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  5. "Die schnelle Schnecke ist la…

"Die schnelle Schnecke ist langsamer als ein langsamer Vogel."

Translation:The fast snail is slower than a slow bird.

July 7, 2016



Sounds like a tongue twister.


I'm convinced German was founded as a tongue twister joke that has gone way too far.


It probably may be.


Why langsamer means both "Slow" and "Slower" ins this sentence?


The first "langsamer" stands behind the noun it belongs to (die Schnecke), so it's not inflected langsam - langsamer - am langsamsten ("slow - slower - slowest").
The second "langsamer" stands before the noun it belongs to ((ein) Vogel), so it's an inflected form of "langsam" (slow). In this case, the masculine singular nominative strong ending (because of the indefinite article "ein"), so that is where the -er comes from.


eat this lingot( i know you cant do anything with it too)


I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean.


Very philosphical


such profoundness in this statement, haha


What about fast instead of quick?


What about it? "the fast snail" is already accepted, and is even the form used in the "best" answer.


I answer (fast) but Duo doesn't accept it.


If you answer only the word "fast", that's not a good translation of Die schnelle Schnecke ist langsamer als ein langsamer Vogel.

If you wrote more than one word, you'd have to post the entire sentence. You may be making some other mistake.

Even better would be a screenshot showing exactly what you typed and Duo's reaction (e.g. "right" or "wrong", and a suggested correction, if any).


Shouldn't it be "Die schnelle Schnecke ist langsamerER als ein langsamer Vogel."



Predicative adjectives do not take an ending in German for gender, number, or case.

Die Schnecke ist langsamer. "The snail is slower." thus only has the -er ending for comparison, but not also an -er ending for masculine nominative singular.

Just like der Mann ist groß, which is not der Mann ist *großer.


Does anyone else have the problem of not having enough "slow's" to get this right? Three are necessary, but only 2 appear.....


Why do you think you need three occurrences of "slow"?

The root langsam- only occurs twice in the German sentence.


So "Die schnelle Schnecke ist ein langsamerer Vogel" would be correct? I mean grammatically of course :D


Grammatically correct, yes, and means "The fast snail is a slower bird".


Why is 'ein langsamer Vogel' in the nominative case here?


Because it's being compared with die schnelle Schnecke which is in the nominative case.

This lets you distinguish things such as "I love you more than him" which are ambiguous in English -- the "than him" would be als er or als ihn depending on whether you are comparing with the subject (I love you more than he loves you) or with the object (I love you more than I love him).


Actually, "than he" is correct in English but sounds old fashioned. Originally, "than him" would have been considered as wrong in a context where "than he" is required, as "als ihn" does in German when "als er" is required.


As an English teacher, I second what BenNew3 said.

Saying "It was he!" in response to "Who did this?" would sound really weird, yet it is the grammatically correct pronoun to use. So yes, it "was" originally as unambiguous as German. Having said that, I never think twice about saying "It was he who did that..." but I do avoid "It was he."

Cheers mizinamo for your answer regarding the German rule (and for all your answers everywhere.)


Why isn't my translation right?


Nobody can tell you because you didn't tell us what you wrote -- nobody can see your translation.

Please write the entire sentence you used whenever you have a question. (And not just individual words; sometimes, the problem is with word order or with gender endings on some other word, rather than with the word you might think is the problem.)


Why not "Die schneller Schnecke" as in "the slower snail"? It doesn't sound like either schnelle or schneller to me but somewhere in between.


"the faster snail" would be die schnellere Schnecke -- you need an ending when the adjective is before a noun (here -e for feminine nominative, weak inflection).


I meant faster snail of course, didn't mean to trick you, but I get what you're saying, "schneller" would be wrong, it would have to be "schnellere". Thanks!

I have to admit that most of the time I guess at endings and have a bit of a feel for many of them, but keep forgetting which cases apply.


Is it just me or is the pronunciation of 'Schnecke' a near accurate representation of the smell of a snail in a weird sort of way?


the German disappeared off the top of the screen while i was trying to answer!


If two things are being compared, are they both Nominativ? Is that a rule? Kindly shed some light on this.

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