"I am a girl."

Translation:Ich bin ein Mädchen.

February 26, 2013

58 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blagoj88

Ich bin eine Madchen????? Why ein, not eine??? Eine is for femiluar, or not???

February 26, 2013

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

All the words ending with diminutives like "chen" or "lein" are neuter... German is so difficult! :D

February 26, 2013

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

Ok probably a stupid question but what exactly is a diminutive?

December 26, 2013

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

A suffix added to a word that makes it refer to something little. In spanish, there's auto (car) and autito (little car). There, 'ito' is the diminutive. I think there aren't any in english.

December 27, 2013

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

Yes there are some in English-many borrowed from other languages. For instance duckling is a baby duck. A nice article is here:http://www.dailywritingtips.com/50-diminutive-suffixes-and-a-cute-little-prefix/

December 27, 2013

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

In Spanish you can make a diminutive most of the words, but no all of them make sense "autito" is one of those

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lital-R

According to that logic, what "Mad" means without the "chen"?

August 28, 2018

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

It's not used by itself in German any more, but it meant something like "girl" -- compare the English words "maid" and "maiden" which also refer to (young) women.

October 22, 2018

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

thanks! didn't know "chen" was diminutive :)

June 5, 2013

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

So that means 'das' (as in 'das Mädchen') is neutral/plural and not just plural, or is it far more confusing than that?

December 4, 2013

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

das in das Mädchen is neuter.

In the plural, it would be die Mädchen (the girls).

October 22, 2018

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

So it is "eine frau" and "ein fraulein"?

March 27, 2014

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

Yes, exactly. It's "eine Frau" (feminine) and "ein Fräulein" (neuter). "Fräulein" (literally: little woman, i.e. Miss) is neuter because it ends in the diminutive suffix "-lein".

Note that the word "Fräulein" has become old-fashioned in the past two decades; nowadays, both married and unmarried women are referred to as "Frau", e.g. "Das ist Frau Maier" (That is Ms. Maier). Today, the word "Fräulein" is sometimes still used when people are scolding very young girls, though.

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rita625423

Reading thru these responses today you brought a smile to my face with your use of Ms. Maier. That was my maiden name and I have seldom encountered that spelling elsewhere.

April 20, 2018

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

:) Yes, there are many different spellings (Maier, Mayer, Meyer, Meier ...). It's one of the most common German surnames. For the spelling "Maier" alone, there are 36,970 entries in the German telephone directory.

http://www.verwandt.de/karten/absolut/maier.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_surnames_in_Germany#List_of_the_most_common_surnames_in_Germany

April 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MImi78238

Das (ein) gender neutral word

February 2, 2019

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

Eine is for feminim , but Mädchen is neuter . The meaning says in german nothing.

May 24, 2019

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

When should I use das, der and die?

July 3, 2013

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

"Der, das, die" and "ein, eine" are used depending on the gender of the word. Masculine words take "der" and "ein." Neuter words take "das" and "ein." Feminine words take "die" and "eine." Plurals are always "die" or omitted (no article is used).

Note that the gender of the word does not have to match the gender of the object the word means. Girl, Mädchen, is neuter because of the ending of the word, -chen is always neuter and so it takes the definite article "das." Likewise, newspaper, Zeitung, is feminine because the ending -ung is always feminine and so it takes "die."

http://www.learn-german-smarter.com/learn-german-articles.html

July 24, 2013

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

Very good article. Thank You.

July 26, 2013

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

You're welcome. I'm glad it helped!

July 27, 2013

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

Why do we use the article here? When identifying occupation or nationality (Ich bin Musiker/Ich bin Deutscher) we don't use an article, right? Is this a quirk of "Mädchen" or is there a larger class of words for which an article should be used?

August 26, 2014

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

Normally, singular countable nouns are accompanied by an article. As you said, there are some exceptions and one of them pertains to nouns that indicate occupation, geographical origins, religion or political and ideological affiliations. Words such as girl, boy, man or woman do not belong to this special group, so they are accompanied by an article.

http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Wort/Artikel/Gebrauch/Ohne.html?lang=en#Anchor-Angabe-14210

PS: Even within the exceptional group of nouns I mentioned, an article can be used in some contexts. For example, "Er ist Clown" means that he works as a clown, whereas "Er ist ein Clown" means that he is like a clown, i.e. he likes fooling around. For this reason, Kennedy's famous statement "Ich bin ein Berliner" was grammatically correct and not misunderstood by Germans at the time. He did not literally come from Berlin, but wanted to express his solidarity with the citizens of Berlin after the Berlin Wall had been built.

In some regions of Germany, the word "Berliner" does not only refer to a person from Berlin, but also to a kind of doughnut. The story goes that by adding an article, Kennedy inadvertently said "I am a doughnut" instead of "I am a person from Berlin". This story is a myth that did not originate in Germany. Hardly any Germans know about it.

See also: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/did-jfk-say-he-was-a-doughnut_n_3500307.html

August 26, 2014

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

How do I put in the umlaut?

December 23, 2013

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

Why is it 'ein', not 'einen'? I would assume the latter because 'das' is neuter but then again German is weird.

December 10, 2013

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

Exactly! Why is it not 'einen'? And then, what is 'einen' for? :)

[30 minutes later] according to Wikipedia, 'einen' is the "masculine accusative" form of the indefinite article. So it is a trap in the translation help/tooltip, and we walked into it. :-)

January 3, 2014

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

What is the accusative form of eine?

July 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justme5155

I agree, isn't Mädchen the direct object? So wouldn't it be einen?

August 29, 2014

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

1.) No, it's not the direct object; it's a so-called predicate noun. Predicate nouns occur after verbs such as "sein" (to be) and "werden" (to become).

I hit a girl. ("A girl" is the direct object, it's the "victim" of the action. The subject (=I) and the direct object (= a girl) are two different people.)

I am a girl. ("A girl" is a predicate noun. The subject (= I) and the predicate noun (= a girl) are one and the same person.)

In German, the nominative case is used for the subject and for predicate nouns.

2.) For almost all direct objects, the accusative case is used in German.

Indefinite articles (=a/an)

Masculine nouns: ein (nominative); einen (accusative)

Feminine nouns: eine (nominative and accusative)

Neuter nouns: ein (nominative and accusattive)

The word "Mädchen" (girl) is grammatically neuter, so even if it were the direct object (accusative case), the article would still be "ein". "Einen" is only used with masculine nouns.

http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases_nominative.htm

http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/InflectionRules/FRegeln-Art/Art-Indef.html?MenuId=Word621

August 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fishyfish5

why it is not Ich bin eine Madchen

March 4, 2017

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

because Eine(Die) article use for feminin..like for Frau. and Ein(Das) use for nutural Like Madchen,Buch,Geld

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBarto4

how do you tell if a word is nueter?

August 27, 2016

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

You just have to learn it. Look up new words in a dictionary to determine their gender.

Grammatical gender is, in general, not logical -- you can't tell the gender of most words just by looking at them.

October 22, 2018

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

Ein for nutural and Eine for feminin

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erika5757

I can type an umlaut on my computer but not when I am using the phone app. I get it correct but with a note about being xareful about accents. How do I type the umlaut?

February 7, 2018

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

On a phone, try long-pressing the a o u s keys and you should get a pop-up that shows accented versions of those letters, including ä ö ü ß -- then slide your finger over onto the correct accented version before letting go.

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFuchs1

Later everything turns the other way do to nouns n verbs. That ridiculous.

April 27, 2018

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

The noun starts with a capital.

June 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahela5

why isn't there an accent on the letter A in the word Mann. I'm a new learner

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach432363

What's the difference between Madchen and madchen?

August 6, 2018

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

Neither of them are German words.

The word for "girl" is Mädchen -- capital M at the beginning followed by ä with dots.

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yalda759146

Eine madchen

December 1, 2018

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

"a girl" in German is ein Mädchen -- the article is ein (because Mädchen is grammatically neuter), and the word Mädchen starts with a capital M (capitalised because it's a noun) and an ä (and if you can't write ä, write ae instead of a).

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MImi78238

How do I use an umlaut on a chrome keyboard I have a US model and have no idea how to spell properly

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SS831U

How do I make accents?

February 3, 2019

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

If you're using the website, there should be buttons with accented letters underneath the text entry field.

If you're using the mobile app, you should be able to make accented letters by long-pressing the base letter, e.g. long-press a to get ä (and á à ã ...), and long-press s to get ß.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wangzhaoyu05

I dont know how to put the 2 dots over the a

March 17, 2019

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

Guys it's Made-chen NOT mad-chen luhmao haha omgeanlul

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sacha175860

American phones don't have the accents

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B.G.D

I am not a master of German but wasn't it eine Mädchen? If I'm not correct please enlight me.

April 6, 2019

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

wasn't it eine Mädchen?

No. The word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, so it has to be ein Mädchen.

April 6, 2019

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

How do you get accents on the keyboard. I can't figure out how!!

June 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin24692

I don't have accents on my keyboard.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stopkale2019

When do you use "bist" versus "bin" to refer to the subject? I notice for "Frau", it uses both depending on the sentence. Help me, please!!!

August 12, 2019

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

When do you use "bist" versus "bin" to refer to the subject?

Depends on the subject.

ich bin = I am

du bist = you are

er ist, sie ist, es ist = he/she/it is

wir sind = we are

ihr seid = you are - several people

sie sind = they are

So use bist when the subject is du and use bin when the subject is ich.

August 12, 2019
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