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  5. "Sie schläft bei Freunden."

"Sie schläft bei Freunden."

Translation:She is sleeping at her friends' place.

February 25, 2013



"She sleeps with friends" was ok. Grrreat !


It's wrong, though.


I almost agree. It's definitely important to point out that the German sentence does not have sexual connotations, so it's best to choose an English translation that doesn't have them either.

But I can imagine situations where you might for example be talking about her homelessness situation and, in context, use the phrase "sleeps with friends" to refer to the location she goes to bed at night and nothing more. I think rejecting it outright would be more wrong, but it is arguable.


Or the "she" in this case could ein Mädchen at a sleepover party.


"Schläft" sounds TO ME like "schlift". Am I correct? Thanks!


It sounded like "schlieft" to me, which would be correct if the subject were "ihr" and it was past tense. http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-schlafen.html


No. The sounds are similar, but not the same. Play both words in a german vocal synthesizer and you will see the small difference between them


Sounds fine to me (I checked the audio files directly).

Recorded examples can be found on Forvo, if you're interested: https://forvo.com/word/schläft/


Presumably because, unlike that translation, the original German doesn't have sexual connotations.


Now if it uses the German preposition "mit" instead, it DOES have that connotation


Also because of the Apostrophe: "She sleeps with her friends'..." her friends' what? I'm disappointed that that translation is marked as correct.


Duolingo doesn't handle punctuation well, unfortunately. As you say, at her friends' is correct while at her friends is not, but with her friends is and with her friends' is not.


But. My "She is sleeping with friends" was not accepted. Go figure!


At the time I checked the database, that answer was in there.


Well, I answered the same,"She is sleeping with friends" and it was accepted as correct!


It looks like "She sleeps with her friends" ... could this be the same as in english, meaning that she is sexually active with her friends? Serious question! Because that was what I was thinking when I gave my answer.


"Sie schläft bei ihren Freunden" = " She sleeps at her friends' place"

"Sie schläft mit ihren Freunden" = "She has sexual intercourse with her friends"

So, be careful not to confuse 'bei' and 'mit', both of which can be translated to 'with' in English.


Well that is INDEED an important little tidbit. I might've got myself in serious trouble if someone didn't point that out.


Nonetheless, "She sleeps with friends" was accepted ;)


Platonically, I guess...

But, after taking a close listen to the phrase, "She sleeps with friends." it can be taken that she is sleeping "at her" friend's place. Let me add context:

Dad: "Why isn't Debbie sleeping here tonight?"
Mom: "She's sleeping with friends." (or "She sleeps with friends.").
Dad: "Where?"
Mom: "They're at Rachael's house."


No, she sleeps at their home.


How do you know it's at a house?


"Bei" is equivalent to "chez" in French, or "at the home of" in English


Thx. Very helpful.


'Bei' -> 'at the place of'


"She sleeps at her friends' place" is a better translation.


Assuming the possesive: "friends' place", when it is not written is too advanced gramatically. Could it also mean in more simple words: She sleeps/is sleeping beside friends?


No, it means at their house. If you were specifically wanting to refer to express "next to" as a location you could use neben, or rephrase it to clarify that they shared a bed/mattress/etc. But it's perfectly fine to say "friends' place".


So this sentence is actually meant to mean that she sleeps at a house owned by two or more of her friends? Because my first instinct was to think it meant she has a habit of sleeping at her friends' houses: "She sleeps at her friends'."


As in English, the German sentence is ambiguous about whether it's habitual or not. It could refer to multiple occurrences each involving one friend, or any number of occurrences involving multiple friends.


can't tell the difference between freundin and freunden D: I mean I understand the difference in definition but I can't tell which she is saying.


They are often hard to distinguish. Here, if it had been Fruendin, it would have been einer Freundin.


where is the dative in this sentence? shouldn't it be sie schläft bein Freunden (since Freunde is plural and plural dative takes the 'den' indefinite article)? And why is there an -n at the end of Freuden?


Bei takes the dative case. The -n at the end of Freund is the result of it being dative.

Bei takes dative without there being any why associated with it. That is just how it is.

Here are some other dative loading prepositions unaffected by why.

aus, außer, bei, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, zu.

Including den would suggest that the speaker knows the particular friend's place she is sleeping at. Without the den, the sentence says merely that she is sleeping at an unspecified friend's place.

So, dative because of the preposition, no article because the indefinite is not required and the definite says more information than is included in the Duo example. Freunden because that is the dative form.


is the adding of the -n at the end of the indirect object a general rule? as far as i can tell, this is a peculiarity particular to only certain nouns. so in a normal noun which does not take a dative ending, and in the case of not including the definite article, there would not be anything to differentiate the sentence from say, accusative or nominative (apart from the preposition itself of course), correct?


It is the preposition that determines the dative. This is a function of the phrases relationship to the verb. Nouns do not dictate the dative case.

If it has the indirect object relationship to the verb it is in the dative case. If it has the direct object relationship to the verb, then it is accusative. The preposition selected will reflect that.

Most of the words after the preposition will take an n at the end if it is plural. There are some exceptions.

You are correct. If you drop the preposition and the article it will be difficult to make sense of the sentence. That is because it isn't really a sentence anymore.

In English, I dropped pen book doesn't tell you what you need to know. Ditto for German. Pen and book, pen on book, book on pen???????


So using bei in this way is like using hos in swedish?


I think so, or like chez in French.


Couldn't this just mean "She sleeps with a friend?"


In this case 'bei' is followed by dative, so the '-en' indicates plural.


So in the dative, plural Freunde becomes Freunden. How would one say that she is at her friend's house, i.e. what happens to Freund (singular) in the dative? How does one work out which nouns are modified by dative, and in what way?


All nouns will add an "-n" (or "-en") to the plural for the dative plural-- always. There is never a change for dative singular.

  • "bei einem Freund"--> "bei Freunden"
  • "in dem Haus"--> "in den Häusern"
  • "Geschenke dem Kind geben"--> "Geschenke den Kindern geben"

(Exception-- don't add an "-n" if the regular plural already ends in "-n" or "-s" (dative plurals of "Frau" and "Auto" are just "Frauen" and "Autos", not "Frauenen" and "Autosen"))


In this example, bei was used as an equivalent of at, but zu can also mean at. How does one distinguish between the two prepositions? In which situations do you use each of them?


btw, how come it implies "her"?


Schläft is third person singular, therefore "sie" must mean she.


Sound like "Schlieft".... bad pronounciation. It could sound in an accent like that, but not for placement test.


Would this also mean 'She sleeps near friends', technically? A phrase which would be much less commonly used, I appreciate, but I wonder if this is how it would be written in German.


Sie schläft neben Freunden?


could it be "she sleeps near a friend?" instead?


Could this also mean "she sleeps at friends' houses"?


e_originale, "she sleeps at friends' houses" sounds right to me. Also, "she sleeps at the houses of friends"


Freunden, Kindern ...??? It seems that I missed sth,,, why 'n' is added at the end ?


bei takes the dative case, and the dative plural almost always has an -(e)n added to the end of a noun.


Is it gramatically wrong she sleeps at a friend? The program tells me i need " 's" at the end of friends.


Yes -- "at a friend's house", or "at a friend's" for short. But not simply "at a friend".


Is there a rule regarding when to and when to not use the dative article?

I see here that while 'Freunde' seems to have been modified to 'Fruenden', there isn't a 'der' preceding it. Any reason why?



Some prepositions always require dative; bei is one of them. We need bei in this sentence to express the desired meaning ('that's just how people would say it').

Why would there be a der preceding Freunden (watch your spelling!)? As in English you can be either specific ("the friends") or general ("friends"). In any case, if it were "with the friends" it would be bei den Freunden in German, since the dative plural article is den.


Friends', can it be friend's?


No, because "friend's" is singular in English but the German sentence is plural.


Sleeping over means the same thing


Yep, and there are accepted answers that use that phrasing too.


Is bei "with" or "at"?


Yes. And several other things as well, such as "by".

Prepositions are often difficult to pin down and rarely translate one-to-one between languages.


Can "bei" in this context also mean "by"? Like next to them?


No, not idiomatically (i.e. no German would interpret it that way).


It's more "by" or "at", "with" is "mit"


She slept at friend's. Is not accepted why???


Probably because friend's implies one friend (the position of the apostrophe). Freunden is plural, therefore you need to write friends'.


"She slept" is also past tense, whereas Sie schläft is present tense.


It says I misplaced the apostrophe, but Freunden is plural, so the apostrophe should come after the -s in English.

at a friend's place (1 friend)

at a friends' place (more than 1 friend)


You can't have "a" there since that "a" needs to go with a singular friend. "A friends'" just doesn't make sense. But just "at friends' place" sounds weird, so I think your best option is what's listed at the top of this page-- "at her friends' place"-- or possibly "at some friends' place."

But to address your question, that is a strange correction since the apostrophe should indeed go after the "s." I suppose Duo was thrown off because you used "a."


The Duo computer has to make a choice about which word is the error. The singular article a or plural friends'.

The concept of joint ownership of a single place has not been programmed into the database. Specifying such an arrangement in casual conversation is uncommon in English since it would mean not only equal ownership but also equal status as friends of the subject. Quite possible but simpler to just keep everything in the singular instead of making the listener stop and think about what was meant.


With word choice, the word "friends" has no apostrophe, which implies no possession, and doesn't work with "friends place".


What's the problem exactly? I agree with you on the grammar, and checking the answer database the answers are all grammatically correct. Just trying to understand if you have some kind of criticism or found a bug...


friend's or friends' would be correct; the only option I was given through word choice was friends which is grammatically incorrect because there is no apostrophe. the translation at the top is correct. the words from which I could choose to construct the English version of the sentence did not give the apostrophe option. hope i'm explaining it clearly...


I believe this is because Freunden by itself is plural not plural possessive. Bei adds the possessive,


Really confusing to new users. The 'blocks options' I had were "she is sleeping at her friend's place". It may mean similar but it's not the answer I'd want to see.


'Sie schläft bei Freunden' (She sleeps at friends) Where are you getting "her" and "place" from ??


"place": from the bei -- bei Freunden = at [her] friends' place. bei mir = at my place.

It doesn't say explicitly that they are her friends, but implicitly through the lack of any other determiner before Freunden.


Besides schläfen, are there any other verbs that cause "bei" to have extra implications that have to be made more explicit in English?


Where is "her" in the german sentence?


There's not a word that directly translates to "her" in the German sentence; it's not a word-for-word translation. The "her" is added to the English sentence to make it sound more natural; without that word, it sounds a little odd.




That would be "at the friends' place." Referring to a specific group of friends that has already been mentioned.


I do not know the correct pronunciaton for SCHLÄFT. Can anybody help! Is it [e] like in GET, or [ei] like in GATE?


schläft properly has a [ɛː] vowel -- like the vowel in English "get", but held for a longer time. (Otherwise it would sound like schläfft.)

Colloquially, many Germans pronounce [ɛː] like [eː] as in German geht (which is not a diphthong like in English "gate").


It's the former ("get").


Umm...am confused now. I thought ä supposed to be like "ae", which would be more like the one in "gate".


I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. "ä" is its own letter in German that makes the sound in English "get." It can be written as "ae" as an alternative for people who can't type umlauts, but that doesn't mean it has any relationship to an "ae" in any other language or makes the same sound as it.


where is "her" coming from? is it included in "bei"?


The German sentence doesn't use "her"; it just leaves it implied that the "friends" are "her" friends. In English it sounds better to include "her," so we don't leave it implied like German does.


Why cant this be "She is sleeping at a friend's place"? What implies that it is HER friend's place.


"A friend's place" doesn't work because "Freunden" is plural; there are multiple friends.

Either way, the implication is strong in the German sentence that we're talking about her own friends. Who else's friends would they be? You'd have to do some rewording if you were referring to someone else's friends.


The possessive apostrophe for "friends'" is not in the selection.


Wrong translation into English she is sleeping at friends'( place). You can leave out place and where is the word her in German?


Why is "She is sleeping at a friend's place" wrong?


Why is "She is sleeping at a friend's place" wrong?

Because the German sentence doesn't say that she is sleeping bei einem Freund "at a friend's place" but rather bei Freunden, using the plural.


Why is "she sleeps at her friend's" not accepted? That's the way I'd phrase it in English?


Weird because having a friend earlier in rhe course meant boyfriend or girlfriend now its a platonic friend


Weird because having a friend earlier in rhe course meant boyfriend or girlfriend now its a platonic friend


Most people are monogamous and have only one relationship at a time.

So if someone says mein Freund, it means "my boyfriend" but if someone says meine Freunde, it means "my friends".


So in German, having a sentence that translates directly to "She is sleeping at Friends" allows "her" and "place" to be implied? Is there not a word for place that could be added at the end of the sentence?


"Bei (jemandem)" is commonly used to mean "at (someone)'s house/place," so "bei" in itself is what implies "place." Yes, you can say "place" explicitly with e.g. "bei Freunden zu Hause," but this is not necessary.

"Her" is implied in the same way English implies it in a sentence like "She is staying with some friends." Specifying "her" is not needed.


Why not sie schläft bei DEN Freunden.. when friends are plural.. dativ+plural =den ?


That would mean that she's with "the" particular friends. "Den" does not merely make a noun dative plural; it's a form of "der/die/das" and means "the." If you don't want a "the" in the sentence, you don't include "den."


I'm a bit confused as to how Freunden translates entirely to the location of her friends house... friend's place. However, despite that, why isn't the sentence actually, "Sie schlaft be Ihren Freunden?"


"Bei" is frequently used to mean "at (somebody)'s house/residence"; it's "bei" that carries that meaning.

The German phrasing simply leaves it implied that the friends are her own friends. In the same way, we could say something in English like "She is staying with some friends," with it not said but implied that the "some friends" are her friends.


I didn't put an apostrophe after friends' and they marked it wrong.


The translation shows "boyfriends" as a correct translation or Freunden. Is it true?


Well, I tried "She sleeps with boyfriends." as that seemed like an accurate sentence. Duolingo marked that wrong.


And wrong it is. See my comment above.

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