1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Where are the boy's pants?"

"Where are the boy's pants?"

Translation:Wo ist die Hose des Jungen?

February 4, 2013

27 Comments


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

I was taught that the genitive case got an 's' after the noun. I assume this one is an exception. Can anyone clarify why "Junge" gets an 'n' instead of an 's'?


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

Yes, normally masculine and neuter nouns add an "-(e)s" in the genitive singular. You're also right that "der Junge" is an exception. It's a so-called "weak noun" (n-declension). For more information on weak nouns, see: http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_nouns03.htm

Other weak nouns frequently used on Duolingo are "der Elefant" (the elephant) and "der Bär" (the bear).


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

The website is very helpful. I guess I just have to memorize the most common words/rules for n-declension. Danke!


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

Also der Student and Der Mensch. Do these weak nouns have to be memorized or is there a secret?


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

You can often recognise them from their endings, e.g. from the -ent in "Student". See my link above.


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

'die Hosen' is incorrect. 'Pants' are not plural in German, only in English. It should read "Wo is die Hose des Jungen?"


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

So pants can translate to 'die Hose' but also 'die Hosen'. They are both correct because in English you can't tell whether it is one pair or multiple pairs of pants.


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

Yeah but you get it wrong if you put in die Hose


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

Did you remember to change the verb? If you use "Hose" (singular), you have to use a singular verb (ist): Wo ist die Hose des Jungen?

If DL didn't accept this solution, report it.


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

Why is "Wo sind die Hosen von den Jungen?" not acceptable? Is it because of the use of plural or because of the 'von den' at the end?


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

The "von + dative" construction is a colloquial alternative to the genitive and perfectly acceptable. However, you used the plural (the boys') instead of the singular (the boy's):

die Hosen von den Jungen = the boys' (pl.) pants

die Hose von dem (or: vom) Jungen = the boy's (sgl.) pants


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

Gotcha!!! Thanks


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

Why are the pants plural? In English we would say "Where are his pants" referring to a single pair, how is one supposed to know if it is plural?


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

As I said above, "Wo ist die Hose [singular] des Jungen?" is fine, too. If it wasn't accepted, report it.


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

Singular (one pair): Wo ist die Hose…?

Plural (multiple pairs): Wo sind die Hosen…?

If you're translating from English to German, theres no way to know which one to use without context. If one of them is marked wrong because of this oversight, please report it.


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

umm. why is it jungen when it asks me to translate boy's and not boys'?


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

"Junge" (boy) belongs to a special group of nouns, the so-called weak masculine nouns or n-declension. These nouns add an -(e)n in all cases apart from the nominative singular. So you say "Junge" in the nominative singular (e.g. Der Junge ist intelligent = The boy is intelligent), but "Jungen" in all other cases in the singular and in the entire plural. You can still distinguish the singular and the plural by the articles, though:

Wo sind die Hosen des Jungen? = genitive singular. Where are the boy's pants?

Wo sind die Hosen der Jungen? = genitive plural. Where are the boys' pants?

For more information on weak nouns, see:

http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_nouns03.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewjeo
  • 2064

I was just told that "Wo ist die Hose des Jungen?" was incorrect because Hose was singular. I reported it, of course, but what confuses me more is that here in the discussion it says that the translation is precisely that. Does anyone know what's going on here?


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

I don't quite understand. "Wo ist die Hose des Jungen?" is the suggested translation.


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

Two months on, and they're still not accepting die Hose, even though the English pants can very well be translated to the German singular and there is absolutely no context to let us know that the English is actually referring to multiple pairs of pants (which can only be die Hosen, plural).


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

DL: Why is my rendering wrong? "des Junges Hose" may be an older,more formal way to express "the boy's pants", but it isn't wrong.


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

Why is "Wo sind die Fragen des Jungen?", which I would translate as "Where are the questions of the youth", not also correct?


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

Are you trolling? That is a completely different sentence.


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

Thanks for your reply. I was simply tired when I did the exercise, and I had entirely forgotten the point of the exercise: to chose only valid translations not simply all valid sentences.


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

Alright, that explains it. Good luck!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hoja.de.Arce

Now that was just mean—after teaching us that "pants" translates to singular "Hose", now we're supposed to translate to both plural and singular?


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

Why is the third choice, in the multiple, wrong? Wohin befinden sich die Hosen vom Jungen

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.