It's a little complicated.
"Sind" means "are"... except when used, like this example, as a "helper" verb with a past participle. In English, the helper verb is always "to have"... but in German it can sometimes be "sein" - usually when the past participle is a verb that indicates motion, travel etc..
So it doesn't literally translate as "have", but for all intents and purposes if you were to translate the entire sentence into a meaningful corresponding sentence in English, yes, you'd have to translate it as "have".
Does that make sense, or have I just made it more complicated?
This article explains it:
I guess you would count swimming as "a change of location".
I'm not a native speaker but from what I've learned, "in the sea" refers to being specifically into the water, swiming, surfing, sailing, etc. And in German it would be "im Meer".
"At the sea" only infers proximity. You could be at the shore, or in a beach house a few meters away from the sea, etc. And this would be "am Meer" in German.
In fact it's dative rather than accusative, because there is no directional movement. Swimming is movement, but there is not specificed directional component e.g. the sentence does not respond to 'Wohin'. If you said 'Wir sind ins (in das) Meer geschwommen' it would imply that directional 'wohin' sense and would translate more to 'We swam into the sea' e.g. from the river.
Today we swim.
Yesterday we sw
We have sw
um in the sea and in the lake.
And sind does not mean "have". At all. It is, however, the auxiliary verb used auf Deutsch with the past participle for verbs describing motion. Z.B., :
- Ich bin gerennen.
- Wir sind gegangen.
- Er ist gelaufen.
- Du bist geschwommen.
English uses "have" [exclusively?] for main verb past participles. German uses haben for non-motion verbs:
- Ich habe gegegessen.
- Er hat gelesen.
- Wir haben gesagt.
It is interesting that sein is used as the auxiliary verb because there is motion involved in swimming, but the dative case is still used (im Meer).
I would expect sein for "wir sind ins Meer geschwommen", that makes perfect sense (no pun intended).
If you were treading water (which would still involve motion, of course), I guess haben would be used? Correct me if I am wrong - otherwise, it's really about the change of location, but the change of location is more 'local' than when determining the case? Or is it simply the case that some verbs use sein and I am overthinking it?
Please correct any errors in my understanding or examples.
Dativ because we are swimming within the water, not moving into it (which would be Akkusativ), such as if we were diving.
The auxiliary verb is usually fixed for each verb, with the general rule being that if the verb involves a change of location, state, or condition, then sein is used. This article provides some additional details.
Yeah, I know why this sentence is dative, that was my point. We are within the water, not moving into it, so there is no change of location (as far as the case goes), yet the auxiliary verb is sein which is used for a change of location.
If the auxiliary verb is fixed for each verb, that pretty much answers the question. Thanks.
Sentences are not Dativ. Sentences have parts or phrases that are:
- Nominativ: providing the subject, the actor, without which one doesn't have a sentence;
- Akkusativ: the target of the action, without which the sentences is often boring and simplistic;
- Dativ: prepositional phrases and indirect objects that further define and illuminate the central idea of the sentence; and
- Genitiv: showing ownership of or by the other portions.
They also have verbs, of course.
But a sentence is no more Dativ than it is Nominativ.
Hi Joshua24 Compare the following I have swum vs I have swam - In this case 'swam' feels wrong to me. I swam in the lake vs I swum in the lake - In this case 'swum' feels wrong to me.
I think it's called the perfect tense and requires the auxiliary verb 'to have' followed by the verb 'swum'. Similar to begin, began, begun. But as a native English speaker I only learnt grammar rules when I tried to learn another language, so my explanation could be off a bit.
Regardless though, 'swum' is not unusual where I live and work.
Swam is "regular past tense". Swum is the past participle and needs to be preceded by a helper verb. Both are correct, but in regular usage "swam" is used much more often.
As a native (British) english speaker, I'd always say "swam". "Swum" needs to be preceded by "to have", so if one was going to use it, one would say "I have swum the channel"... but personally I think that sounds odd. I'd always say "I swam the channel".
The only circumstances I can think of where I'd say "have swum", is if the expression was followed by another clause, for example, "I have swum the channel, but it wasn't much fun" (emphasis on the word "have").
Some verbs--particularly those that involve motion--use sein as the auxiliary verb. Others use haben. One simply has to learn/memorize which uses which. Eventually the choice becomes reflexive.
As an aside, I'm not sure you really mean "tell/told . . . off". To "tell [someone] off" is to rebuke, reprimand, or admonish, and has the connotation of being harsh. I've had die Eule correct me, but never rebuke me.
I'd love to see some evidence to back up the idea that swam is more common in perfect simple constructions (have+past participle) than swum and not just anecdotal "I've almost never heard 'swum'." because I can just as easily say I have never heard someone say "I have swam".
I doubt I could give you any evidence that would satisfy you. Garner's Modern American usage has 'swam' instead of 'swum' as in use by a significant fraction of the population (from the 2009 edition) and includes several examples of its use in print. Of course, it isn't technically correct, because common usage is always ahead of academic acceptance.
But further, the beauty of language is its usage, and the point of Duolingo is to teach people how the language is used. Knowing rules is fine, but knowing how the language is actually used is just as important. Not accepting 'swam' doesn't make much sense to me as it is in use. 'Erroneous' or not, it's not just a colloquialism.