"Meine Frau spricht oft mit den Pflanzen."

Translation:My wife often talks to the plants.

February 4, 2013

91 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/snapdragon77

I find it funny how everyone is constructively learning about the grammar of this sentence and all I care about is how goofy this sentence is! :)

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AFulgens

Why would it be goofy?

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mirth12

lots of people talk to plants, it is scientifically shown to stimulate their growth.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tuibiel

"Scientifically"... It was anecdotally shown to stimulate their growth, not scientifically. There's a huge gap there. Not meaning to be pedantic, but calling that scientific is mostly innacurate.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AFulgens

To be entirely correct and fair, it is still inconclusive whether music affects the growth of plants. See https://www.quora.com/Are-plants-affected-by-music and http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/print_project_1301_143 and https://dengarden.com/gardening/the-effect-of-music-on-plant-growth for more details.

Bottom line: there was no conclusive peer-reviewed study about the matter.

And your logical fallacy is https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-fallacy-fallacy

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mirth12

ok proven that they "respond" to sound waves (and even wind) but not specifically that talking to them enhances growth. i stand corrected. :-)

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/srrickard

Public Service Announcement: If your wife often talks to her plants, you're probably not talking to her enough. Some of these sentence scenarios are a bit...specific.

January 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friendofthg

She's probably trying to give the plants extra carbon dioxide in order to grow.

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerioBL

So it means laugh or cry? Worst joke ever!

July 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheTacoGirl

Good one, that has to be the best comment by far.

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/idkhbtfm

Or you need to take a visit to the mental asy- I mean the candy shop, isn't that right?

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

So my answer was "My wife often speaks WITH the plants." Got it correct. However, another correct solution is "My wife often speaks TO the plants."

I didn't think much of it at first, but these are actually different things. [To] is one-directional. [With], on the other hand, is used when there is a conversation. In this case, I don't think the plants are talking back (at least without the help of psychoactive drugs).

Is [mit] the correct word to use here or would it be some other more literal translation of [to] such as [zu/an]?

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Urukagina

They may not be talking back, but a certain Israeli professor whose name escapes me has written a book arguing that they can communicate nonetheles. Perhaps 'with' is valid, in some sense.

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Claudomique

This is more contextual than grammatical. Basically "sprechen mit" means "speak with" so in general it is always speaking with someone/something. You could also think of it this way, you may have a conversation with someone who is completely reluctantly to respond, but you can still consider you speaking with him/her. =)

May 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SilentEyeTV

But the german phrase here says "mit"

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

Indeed it does!

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Colado

Why is it "mit den Pflanzen" and not "mit der Pflanzen"?

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bilbo

Because Pflanzen is plural. Den is the article for plural dative.

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/baylonious

Die Pflanze. Mit der Pflanze. Mit den Pflanzen. Is that right?

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mirth12

absolutely correct

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/4of92000

Because unlike in the other cases, plural and feminine are not the same thing. (I found that out the hard way too.)

January 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flying-elephant

Also, the case here is Dativ because of "mit", which always triggers Dative.

January 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/stoproveritae

Is there a way to distinguish "talking to" vs. "talking with" in German? The latter kind of implies that the second party is talking back.

February 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/daracasey

Would that be to a particular type of mushroom or cacti plant?

March 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nebelung1

Mushrooms are not plants! But I get what you mean! ;)

March 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DirtyL0LO

Ich erinnere mich an als Kind mit den Pflanzen sprechen. Wann die Pflanze neue Blätter hatte, ich habe mit ihnen gesprochen. Ich weiss das was so seltsam..

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/d2coutinho

My answer was My wife is often speaking to the plants. Is it that wrong?

April 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cserban08

I don't think "often" can go together with "is speaking" or any continuous form of a verb for that matter, since it never indicates a continuous action. You could however say "my wife is always speaking to the plants", which would mean you are annoyed with it, but this is not a good translation for the German sentence.

"My wife often speaks to (the) plants" was accepted by the way. :)

June 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/koszeggy

"She is speaking" has the meaning that it is happening right now. "She speaks" is more general, it may occur often/rarely/every day/etc.

May 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/d2coutinho

Not in English I don't think. It's pretty normal to say : my brother is often chatting to girls in that pub. For example.. It works quite well in English, hence I thought it should be accepted

May 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazar.ljubenovic

It doesn't really work, for the reasons explained above. That's just slang.

September 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AFulgens

That's incorrect, it may be used as a Gerund (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund ), AFAIK "I often enjoy speaking to plants" is sound and correct English.

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/da9gjeld

As far as I know, it shouldn't be wrong. I can never seem to get the grasp of the difference between (in this case) "she talks" and "she is talking".

May 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Bellyssima

I don't think the problem with his answer is "she speaks"/"she is speaking".. I believe the problem is about "to the plants" when it should be "with the plants" - "mit den Pflantzen"

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/d2coutinho

That could well be the case! Thanks Bella!

May 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlsEenPoffertje

"To the plants" is also accepted.

July 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sashitamashita

"often" is one of the most frequently used frequency adverbs in present continous, so i'm not clear how is it "my wife is speaking often with the plants" is not correct

December 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095

"often" refers to a series of discrete events and therefore necessarily refers to events in a time frame other than this present moment, whereas the present continuous refers to a single activity which is continuous and continues right up to, and including, the present moment.

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/benoitsuciu44

Girl! Why you actin' so cray cray??

August 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheTacoGirl

Is that a Gravity falls reference? ;)

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DP618SLG

Girl-girl, you know what I'm about to say!

July 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/seamusrowan

Ich spreche auch mit meinen Pflazen!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Boseous

Talking to plants is actually beneficial to them in a roundabout way. By speaking, you exhale more carbon dioxide and with more force, which feeds them better than if you were silent.

September 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Haesselmaas

This made me think of Olga, the potted plant in the WG on Alles Was Zählt (German comedy/soap). She often gets talked to, sung to, praised to high heaven and have through the years been an important part of the Ingo/Annette love story :)

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/solopipe

Why is Pflanzen dative? The plants are directly receiving the action of the verb, being spoken to, so I would have guessed 'die Planzen' (accusative).

December 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlsEenPoffertje

"Pflanzen" is dative because of the preposition "mit." Certain cases are used after certain prepositions. Here's a decent resource for finding out which case is used for most prepositions.

December 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alec_spb

Most people in the comments are too young to understand.

March 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Laynielouxu

Because she is loney

November 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arietem

I know a great psychiatrist.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeynepzlem

What is a psychiatrist.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

What is a dictionary? :)

psikiyatrist, psikiyatr, ruh hekimi. Basically, a doctor who tries to heal your mind and thoughts.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hechap

Haben die Pflanzen ihre Fragen beantwortet?!?

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Safiental

Ja. Selten, aber manchmal. ;-)

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NayutaIto

Can this mean both of the following? 1. My wife often tries to make conversation with plants. 2. She often carries plants when she is talking to somebody else.

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

No, just number 1 and, theoretically, number 3: My wife often uses the plants to convey a message.

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NayutaIto

Oh, yes. The German word "mit" (or English "with") can mean number 3, too!

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Languages5892

She probably also talks to psychiatrists often

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hsl183

...deine Frau ist seltsam

November 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sir.SalaR

Meine Mutter auch

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/123Cornelia

... und wachsen die jetzt schneller und besser ??? Wir nehmen dazu Dünger... !!!

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kitandkat1

sounds like the secret garden

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ah216

If it's plural plants, wouldn't it be mit DER Pflanzen?

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

For the dative case, plurals use den. You might have been thinking of feminine nouns which use der in both the dative case and genitive case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_articles

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ah216

Many thanks! :-)

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alsothings

My attempted answer was "often my wife talks to the plants" which was not accepted in favour of "my wife often talks to the plants" but aren't these equivalent? I just find often in front to be a more natural construction in English

April 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

I'm not sure it's what caused your answer to be marked as incorrect, but I would expect a comma after often when it starts the sentence. Especially since there is generally a slight pause after saying it before continuing with the rest of the sentence.

That being said, they don't usually mark answers as incorrect for punctuation so probably best to report it.

April 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio

"My wife often talks to the plants" and "Often my wife talks to the plants" are equivalent sentences. You can use a comma after "often," but it isn't necessary because it's such a short phrase. My guess is that Duolingo simply didn't have an entry for the different word order.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

You can use a comma after "often," but it isn't necessary because it's such a short phrase.

I'm not sure the length of the sentence has any bearing as to whether a comma is appropriate/required or not. Otherwise, you wouldn't have sentences like:

"Finally, he came."

"Yes, I do."

Plus, one of the places for commas is after introductory adverbs, which often is.

So, while not necessary, an adverb used at the beginning of a sentence is usually followed by a comma and indicates that the reader should pause briefly, which creates a useful rhetorical device.

I'd argue the reason for moving the adverb to the front is generally to create a rhetorical device and not just an arbitrary structure change. As such, it should probably contain the comma.

"My wife often talks to the plants" and "Often my wife talks to the plants" are equivalent sentences.

Don't forget "My wife talks to the plants often." Adverbs can go at the end as well.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/david1121

Psycho much ?

February 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anonymouswhale.

Pflanzen was given as plant or vegetables, but "my wife often talks to vegetables" was not accepted. Does Pflanzen only mean vegetables in a different context?

March 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lostcry

What did the plants tell her?

March 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/J-Martinez66

hahahahah very funny Duo this is out of the ordinary :-)

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PJMCD

Not for Duo ;)

February 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FarnworthPatrick

Your wife needs a psychiatrist.

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/elfwine-the-fair

somethings wrong with my wife...

May 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HafidzHaki

Durch die Bereitstellung von mehr Kohlendioxid, die die Pflanze verbraucht, hilft sie der Pflaze, schneller zu wachsen.

Idk waht im doin

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dordoom

Sie ist verrückt!

December 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RadThadd

In English we almost never use "often" because saying "My wife talks to plants" shows consistency as it is. And should still be accepted.

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio

On the contrary, "often" is a very common word in English.

"My wife talks to plants often"

has a different meaning from

"My wife talks to plants once in a while,"

"My wife talks to plants when she waters them,"

"My wife seldom talks to plants,"

and so on.

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NeoTubNinja

Besides that, this sentence was probably in the "frequency" section and they were introducing oft as a frequency word.

Germans could say the same thing if they were translating "My wife often talks to the plants." and they only wrote "Meine Frau spricht mit den Pflanzen." I would expect it to be counted wrong as the original sentence had a frequency word.

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/emirua

What is wrong with using 'usually' instead of 'often'?

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio

"Usually" and "often" are not completely synonymous. Let's try another example, to clarify. Let's say you go out for dinner every Friday night.

Maybe once a month, you go to the corner bistro: that's enough to say you often go to the corner bistro.

The other three Fridays in the month (or four, if there are five Fridays that month) you go to McWallabee's Infamous Steak Place.

If that's the case, you often go to the corner bistro, but you usually go to McWallabee's.

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/emirua

I see the difference, thanks!

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SabrinaBagel

Why is she not in the kitchen?

April 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlsEenPoffertje

Kitchens can have plants. ;)

April 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SabrinaBagel

Haha I probably should have thought more about the joke. I was thinking she was in a garden.

April 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlsEenPoffertje

It still made me laugh, so it was an effective joke either way. :)

April 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rini.james

Talk to her man..she is too desparate or depressed.

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrDemetr

If she's talking to a 'Triffid' , then she'll have a blinding conversation.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeynepzlem

What is a triffid

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael44.D2104

Sie muss zum krankenhaus gehen, sofort!

March 5, 2017
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.