"Diese Frau kann meine Großmutter nie ersetzen."

Translation:This woman can never replace my grandmother.

February 12, 2014



Without the word order is it possible to understand who is being replaced in this sentence?

February 12, 2014


In German you need intonation and / or context to understand who is replaced by whom; both meanings are possible.(Fn) (Although convention would suggest the first person to be subject of the clause, hence the woman replacing the grandmother.)

In English, in contrast, everything is clear due to word order.

Fn: Because nom. and acc. are the same for both diese Frau and meine Großmutter.

February 12, 2014


Thank you. That is what I had assumed but wanted to be clear. I had been told that the benefit of having strong cases would be that it is always clear what happens to whom. Clearly that isn't totally true.

February 12, 2014


It is true, when you have 7 cases (not 4) like in croatian ^^

November 5, 2018


A handy phrase for that awkward family dinner when gramps introduces his new 22 year old Thai bride.

November 1, 2014


I love it!

July 13, 2015


Aww, so sad!

August 18, 2014


could this equally mean 'my grandmother can never replace this woman'?

August 8, 2014


why is "this woman cannot replace my grandmother" wrong?

August 20, 2014


Because cannot is too weak when compared to can never

January 28, 2019


I have put "lady" as translation of Frau and it is wrong!!?

March 2, 2014


Yes, DL is very literal. Frau = Woman, Dame = Lady.

April 3, 2014


Is "This woman will never be able to replace my grandmother" a valid possibility?

September 9, 2014


Is this acceptable? "Diese Frau kann nie meine Großmutter ersetzen." I mean, "nie" immediately after the verb.

October 17, 2014


I will have put that: This woman will never replace my grandmother

June 18, 2014


I believe "...will never be able to replace..." would be better than "...will never replace..."

August 6, 2014


Can ersetzen also be used in the sense of replace (with something/someone else)?

For example: now that my grandmother has retired, her boss needs to find someone else to take her position, but she will never be able to truly replace my grandmother. Therefore, this woman can never replace my grandmother (with another worker).

February 22, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.