Translation:Do you have anything that is cheaper?
It is not incorrect, but it is not they way people speak.
It should be accepted. Duo shouldn't be testing your English on a German course.
It's because it's an exercise in the relative pronoun. In English you can say,
- Do you anything (that is) cheaper.
The German sentence can be thought of in a similar way.
- Habt ihr etwas billiger
- Habt ihr etwas, das billiger ist.
The das is that (is)
Ah, excuse me, it's das because we don't know the gender of what etwas, so neuter is assumed.
Sorry, but you made a minor mistake. Saying "Habt ihr etwas billiger" would not work, since "billiger" is an adjective - thats the reason why it works in the second given example. The correct way of saying it would be: "Habt ihr etwas billigeres". "billigeres" is an inflected version of the adjective "billig" ( -> comparative: "billiger" -> superlative: "am billigsten" ). Otherwise a great explanation! :)
Can I say "Do you have anything what is cheaper?" or can I only use "which" and "that"? Thanks!
Using "what" here would be fairly common in certain dialects, but it is considered incorrect in standard English.
As for "which" and "that", it's a bit more contentious as a lot of people consider them interchangeable, but technically "which" describes while "that" specifies. The latter is what's called for in this case.
So if I were in charge of Duolingo, I would use "that" in the standard answer here, but also accept "which".
Shouldn't this be was billiger ist because the relative clause refers to an indefinite pronoun (etwas)?
etwas, das sounds better to me, for some reason.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/WordOrder/relatives.html says that was is used after etwas.
Perhaps it's a euphony thing? Avoiding the repetition of was two syllables in a row in colloquial speech.
Habt ihr etwas billigeres, oder?
Billigeres, but yes. Etwas billiger (without the "es") would mean "somewhat cheaper" rather than "something cheaper."
Good point, but in English, without further context, somewhat or something cheaper can be referring to similar objects.
I thought dass (two s) means that or which. And that das (one s) means the (as in das Auto).
I keep getting these confused. Does anyone have a simple trick to help keep in mind the difference?
"Das" is an article or pronoun ("the," "that," "which"). It can come before a noun ("Das Auto") or stand for a noun ("Das ist mein Auto"). This includes relative pronouns ("Mein Auto, das ich gestern gekauft habe, ist rot").
"Dass" is a conjunction ("that"). Usually it starts off a clause ("Ich denke, dass mein Auto weg ist"; "Ich freue mich, dass ich mein Auto gefunden habe"). It really never translates to "which"-- always "that."
So if it's a pronoun or an article, it's "das." If it starts off a clause, you can try replacing it with "which"-- and if the sentence still makes sense, it's "das"; if not, it's "dass."
I have a problem with the grammatical structure of the english translation. Shouldn't there be a comma before the word 'which'? 'that' should be used to make it grammatically correct if no comma is used.
No, there should not be a comma here, because this is a restrictive relative clause -- you are restricting the "anything" to only those anythings which are cheaper.
As for "which" versus "that", some people distinguish between them but others use them interchangeably.
"Which" is categorically incorrect here. This is a case where the common mistake (WHICH for THAT) still isn't acceptable in usage.
In English "which" indicates a parenthetical or coincidental condition and the subordinate clause is set off by a comma; while "that" indicates a restrictive, essential, or necessary condition, and the subordinate clause is not set off by a comma. If you remember "which parenthetical" and "that restrictive," it's not hard to make the right choice between "which" and "that."
In the sentence here the speaker specifically requires something cheaper. Hence, "which" is the wrong choice and would be both illogical and ungrammatical. If you use a relative pronoun here, Standard English requires: "Do you have anything that is cheaper?" By far the most natural way to say this, however, is to omit the relative pronoun: "Do you have anything cheaper?" Not only is this shorter and more natural, but also you don't have to think about "which" vs. "that."
In English "which" indicates a parenthetical or coincidental condition and the subordinate clause is set off by a comma; while "that" indicates a restrictive, essential, or necessary condition, and the subordinate clause is not set off by a comma.
Your saying so does not make it so; not everyone agrees with the distinction.
See, for example, the usage notes at
and the examples at
It's a correct translation, but the exercise is specifically trying to teach relative clauses. In general, it's best to try to match the grammar on a Duolingo exercise unless it really really sounds wrong.
Shouldn’t “Do you all have something that is less expensive?” count? I was dinged.
"Do you have something THAT is cheaper?" is correct English. WHICH is incorrect in the English translation.
In regards to the use of "das", I read that when you don't know the gender of the subject, you 'default' to "der". Is that not the case here? Thx!
I read that when you don't know the gender of the subject, you 'default' to "der".
For a person, that may be true, but for an object, it's das -- and even for a person if you're introducing them newly to a conversation. Wer ist das? -- Das ist mein Bruder.
Here, das refers to etwas, which is neuter.
"Do you have anything cheaper?" would be the most common phrase in English. Adding 'which' would hardly be done. Using 'what' is a no no.
irgendetwas - for 'anything'. Lets try to keep it simple and consistent. The Germans can forget about more englishizing vocabulary as far as I'm concern. I have no problem memorizing any kind of word. It's complexities, and inconsistencies, and bringing in exceptions out of nowhere, that I have the problem with. It's bad enough that German is very, very, idiomatic, and that in its self, is enough to deal with.
I had put 'Do you have something which is cheap', and got a handslap for it. Interestinly, you have a double standard here. It's alright for Duolingo to pull all kinds of different verbage out of the sky, and use the 'arts and crafts' to create its own interpretation of a sentence, but not the student.
I agree in general; it's annoyingly common for Duolingo to reject something that should be acceptable, and all you can do is report and hope it will be accepted next time. Meanwhile, you're never seeing that XP again.
But in this specific case, I would say "cheap" is pretty uncontroversially distinct from "cheaper".
No. Just cheaper, or less expensive.
Think, more expensive, but less costly.