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"Am I a grandfather?"

Translation:Bin ich ein Großvater?

February 11, 2013

39 Comments


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


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

'sein' takes the nominative to express identity. ('Gleichsetzungsnominativ')


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

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.


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

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zchbaniel25

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?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/g1hodg

One may ask that in anticipation when speaking to their children.


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

The situation could be if you want to express: "Bin ich ein (guter) Großvater?"


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

See my comment


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

Why isn't it "Ich bin ein Großvater"?


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

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.


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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuisBoss2696

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


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

You have also doubled the t.


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

please see my comment above.


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

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


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

'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.


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

Yes that does. Thanks a lot!


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

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


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

Should be, i think


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

Definitely, both are accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/g1hodg

For what reason is "bin großvater ich" unacceptable?


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karlaberg90

Why not: Wird ich Großvater? :0


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

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..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MEHULGARG2

why didnt we use "einen"


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

The predicate object in a sentence with a linking verb remains Nominativ.


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

How can i get the b thingy

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