"This is my wife."
Translation:Das ist meine Frau.
Why is it "Dies" or "das" is meine Frau? I answered with "diese" and it was marked wrong. I've reported that the drop-down says "dieser/diese/dieses" but doesn't list "dies".
"Das/dies ist meine Frau" would be used by someone who is introducing his wife. The emphasis is on "Frau". "Diese ist meine Frau" is not wrong as such, but unusual. It would be used in a situation where someone is pointing out his wife among other women (emphasis on "diese"), or in a situation where someone has falsely stated that she was someone else's wife (emphasis on "meine").
It is "Die ist meine Frau" because Frau is a feminine noun there for the pronoun is Die.
Remember, the sentence to be translated is "This is my wife". "Die" may be the correct article to be used with Frau, but we want to translate the demonstrative "this". "Das" and "dies", and to a lesser extent "diese" are all better choices for this purpose. Consider that if the original was "This is the woman", the most natural translation would be "Das ist die Frau". So the demonstrative is still "das", but the article is "die". The pronoun in the original, "my" (a possessive), is correctly translated as "meine" (see my reply to hamshishdoeyti). By the way, I'm assuming you meant "therefore".
Can someone explain when to use dies, when to use diese, when to you dieser and when to use dieses. I would really appreciate it.
Let's start with what they have in common: they are all demonstrative pronouns, like "this" and "that" in English. Let's call "dies" the root. It is modified according to the grammatical gender and the grammatical number of the object: "diese" is for a feminine object (diese Tomate) and for two or more objects (diese Eier). "Dieser" works with a singular masculine (dieser Käse), and "dieses" with a singular neutre (dieses Brot). "Dies" is typically used to refer to a complex whole, as in "dies ist eine Mahlzeit" (this is a meal), but it is exchangeable with "dieses". Guten Appetit!
Thanks! But can you please explain what's the difference between the demostrative pronouns we've learned up until now (Die, Der, Das) to the ones you've stated? I'm not talking about gender differences, thay I understand.
Die, der, and das as demonstratives are, of course, indistinguishable from definite articles. So to use them as demonstratives in speech, you would use emphasis. In writing, you would add "da" or "dort" (informal). Or you would use dieser, diese, dieses, which are slightly more formal. Other than the difference in register, they are fully exchangeable.
How about "Die ist meine Frau."? In the tips and notes for this lesson:
"In German, the demonstrative pronouns in the nominative case are the same as the definite articles. That means, "der," "die" and "das" can also mean "that (one)" or "this (one)" depending on the gender of the respective noun, and "die" can mean "these" or "those." For example, if you talk about a certain dog, you could say "Der ist schwarz" (that one is black)."
Since Frau is a feminine noun, why is the demonstrative pronoun neuter?
I would say "Die ist meine Frau" is not wrong, but it would definitely be unusual. There is a preference for using a neutre demonstrative when that demonstrative is a forward reference, independent of the gender of the object in question. You would say "das ist meine Frau" (f), and also "das ist mein Sohn" (m) and "das ist mein Buch" (n). Similarly, you would use "es" (n) as the subject of a sentence if that "es" is a forward reference to the object, even if that object is neutre ("Wer hat geklingelt? Es war mein Mann/Es war meine Frau."). If it is a backward reference, you would use the proper gender ("Es war meine Frau, die geklingelt hat/Es war mein Mann, der geklingelt hat.").
So based on the posts of yours which I have seen (super helpful, by the way) the "most correct" way of stating "This is my wife" is actually "Dies ist meine Frau." Correct?
The one thing I don't quite understand is if "dies" applies to a complex whole, such as a meal per your earlier indication, how does one know when to accurately use it instead of "diese"? I'm all for arguing that a woman is complex in a philosophical sense but in this instance of language I don't understand. :-/
No, I'd be most likely to say "Das ist meine Frau", even though mine in particular is definitely complex :) The next most likely thing I might say is "Die da ist meine Frau". But it's a question of register and dialect, not of correctness -- "dies" and "dieses" are not wrong, and depending on where the speaker is from, he or she may use one of these rather than "das".
Let it be said that the things we are discussing here are subtleties in the extreme. If you think it's fun to look for alternative translations and dissect the subtle diffferences in meaning, by all means go ahead. But to advance your German skills, there are probably more effective things you can spend your time with.
How common is the term ehefrau? I tried this in my answer and Duo accepted it, but I was wondering whether it is perhaps an old fashioned word, or has a slightly different meaning from 'Frau'.
It is not old-fashioned and quite common in formal contexts, I'd say. "Ehe" by itself means marriage, matrimony, or wedlock. "Frau" by itself can be translated as "woman", of course, unless the context makes it clear that "wife" is the more appropriate choice. So if it is not clear from the context that by "Frau" you mean "wife" rather than "woman", you say "Ehefrau" to be sufficiently specific. An old-fashioned word would be "Gattin" -- it is not entirely out of use, but quaint or maybe facetious. The closest translation would probably be "spouse".