"We live on the Rhine."

Translation:Wir wohnen am Rhein.

February 6, 2013

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Correct answer "Wir leben an dem Rhein." While technically correct, no one in Germany would say this. This is a sentence that would earn you funny looks. The contraction "Wir leben am Rhein" would be more acceptable here.


Duolingo is a learning tool; it doesn't generally penalize you for not using every possible contraction.


i meant to say "auf dem Rhein". is that also wrong here?

[deactivated user]

    It only works if you live in a houseboat on the actual river.

    [deactivated user]

      Unfortunately you are not allowed to live in a houseboat on the river Rhine in Germany, but you can travel up and down on the river. Still wondering where Duo gets these fancy sentences, they may copy it from texts and get them out of context, or they are computer generated .....


      Only applies to the Rhine? Because the Elbe is full of houseboats in Hamburg.

      [deactivated user]

        Well, that's true. The Rhine is the most busy river in Germany for transport of all types of goods (also oil and gas) and this nearly all year round. As far as I know houseboats are not allowed, because of the danger it may bring along with that kind of business.

        The following areas are fine for house-boating:

        Müritz and Mecklenburg with its uncountable lakes, and the Schloss Rheinsberg and Schwerin or Brandenburg and the cities of Berlin, Potsdam and Brandenburg, and the Spreewald.


        My first thought from reading the English sentence was that exact situation... yet I lost a heart. If someone said they lived on the Thames, rather than by, or along, I'd assume houseboat.


        can it be "wir wohnen aus dem Rhein?" if not, why?

        [deactivated user]

          "aus" is the wrong preposition. Usually, it means "from".


          I tried "Wir wohnen bei dem Rhein" and lost a heart. How bad German was it?

          [deactivated user]

            Your thoughts seem to be legit and logical but it is wrong, so there is a dilemma to answer your question.

            First of all DUOs translation is wrong but the following example is correct.

            "We live on the (river) Rhine." = Wir leben (im Hausboot) auf dem Rhein. It needs a contextual explanation. (here im Hausboot). {also see above comments}

            To your question, quoting you: "Wir wohnen bei dem Rhein" is not a legit German sentence, because it is a standing terminology to use: "Wir wohnen am Rhein." "Wir wohnen am Fluss." - for: We live by the river.

            As you see: "Wir wohnen bei dem Rhein" does not translate to "We live on the Rhine." and of course does not mean that you live on the river Rhine.

            [deactivated user]

              Duolingo's translation "We live on the Rhine = Wir leben am Rhein" is not wrong. "on the Rhine" can mean "auf dem Rhein" if you live on a houseboat, but it can also mean "am Rhein" (on the shore/near the Rhine). Obviously, the latter interpretation is more likely.

              [deactivated user]

                Well, here is an example which promotes your view. http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/x1746175413/Whats-it-like-to-live-on-a-river

                My view and most native English speakers I have asked prefer the literal translation, or use the phrase: To live on the river bank for: "-leben am Fluss" instead.


                Thanks for the thorough answer. I try to learn so I have one more question. Does this "am = an dem" go for every possible place where someone lives nearby or is it strictly tied to living by a river? How about living by the sea, lake, forest, park, railway, street, church, etc...?

                [deactivated user]

                  Quoting you: "Does this "am = an dem" go for every possible place where someone lives nearby?" Ok I answer under the premise that someone lives close by!!! this is important as this affects the correctness of the answer.

                  Here a few: am Abhang wohnen, to live at the slope, (in other cases on the slope)

                  am Ufer wohnen, to live on the river bank,

                  am Berg wohnen, to live by the hill, near the hill, (at the hill), but "auf dem Berg wohnen; in den Bergen wohnen" = to live in the hills,

                  your questions: {forest, park, railway, street, church, etc...?}

                  or is it strictly tied to living by a river?

                  <pre> *** </pre>

                  am Fluss wohnen, = to live by the river,

                  am Meer wohnen, = to live by the sea,

                  am See wohnen, to live by the lake, to live at the lake,

                  It may has to do with water bodies, anyone to comment!??

                  am Wald wohnen, = to live in the forrest {in the woods} (not sure about, because that means: "Im Wald wohnen",

                  am Park wohnen, = to live by the park,

                  an der Bahn(strecke) wohnen = to live near the railway (line),

                  an der Strasse wohnen, = to live by the road/street,

                  an der Kirche wohnen, = to live next to or by the church,


                  I knew it was "am" but for some reason Duo said "im" and I lost my last heart :(

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