"She does not have any relatives."

Translation:Sie hat keine Verwandten.

May 30, 2017

This discussion is locked.


I am completely confused between Verwandte and Verwandten. Why is it 'Hast du Verwandte?' and 'Sie hat keine Verwandten.'? Can someone please simplify this for me?!



I'm confused as well.


Verwandte is a noun as well as an adjective, so it declines like an adjective instead of a noun. The way I learned it was by copying down the information from the website below and just reading it over and over. It’s very easy to understand when you do it like this.

Here’s the website: https://easy-deutsch.de/en/adjectives/adjective-declension-easy/


That is absolutely insane! I can't understand how even Germans ever learn German!


Why is it "Verwandten"? Is it dative?


haben comes with accusative.

Declension can change depending on the kind of your determiner/article. The negating article kein/keine requires the same declension as a definite article like der/die/das

So you could say the following things:

Ich habe Verwandte (plural without arcticle / indefinite article)

Ich mag die Verwandten (definite article)

Ich habe keine Verwandten / Ich mag keine Verwandten (keine requiring the definite article declension)

These examples are all accusative by the way, hope that helps


    I get what you mean, but it's a little misleading to say that kein requires the same declension as der/das. For example: Er ist kein Verwandter but Er ist der Verwandte.


    Sie hat keinen Verwandten and your example uses different Kasus


      Ah, yes. I'll change it to use a different example.


      Also your original issue. Der Verwandte has a mixed inflection when its with kein (and some others like possive pronomina). When tis with Der (definite article) then der Verwandte has a weak inflection. When its Verwandter (without article) then it has a strong inflection.


      Er ist der Verwandte von ihr. This is not a correct sentence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Dativ_ist_dem_Genitiv_sein_Tod

      Von wem ist er der Verwandte? Von ihr. So you are using the dative. Don't!

      You need the genitive here: Es ist ihr Verwandter

      Wessen Verwandter ist er? Ihrer! That is a genitive, and this is correct.

      Although this sentence just sparked a lively discussion in my office. Dative and Genitive are very common errors for German native speakers (not sure about language learners)


        Right. Edited again to avoid distraction.


        Right. I also forgot to mention that this set of article-dependent rules applies only to adjectives, since Verwandter is technically a nominalized adjective. This adjective declension also gets more tricky in plural, which is why I gave those examples. MortiBiRD covered that, it's strictly speaking mixed declension


          No, it's not dative. It just a noun that gets endings like adjectives do (it declines like an adjective). There are many nouns in German that do this, often referring to people. Here is a good explanation.

          After reading that link you might notice that verwandt is an adjective meaning "related", so when you talk about "a relative" you're kind of saying ein verwandter Mann or eine verwandte Frau, and we just leave off the noun and use the adjective as one instead (ein Verwandter or eine Verwandte). Hence when you have the plural, the ending depends on whether there's an article or not (remember the adjective endings pattern): Ich habe Verwandte but Sie sind meine Verwandten, for example.

          You can study the full declension table for Verwandte(r) here.


          One of those websites returns a 404, the other is under construction.

          [deactivated user]

            "She does not have any relatives." - Sie hat keine Verwandten. Verwandten = plural noun

            "My aunts and nephews are relatives." - Meine Tanten und Neffen sind Verwandte. Verwandte = plural noun

            Yet they are not the same somehow.


            It inflects like an adjective, meaning that the ending will follow strong, weak, or mixed inflection depending on what is in front of it.

            In your two sentences, you have mixed inflection after keine in the first sentence, and strong inflection in the second sentence since there is no article or other determiner in front of it.

            Or to look at it differently, the -e ending for nominative plural is on keine in the first sentence (so Verwandt- doesn't have to show the case and can take the generic weak ending -en), but in the second sentence, there's nothing else to show the case and so the word Verwandt- has to have the -e ending for nominative plural.

            [deactivated user]

              I though haben made it accusative after the fact, so 'keine' would be accusative plural (which is the same anyway). I've looked up adjective tables and now have an idea of how they work (DL really should introduce that BEFORE getting here, I think a lot of people are struggling because they just don't know adjectives do that. Explaining as 'it declines the way adjectives do' doesn't help when you don't know how how adjectives work in the first place).


              It's a great explanation, however, the lessons for adjective inflection aren't until later on in the tree, (I believe a whole section away), why is this being brought up now? To someone who has never had any German, strong, weak, mixed adjective inflection would make no sense.


              By now, I'm mightily annoyed by Verwandter/Verwandte. I looked up the declension tables in wiktionary... still annoyed.


              Why is it en now when on the previous question when I put en it was marked wrong???


              I don't know what your previous question was, but perhaps Verwandte did not have an article before it such as keine and so it had strong inflection rather than mixed or weak?


              this is maddening !! if germans are smart enough to adopt simple english, like baby, then they can use just one word for "relatives."


              Pronunciation question: the woman sounds like she uses a glottal stop in the final -ten. (Glottal stops are used in most varieties of English when we say "mountain" like "mount'n" and "button" like "butt'n".)

              1. Am I hearing correctly and
              2. Is this pronunciation common?


              Am I hearing correctly

              I think what you're hearing is a /t/ with nasal release, or an unreleased stop.

              At normal speaking speeds, when not deliberately speaking carefully, final -n often turns syllabic.

              So the release of the /t/ may lead directly into the /n/ sound, with no intervening vowel sound.

              But the stoppage is at the mouth position for /t/, not at the glottis.

              For example, listen to the pronunciation of hätten by "schaumkeks" at https://forvo.com/word/h%C3%A4tten/#de -- it doesn't sound exactly like the glottal stop in "bu'on", does it? At least to me, it has something "t-like" in it.

              As an additional note, final syllabic -n will often assimilate to a preceding consonant, becoming -ŋ after a velar ("back'ng" for "backen") and -m after a labial ("leb'm" for "leben").

              In more extreme cases, a voiced stop consonant may even disappear entirely ("lehng" for "legen", "lehm" for "leben", "hahm" for "haben").


              Oh, cool. Thanks for the detail and the link. Schaumkeks' pronunciation does sound like an unreleased T with a glottal stop to me - as in "button" (whereas "uh-oh" is just a plain glottal stop). I'll be listening for those other pronunciations.


              Perhaps a newbie question; is this sentence in accusative or nominative case? (I believe it's accusative because of the verb "Haben" but I'm not sure).


              Sentences aren't in any case.

              Parts of sentences are in a case, to show their role in the sentence.

              In this sentence, sie is in the nominative case because it's the subject of haben and keine Verwandten is in the accusative case because it's the direct object of haben.


              Thanks again mizinamo!


              Why is it not keinen instead of keine?

              I get that the word "Verwandte" is an adjective and is used as a noun here, and because it's accusative singular masculine, it becomes "Verwandten". But still, "keinen" is not used, which implies that this is, in fact, accusative plural or accusative singular feminine, but this can't be true, otherwise "Verwandten" would become "Verwandte".

              Even google translate and this (https://dict.leo.org/pages/flecttab/flectionTable.php?kvz=4dkrADn71HeCbYC86wR_ckq3v60GmOM3B-lbUKvd9Kfh_2F4G4St5KrGKauAbsNip4jKsOtblSEerXUsnZFNVQ6xfr1WvlShKHA&lp=ende&lang=de) table say it should be "keinen", so I'm not sure why it's wrong

              Can anyone help me with this?


              I get that the word "Verwandte" is an adjective and is used as a noun here


              it's accusative singular masculine

              Er, what?

              "relatives" is plural.

              Verwandte is also plural here.

              It's plural accusative, not masculine accusative.

              See that table which you produced and look for gemischte Flexion (mit unbestimmtem Artikel) (third table) and then in the last column Plural and you will find keine verwandten in the last row Akkusativ.

              which implies that this is, in fact, accusative plural or accusative singular feminine

              Correct -- it's accusative plural.

              but this can't be true, otherwise "Verwandten" would become "Verwandte".

              Er, no.

              In strong inflection (no article before it), yes. But not in weak inflection (definite article) or mixed inflection (indefinite article) -- those have the weak ending -en in the plural.



              This might be a stupid question, but where is the indefinite article in the sentence? Is it "keine"?

              I was consulting the "Ohne Artikle" table, so at least now I know why I was wrong.


              where is the indefinite article in the sentence? Is it "keine"?

              Yes, exactly. kein is a negative indefinite article like how ein is a (positive) indefinite article, so the word keine in that sentence is an indefinite article.

              Also note that the three categories are not just "nothing", "der/die/das", and "ein".

              For example, possessive determiners such as unser (our) affect a following adjective just like ein, welcher (which) affects a following adjective just like der, etc.

              See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Weak,_mixed,_and_strong_inflection .

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