1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "He is a slow dog, slower tha…

"He is a slow dog, slower than a snail."

Translation:Er ist ein langsamer Hund, langsamer als eine Schnecke.

May 14, 2017

23 Comments


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

What am I missing here? Why is it langsamer for slow and slower? I guessed "Er ist ein langsam Hund..."


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

langsamer is the comparative form of langsam, but it is also the adjective form used in mixed inflection for masculine words in nominative: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Mixed_inflection.5B4.5D .


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

That is correct. For completeness I may add: The comparative form langsamer can be inflected, too. "He is a slower dog" would be "Er ist ein langsamerer Hund."


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

langsamerer...man these cases are just madness lol


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

For even more fun, pick an adjective that has an -er in the stem: dies ist ein sichererer Weg "this is a safer way" -- three -er's in a row!


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

The irony of the sentence you chose is not lost. Bravo :) I can't even begin to imagine how someone would pronounce that though.


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

That's a good example, which is not even uncommon.

Too bad "integer" (upright) is not gradable, otherwise we could have "integererer".

However, "legererer" (with French g) is possible.


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

Er ist ein langsamer (adj+endung "er" masculine) hund, langsamer (Comparative) als eine Schnecke


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xamkozz-inst

Why the dog is "he"? I've been thought that animals are "it" in English. Was i though wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick8675309

For animals in general and for wild animals, you usually use "it."

For animals you have a connection to, such as a pet dog or cat, you tend to use "he" or "she" (depending on their gender, of course).

Animal-lovers may tend to overuse "he" or "she" with all animals they see (as they feel a connection to all animals), whereas people who don't like animals may tend to overuse "it" even with pets (because they don't feel a connection with them). Basically, whenever you humanize something, you use "he" or "she" rather than "it."

This can even extend to babies; someone who particularly dislikes babies will call them "it" rather than the expected "he" or "she", which can be taken as insulting and dehumanizing the baby.


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

Why is "slower" translated as "langsamer"? Shouldn't it be "langsamerer"? The first "er" is the adj. ending for "der Hund", and the second "er" is the comparative.


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

Why is "slower" translated as "langsamer"?

Because it's a predicate adjective in that position, and those don't take gender/number/case endings.

Compare:

  • Der Roman ist teuer. "The novel is expensive."
  • Die Zeitung ist teuer. "The newspaper is expensive."
  • Das Buch ist teuer. "The book is expensive."

We do not say Der Roman ist teurer, die Zeitung ist teure, das Buch ist teures in German.

We do say ein teurer Roman, eine teure Zeitung, ein teures Buch.

Attributive adjectives (before a noun) do need a gender/number/case ending.

But predicate adjectives do not.

So "the dog is slower" is der Hund ist langsamer, with only the comparative ending -er, and no gender/number/case ending.

And if you did use it attributively, the comparative comes before the gender/number/case ending, not after it; for example, ein langsameres Pferd "a slower horse". It's not ein *langsameser Pferd.


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

Why isn't the first part in Akkusativ?


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

Why isn't the first part in Akkusativ?

There's no reason for it to be in the accusative case.

There's no preposition that requires the accusative case, no transitive verb that takes a direct object in the accusative case, nor anything else (e.g. a time expression in the accusative).

It's just a copular sentence "he is a slow dog", with the copula or linking verb "is" linking the subject "he" to a predicate "a slow dog". That predicate is in the nominative case in German.

If it helps, you can think of it as "he = a slow dog". They're set as equal, and are in the same case.


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

Why it is "als" and not "wie"? Or is it also korrekt? I am German and we also say "wie" in this sentense


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

wie is often used by native speakers but is not considered correct by many (nor by this course).

so groß wie but größer als.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jule39

You use "als" for things that are different. And you use "wie" for things that are the same.

a l s: a ist kleiner als l

w i e: w ist so hoch wie e


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aindreela7

Here "eine Schneke" is Female nominative, right? So eine being a determiner, is taking up strong declension?

Had a doubt, so asked just to clear them up. Thanks in advance.


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

Here "eine Schneke" is Female nominative, right?

Right. (Mind your spelling, though -- the first e is short and so we write Schnecke with -ck- after it.)

So eine being a determiner, is taking up strong declension?

Determiners have endings all of their own -- similar to strong declension of adjectives but not identical. (In particular, they have -es in the genitive masculine or neuter, not -en like strongly-inflected adjectives would.)


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

Can we appreciate the genius of this sentence? It makes sure that you understand the difference between a comparative form and an adjective with "er" ending.

So clever. I love it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaDani49838

"Er ist ein langsamer Hund."- wir haben hier eine Adjektivdeklination. aber in "langsamer als eine Schnecke" haben wir vergleichformen von Nomen.


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

Really. Why is it He for a dog and not It.


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

I don't really care why, but rather IF this is a strict rule or just one possibility for animals and objects taking their pronoun form.

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