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"Sie und ich spazierten in der Nacht."

Translation:She and I were walking in the night.

March 5, 2013

56 Comments


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

I have a question to native English speakers. Could you say "me" instead of "I" in this particular sentence? - You and me walked in the night.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cha5117

It is grammatically incorrect but fairly common, at least in the US. English speakers are often inconsistent in their pronoun usage. My advice is to use "I" in the subject of the sentence, but "me" almost everywhere else.


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

You definitely wouldn't say me walked in the night. I don't think it's common to use me as the subject. (I hope not anyway).


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

and what about "you and me"? for me that definitely sounds more common than "you and I", but my be that's necause of popular music, or whatsoever.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

It's because music (or poetry) isn't bound by formal rules of English grammar. If you're not sure, you always try each subject alone:

"You walked in the night." Sounds good.

"Me walked in the night." Sounds like a caveman.


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

It's commonly said incorrectly. Also when people try to over-correct: "They gave gifts to her and I".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chooch639215

This kind of over correction by fellow native English speakers drives me insane.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

Not sure if more common or not. It seems to be in America. It's quite natural. You can definitely use it, but Duolingo sticks with classroom English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

classroom english ≠ the english language. learn german first, then be your own judge of which rules you choose to break.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chooch639215

classroom English = the English language. Learn the language first, then break it all you want.


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

I would say no. Ich is the subject of the sentence, not the object. You would not say, for example, "Me walked in the night."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

with compound subjects you can use "Me and you", "My dad and him", etc. Also if you were pointing to yourself in a picture you would say "That's me!" or if you were answering the phone I suggest "This is him". Just my advice. You speak as you see fit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

I think you're correct when it comes to informal conversation and simple phrases (like "you and me," "that's me," etc.). But in cases where there's actually a verb coming after the subject, it is entirely wrong to use "me", even in colloquial English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CameronCoo286637

Not too long ago, it was considered incorrect to "You and me walked in the night." Now, however, in many contexts, not just American but in Australian and New Zealand contexts lots of people won't bat an eye if you say "You and me...", because language changes over time and this has come to be accepted in many contexts, apart from certain formal registers or people correcting for correcting's sake (when there is nothing to correct lol). In response to newdoc's comment, I agree that you don't say "me walked at night," but this does not change the fact that it is common when the first person pronoun forms a pair with another. So you'll hear stuff like "You and me did this," or "Me and my wife did that."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

When you say "not too long ago", do you mean "three seconds ago"?

Yes, you will hear plenty of grammatically incorrect sentences in everyday speech (I ain't done nothing, I could care less, etc.). That doesn't make them grammatically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CameronCoo286637

No, I mean not too long ago in most English registers, whereas today it is acceptable in many English registers and considered grammatically correct. What people need to understand with grammar is that the rules are fluid, not fixed from the foundation of the world. That is why it is no longer considered grammatically incorrect to say "He does not resist you" rather than "He doth not resist you." Nor do we correct someone when they refer to a ship as "it" rather than "she" because that aspect of grammatical gender in English has almost disappeared, save in literary and perhaps one or two minor specialty registers. Nor do we correct someone when "I have become rich" instead of "I am become rich." And so on and so on. Every decade people are complaining about how language is deteriorating but they fail to realise that there is no such thing, unless we are all to speak Proto-Indo-European, which no one knows anymore anyway.


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

When English was genered 'ship' (scip) was a neutral noun. I'm not aware it has ever been a feminine noun.

References to ships as 'she' are, at least in English, purely traditional. And they were never exclusively referred to as 'she', it was a convention among seamen who developed a kind of relationship with their vessels (where the rest of the population would say 'it') and became more widely adopted over time.

How many people talk about their cars as 'the old girl' or ask their mates 'how's she running?' but still refer to a generic car as 'it'. That's the exact same principle, but I don't think it points to a change in the grammar rules for the noun 'car'. And in my experience most women drivers refer to their cars as 'he' - perhaps if there had been more female sailors around in history we might never have thought of ships as being female in the first place.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

It is grammatically incorrect, regardless of whether it is a common colloquialism. Yes, rules are fluid, but the rules haven't changed to encompass this particular usage. The same rule applies as always: split the subjects and see if the sentence still makes sense. "She walked in the night," is fine. "Me walked in the night," is not.

And I don't understand why you're conflating this with ships being called "she". That's not a grammatical gender in English (which is not a gendered language in the same way Romance languages are); it's a naval tradition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CameronCoo286637

As I said, it depends on the register. And you haven't taken this into account, making a black and white distinction between colloquial and formal or "correct." Who decides the rules? The rules should be decided by usage and if were and English teacher, as I'm sure other English teachers who have any sense in regard to the nature of language would agree, I would not "correct" students for something that is commonly and increasingly widely accepted.

Unfortunately neither does your example of splitting subjects, a rule that apparently "applies as always," take into account the complexity of language, which forms its own rules in accordance with usage.

The reason I bring up ships being referred to as "she," as well as other examples that you have not addressed, is that English was once gendered and remnants of this can be seen in, for example, ship pronouns, as well as pronouns used for animals and, not so common now, neutral or masculine pronouns to refer to a children, depending on the register.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

Look, if you're that adamant about getting improper usage on this site, start a petition. But you're objectively wrong, and you won't find a single academic source to support this absurd argument.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

here's an academic source: lecture 19 - the fallacy of blackboard grammar, john mcwhoter ph.d. he's a professor. he professes. http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/story-of-human-language.html


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

It depends whether you favour a prescriptive or descriptive view of grammar. There is also a difference between how acceptable "me and you" (or "you and me") and "she and me". I could make a case for "you and me" based on usage, but I do find it hard to defend "she and me".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

How 'bout two hundred and fifty years? Here is Jason Priestley (1772) quoting "some of our best writeres" saying such "abominations" as "It is me." https://books.google.com/books?id=mwUUAAAAQAAJ&q=me#v=snippet&q=me&f=false


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nerevarine1138

Yeah, that's an entirely different sentence, where the reason that "me" is technically incorrect has nothing to do with it being the subject of the clause but rather has to do with the verb "to be" acting as a linking verb. Since it's referring to a state of being, the preferred phrasing is, "It is I," even though it's perfectly normal to hear people use the incorrect form.

But this sentence is an example of a much less ambiguous rule, which may be broken in colloquial speech to some extent. The rule, however, is pretty solid, and you haven't even demonstrated that you understand which rule applies here, much less that any grammarians think that it has changed.

I understand that you were deeply wounded by an English teacher at some point in time, but I just do not understand your insistence on crusading for adding incorrect English sentences to a language learning site. It's like you deliberately want to confuse non-native speakers in order to justify your not liking the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

If Jason Priestley thinks that "some of our best writers" believe we should be at "liberty to adopt which we liked best", why shouldn't I?


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

I agree. It is perhaps "grammatically incorrect", but people speak this way. Moreover, this is about acquiring German, not about rendering one's English more correct; I don't think anyone who translated the sentence to "You and me strolled in the night" has thought that in the original German sentence it was meant that anything has acted upon the first person, so to speak.


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

sadly most people would say 'she and me', but that's wrong. 'She and I' is the doer of the action, the subject, therefore you use 'I'. You use 'me' for object, like 'She gave ME and apple'.


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

No. This is a subject pronoun here for "I". Another way of looking at it is when you remove the other subject and it still makes sense then it's correct.

However, be aware of the shortened versions of phrases of e.g. "He eats more vegetables than I do" that becomes "He eats more vegetables than I". I used this example to show why it is important to use "I" instead of "me" because it would otherwise mean that he actually eats me...


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

Whenever there are two subjects like 'You' and 'Me/I', split up the sentence. You and I went for a walk, is the correct choice, and not You and me went for a walk.

By splitting the sentence into two, this becomes clear. I went for a walk, not me went for a walk.

Sorry if it's not clear :/


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

no because that would be incorrect grammar.Dumb right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rozes5

I think this is a case of hypercorrectness. "You and I" is the subject. "You and me" is the object. So if you're confused about which one to use, just take the "you and" out. "I walk in the night" - sounds good. While "Me walk in the night" - sounds ridiculous!

I hope I cleared your doubt! :))


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

Could "She and I walked into the night" be a translation of this sentence?


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

No, that would translate to "Sie und ich spazierten in die Nacht." (Whereto? = Wohin? -> accusative of 'die Nacht' = 'die Nacht')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benjamin.m37

So, this is another dative/accusative issue with "nacht." Nacht is feminine, so the article would be either "die" (if accusative), or "der" (if dative). In this case the confusing "in" is used which means if the questions is "wohin" (where to) then the accusative is used, but if the question is "wo" (where) the dative is used. Duolingo is saying the dative. I suppose to a poet might say "into the night" in which case the accusative would be used. This is a confusing topic, can someone please confirm my analysis?


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

I its REALLY annoying when I learn a new word, use the transalation it gives and then it marks it as wrong!!! SERIOUSLY!! it sad spazierten is "(we) are walking"


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

Annoying, but you were wrong in this case :) Spazierten is past tense - "(we) were walking". Spazieren would be in present tense - "(we) are walking".


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

Duo accepts "She and I took a walk at night."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bogus779729

In English, "in the night" sounds more poetic than "at night."


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

The test for "me" and "I" is how would the sentence sound without the "She and". In other words, express the sentence as you would for yourself, then add in "** and". Yes, I'm a native English speaker and this is commonly troublesome even to many who were born here.


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

I was wondering, how can I know the difference between "she" and "they" in this sentence for example?


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

You have to look at the verb. If it is plural (generally has an en on the end) then use they. Otherwise use I.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

The verb would be plural anyway in this case because there is at least "she and I" so why not "they and I"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

Would anybody ever say "they and I"? It's a fair question!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

You are right! It would be rare and only if I would never associate myself with them in "we". It would be far more common to say "We", but perhaps "they and I" were both walking in the night, but not together. By not using "we", I am telling you that I do not consider "they" to be a part of my group. "She and I" can be used to point a particular person out and I might continue with "we" later. If you were talking to someone, I suppose you could point at them also and say "They and I". If you are not pointing them out, then you are singling yourself out of the group.

By the way, I just tried it and "They and I walked in the night." was accepted as correct by Duolingo.


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

What about "You (as in formal you) and I walked in the night"? I guess normally "you and I" would be replaced by "we", but if I wanted to emphasise that it was "you and I" it could be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rozes5

To everyone who's confused about whether to use "you and me" or "you and I", here's a tip. I think this is a case of hypercorrectness. Just take the "you and" out.

"I walked in the night" - sounds good.

"Me walked in the night" - sounds ridiculous!

I hope I cleared your doubt! :))


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

Could it not be, They and I went for a walk in the night" ? "went for" is marked as the error.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

No. 'Went for a walk' isn't the same as 'were walking' or 'walked'. The former suggests there is no other reason to walk other than 'to walk', the latter could just mean you are walking home from the shops. I'm not sure if it is right, but "Sie und ich gingen in der Nacht spazieren" is the translation of your statement.


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

'She and I walked by night" what's wrong there?


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

'Sie und ich spazierten nachts.' would be the translation for your sentence, although the meaning will be quite the same.


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

OK. And what's the problem with "She and I had a walk in the night" ?


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

Probably "at night" should be correct as well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaOng10

What a good answer and the hover writes They before She

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