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  5. "Hans ist mein Bruder."

"Hans ist mein Bruder."

Translation:Hans is my brother.

April 7, 2016



From the sound of it, I thought it was "Hans isst mein Bruder", which was alarming, but the case was wrong for that


Yeah, if you heard "meinen", it would definitely be disturbing.


Why not "meinen"? i thought this was accusative case.


No; it's not accusative case.

A predicate after the verb "to be" is in the nominative case in German.


I know that this might be sort of speculative, but Hans is the German version of John. It would be nice if "John is my brother" was accepted.


Except, of course, names don't translate. If they did we would have Albert Onestone instead of Albert Einstein or Dwight Eisenhower would be Dwight Ironhewer or perhaps Dwight Ironminer..


While you wouldn't translate 'Hans' to 'John' simply because both are stereotypically generic names, they are actually equivalent names. Hans is short for Johannes which has the same root as the English name John, both derived from the Greek name Ιωαννης. It is not uncommon for first names to be translated, at least in the case of historical figures: people named 'Guillaume' or 'Wilhelm' are often rendered 'William', 'Henri' or 'Heinrich' as 'Henry', 'Jean' or 'Johannes' as 'John', etc. So names certainly can translate :)


While you wouldn't translate 'Hans' to 'John' simply because both are stereotypically generic names, they are actually equivalent names.

I agree that names can be translated, and I gave some examples. I stated poorly what I was trying to say. I should have said something like "In general, names are not usually translated. If they were..."


I'm confused why it's not "Hans ist meinen Bruder." It has the same structure as "Wir haben einen Großvater." Hans and Wir are Nominative. Bruder and Großvater are Accusative. What am I missing here?


It is not quite the same structure.

haben is a transitive verb with a subject and an object (which is “affected” by the action).

sein (to be) is a copula, a linking verb, that links a subject to a predicate that says something about the subject. A bit like an equals sign: “Hans = my brother”. Such predicates are in the nominative case in German.

werden (to become) acts similarly.


Guys, if I wanted to say "Hans is not my brother", I'd say "Hans ist nicht mein Bruder"?


Yes, Hans ist nicht mein Bruder is correct.

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