1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "The girl did not eat fish to…

"The girl did not eat fish today."

Translation:Das Mädchen hat heute keinen Fisch gegessen.

January 18, 2013

16 Comments


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

"heute" should come before "keinen Fisch" in the German translation.


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

Yes, it should indeed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/turner227

I wrote 'aß' instead of 'hat gegessen'. Can somebody please tell me why this is wrong.


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

They avoid using this word, because it sounds like animals (dead) body, Aas. Nobody uses the word. Though I learned the word at school, the teacher said not to use it. It should be always "essen" or "gegessen haben."


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

I agree that 'hat gegessen' is more common but saying that nobody would use 'aß' isn't true in general.


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

"Das Mädchen aß heute keinen Fisch" is fine.


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

Und was mit 'hat heute den Fisch nicht gegessen"?


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

That would be talking about a specific fish, rather than fish in general.


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

Aßen = ate; haben gegessen = have/had eaten: is that correct?


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

Not quite. German has two past tenses-- one is written (in a novel, for example) and one is spoken. "haben gegessen" is spoken, "aßen" is written.


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

Just to clarify: both past tense forms can be used in written and in spoken language. It's just that people rarely use the preterite in spoken language. In written German, both forms are used. So I think it's a bit misleading calling one 'spoken' and the other one 'written'.


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

Thanks, wataya! Is there a reason preterite isn't spoken as often? Does it sound too formal or is the other form more slang?


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

I don't know why. It's just the way people use the language. The perfect form is not slang. Using the preterite in spoken German often sounds a bit formal. Whether it sounds formal because people don't normally use it or whether people don't normally use it because it sounds formal, I can't tell :) I guess it's a positive feedback loop. BTW: it's the same in French with the imparfait.


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

Thank you for the help! :)


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

Thank you for your reply. I wouldn't have known without your help!

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