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  5. "Was essen die Mädchen?"

"Was essen die Mädchen?"

Translation:What do the girls eat?

February 7, 2013

32 Comments


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

There is no conjunction "what 're"


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

Yes, but it is a colloquial, spoken contraction, not quite as 'official' as "isn't" for example. (Not that any contractions are formal as such but some more acceptable than others)


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

What the girls are eating Is this a correct ans?


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

The given sentence is a question, so the translation must likewise be a question. In English questions beginning with a question word such as “What”, the order of subject (“the girls”, in this sentence) and conjugated verb (“are”, in this sentence) is inverted relative to their order in the indicative.

The indicative sentence-fragment “What the girls are eating.” would be „Das, {was | daß} die Mädchen essen.“.


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

Warum nicht 'Was die Mädchen essen?"


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

In German question-word questions, the verb always comes before the subject.


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

„Was essen die Mädchen?“ = “What are the girls eating?” refers to a specific set of girls understood to be identified by the context.

„Was essen Mädchen?“ = “What do girls eat?” refers to girls in general.


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

What is the girl eating ?? Why is this incorrect ?


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

„Was isst das Mädchen?“ = “What is the girl eating?”.

„Was essen die Mädchen?“ = “What are the girls eating?”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InPxgX6K

I played and replayed the audio multiple times and I keep hearing “Was esst, die Mädchen?” which I know is missing the pronoun, and an unlikely sentence anyway, but that's what I hear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InPxgX6K

Isn't that weird, the second time the question is presented, the audio is correct. :-(


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

Why not "what are the girls eating"


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

"What food for the girls?", could this not be another translation?


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

That would be „Welches Essen für die Mädchen?“.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Josh955281

Could this also be, What is the girl eating


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

Why isn't the translation of this "What eats the girls"? I know that is a bit gruesome, but still.


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

"What eats the girls?" would translate as "Was isst die Mädchen?" I think.


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

And it is still grammatically incorrect u_u


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

Is that because of the sentence order? Or is it something to do with the dative case? I'm just trying to work out how, apart from the verb, you could know for sure.


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

“What's eating the girls?” is an ungrammatical translation of ‘Was essen die Mädchen?’ because the German interrogative pronoun ‘was’ is grammatically singular, whereas the verb ‘essen’ is plural. In addition, it is a semantically poor translation because ‘was’ is an inhuman agent, so the verb ‘fressen’ should be used instead of essen. If both nouns were singular nonhumans, for example if sentence were ‘Was isst das Kätzchen?’, it would indeed be ambiguous, meaning either “What's the kitten eating?” or “What's eating the kitten?”.


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

"What eats the girls?" is wrong.


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

the order of the words in English questions is inverse. While a statement would be "what eat the girls... (is sandwich, bad, other)" a question should be "what do the girls eat?"


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

Not quite - the statement would be 'the girls eat...' or 'what the girls are eating is...'


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

Remember, do not look at it was a word for word translation. In "Was essen die Madchen"'s case, 'girls is plural so we should know that that verb should be conjugated in the plural form.


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

besides the "s" at the end of the verb is only for the third person singular the girl eats/she eats and the girls eat/they eat


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

the order of the words in English questions is inverse. While a statement would be "what eat the girls... (is sandwich, bad, other)" a question should be "what do the girls eat?"

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