"Am I a grandfather?"

Translation:Bin ich ein Großvater?

February 11, 2013

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Paulus013143

"Bin ich ein Großvater?" is listed as the correct answer, so obviously I am missing something here. I incorrectly submitted "Bin ich einen Großvater." My (il)logic: "Ich" functions exclusively as a nominative pronoun, so it must be the subject of the sentence. Given this, "Großvater" must be in the accusative and thus must be preceded by "einen."

Where did I go wrong?

February 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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'sein' takes the nominative to express identity. ('Gleichsetzungsnominativ')

February 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulus013143

Thank you!

February 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/inesmad

:) danke

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/orfeocookie
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Where you logic breaks down is in saying that "Großvater" must be in the accusative. We're still talking about the same thing we were talking about when saying "ich". There isn't a subject and an object. There are 2 mentions of the subject.

November 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Cabhan
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For a more technical answer: sein is what is called a copula. It is verb-like, but not really a transitive verb (a verb acting on an object). The English "to be" is very similar: we use it like a verb, but it really means something different than most verbs. Nothing is being acted upon or changed. The predicate of "to be" is not a direct object, since nothing is happening to it.

Here are a few good explanations of why a copula is different from transitive verbs:

http://linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/1676

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copula_(linguistics)

November 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheTreue

Alzheimer's?

October 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zchbaniel25
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I cannot really imagine a situation where you would ask "Bin ich ein Großvater?"

The normal thing to say in proper German is: "Bin ich Großvater?"

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/g1hodg
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One may ask that in anticipation when speaking to their children.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ottokar_s
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The situation could be if you want to express: "Bin ich ein (guter) Großvater?"

August 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RinaTj
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See my comment

April 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRealMaestro

Why isn't it "Ich bin ein Großvater"?

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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Grammatically it's fine but not idiomatic. EDIT: Sorry, I misread your question. My answer "not idiomatic" is referring to the "ein". You'd rather say "Bin ich Großvater?". Your word order is fine. But note that the standard word order for questions is the one duo used.

October 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/andiness1

It is also the same word order as an English question. "Am I a grandfather?" Rather than "I am a grandfather?" which has a slightly different connotation.

February 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RinaTj
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In answering when you'd use this, maybe if like talking to your daughter on the phone after she just had a baby ..."Molly...am I a grandfather?" Like a cheesy brad Pitt movie

April 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisBoss2696

Why is Grossvatter not allowed? I thought the double s was even more valid than the other letter

July 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OsoGegenHest
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You have also doubled the t.

December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Der-Michael

Gross and Groß make different sounds. The 'ß' should be used, it is the correct spelling.

October 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thejimoleary

That's what I learned in High School, the "ß" or eszett was being phased out in favor of "double s."

April 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zengator

"Phased out", but not eliminated. Groß, Straße, außen, and a number of other words still require the Eszett. See this article at german.about.com for a more detailed explanation.

July 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Problemzerstorer

Grossvater is allowed, you have a double "t" .-.

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa89988

The keyboard on my tablet will not make the symbol and it will not accept anything else as correct. What am i suppose to do

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/whenturtlesfly

As grandfather is masculine, why is it not "einen"? Thanks!

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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please see my comment above.

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/whenturtlesfly

Sorry, I didn't understand your above comment, which is why I asked the question again.

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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'einen' would be accusative. If you say that somebody is something, you have to use the nominative - 'Bin ich ein Großvater?'. BTW it isn't very natural to use the indefinite article here. You could just say 'Bin ich Großvater?'. Hope that clears things up.

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/whenturtlesfly

Yes that does. Thanks a lot!

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SvenPhillips

'Opa' or "Großvater'? Will it accept either?

August 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/inesmad

Should be, i think

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pablitoneal
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Definitely, both are accepted.

December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BiotechNoob

Isn't "ß" supposed to be used only after difthong or am I missing something?

October 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/g1hodg
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For what reason is "bin großvater ich" unacceptable?

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cabhan
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Two reasons. 1) "Großvater" needs to capitalized, because it's a noun. 2) German uses Verb-Subject-Object for questions. "Bin Großvater ich" is Verb-Object-Subject.

January 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/karlaberg90

Why not: Wird ich Großvater? :0

February 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Problemzerstorer

Simple, you are saying "Will I Grandfather?" which makes no sense.

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007
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I also notice, ich does not need a capital, if it is in the middle of a sentence, unlike English, where it is always capitalized..

February 14, 2016
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