf


Great visual resource. Thanks!


Is there no other way to say 'That is on the house'? What about 'Das ist auf dem Haus'?


FWIW 'Das ist auf dem Haus' is also accepted, but as explained above, it is a literal translation, while Duo is trying to teach us an idiom. I would not know it if I didn't read the comments btw..


and also "das ist am Haus" perhaps?


I take it that "Das geht aufs Haus" and "Das geht auf dem Haus" have different meanings. The former meaning that something is free, the latter meaning something walks out of the house. Don't know if it is correct or not.


Oooooh. "On the house" as in free. Now I get it. I got this question (That is on the house) in a multiple choice, and it presented me with "Das geht aufs Haus", "Das spricht aufs Haus", and "Das liest aufs Haus", and my initial thought was "... None of these are correct", because I thought it meant physically being on top of the house. Like something like "Where is my ball?" "It's on [top of] the house." For the idiom of something being free of charge, in English, no one would ever actually say "THAT is on the house", but rather always "IT'S on the house", which is why I got confused, I think.

Oh, and as long as I'm here, "Das geht auf dem Haus" does not mean "That walks out of the house." I'm pretty sure that would be "Das geht aus dem Haus". The sentence "Das geht auf dem Haus" actually means "That walks on the house" (not to be confused with "walks onto the house; that would be "auf das". Although even then, "walks" would be kind of strange here, because who's capable of walking onto a roof in a single bound, right? So "go" would be better in that case. And also not to be confused with the idiomatic use being mentioned in this thread. lol.).


In fact, people DO say "that's on the house" as well as "it's on the house". Just a matter of context as to when you'd use one or the other to refer to the drink (or whatever is being offered free).


Clarification: I said "Das ist auf dem Haus" and it was accepted. Would that mean the literal idea of an object being on top of the house (as opposed to the idiomatic phrase of getting something for free--Das geht aufs Haus--which has already been discussed)?


Yes, "Das ist auf dem Haus" means that something is literally located on the roof of a house.


This shouldn't be in a "grammar" exercise, since this is an idiom. grammatically this would be "Das steht aufm Haus" (dativ) or translating the german "that goes on the house" (akkusativ)


Totally agree. German grammar is difficult enough without Duolingo throwing these curve balls interrupting the learning flow.


What's mean by geht aufs? And does aufs means auf das?


Yes, aufs is a contraction of auf das. There are many others such as von dem = vom, or beim = bei dem. There are also many unofficial slang contractions that are not proper grammar, but common in spoken or informal writing such as dropping the -e in first person nouns (z.B. Ich hab' gegessen) or mach's doch = mach es doch or shortening etwas to just was (z.B. Willst du was zu trinken?) I would not recommend using the slang, but it is helpful to be aware of it to avoid getting confused.


Asking for a friend. How does ask if something is on the house?

Geht das aufs Haus?


Would it work to say "Das ist auf dem haus?" Duo marked it correct, but I wonder if it would sound right to a native speaker.


Neither geht nor legt are obvious verbs for this sentence


It's an idiom. Rules off the table.


Duo Lingo shouldn't have left us guessing. They should have used "The drinks are on the house!"


Das ist aufs Haus was accepted.

Would people in Germany look at me weird if I said it as such?


dict.leo.org notes that it is considered colloquial... So probably not?


So how would you offer a drink on the house in German ?

  • 2230

"That is on the house" tried "Das ist kostenlos" - didn't work :)


Eight months later - tried that and it works now. :)


Why not "Das geht am das Haus"?


No, because 'am' is a contraction of 'an dem' (here meaning 'on the' in English). So by adding another definite article (das), 'am das Haus' would translate as 'on the the house'. Also, the idiomatic expression 'Das geht aufs Haus' as used in DL's sentence, literally means 'That goes on/onto the account of/is for the account of the house' (= the bar/restaurant/establishment, etc.).


OH! Okay, so we can't use "am Haus" here because "dem Haus" is incorrect?


Hi Dillon, by 'no' I meant that you can't say 'an dem' (or 'am') followed by 'das', because then you actually have two articles (the + the) in a row, which does not work. But yes, although one wouldn't use 'am Haus' to translate DL's 'on the house', one cAn use it in other contexts, such as 'Die Kinder spielen am Haus entlang' which means 'the children are playing next to the house' or 'on/at the side of the house'.


Why can't this be That is on the house?


Yes, that actually IS the correct translation DL gives for 'Das geht aufs Haus'.


Could this phrase also work in the context of actually puttin something (eg. an ornament) on the house? In English 'that goes on the house' could be the answer to 'where do I put this?'. Is it the same in German?


Hi all! Would "es ist auf Kosten des Hauses" also acceptable for it's on the house?


The problem is the "is". Think of it like things "going" onto people's bills then you won't have problems with "Das geht auf mich!"


"Das ist aufs Haus" - my answer was given correct. I am wondering if the german spoken language this also works or I should stick with the more common answer "Das geht aufs Haus"? thank you.


But Duo accepted 'Das ist auf dem haus' as well, can any one tell me why?


Yours is the meaning of it (perhaps a bird) being physically on top of the house (auf), as opposed to just being connected to the house (an), or (as dicussed above) the idiomatic expression.


A ver. Eso esta sobre la casa. Puede ser como una antena de TV. o un tanque de agua. En español solo asi tendria sentido.


Why wouldn't you use "Hause"? I thought that was the dative form, as in "zu Hause"


In the sentence "Das geht aufs Haus", "Haus" is in the accusative case (not the dative). That's why you can't use the dative form "Hause" here.

Also, the extra -e for masculine and neuter nouns in the dative singular (Haus-e, Mann-e, Kind-e, etc.) today generally only appears in a handful of fixed expressions such as "zu Hause" or "nach Hause". In other contexts, it sounds very old-fashioned.


Why ams and not am?


I absolutely did not understand the sentence or the translation.


Why geht? I would have thought legt would be more appropriate... Using geht, i.e. Goes, implies that it in some way belings on the house, rather than simply being on too of it.


"Das geht aufs Haus" is an idiom meaning "Das ist kostenlos" and so should just be memorised without over-thinking it.


Why is it not “Das ist über dem Haus.”?


I think that means "That is above the house".

This phrase is meant to be used when something is given without charge (for free). Like, you have a nice dinner and the waiter gives you a free dessert and says, "This is on the house!".

Although out of context, I initially took this to mean that there is literally something on someone's house. Maybe the chimney, the roof, a bird, or Santa's sleigh is on the house, but whatever it is, I took it to mean that something was actually on or attached to a physical house structure. Now, if the previously mentioned waiter told me that my dessert was "on the house" in this context, I would be quite perturbed!...As well as the house owners.


❤❤❤. What fresh hel l is this.


why aufs and not auf?


auf + das = aufs


How about Duo adds some context, [something you may hear in a bar] "that's on the house"?

I got wrapped up thinking about things that go on a house: antenna, Spanish tiles, etc. LOL


I guessed this correctly but this is a strange construction and misleading at best.


Why is it aufs and not just auf?


auf + das = aufs


Unclear example...


It would be nice if additional information was provided for this sentence. Does Duo mean that something is on the house in a literal sense (the bird is on the house), or does Duo mean that an item is for free (the drinks are on the house)? I am assuming that it means an item is free of charge, as "aufs" is used here rather than auf, but I may be wrong.


why we ommit the article? I mean it has no sense to me considering all article rules in german. Help please


It is not omitted. Aufs = auf das.


Why Haus and not Hause? You also say: ich bin zu hause...


Hi, I used " Das geht am Haus" as the TIPS suggested in their smooched tips and it was marked as incorrect. In the Smooched Tips area, it said that an + dem equalled = on the, so I used that but it was wrong. It suggested that auf + das = meaning =to the. This was clearly the correct answer but the TIPS suggested that we should use = am as meaning = on the " Das geht am Haus" That is on the house. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH


I will never not read the English version of this sentence as something being physically located on top of a house.




Losing another heart for no good reason.


In English the idiom is just "on the house" or "is on the house." Not goes on the house. And the English idiom can start any way you want, the drinks are on the house, It's on the house, that is on the house, your meal is on the house, etc. It's really just the "on the house" part that is the idiom.

I think the big question here is - Is there an actual German idiom that uses exactly the words and only the words, "DAS geht aufs Haus" ? Like does it HAVE to start with "Das geht" for the German idiom?

Even if the German idiom requires "goes" instead of "is", does it also require das? Could Duolingo have avoided all this confusion and frustration if they made it "The drinks are on the house" - Die Getränke gehen aufs Haus" or does the German idiom HAVE to be "DAS geht aufs Haus" ?


Gehen isn't the right verb for this case. Sitzen is the right one


Literal translation?


The whole sentences of this section suck

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