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"Sie liest mehr Bücher als ich."

Translation:She reads more books than me.

February 3, 2013

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Musetta

Isn't it suppose to be: "She reads more books than I" instead of "me" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

Yes, it should, although in spoken English "than me" is also common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolZaczk

Common, but wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

It's hard to be absolutist about this issue. If than is a conjunction then "I" is correct, if it's a preposition then "me" is. Conjunction usually seems like the better choice but would you say "She reads more books than who?" or "She reads more books than whom?" Most grammarians seem to agree that "whom" is better in this situation, which implies that "than" might be a preposition after all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe28605

this a really nuanced point - but surely the more pressing issue is that arguing that saying "... than me" is wrong is absurd given that its what most english speakers actually say! even if it broke every other rule about pronouns and conjunctions/prepositions we have, it would simply be an (entirely correct) irregularity. usage = the rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Then given enough time, English writing would degrade into using "they're/their/there" and "your/you're" interchangeably. I see a lot of people do it all the time.

Just because lots of people do it doesn't make it right. It's still wrong, even if common.

Sure, languages change over time and maybe this is one of those things that 100 years from now will be correct as well as common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Hah, we've created a long enough string of comments where I couldn't reply to your latest comment. I'm just making matters worse heh ...

I agree that generally, usage within a language is more important than some rules some old white dudes created a long time ago. English is also a terrible language to begin with so I can completely understand wanting to make it easier for non-natives. It has so many exceptions and inconsistencies.

I guess my problem doesn't really lie with the usage itself, but more with the foundation that's being built by "not following the rules". Personally, I want to learn German strictly from a structural standpoint so that I understand WHY it's the way it is. Then I want to learn the idioms and common usage.

Maybe I don't put enough faith in people, but I feel like if they were to learn to say "She reads more books than me." and then pick up another language, it might create problems because of the shaky foundation they learned English on.

I had to translate this sentence from German to English. If it were the other way around and I started with English, I might be inclined to put "Sie liest mehr Bücher als mich." But that would be wrong no? I think understanding the differences between "me" and "I" are integral to formulating future sentences.

While "She reads more books than me." sounds OK, what's to stop them from not understanding the difference between the pronouns and saying "You and me went to the park."? THAT one doesn't sound OK to me.

tl;dr While this sentence sounds ok and has common usage, I think understanding the structure of the language is paramount to learning it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nova46
  • 2003

Lots of interesting "takes" on this one! The basis for the use of "I" rather than "me" is the implied verb "read;"i.e., "She reads more books than I (read.), " not "She reads more books than me (read)." While Duo hints show either "I" or "me" for "ich," The English translation calls for "I."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ljray

It's not absurd at all. 'reads more books than me' is wrong - if you use the criterion of what people say then the German grammar can be viewed equally casually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe28605

that is an entirely neutral phenomenon, and to suggest that it's a degradation introduces a needless value judgment. spelling the same sound three ways is not superior to spelling it the same way, especially in english, a language whose spelling 'system' is completely insane in the first place. my point is we should realize that if something is common enough, it becomes correct. nobody else has the authority to grant it authority. what do you think was correct before people wrote grammar textbooks?

i don't want to clog up the comments here, but i get annoyed about this on duo because i teach english to non-natives, and often english learners read these comments in order to improve their own english. to me it's just misleading to suggest to them that certain forms of english that you hear every day on the street in england/the us/australia etc (like saying "than me") are 'wrong' and should be replaced by 'correct' formulations. this is a perfect example: it would be irresponsible of me to teach a student to say "he reads more books than i" because if she did so, people would think it was a weird thing for her to say. it's not actually how people talk, and that is the most important thing. i accept some people here might be going around telling people that other people are "worse at grammar than they", and that's fine! but misleadingly telling other people they're wrong for using the english language in a perfectly normal way grinds my gears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmulqueen

Depends on register


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VMK1531

Great answer! I put "I" and was frustrated to see the "me"in the answer. But you helped me to see that it is accepted as a way many speak. This is an inspiring and fun place to teach grammar to native English speakers. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Indeed. An equivalent sentence would be "She reads more books than I [do/read]." Me would not work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janus8536

Yes, Dl also accepts 'She reads more books than I do'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rkaup

They both mean the same in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynilyn

Ok this needs sorting :) taller than me, shorter than him, happier than us. I must check this out!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynilyn

Seems the jury is still out! Both are acceptable . Some sources say clarify with a verb .. He is taller than me or He is taller than I am. Isn't this fun !!!!!! ; )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynilyn

Who downed me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaretsm352138

Yes . It should be, She reads more books than I (read.) I is the subject of the verb read NOT me. Yet again bad English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenOppenla

Yes, their English grammar isn't always perfect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danmoller

Is this robot speaking correctly?? I can't perceive the difference between mir and mehr


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Affenschaukel

sounds fairly okay to me but I do understand how you can confuse her "e" for an "i" easily


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolZaczk

Yeah, it can be quirky. Play it slowly. If that doesn't work, see if the word you think it is makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshwithguitar

I tried this one slow and she seems to say "rich" rather than "ich" which confused me a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hechap

I just had the same problem - the "e" sounds more like an "ee" here than an "eh" sound I would expect in "mehr."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasoninchina

For anyone wondering which is correct- 'than I' or 'than me' - have a look here.

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/than-i-versus-than-me?page=all

Bottom line: they're both right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankB9

Thanks very much for the GG reference. But she concludes, "Therefore, I would avoid the prepositional use in formal settings, such as a research paper or job interview."

I have to say, though: I'm a conjunctionalist. :) He's taller than me just sounds so very wrong to my ears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boldsirrobin

That recommendation is interesting, because looking at random research papers on Google Scholar, almost all cases of non-prepositional use without a verb following (e.g., "than he does") were prepositional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bke.org

The full sentence in English would be "She reads more books that I read." Therefore it is I and not me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe28605

i always thought 'mehr' was pronounced something like 'mhayer.' is it actually closer to mir?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pishock

Looks like the DuoBot is mispronouncing it http://www.forvo.com/word/mehr


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nova46
  • 2003

Nothing new--the "Duobot" consistently mispronounces "ist" as "list." This is especially evident in the slow version. I reported it some time ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackFrost88

Hmm, trying to put my finger around why the "ich" is nominative here. Feel like "mir" makes more sense. Any thoughts?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolZaczk

The difficulty may lie in the way many people speak English. Proper English grammar would have us end this sentence with "than I (do)". "Do" is implied, but not always spoken. As you can see, this is nominative. If you are in the habit of saying, "than me", then nominative in the German will seem wrong. (It doesn't help that Doulingo uses improper English grammar in the example while insisting on using proper German grammar in the exercise!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinHartz1

Should be: "She reads more books than I"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynilyn

Have a look at Jasoninchina's comment. I found the link really useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynilyn

See JasoninChina's link! Interesting? Yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VUEo21

As an English teacher, "I" is the correct term. "Than I do... "


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smtcgerman

It seems like this can also be "you read more ---- " polite form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

No, that would be "Sie lesen . . . ."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter-47

She reads more books than I. "than me" is poor grammar. German also uses ich.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boldsirrobin

English is not German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

English is not German.

You're aware the English language is derived from West Germanic, albeit not directly, right? While the modern variations may have diverged much in that time, they still share common roots.

But you are right, they aren't the same. German has done a far better job of maintaining its grammar rules without the need for an inordinate amount of exceptions to those rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

It depends entirely on whether "than" is a preposition or a conjunction. Many grammarians and linguists believe that it is always a conjunction, while some believe it is or at least can be a preposition. If it is a preposition, the pronoun is a direct object and therefore "me" is correct. If, however, the majority is right in claiming that "than" is a conjunction then whether you use the subject or object case changes the meaning of the sentence.

She reads more books than I means she reads more books than I read. She reads more books than me means she reads more books than she reads me. Therefore, for this particular verb it only makes sense to use "me" if than is a preposition, which is up for debate but you'd be in the minority.

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