"Sie wohnt in einem Haus, dessen Dach schwarz ist."

Translation:She lives in a house the roof of which is black.

March 31, 2017

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SteffieSproat

Who would ever say " She lives in a house, the roof of which is black?" We would say " She lives in a house which has a black roof." That's as formal as it would get. More likely: "She lives in a house with a black roof". That is more ambiguous, but that's what people would say, and work out for themselves that it's the house that has the black roof and not the woman.

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MortiBiRD

In german its the same situation. Specially in spoken language you rarely use any Genitive and you would avoid a grammatical construction like this by saying "Sie wohnt in einem Haus mit einem schwarzen Dach." This is the same as your "She lives in a house with a black roof." So I just guess this is a "random" sentence to learn the use of the Genitive relative clause. From a grammatical view youre using different kinds of attributes when you say "with a X" and "which has X".

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob559851

No English speaker I know of!

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

I have tried two more natural sounding translations for this sentence, both of which demonstrate that I know what the German sentence means, but Duo rejects them. She lives in a house that has a black roof; She lives in a house with a black roof. I reported it, but I don't expect Duo will change it.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/suecd48

I reported my translation: "She's living in a house that has a black roof" too, and think it should be accepted.

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

I don't think it would be a good idea to accept these. Of course the intended meaning is the same, but they are nevertheless different sentences (all of them have natural sounding German equivalents!) than the one to be translated here.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCaramanna

It really needs to be changed.... The English translation sounds extremely unnatural.

March 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RoniH80

yes, and all should be accepted. When teaching a new language, nitpicking is not a great idea.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

No. If you really want to learn a language, you should understand the structure of sentences and not only develop a vague idea of what they are talking about. Sometimes there is no other possibility, because structures are different across languages or it is usually not phrased like this in another language.
But if similar structures exist (and this is the case here!) there is no need to digress from an exact translation. Thus:
"Sie wohnt in einem Haus, ..."
- "dessen Dach schwarz ist." - "whose roof is black" (yes, I'd prefer that one)
- "das ein schwarzes Dach hat" - "that/which has a black roof."
and
"Sie wohnt in einem Haus mit einem schwarzen Dach" - "She lives in a house with a black roof."

Three different sentences.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/lmadaldin

Yes....

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk

"She lives in a house of which the roof is black" was accepted.

July 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RaleighStarbuck

Hmm, as other have commented, this sentence is weird in English. I understand the construction of the German equivalent of course, but the problem is that the "the roof of which" sounds decidedly pedantic and "whose roof" sounds equally odd since the relative pronoun "whose" usually requires a human antecedent...instead, to illustrate the grammatical structure, the sentence could be something like "Sie ist verheiratet mit einem Mann, dessen Haus schwarz ist" (just a suggestion...)

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OsoGegenHest

Whose does not at all need to refer to a human. It isn't who's; it's the genitive of the relative pronoun.

June 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RaleighStarbuck

Well, that is true- it does not NEED to (as I wrote in my previous comment: "'whose' USUALLY requires a human antecedent"). However, I try to be descriptivist, and I think most native English speakers would analyze a relative clause with "whose" in reference to a non-human antecedent as at least a bit odd. As we all know, languages are not like math (thank God!), so there is almost always room for variation, and what "sounds good" depends on the speaker and the context. Personally, I normally only use "whose" in reference to people and (domesticated) animals. So for me, sentences like "That is the girl whose hair smells nice" or "I have a dog whose paws are white" are fine, while "That is the car whose windows are tinted" or "I have a sofa whose fabric is soft" sound strange. In the latter case, I would use periphrasis (i.e. "That is the car that has tinted windows" or "I have a sofa with soft fabric"). One could say that is just my preference, so take it or leave it, but as I wrote above, context matters too, and I truly believe that if there are other "human-associated" words in the phrase, the usage of "whose" almost becomes comically incorrect- e.g. "There is the table whose legs are broken"; "Here is the clock whose face is painted."

June 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DaShaaView

Using whose for non-human stuff sounds totally fine to my ears. Maybe that is regional tho

October 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stoopher

Interesting discussion (from 2014) here: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=11394

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jimf42

I used : she lives in a house which has a black roof ...that means exactly the same thing

April 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarrenBrow3

And was marked wrong! reported 2019.04.25

April 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/-Copernicus-

Even if that sentence means the same, you should match the structure of the German sentence and use a possessive form of some sort.

April 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fliedermaus2

In the case of an inanimate object, either "in which the roof is black" or 'with a black roof" or " having a black roof' would apply nicely. The word "Whose" implies a living person or creature. I have reported it, but sadly DL does not bother to correct their mistakes.

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DynosaurDollie

Yeah, I thought it sounded really weird in English.

May 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerJames5

I dare you to show me one brit saying a thing like that!

April 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

Americans don't say that either -

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daarmcd

We would not say it like that in Ireland.

"She lives in a house with a black roof." or "She lives in a house that has a black roof." or more unusual "She lives in a house where the roof is black"

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/linda463320

What a really stupid sentence!

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/daarmcd

Don't worry Duolingo has lots more of them.

Why is Sie in this instance "she " and not "you"

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RaleighStarbuck

When "Sie" is used as "you (formal)" it takes the verb form of the 1st and 3rd person plural (usually identical to the verb infinitive), so in this case it would have to be "Sie wohnen" (if "sie" appears with "wohnt" it can only mean "she").

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daarmcd

Is that not the same as "they live" then

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

At the beginning of a sentence, you cannot tell the difference between "you live" (in the formal form) and "they live", yes -- both will be Sie wohnen.

(You can't tell whether the Sie is capitalised because it is the polite pronoun Sie, or whether it is the word "they", sie, which is capitalised only because it is the first word of the sentence.)

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daarmcd

Thank you Mizinamo.

How would you hear and translate this sentence?

"Sie wohnen in einem Haus, dessen Dach schwarz ist. "

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Without context, I would understand Sie wohnen in einem Haus, dessen Dach schwarz ist. primarily as "They live in a house whose roof is black."

Generally, though, personal pronouns such as sie or Sie refer back to someone previously mentioned in a conversation, so depending on whether we had just been talking about "you" or about "them", I would understand it differently.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/randy519557

In English we would never refer to a house using the word whose. We would say "They live in a house that has a black roof" or "They live in a house with a black roof". I used the first one and it was marked incorrect. I reported that it should be accepted.

April 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alexraez1

We are taking lessons from which words assembly weird is.

November 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/duoasahikawa

There's a weird divide between sentences expecting idiomatic translation and those expecting strict translation. I feel like I've had to memorize which one they expect for quite a few, which doesn't really feel like it's necessary for language learning.

November 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nwilson91

Or, “she lives in a house that has a black roof,” which I know is not a literal translation or as formal, but is what people would more likely say.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaireDutt1

I don't feel I can add anything to the muddle that is this sentence. It is ridiculous to write a sentence in duolingo that you wouldn't ever say in your own language just to get the 'correct' answer marked as right. It's becoming all too frequent though which is a shame.

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/frank515984

i reported it!

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RoniH80

"She lives in a house that has a black roof" should definitely be accepted! BTW, it's completely fine to use "whose" when referring to inanimate objects - look it up!

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerJames5

I'm sorry, I love you Duo, but I don't like being forced to write sentences like that..

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk

"She lives in a house which roof is black" was not accepted, what is wrong/

April 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/-Copernicus-

That's not really grammatical. You need some sort of possession in there: "She lives in a house whose roof is black" or perhaps "... a house the roof of which is black."

April 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

you need a pronoun in the genitive case here, which cannot be fulfilled by "which". So it needs to be either "whose" or "of which".

April 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/daarmcd

We wouldn't use which or whose in this sentence.

You would have to structure the sentence like this, but it would sound wrong for an English speaker, in the way that someone using die, der, das, des incorrectly would sound to a native German speaker.

"She lives in a house which has a roof that is black" or "She lives in a house which has a black roof "

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaireDutt1

Even if you put this down, the answer comes back as wrong. Yet again an instance where you should go back to rewriting the programme to ensure it is accurate.

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mvpb41

I put she lives in a house of which the roof is black. Is this not correct? it sounds better to me (native english speaker) than the given translation

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/territech

Yes I agree that "of which the roof is black" is correct and should be accepted; however, it would be very strange for someone to say that - maybe it would be found in formal literature.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/duoasahikawa

it suggested "She lives in a house whose roof is black" (the house is now a person?) Agree with other commenters on the difficulty of the expected translation

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/angiedaytripper

I object to 'whose' being used with an inanimate object when a few sentences ago I was not allowed to use it with animals!

May 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerJames5

The roof of which.. oh my..

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HassanNur0

i wrote "She lives in a house which the roof of is black" .... somehow its wrong. How?

January 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/RoniH80

The word order in English should be "the roof of which", although in a language exercise (where English is not the language being learned) I would be more lenient than DL...

January 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/lmadaldin

What is wrong with...she lives in a house which roof is black

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ElaineMcLe7

She lives in a house with a black roof.

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

Though it conveys the same message, this is a different sentence.

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JulienneKr

No native speaker would ever say "She lives in a house, the roof of which is black." That is excruciatingly awkward English. We would simply say: She lives in a house that has a black roof." come on!

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

But this translation exactly matches the level of language in the German sentence.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JulienneKr

That may be, but literal translations are often incorrect in terms of how people speak.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

It's not about literal translations, but about hitting the meaning as well as the level. And "She lives in a house, the roof of which is black." may well be used in English, by the same type of person who would use "Sie wohnt in einem Haus, dessen Dach schwarz ist." in German (e.g. me).
Others might use "simpler" constructions, which exist in both languages.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/stoopher

People can speak in a variety of ways, depending on the situation in which they find themselves. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_(sociolinguistics)

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaden978039

Why is she has a house which has a black roof not accepted?

December 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/89MBD
  • 2022

The verb in the German sentence is wohnt (wohnen), which means to reside or live. If you want to say she has a house, that would be: Sie hat ein Haus.

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gransview

I’m old. No native speaker would ever say that!

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob559851

No one would ever say "the roof of which". Why are you torturing is with nonsense?

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/beique

what kind of english using person would say that???

January 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jojoistootired

"She lives in a house with a black roof" should be counted as right

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

Certainly not. Of course the meaning is nearly the same, but it is still a different sentence without the relaive clause.

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/wpvoltz

Nobody speaks like this!

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 991

lots of people (who know their language well) do

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeff30586

this is the dumbest sentence

July 15, 2018
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