"Ich dachte, du kochst heute."

Translation:I thought you were cooking today.

February 11, 2013



Even though German uses present tense here, I think the best English translation is to use "I thought you were cooking today" rather than "I thought you are cooking today"... let me know what you guys think.

February 11, 2013


Maybe 'I thought you would be cooking today'.

February 11, 2013


Either of those sound ok to me, but 'I thought you are cooking today' is definitely not right.

March 10, 2013


The way it can work is if you quote your thought: "I thought, 'You are cooking today.'"

It's the difference between so-called reported speech and direct speech.

April 26, 2017


The reason it's not right is the user of mixed pay and present cases, thought and are. Change thought to think or are to were, and the sentence works just fine

December 12, 2017


"I thought you would be cooking today" is grammatically fine, but it changes the feeling of the sentence. The best English that's faithful to the meaning of the original German is "I thought you were cooking today." I wasn't sure Duo would get this right (they did), so I went with an answer that I thought they were more likely to accept: "I thought you cook today." That's not the way I'd say it in real life; it's an overly literal translation--and Duo accepted it.

June 1, 2018


I agree...and DL accepted "I thought you were cooking today" from me.

December 17, 2013


I'll agree.

I actually put were because it seemed more natural.

October 17, 2013


That's what I wrote.

August 25, 2014


I thought "you're" cooking today is perfectly acceptable.

June 17, 2015


Exactly! I agree - although the subjunctive is being abandoned in english, but it still bothers me

June 5, 2017


There's no subjunctive option here.

For the verb "cook", either the past progressive ("were cooking") or the conditional progressive ("would be cooking") is okay here in English.

To confirm that "were cooking" is not in the subjunctive, note that "I thought he was cooking today" would be the sentence about a third person, where "was" is in the simple past tense, whereas in the subjunctive it would change to "were". (Together "were/was cooking" is the past progressive.)

June 5, 2017


I don't think it's past here, but rather conditional.

September 13, 2017


For the verb "cook", either the past progressive ("were cooking") or the conditional progressive ("would be cooking") is okay here in English.

September 13, 2017


Why isn't the second verb in this sentence "kochst" sent to the end? Heute is the last word we receive in this sentence

November 18, 2013


I'm not a native, but I could guess it's because there's no actual auxiliary verb or preposition (? dass, etc) being used.

But input from a native would help tons.

November 19, 2013


I agree that there is a subordinate clause, since the first doesn't make any sense by itself, and the second clause is set off by a comma, a clear sign of a relative or subordinate clause.

November 25, 2013


The first does make sense by itself though. "I thought." It's not really much of a sentence but it can stand alone. This sentence basically links two ideas that can stand alone and since there's no conjunction like 'dass' you do the word order like it's two separate sentences.

December 15, 2013


We need some native help here....

If the rule cannot be broken, and being the tense is also weird, seems to me that these sentences are not connected, meaning:

I thought, (and the result is:) you are cooking today.

March 21, 2014


Yes exactly! One year on, maybe you could help us here Danmoller. I mean you're a moderator now.

August 19, 2015


The best I can do is talk to the people who work in this course. I can only work in Portuguese <-> English.

And for German, I'm just a learner, I'm not able to assure whether this is right or wrong.

August 19, 2015


The lesson is inside the learner :)

May 16, 2017


German cares about conjunction more than role of the clause: no subordinating conjunction, no order shift―even if the clause is subordinated. Also, while the present "cook" in English is out of place, in German the present is completely natural, unless the cooking had to be done by now, in which case the subjunctive would be used: "ich dachte, du würdest heute kochen" ("I thought you had cooked today", the implication is you haven't actually cooked, at least not yet).

June 8, 2017


I'm pretty sure it is because there is no subordinate conjunction. You could use dass or not if both are complete sentences.

August 19, 2015


yes, "I thought you are cooking today" is what's called tense confusion. In English, the verb tenses should agree with each other, so if one verb is conjugated in the past, the other verbs in the sentence should as well. There are exceptions (obviously, because English is just a pile of exceptions), but in this case, this is definitely an inaccurate translation.

April 8, 2013


so german doesn't always require 'dass' in these type of sentences?

August 11, 2014


Neither does English, it is just style

August 19, 2015


I agree with lieryan about tense confusion. If you're working in a restaurant and your jobs rotate through different tasks, I would say I thought you cook today. (I thought it's your turn to cook today). I can't think of another context where I wouldn't say I thought you were cooking today, though.

November 16, 2013


the reason for the similarity of tenses here ("I thought" + "you were") is a past perfect construction, here applicable because of the conditional nature of the action in the sentence. it's not definite that you ARE cooking (implied by the "I thought"). point being, because the cooking either hasn't happened yet or didn't happen at all (again, as implied by "I thought"), the proper verb match is "were". By contrast, if you wanted to use "you are," then that changes the tense out of the past perfect: "I think you are cooking today."

March 13, 2014


I went back to our group house. Bill was watching TV. I said to Bill: "I thought that today is the day that you are doing the cooking?" Bill said: "No! I arranged last week for Suzy to do the cooking, and she is doing it right now. You are doing the washing up."

October 25, 2014


"I thought that today is...", goodness gracious.

August 31, 2016


Can someone please explain what position verbs come after comma like this sentence

August 5, 2015


Terrible English translation. Definitely i thought you were cooking today

February 1, 2016


I entered "I thought you cooked today" and it was accepted, but shouldn't that be marked wrong?

March 13, 2016


Also wondering. Everyone else seems to have written different forms

May 5, 2016


Can we use "der konjunktiv" here?

April 28, 2016


Would "I thought you were cooking today" be "ich dachte du kochtest heute"? Danke schön

October 4, 2016


Then what is the past tense of kocht?

May 21, 2017


I am confused about when you need to use a conjunction like 'dass' and when you can get away with a comma, as in this exercise. I think I have done something similar earlier and it was marked wrong.

May 3, 2018


You can always ‘get away’ with using a comma (unless that generates too much ambiguity, but I can't think of a situation where this could happen), as long as you remember that using ‘dass’ requires Nebensatz syntax (i.e. verb-last order), while using the simple comma requires Hauptsatz syntax (i.e. verb-second order). For example, translating this question both ways:

  • ich dachte, du kochst heute’ (‘kochst’ in second position, right after the subject ‘du’);

  • ich dachte, dass du heute kochst’ (‘kochst’ in last position).

May 21, 2018


As there is a comma, I wrote "I thought, today you cook"

December 8, 2018


Punctuation in German or English often doesn't translate or transfer to the other language. Also, be advised that in checking translations Duolingo ignores punctuation. Of course, for your own benefit you should endeavor to punctuate correctly. :-)

The best translation here is Duo's featured translation: I thought you were cooking today. And the main point here is that German mixes past tense dachte with present tense kochst, while English usually doesn't; hence past thought and past progressive were cooking.

December 10, 2018


I also translated it as "I thought you were cooking today" because I would not switch to the present tense in English, but given my experience with Duo for direct translation over natural language in both languages, I wrote my response in the present. I expected it to be okay in German, but if this were not a language-instructional program, I would translate it into natural English.

February 26, 2019
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