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  5. "Er folgt eurem Hund."

"Er folgt eurem Hund."

Translation:He is following your dog.

April 13, 2016



As you can see, folgen takes an object in the dative case (eurem Hund).

There are handful of verbs that require an object in the dative, rather than accusative case.

(Other useful ones include helfen "to help" and danken "to thank".)

I don't think there's a good reason for "why" except for "that's just the way it is in German".


well, I guess it does go conform with the general role of dative objects as only indirectly affected (for folgen) or as receivers/beneficiaries (for helfen and danken). But of course it‘s easy to think of verbs where accusative objects fulfill these roles, e.g. jn. unterstützen (to support sb.).

In the case of danken there is also a second factor why the beneficiary is indicated with a dative object: danken can also take a second object in accusative case which denotes the cause of thanks: jn. etw. danken, for example: Deine Kinder werden es dir danken. This is extremely rare in modern German though (pretty much restricted to a few more or less fixed expressions); usually the cause for thanking is indicated with für + Akk.: Er dankte seinen Eltern für die Unterstützung.


What’re the verbs that require dative? I’m kinda confused on which ones were decided to be dative


Google is your friend ;) Here is a non-exhaustive list: https://www.thoughtco.com/frequently-used-german-dative-verbs-4071410

For some of the verbs on the list the syntactician in me would argue that either the dative argument is not strictly speaking an object (e.g. gelingen “to succeed, to turn out good”), or there are both a dative and an accusative object (e.g. glauben “to believe”). But from a learner’s perspective the important thing is that they can all take a dative argument without there also being an accusative one.


Oh ok I was about to say “eurem” doesn’t make much sense to me. Could I think of this sentence as “He gives chase to your dog” just to make it easier to remember it’s dative?


If it helps you remember the dative construction, you can do that. As long as you’re aware that folgen doesn’t necessarily imply quick speed or even the object wanting to evade. Meaning-wise it’s pretty much the same as English “to follow”.


Is "he" suppose to be another dog, or is "he" suppose to be a spy that hunts dogs??


Whatever masculine noun the speaker is currently talking about. It could be any masculine noun (well, folgen implies that the subject can change speed and direction out of its own accord, so it’s not a rolling ball or something). It could be another dog (der Hund) or a spy (der Spion) , a bird (der Vogel), a man (der Mann), a helicopter (der Hubschrauber)… Without a context we don’t know.


i think its more like "he walks the dog" in english


No, he literally follows the dog. Maybe the dog is following the trail of a third person. Or maybe it’s Lassie getting somebody to rescue little Timmy from the well.

“He walks the dog” would be: “Er geht mit dem Hund spazieren.”


"Lassie getting someone to rescue little Timmy from the well"



ok, i just tried to make sense of it.


I heard it was "Gehen gassi."


I heard it was "Gehen gassi."

Gassi gehen (infinitive at the end) is specifically to go for a walk so that the dog can relieve itself.

You wouldn't (usually) use it if you just went for a walk for fun or to exercise the dog.

[deactivated user]

    "eurem" means Your here, what are the other possessive pronouns like? is dein different with eurem??


    Depending on the addressee there are three possible translations:

    • Er folgt deinem Hund. (the addressee is du)

    • Er folgt eurem Hund. (the addressee is ihr)

    • Er folgt Ihrem Hund. (the addressee is Sie)

    I hope that helps.

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you, Could you please suggest link so that i can observe the rest of the possessive pronouns such as " meinem_deinem_seinem and.....?


      Giyf ;) you can see the whole paradigm here.

      Don’t get too intimidated, though, it looks a lot more to learn than it actually is. In fact, probably only the stems:

      • 1st pers.sgl.: mein
      • 2nd pers.sgl.: dein
      • 3rd pers.sgl.: sein (m.), ihr (f.) sein (n.)
      • 1st pers. pl.: unser
      • 2nd pers. pl.: euer/eur- (the second -e- is lost when an ending is added)
      • 3rd pers. pl.: ihr
      • 2nd pers. polite = 3rd pers. pl.: Ihr

      The endings are the same for all of them, and in fact the same as with the indefinite article, kein etc, so you should already know them.

      [deactivated user]

        [deactivated user]


          Would "Er folgt deinem Hund" work?

          • 1958

          Er folgt deinem Hund. = He follows your dog. (the dog of one person, Anna's f. ex.)
          Er folgt eurem Hund. = He follows your dog. (the dog of two or more, Mary's and Paul's, f. ex.)


          Yes, that’s perfectly correct and should be accepted. Report it if it’s not.


          Duo doesn't accept "He follows your dog" (I copied pasted so I know it wasn't a spelling error, in less there is one and I can't see it)


          Duo doesn't accept "He follows your dog"

          Was this a listening exercise ("type what you hear") or a translation exercise?

          Do you have a screenshot showing that translation being rejected?

          Because "He follows your dog." has been an accepted translation for at least 3 years, as far as I can tell.


          No you are right, it came up again as a listening exercise after and I realized I had previously translated what I heard rather than typing what I heard, oops


          Thanks for coming back and confirming! Lingot for you :)


          I said "he follows y'all's dog" to test whether I truly understand plural second-person, but it marked me wrong. Does DL not understand my girlfriend's Texan I've picked up, or am I wrong about the sentence?


          You should report that to Duo - Y'all's may be regional and not be strictly "proper" English, but it is the best way to a clear understanding of the precise meaning of euer (and all its myriad declensions).


          what is the difference between eurem and deinem


          what is the difference between eurem and deinem

          eurem is for something that belongs to several people who are listening to you.

          deinem is for something that belongs to one person who is listening to you.

          Like the difference between ihr and du.


          Why is it eurem and not euerem considering dog is masculine


          Why is it eurem and not euerem

          -er and -el generally drop the -e- when an ending that starts with a vowel is added.

          Both euerem and eurem are correct according to Duden, but in practice, only eurem is used. (euerem just looks wrong to me.)


          Does this also translate to "He follows your dog" ?


          Yes, it does.


          Am I the only one who hears "ihr" instead of "er"?


          The female voice I get when pressing the button above sounds fine.

          I know the German long e probably takes some getting used to for English native speakers seeing as English doesn’t have that vowel. But don’t worry, you’ll get an ear for it over time :)


          I'm in no case an English native speaker but thank you for your response. :)


          I agree. At least with the audio quality on my connection, I cannot differentiate ihr from er.


          Ihr sounds like "Ear"

          Er sounds like "Air"


          Could someone please explain Dativ and accusative case in more detail? I'm having trouble understanding their definition


          Better think about them in terms of prototypical applications than rigid definitions. Accusative marks the thing that is directly affected by the action, the one it is performed on. Dative marks a more indirectly involved participant, most typically a recipient or beneficiary (the name “dative” actually comes from the Latin word for “to give”). But the way these prototypes are applied isn’t always straightforward. For example for folgen, it isn’t clear if the object should better be viewed as a patient or a beneficiary (a semanticist would say it’s neither and rather call it a theme) so I think it’s better not to try and analyse the functions more precisely. It’s probably more practical to simply get used to which cases are used with which verbs and use the prototypical functions of the cases a mnemonic rather than a reason for why this or that case is used.

          Practically speaking, when a verb only has one object it will be an accusative one almost all of the time, so it’s probably most economical to remember which verbs do not use accusative. A few common ones which use dative:

          • jemandem folgen ‘to follow sb.’ (maybe because the object isn’t affected directly?)
          • jemandem helfen ‘to help sb.’ (the object is the recipient of help)
          • jemandem antworten ‘to answer sb.’ (the object is the recipient of the answer)
          • jemandem gefallen ‘to be pleasing to sb.’ (the object isn’t directly affected but only experiences an emotion, similar to the construction “mir ist kalt”)

          There are even a handful of verbs which take an object in genitive case but those tend to be fairly high register and/or the genitive object can be replaced by a prepositional construction. (Also interestingly these verbs are usually reflexive, I don’t know.) For example:

          • sich einer Sache/an eine Sache erinnern ‘to recall sth.’ (in common speech it’s now much more common to use an + accusative rather than a genitive object)
          • sich einer Sache bedienen ’to make use of, to employ’
          • sich einer Sache vergewissern ‘to make sure of, to confirm’


          can someone explain eurem vs deinem or eurer vs deiner etc?


          euer, eurer, eurem etc. are things that belong to ihr (i.e. to several people)

          dein, deiner, deinem etc. are things that belong to du (i.e. to one person)


          so why it can't be Er folgt deinem Hund. It was marked incorrect


          If you had a listening exercise for this sentence, then you have to type what you hear.

          If the voice says eurem Hund, you have to type eurem Hund and not deinem Hund.

          If you didn't have a listening exercise but still ended up in this discussion, I don't know what could have happened -- it would help if you could make a screenshot, upload it somewhere, and paste a link to it in the discussion.


          Why we don't say er flogt deinen hund



          • "to follow" is folgen, not flogen, so it's er folgt, not er flogt
          • the verb folgen requires the dative case, so it's deinem, not deinen
          • Hund is a noun and has to be capitalised.


          How do I know that something is an inderect object or a direct object? Does it has something to do with the verb


          Basically speaking, a direct object is the object or person directly affected by the verb action. You hit something, then that something is directly affected by the hitting. The indirect object is somebody (rarely an object) who is only affected in a more peripheral way. The stereotypical example is giving something to someone. In English, if there is only one object, people tend to speak of it as direct by default.

          In German we don’t usually speak of direct or indirect objects but of accusative or dative objects (very rarely genitive ones), and yes, which one you need depends on the verb. 99% of the time if there is only a single one it’s accusative, but there are verbs with a single dative or genitive object, like folgen which needs dative (presumably because the followed person is not directly affected by the following). Other examples are antworten (to answer) and helfen (to help).


          I translated 'he follows the dog' which is not accepted. These phrases are interchangeable in English. Why is it not accepted

          • 1958

          "He follows the dog." means " Er folgt dem Hund." The translation of the possessive pronoun "your" is missing.


          The audio is terrible on this one


          What is the difference between Eurem and Deinem?


          Dein corresponds to du (talking to a single person), euer corresponds to ihr (talking to multiple people).


          "He follows you guys' dog." rejected?

          No, this was not a listening one, it was a "type English" question.

          Can anyone explain why this isn't accepted? Preferably Mizinamo lol but still, I thought "eurem" was the dative masculine possessive of Ihr, and as an accepted translation for 'Ihr' is "you guys/y'all", so should eurem's translation be "you guys'"

          As for the rest of the sentence, I know I got the rest right. German doesn't distinguish between imperfect and perfect present so that couldn't be the problem.


          Is “you guys” usually accepted as a translation for ihr? If so, then your sentence should definitely be accepted. Some other courses use it as a standard translation for plural “you”, but I guess you could also make the point that it’s a bit slangy and possibly regional? Not sure what the policy on this course is.

          On an unrelated note, a slight correction on terminology if I may: ”Follows” vs “is following” are both imperfective. Imperfective means we do not look at the action as a single “point” in time as perfective does. For example “he ate a sandwich” would be perfective aspect (I’m assuming that’s what you meant since you contrasted it with imperfect. Perfect can sometimes mean something slightly different from perfective). In any case, since perfective – “point-like” – actions by their very nature happen instantly, they can’t be occurring in the present. So present perfective is not a thing in any language to my knowledge. The difference between “follows” and “is following” is two different types of imperfective: “Is following” is progressive (ongoing), while “follows” is more ambiguous. It could be habitual (occurring regularly: “He follows your dog every Wednesday.”) or gnomic (general truth: “The moon follows the sun across the sky.”).


          Yes it does normally accept 'you guys' as a translation for 'ihr'

          And for the terminology point, I was taught that perfect was a sentence like "I am following" and imperfect was "I follow"

          Guess I wasn't listening...


          Yes, if “you guys” is accepted for ihr, then your sentence should be accepted, too.

          For English (and other modern Western European languages) specifically, the term “perfect” refers to the tense which is formed from the verbs for “have” and in other languages sometimes “be” + the past participle, i.e. “has followed”. It can have a variety of meanings, most of which are some variation on a past/present hybrid, for example that the action started in the past and is still ongoing now (e.g. “I have lived here for three years”), or that we’re talking about the present results/effects of a past action (e.g. “I have baked you a cake”). In a few languages (including German) it has simply pretty much replaced the old “imperfect” (non-perfect past tense, the equivalent of “followed”). Outside of Indo-European languages though, the term “perfect” isn’t particularly well defined. And it’s also easy to confuse with “perfective”, something definitely different but much more common cross-linguistically speaking.


          I disagree. "You guys" is first of all very informal and secondly, it sounds quite awkward in this particular sentence as a possessive so it shouldn't be accepted in my opinion.


          The speaking exercises haven't loaded on my phone for about two weeks now and updating the app hasn't helped, anyone else had this problem? I press the button to speak, and five minutes later it will still be frozen so I end up giving up and pressing the "can't speak now" button.


          Another right English translation. He follows your dog


          Here, is "eurem" for the plural? For the formal? Just the dative form of "dein"?


          Here, is "eurem" for the plural? For the formal? Just the dative form of "dein"?

          The stem eur- indicates that the owner is "you, plural, informal" -- i.e. something belonging to the people (more than one) that you are talking to and whom you know well enough to speak to informally.

          The ending -em indicates that the following noun is in the dative case and is either masculine or neuter.

          So eurem Hund shows that there is one dog who is owned by several people (whom you are talking to now).

          (Or you might be talking to just one of the owners but using the plural "you" to show that you know that the listener is just one of the owners.)


          How on earth can I know that it's"He is following your dog" not " he follows your dog"


          “He follows your dog” should be an accepted translation as well. If it isn’t accepted, please report it as a missing answer using the flag button.


          I don't follow rules. I follow dogs. On social media.


          Why is this not eure hund considering eure is already dative for you


          Eure is never dative, regardless of gender and number. Hund is masculine and singular, so the appropriate form is eurem (the ending is parallel to einem).


          I don't have the best German accent, but Duo failed me in three attempts. I thought my pronunciation was accurate.


          He follows your dog. Whats wrong with this?


          He follows your dog. Whats wrong with this?

          As a translation, it's fine.

          Did you have a listening exercise, perhaps?

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