"Meine Frau spricht oft mit den Pflanzen."

Translation:My wife often talks to the plants.

February 4, 2013

70 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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


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

Maybe... But some people belive that talking to plants helps them grow. And even if it doesn't, someone who pays so much attention to them will definitely achieve a success in gardening.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam-dum

unless the plant is a succulent, in which case too much attention might be a bad thing! but talking to them is still nice :) also i like your icon!


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

maybe she's just crazy....and you need to see a doctor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Varun815941

lol. That also crossed my mind. Still, talking to plants is seriously not a mental condition, but can be because of loneliness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scian4
  • 1230

George III talked to his plants. (He was the one they called “Mad King George”…)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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]?


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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. =)


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

But the german phrase here says "mit"


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

I don't think it is possible to use sprechen with either zu or an.

According to the dictionary dict.cc you can either use sprechen with the accusative (ich werde den Mann sprechen) which MIGHT imply a one-way conversation but most usual in my experience is to use sprechen with mit + dative (ich werde mit dem Mann sprechen, meine Frau spricht mit den Pflanzen).

Sprechen can also be used with für but that would correspond with English to speak for.


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mirth12

absolutely correct


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nebelung1

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


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

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.


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


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


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


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


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

Ich spreche auch mit meinen Pflazen!


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


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


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

Haben die Pflanzen ihre Fragen beantwortet?!?


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

Ja. Selten, aber manchmal. ;-)


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d2coutinho

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


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


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


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


[deactivated user]

    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".


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anthonydav260678

    The with and to argument has some logic but languages are not always logical. In UK English you talk to someone while in American English it seems you talk with someone. So either version is correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d2coutinho

    That could well be the case! Thanks Bella!


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

    "To the plants" is also accepted.


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


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


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

    What did the plants tell her?


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


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


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

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


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

    What is a triffid


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

    The triffid is a fictional tall, mobile, carnivorous plant. It comes from a sci-fi novel.


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

    Most people in the comments are too young to understand.


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

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

    Idk waht im doin


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Languages5892

    She probably also talks to psychiatrists often


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sal1ap

    Meine Mutter auch


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kitandkat1

    sounds like the secret garden


    [deactivated user]

      Does that include potatoes?????


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph556092

      Could this sentence also be interpreted as my wife talking often with some specified plants (perhaps in her hands or on a dress)? Or even going to the extremes that she wouldn't be able to speak at the frequency that she does (which is often) without the plants?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarenLight4

      I wrote "My wife speaks often with her plants." and they marked it wrong. For goodness sake!


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

      "with the plants" is not the same thing as "with her plants".

      They might be my plants or his plants or someone else's plants than hers.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonSprin2

      ..mit dem Pflanzen. Does that mean the plants talk back? https://youtu.be/GLjook1I0V4


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrakoplas23

      "my woman often talks to the plants" why is it marked as wrong?


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

      Das ist wunderbar.


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

      Du bist Naughty Duo....


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

      why is " speaks "refused? since his wife endows her plants with a soul?????


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

      why is " speaks "refused?

      You have to translate the entire sentence.

      "speaks" is not a translation of Meine Frau spricht oft mit den Pflanzen.

      You could write "My wife often speaks with those plants", for example. But not just "speaks".


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

      How did you know, Duo?


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

      to talk to is zu den pflanzen

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