1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sie ist wie mein eigenes Kin…

"Sie ist wie mein eigenes Kind."

Translation:She is like my own child.

February 19, 2014



just confirming: this means the a person treats another like his/her own child, and not the "sie" looks/behaves like "her" child


I would understand it the same way. However, the ambiguity is the same in English and German, but it didn't even come to my mind until you pointed it out.


What about "she is as my own child"? - I got wrong


That is an extremely rare translation and a rather archaic way of saying "She is like my own child". In fact, it is so rare that the only place that I know very well that uses "as" in place of "like" in this case would be the New Testament, where translations (including modern ones) such as "Do not be as the hypocrites" are written down.


Can als substitute wie?


No. "Als" is used when to things are inequal in a comparison, "wie" is used when they are equal.

Ich bin größer als du. I am taller than you. (inequal) größer/taller are comparatives. Comparatives go with "als"/"than".

Ich bin anders als du. I am different from you. (inequal)

Ich bin so groß wie du. I am as tall as you. (equal)

Note: This does not change with negations.

Ich bin nicht größer als du. I am not taller than you.

Ich bin nicht anders als du. I am no different from you.

Ich bin nicht so groß wie du. I am not as tall as you.


So how does it work with: Er arbeitet außerdem als Autor (He also works as an author)- according to the explanation you wrote, shouldn't it be "wie Autor"?


The little word „als“ can take on many different functions. It can be a conjunction or stand with appositions and comparisons.

In your example „als“ stands with an apposition and translates to „as“. “Er arbeitet außerdem als Autor.” The tricky thing here is that the apposition takes on the same case as its referenced word. In your example two nominatives “er” “Autor”. “Ich kenne ihn als guten Freund.” I know him as a good friend. Two accusatives: ihn, guten Freund.

However, there is no comparative here (higher, faster, further..). „Als“ with comparative translates to „than“.
„Der neue Autor ist besser als der alte.“. The new author is better than the old one.

Here is an extra tricky example. „als“ with an Apposition next to a comparative „besser“ (but not connected to it). This still translates to as not to than.

Er ist besser als Autor.
He is better as an author.

Introducing a comparison this would be...

Er ist besser als der Autor.
He is better than the author.

This last example is ambiguous and could also mean.
He is better as the author. (He is more suited to be the author.)

This link is only in German.

„Er arbeitet wie ein Autor.“ translates to „He works like an author.“


Wow, I see the difference now. very helpful! thanks!


How would the sound of this sentence differ from: "Sie ißt wie mein eigenes Kind." = She eats like my own child?


It does sound the same, which makes the idiom "You are what you eat" so catchy in German: "Man ist, was man isst."


Is it also correct to write isst as ißt?


A few years back, "ißt" would have been correct.

Since the last spelling reform "ss" is used after short vowels and "ß" after long vowels. To decide you would have to know how it is pronounced. "isst" has a short "i" so "ß" would be wrong.

However, in Switzerland the "ß" is never used. There, you would not have to wonder about vowels.


It would be exactly the same. Only the context could tell you what was meant.


This is exactly how I hear the sentence.

she eats

both sentences are valid, how would we know that they meant is instead of eats.


I wrote, as a transcription of the audio, 'Sie isst wie mein eigenes Kind', and it was accepted.


That translates to
She eats like my own child.

isst - eats
ist - is


As a transcription from the audio it should certainly be valid. It is strange without any context. The default understanding would be “ist” not “isst”.
This is probably why your version was overlooked. You could report it.


isst is eating in the the third person singular


Could it be: "She is like my only child". ?


No, only in the sense of the only one of a group is tranlated with the adjective "einzig".

She is like my only child. Sie ist wie mein einziges Kind.

If you understand "only child" as a fixed combination then German has its own word for that.

She grew up as an only child. Sie wuchs als Einzelkind auf.

The translation for "own" is "eigen".

She is my own child. Sie ist mein eigenes Kind.


Is "mein eigenes Kind" accusative or nominative here ? I'm confused because of the "wie".


It is nominative. To really tell the difference, you would have to have a word of masculine gender.

"Er ist wie mein eigener Junge." nominative - (accusative would be "meinen eigenen Jungen")

"wie mein eigenes Kind" is a predicative, similar to B in to "A is B." where both A (subject) and B (predicative) are in nominative.

Here is something on predicatives. Look for "predicative nominative" and "conjunctional phrase"


"wie" could be called a "Vergleichspartikel" (camparions particle), although in the link they may see it as a conjunction.


Because "wie" is actually a conjunction and not a preposition in this case, it would be nominative.


Would it be wrong if I wrote : Sie ist wie meines eigenes Kind ?


That would, indeed, be wrong. ;-)
The difficulty here is that "mein" counts as a determiner and not as an adjective like "eigen". The most common determiners are articles "der/die/das the, ein/eine/ein a". You can have many adjectives to a noun but only one determiner.

Many adjectives:
(Das) eigene kleine süße gesunde Kind.
(The) own little sweet healthy child.

Many determiners does not work.
[Mein das ein dieses Kind. WRONG]
[My the a this child. WRONG]

The inflection for adjectives (declension of adjectives) and for determiners is different. However, the class (definite or indefinite) and the presence of a determiner influences the declension of adjectives. This seems like an overly complicated mean joke of German grammar on learners, but there are attempts to simplify it.



Okey I just know that I can't put determiners and adjectives in same place. Thanks for help !


Fist the determiner (the, a, no, my, his, this, any...), then as many adjectives as you like, finally the noun. The same as in English. Notice how the endings of determiners and adjectives can be different, while several adjectives always have the same endings. All examples are in nominative case.

(definite type determiners)
the cute brown dog
der süße braune Hund (masculine singular)

this funny old lady
diese komische alte Dame (feminine singular)

(indefinite type determiners)
a big red apple
ein großer roter Apfel (masculine singular)

no sad long letters
keine traurigen langen Briefe (masculine plural)

my fast new car
mein schnelles neues Auto (neuter singular)

his first long day at work
sein erster langer Arbeitstag (masculine singular)

any small white mice
irgendeine kleine weiße Maus (feminie singular)


Ok I think I got it . Its not so schwer ;)


can you edit Fist it means something different in this sentence


Just need some clarifying. When does wie= how and wie =like?


I nearly tried "sie isst". It should work.


I got away with "Sie ist wie meine eigenes Kind." with no warnings. Reported as I suspect it is wrong.


LeoBlackma3: It IS wrong, indeed. It should be 'Sie ist wie MEIN (without 'e') eigenes Kind'. It would only be 'MEINE' with a FEMININE word, like in the sentence 'Sie ist wie meinE eigenE Tochter' ('She is like my own daughter').


Why isn't it 'Sie ist wie 'meine' eigenes kind?


Das Kind has neuter grammatical gender. It doesn’t matter what sex it may actually have. All words modifying Kind, I.e. determiner mein and adjective eigenes have to follow the inflection patterns for neuter grammatical gender.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.