"It is a man."

Translation:Es ist ein Mann.

January 24, 2013

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Nel91

Can someone explain to me why it's not "einen"? I thought "Es" would be the subject, not "Mann".

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

No,"Mann" is the subject. In german there is no fixed sentence structure going SPO.

June 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpell

Thank you. (i had the same question as Nel91) Could you tell me why 'It' can't be the subject. I translated 'It is a man' into 'Es ist einen Mann.' You say that there is no fixed sentence structure, but then why can't Es be the subject? OR, is there something obvious about this sentence that makes Mann the subject? (I'm as new as you can be to German--so feel free to explain 'the obvious.') :)

EDIT: I just read bellow to Levi's comment. The state of being a man describes 'it' and doesn't take action from it. Is that why 'it' (es) isn't the subject? Just repeating what I wrote, I'm confusing the nominative with being the subject. Any clarification would be helpful.

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptUnderpants

The problem your construction is that you used the accusative form where it is not appropriate. The verb "to be" is reflexive, so it takes the nominative case on both sides. You want "ein Mann".

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpell

So you're saying that 'sien' is reflexive, and whenever I use the verb 'sein' both the subject and the object take the nominative indefinite articles?

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptUnderpants

More than that. Because that verb is reflexive, it takes no object. In a sense, both sides are subject. You should be able to reverse the order and still made sense. Thus, all adjectives, articles, etc. associated with nouns bridged by "to be" take the gender-matched nominative form.

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpell

thanks for your help!

August 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/yahav.mena

what do u mean by SPO?

June 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

SPO is short for Subject Predicate Object. In English sentences are structured in this way.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Marieke1974

When it is the direct object in the sentence, you use the 4th case, for masculin "den" or "einen". "Es" is followed by "ist" and also not put in the 4th case, but in the first. I hope it is clear, because English is not my native language :-)

August 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Rajwardhan

Man is a Masculine and word Mann is starting with a,e,i,o,u I.e. like apple, so we must use "ein" for "a" singular Masculine noun.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ctbillings1

When using the verb sein, the case is always nominative.

January 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ianmcc1234

Difference between Es and Er?

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

Es is neutral, whereas Er is masculin.

July 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ccollalto

Es = it / Er = he

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SchnapsHexe

Shouldn't "It" in this case follow the gender of the man? "Er ist ein Mann"? I have seen the pronoun match in other sentences, but since there's no comparison to English, I'm not sure of the rule.

January 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Nel91

"Er ist ein Mann" would be "He is a man". "It is a man" doesn't really make much sense but I think it is a correct sentence in English and probably happens the same in Deutsch.

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

You're right, the sentence "It is a man" doesn't really make sense in german. The only translation I could imagine would be "Das ist ein Mann". But that would be in english "this is a man". So even your translation "Er ist ein Mann" does actually belong to the sentence "he is a man".

June 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Marieke1974

I thought "das"would also suffice. I hear and read it all the time. Odd...

August 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

This is because "das" is the correct translation of "it". But then this translation does not make any sense in this context.

August 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Marieke1974

Perhaps one should not read this without a context. If you say: "Ich hörte etwas da draussen, was ist das?" and someone replies: "Das ist ein Mann" or "Es ist ein Mann" it would make sense.

August 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/flaviodenovaro

Er ist ein Mann it is also correct. It is not einen because it is nominative, masculin nominative you must use ein.

April 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Xpresso

"Er ist einen Mann", that isn´t right? But, if Mann is masculine and gets the action. I don´t get it.

July 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
  • 1976

@Xpresso : This is nominative, not accusative. There is no action, the man simply is.

July 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Xpresso

I see. Thanks.

July 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ccollalto

This is clearly only an exercise of direct translation and a example of nominative/nominative case use. For proper understanding I would recommend not to try to put every phrase here in a specific context whatsoever. Just translate the phrase. Not every sentence in Duolingo would make sense in casual daily conversation at all.

August 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pkiddy18

I thought since Mann is Der Mann that a man would be einen Mann. Now I'm confused, why isn't it einen Mann? Can someone explain this to me in simple terms?

November 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
  • 1976

@pkiddy18 : Think of it this way: It is a man. It = man. When the "equal sign" is used then it means the nominative case is used, hence the ein for the masculine (der). Hope this helps.

November 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pkiddy18

Danke (:

November 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Morris8

There is a simple rule in English and in German: "The verb 'to be' never takes an object". In other words, "I am / you are/ he, she, it is / we are / you are / they are" and "ich bin / du bist / er, sie, es ist / wir sind / ihr seid / sie sind" are always followed by a nominative case (ein Mann) and never followed by an accusative case (einen Mann). Don't ask why. That's just how it is! Languages are not always logical!

December 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/zhanglingxiao

Why it is"ein" not "einen"?

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Levi
  • 1976

@zhanglingxiao : See my reply to 'pkiddy18'.

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/zhanglingxiao

I got it, thank you~

December 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/rationaloptimist

Do you get in trouble if you peek?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ywxiege

下面的讨论很有用(

January 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RayRabil

Totally confused. In the sentence, man is accusative and in the pre-test material, the chart states that eine is used for accusative.

February 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

Eine is the accusative form for a female noun. man is male.

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RayRabil

Danke

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrRo

Could someone explain why Das ist ein Mann is incorrect?

March 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ladybird

It's not wrong, just unusual. Personally, I think it should even be marked as correct...

March 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrRo

Thank you :)

March 24, 2014
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