"Wir haben Brot."

Translation:We have bread.

January 27, 2013

12 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/AgentWafflez

I put 'We are having bread.' Why is that wrong?

January 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Katherle
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Doesn't the progressive aspect change the meaning of the sentence?

1) We have bread. (= We possess bread)

2) We're having bread. (= We're eating bread.)

In German, "haben" is only used in the sense of 1).

January 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Quarter

If that's the case, how does one say "We are having bread" in German?

February 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/klgehrke

I think what Katherle means is that if you say 'We are having bread' it actually means 'We are eating bread', therefore you need to use a different verb.

February 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Quarter

I asked a German friend of mine. Her reply was:

"If you are talking about eating bread then yes, you'll have to use 'Wir essen Brot'. 'Wir haben Brot' is more like we've got bread. 'We are having bread' doesn't make sense in German if you are trying to say you are eating bread. 'haben' basically means that you've got something."

So I guess a good rule of thumb going forward is to assume literal translations always and avoid any sort of idiom, nomatter how apparent the meaning may seem.

February 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/popicon

Having, by default in English, is not necessarily eating. If one were to be setting a table and someone asks what's for dinner, one could say "We are having cheese and bread for dinner." This implies we may in the future eat what is for dinner, but ultimately 'having' is determined by context. Technically, "We are having bread" is a correct translation, but maybe the app should clarify the more proper meaning than giving a straight wrong in response.

July 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Katherle
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The German verb "haben" can neither mean "eating something" nor "planning to eat something". "Wir haben Brot" means that we have got a supply of bread, e.g. in a cupboard. The sentence has nothing to do with what you are doing or planning to do with your bread.

As Standard German doesn't have the distinction between the progressive and simple aspects (I do vs. I am doing), you can normally use both English translations interchangeably, or, to be more precise: interchangeably in the context-free sentences on Duolingo. That is not the case with some stative verbs like "to have", which change their meaning in English when they are used in the progressive aspect.

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/September22

In other words, if we stop and think about it, "We are having bread" is not really the progressive of "We have bread," but an idiom that means either "We are eating bread" or "We are going to have bread available for eating." An excellent illustration of how studying a foreign language helps you to better understand your own!

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/September22

I agree! And so far on all the other verbs the current and progressive forms (maybe those are the wrong terms, but I mean "eat"/"are eating", "drink"/"are drinking", etc.) have been treated as completely interchangeable. But I think what is probably the case is that even "having ... for dinner" may be more of an idiom than a directly translatable phrase--plus it changes the sense from truly present to future. It would certainly sound awkward to say "We are having bread in our cupboard"--but taken as a phrase out of context, it would help to have an explanation. It's not as if we translated the sentence as "We are eating bread" instead of "We have bread."

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Msammy12

Same question: Why is "We are having bread." wrong?

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MertOzmustu

That's "Wir essen Brot" (We are having(eating) bread). Having and have are completely different things and I think English is the only language where "having" can be used for "eating".

May 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
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Yes, I agree. "having bread" and "We have bread" have different meanings in English. One time when I was having supper at some people's house, the woman took a piece of bread and handed it to me, saying, "Have another piece of bread.You're eating for two" and laughed (which was a big lie, but that's beside the point) In this case, she meant that she wanted me to eat another piece of bread.

January 6, 2014
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