"A duck is a bird."
Translation:Eine Ente ist ein Vogel.
84 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
I have a big problem deciding whether a statement is nominative,or accusitive!
That is indeed a big problem -- because statements are never nominative or accusative or dative or any particular case as a whole.
parts of sentences have cases.
But you don't have "a dative sentence", for example.
Levi I faced a question today, where I was asked to translate "The cat is eating a bird". When I answered, "die Katze isst einen Vogel" it told me I am wrong and that the right answer should be "die Katze isst ein Vogel". Could you explain this case? I think I should have reported it, but alas I did not. Maybe I am just wrong here!
Can anyone explain exactly why 'The' and 'A' (amongst many others) actually change? I know the 'Falls' (Wemfall, Wesfall, etc), but am interested in how this case stuff all came about, when in English we have 'the', and it never changes, although it means word order is important. And why do words have to have a gender?! It makes life so difficult! When a new item is invented or discovered, who decides what gender it will be? Is there a committee?! Just wondered!
Because unfortunately the comments section for the German course seems to be crawling with people who haven't figured out that if they go to Germany and pull that Nazi dogwhistle stuff they WILL be punished to the fullest extent of German law, and duolingo as far as I know has no way of reporting such people.
Why is duck, Ente, female and bird, Vogel, male?
No reason. Grammatical gender does not follow logic.
Is there a quick way to look at the shape of a word and determine if male or female, ie does end in vowel equal female word and consonent end of word mean male word?
Not in general, unfortunately.
There are some suffixes that will tell you the gender (e.g. -schaft, -heit, -keit, -ung on abstract nouns are feminine) and some tendencies (e.g. words in -e are often feminine), but in general, you just have to look it up in a dictionary and memorise it.
A sentence that refers to being uses the nominative case. But if the word being worked on uses the accusative mode. For example, this sentence simply refers to being:"Das Kind ist ein Junge" .. and this sentence is also clear that the "what do you have" mode is used: "Das Kind isst einen Junge"
Does "Junge" need a "n"?
Yes -- it's a masculine weak noun, so it needs -n in all cases except nominative singular.
I have not read anything about it yet
I don't think the course explains them.
Here are some user-contributed forum posts that talk about them:
Why is accusative not valid here?
Why would it be? There is nothing here that would require the accusative case -- no preposition, no transitive verb taking a direct object (you can't say "a bird is being been by a duck"), nothing else.
You need the nominative case on both sides of the verb sein "to be".