If anyone cares, "Ur" corresponds to "great-" as in families. So "Great Grandfather" is "Urgroßvater. Just add another "Ur" for every generation. So "great-great-great-great-grandfather" is "Ur-ur-ur-urgroßvater.
If you want to say grandfather then it's Großvater or Opa (Opa is informal), and for grandmother it's Großmutter or Oma (Oma is also informal)
Interestingly, "parents" doesn't have a simple singular form in German. If you're not specifically saying "father" or "mother", you basically have to say "parents-part": Elternteil. For "grandparent" it uses the same logic to become Großelternteil.
Since the grammatical gender is now based on the -teil root of the word which is masculine (from der Teil), even a mother can be ein Elternteil.
I thought you could always use "ss" instead of B (can't type the right character)? In another question with another word it was right, you could both use "ss" or "B", but now it says "ss" is wrong.... confused
You can easily switch your keyboard back and forth between most any language. Worth the trouble if you're doing a lot of Duolingo or other typing in various languages. Mine is set up for English, French and German. I can switch back and forth just by hitting alt+shift. Google "add keyboard languages" and find appropriate instructions for your PC/Mac and operating system if you're interested. It takes seconds to do.
On touchscreen devices, try holding down the "S" key. Often you can also install the keyboard for another language, but search elsewhere on the internet (or Duolingo's general forum) for tips specific to your device rather than derailing this discussion :)
"It's "ß" after long vowels and diphthongs, and "ss" after short vowels." Ok thnx!
Instead of typing ss, hold the right Alt key (labelled "alt gr") and hit the S key once. An eszett (ß) will appear.
(seriously fighting the urge to type "A wild eszett has appeared!")
Fun fact: The Alt-Gr key is on German keyboards but not many English keyboards.
When using a physical keyboard on Windows I use WIN + SPACE to toggle between languages, and just remember where the special keys are. You have to install the language pack first (no, it doesn't change your interface to German).
If grandparents is neuter then why is it "Die Großeltern" and not "Das Großeltern?"
Does groß mean grand in the family sense but also relating to the size of things?