"Selbst ich trinke Milch."

Translation:Even I am drinking milk.

January 20, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What's wrong with "Myself, I drink milk."?


The emphasis is on the "ich". The sentence has a meaning of "even I drink milk". "myself, I drink milk" would be a correct translation of "Selbst trinke ich Milch".


'Even I drink milk' was exactly what I put -- and it was marked wrong.


I'd go with, "I drink milk, myself."


That doesn't mean the same thing as ''even I drink milk'' (which is the translation of what this typically means in German and what DL is looking for). With ''even I drink milk'' it is like, ''I am very picky, but even I drink milk.'' With the other, it is like, ''He drinks water and she drinks juice, but I drink milk, myself''. In one you are joining the rest and the other you are different. So, while selbst often means myself, it seems in this case it means ''even'' as someone said, ''sogar''. Just another exception that is best explained by ''that is just how it is in German'' :)


DL accepted, "I drink milk, myself." But thank you anyway. :)


Unfortunately, it did not accept "I myself drink milk."


"Selbst ich" = "Even I"
"Ich selbst" = "I myself" "Personally I"


Yep i had the same failure and i can't understand why.


because theyre not the same construction; one is colloquially english and the other is a german construction.


You missed his point. Duo shouldn't have accepted that. He is just trying to help you learn the correct meaning so you don't have to unlearn this later.


Good to see DL is open to both options.


Yup, it accepted mine, too, which is good for feeling good now, and a little vengeance for all the other times! And good to learn the difference, of course...!


because in german, they would never use this construction because its grammatically incorrect and colloquially english. eg. are you going home? Myself, im staying here. in german: gehst du nach hause? selber ich bleibe hier. there is not equivalent to your colloquially construction.


"Even I drink milk" should be ok


Shouldn't be the verb in second position? like "Selbst trinke ich Milch"


My guess is that "selbst" is not a separate part of sentence but rather enhances the subject. The same happen with adjectives, for instance "Der große Mann geht nach Hause": here "der große Mann" can be viewed like one subject and not like three words, so "geht" is technically in the second position as a verb should in German.

I am no expert, though. I hope German speakers correct me if I'm wrong or inaccurate.


Yup. The verb should be the second element in the sentence, not necessarily the second word. The element can contain more than one word, in this case:
selbst ich = even I

'Noch einmal' gehe ich ... Once again, I am going...

'Was für ein Kind' spricht so unhöflich? What kind of a child speaks so rudely?



Your second sentence is a great example of what's happening in Duo's sentence here.

Frankly, I think learners become confused when thinking in terms of first and second elements. A better terminology (imo) is SVO (subject-verb-object word order) vs. VSO. Duo's sentence here is SVO.


So why 'selbst ich' should be considered as a subject together. It seems 'selbst' is an adverb.


Surfing around, no one quite says so, but I think it means "even" when it stands before the subject, and oneself (myself, herself...) when it comes after the subject. So it makes sense that it would stay in front of the subject when the subject is in first place.

Is that peculiar for a German adverb? I'm not sure. Adverbs can go to the beginning of a sentence on their own, and they sometimes modify the whole sentence, rather than just the verb. But in any case, there seems to be disagreement about which part of speech it is -- Duden thinks it's a particle, always. See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/selbst and (only in German) https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/selbst


I also raised this question when I was doing this.


so, as a german native speaker i feel confident in confirming your assumption :D indeed, in this case "selbst" is used as an attributive enhancement of the subject, making them inseparable. "Milch trinke selbst ich" would carry mostly the same meaning (although the ephasis would shift from "ich" to "Milch" .. )


i cant understand when it means -self and when even???


The combination "Selbst ich" means "even I". If "selbst" is followed by the subject it means "even".

disclaimer: I am mainly talking from my native language: Dutch, where this construction seems to work the same way as in German. In dutch it's "zelfs ik".


ohh, "zelfs ik" learned some dutch


Thanks! That was really helpful.


Ich bin lactose-intolerant. :(


Selbst is a pronoun emphasizer here. I'm not certain, but I think because Selbst and ich are working together, they take the first position and the verb is still in second position, technically. Of course, I may be completely wrong ;)


Why not "I myself drink milk" as a translation?


I need help to clarify the exact meaning of this sentence. If i understand well, 'selbst ich' is placed in the meaning of 'even I' e.g I'm an adult on a children's party where no alcohol is served, so 'even I am (obliged to) drinking milk'.

Please tell me I'm right :)


I also need a context or scenario to understand this sentence. Yours helped me!


Does this only work with ich or could i say for example, 'selbst er trinkt Milch' for even he drinks milk?


Yes you can use it that way as well.


I thought selbst was for referring to oneself. I translated this as "I myself drink milk"


Selbst means "sogar" as well, discovered it now on pons.de ...


Doesn't Selbst also mean 'itself'?


I also wrote I drink Milk on my own and it is not correct there!?


I thought that would be true if the verb is placed at the second position


I was listening more than reading. There was a pause after "selbst" that I interpreted as a comma. Therfore: Myself, I drink milk.


Why cant i say: I drink milk alone?


It doesn't mean that. It can only mean ''Even I am drinking milk'', meaning the others do and I join them, in spite of it not being typical for me or it one might find it surprising. (or MAYBE the one above with ''Myself, I drink milk'' that was later accepted) To say ''I drink milk alone'' would be in German: ''Ich allein trinke Milch'', meaning only me, not the others. OR; ''Ich trinke Milch allein.'', which means, me on my one with no one around am drinking milk. Both of these sentences, which would be ''I drink milk alone'' in English do not mean the same as the sentence given in German.


Is selbst then the german equivalent of moi in french? Used for drawing attention to the subject etc.


I believe it is, yes, could be even more like "moi-même".


I answered "i drink milk myself" and it was considered right!


what is the problem with the translation - I even drink milk, compared to the right solution - Even I am drinking milk???


I even drink milk - I drink other things, and it's worth mentioning I drink also milk. Even I drink milk - a lot of people drink milk, and it's worth mentioning that I am too :)


"I drink milk by myself" doesn't get accepted. Is it really wrong, or DL didn't get the chance to add it? Thanks!


Can the order be reversed, as in "Ich selbst trinke Milch"?


Not sure if there is an exception here, but doesn't the verb always have to come second in all German sentences? Seems like the rule is violated here.


The verb does in fact always have to come second! However, it isn't the second word, but rather the second element. I had this question as well, but I realized that "selbst" is working to modify "ich," so it's still a part of the subject, and therefore still part of the first element. :D


How would one say: "I even drink milk."?


    Ich trinke sogar Milch


    why not 'even me drink milk' ? why would it be wrong?


    "me" isn't in the nominative case, and therefore it can't be the subject of a sentence. "I" is the required article. :)


    in english you wouldnt do "even me" Its just like saying "when me drink....."


    Shouldn't the verb be second? So shouldn't it be 'selbst trinke ich Milch'?


    The "first position" can refer to multiple words so long as they all relate. For example "The woman drinks milk" would be "Die Frau trinkt Milch" not "Die trinkt Frau Milch". As long as the words go together they can be before the verb together. It can be as long as necessary, so long as they relate. "The smart beautiful kind woman from Germany drinks milk" would be structured the same in German.

    Anyway "Selbst ich" in German is a phrase that is considered together and means "even I". Selbst on its own is myself, but together with ich means "even I". Why they go together like this German or why it means "even I" I do not know, but just know that it is.


    Yes, I think most understand your first paragraph, it's already been taught by DL at this point. Your second paragraph's meaning is what DL kept from us. Sometimes they like to teach in the unit tutorial, sometimes by making an annoying noise accompanied by red ink. And after reading through this discussion, I still don't see any way, a priori, to discover these situations. "Nun" is another great example of this as it is sometimes in 0 position, sometimes in 1st position as the first word in a sentence. Someone said it varies because Nun may be followed by a comma, but I don't hear commas. :)


    As a native speaker i would rather say... sagar ich trinke Milch...instead of using "selbst"for even...(although perhaps possible) ....selbst ich trinke Milch....for learners this example could be confusing and i would encourage learners to use 'selbst" for self and not for even... just remember it for Duo to get the tree complete.


    It's getting more and more convoluted.


    I really like how German makes a difference between selbst and sich. Seems rather unfortunate we don't have it in modern English.


    Im so humbled by this lesson!


    No one else can drink your milk by yourself, so we're Even.


    Why are there commercials on this paid account?


    'I drink milk myself' was rejected. In English, adding 'myself' indicates a preference to milk over other beverages. Can someone explain why it's considered wrong here?


    i don't understand the two completely different meanings of selbst


    How about...? Anna trinkt Apfelsaft, Lisa trinkt Kaffee und selbst ich trinke Milch

    "Anna drinks apple juice, Lisa drinks Coffee,
    And I myself drink milk."


    I even drink milk! potentially?

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