If I were a rich man, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man. I wouldn't have to work hard. Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum. If I were a biddy biddy rich, Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.
I'd build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen, Right in the middle of the town. A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below. There would be one long staircase just going up, And one even longer coming down, And one more leading nowhere, just for show.
You say that as if it's a problem, but think about it: when you read the English sentence "these ducks breakdance in the library", do you not know just exactly what is meant--without puzzling through the words--despite the fact that one would never see such a spectacle?
If you were to see a similar sentence in German, and instantly recognize what was meant, wouldn't that be a sign that you had achieved significant fluency?
[American here] I grew up saying "the stairs" for ordinary stairs; only stairs that were fancy, like ones that were richly carpeted with ornate banisters in a fine hotel, would have been a "staircase". And if the stairs were for the purpose of accessing an upstairs apartment in a house and were on the outside of the house, they would be "a set of stairs". It's probably a regional thing...
I just tried "He has his own set of stairs" as an answer on Oct.1, 2019, and it was rejected. I don't know whether it is actually an acceptable translation of the German or not.
Ah, this is indeed a bit confusing... generally "die Treppe" means stairs and "die Treppen" staircases, but, depending on what region you're in they may be used interchangeably.
A single step on a Treppe is "die Stufe". Often a small series of steps (e.g. leading up to a house entrance) are referred to as "die Stufen", BUT term can also be used interchangeably with "Treppe".
"seine" means "his" not necessarily referring to the person who is the subject. It would be weird though to have someone else's staircase, "seine eigene" means "his own". There will be other sentences in which it might be more possible to have something that belongs to someone else and this would clarify that. Imagine: "Yes, he thought it would be amusing to pull the staircase from the other rich person's house and install it in his new mansion." or "No, it looks like the staircase of that other rich person, but it is his own staircase."
Actually, I took this to mean that he did not have to share a staircase with someone else in his apartment complex. "He has his own staircase."
I don't think tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN actually answers the question of whether "seine eigene" is redundant. If it would be weird for the sentence to have another meaning with "eigene" alone, then it follows that "seine eigene" is redundant. Why try to make up unlikely alternatives. Any German speakers out there?
Without the possessive pronoun, "eigene" seems to mean "one's own", "separate" or "specific"... http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/eigene
"Treppe" is singular whether you use "stairs" or "staircase" in English. "Treppen" is the plural which would mean "staircases" or "sets of stairs". A single step is "die Stufe", which does become plural "die Stufen" for steps. Because of the possessive pronoun, "eigenen" would be used for mixed inflection of a plural noun. http://www.canoo.net/inflection/eigen:A
Thinking of another example in this session, this pairing just seems a bit inconsistent.
The other example equated 'he has his own children' to 'er hat eigene Kinder' (note no 'seine' in that case, which was explained to be slightly unnatural sounding by one of the mods).
Here, however, we have 'he has his own staircase' matched to 'er hat SEINE eigene Treppe'.
Why does this example now come with 'seine' when the other explicitly did not need/want it?
The only use that I hear in America of "stairway" is in the song "Stairway to Heaven." Stairway is actually "one or more staircases or flights of stairs. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stairway