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  5. "Ich bin der große Fisch?"

"Ich bin der große Fisch?"

Translation:I am the big fish?

January 27, 2013



The German interrogative sentences begin with a verb. "Bin ich der große Fisch?"


English interrogative sentences normally begin with a verb as well: "Am I the big fish?" However this kind of sentence is a declarative question, used to express surprise or to ask for confirmation. This exists both in English and in German. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declarative_question#Intonation_and_punctuation


I think the inflection is supposed to show us it's a question . . . I too didn't clue into it though...


Its the weird robot lady's fault.


I'm a little confused...why isn't it "Ich bin der großer Fisch"?

  • 2879

@razvanremo : This is weak inflection because of the presence of a definite article (der). That, coupled with the nominative case + Fisch is masculine (der Fisch) you get the 'der große Fisch'.

Alternatively you could look at it this way: since the -r is present in the definite article (der) you do not need another -r on the end of the adjective. See this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives


Appreciate the help Levi! The second explanation is pretty straightforward and understood it quickly. Checked the endings for the other clauses too if anyone is interested.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_inflection


thank you soo much for that explanation! nothing else helped that "click" in my mind. makes actual sense now!


What's the implication here? I can't follow


subtext and moral, like in the film 'big fish'


Yes, I think this could refer to the film "Big Fish", in which you can find this sentence : "You become what you always were - a very big fish.".


I could see this sentence being used. Say a successful businessman moves from a big city to a small town

"You moved from the city to this small town - You're now a big fish in a small pond instead of a small fish in a big pond" "I am the big fish?"

Okay this conversation would probably only happen with someone who speaks poor English but still, it could happen :D


No it could be in diner......somebody has sardines, somebody has whitebait, and you have a whole sea bass.....The waiter has forgotten the order so you say "I am the big fish....!"


if it's a question, it supposed to be: "Bin ich" and not "Ich bin" no?


No. This is a declarative question.


Can anyone explain why this might not be 'Ich bin der grosser Fisch' - I am the larger fish?


Yes. To decline "großer" to include case and gender is called strong declension. In this sentence, case and gender are encoded in the definite article "der", and because of this, the adjective "groß" is weakly declined. Don't worry about this being too hard! If there's an indefinite article ("ein") then adjectives used mixed declension.


I've always tended to just make up my adjective endings, to the momentary confusion of German speakers who have mild difficulty understanding me until they realize what I'm doing. But I've been practicing again lately on Duolingo and although it's tough, I suggest practicing whenever you can in written German, because you'll eventually assimilate the knowledge. If you have to speak German (and therefore can't take the time to think about it mid-sentence), just relax. Your practice will eventually pay off. :)


Thanks. My only real interest is speaking and reading, so I guess I am content to muddle through - I can't stop mid-sentence during a conversion gaping like a fish while I go through a mental matrix trying to work out what ending to attach to an adjective.


The point is that you put in the effort and it becomes natural, and that you shouldn't let it stop you mid-sentence.. Trust me, I didn't want to learn it either (and this was after three years of German in college) but at a certain point it's essential information that you'll need to either understand or be able to impart.


HAHA. That was my first thought. Stop in mid-sentence while you ruffle through your papers explaining the various adjective endings.


Is this sentence an idom?

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