"Without you I am nothing."

Translation:Ohne dich bin ich nichts.

June 27, 2017

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.abelev

Why '...bin ich nihcts' not '... Ich bin nichts'?

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

The verb is always the second constituent of a sentence, unless there is an inversion. Ohne dich is the first constituent, therefore it must be followed by bin.

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

I agree. You could rephrase the sentence in the following way:

Ich bin nichts ohne dich.

You can see that the conjugated verb is in second place again (now after the subject "ich").
This is the only legal position of the verb within a German declarative main clause.

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tereza636152

It's like "I'm without you nothing".....it's the rules of language we must obey

January 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David725302

What is a constituent and an inversion in terms of grammer

December 24, 2017

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

A constituent is an element of a sentence. So, for example, when people talk about the typical SVO (subject - verb - object) word order, each of those elements are constituents. It is common to think of them as either words or phrases, but as they can be either, it's better to use another term that encompasses everything it might be.

You can have the sentence:

Ich liebe dich
I love you

Where each word is a separate constituent; Ich-I-Subject, liebe-love-Verb, dich-you-Object.
But you can also have sentences like this:

Mein Bruder und ich versuchen die kleinen Kinder zu beruhigen
My brother and I are trying to calm the small children down

Where each constituent is made up from multiple words, and in the case of the verbs aren't even all consecutive:
Mein Bruder und ich-My brother and I-Subject, versuchen-are trying to calm-Verb, die kleinen Kinder-the small children-Object, zu beruhigen-down-Verb

To be certain we would need to hear what Paralars1 meant by "inversion", but from context I assume "inversion" is referring to the Subject-Verb inversion that is carried out to turn a simple declarative sentence into a direct question. Zum Beispiel:

Ich liebe dich.
Liebe ich dich?

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Afef.Aoun

Why ther isn't a comma after "Ohne dich"?

April 19, 2018

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

Because the entire sentence is one main clause.


I've been racking my brain for the "best" answer, because "why" questions with regard to language often require looking back at how the language developed over hundreds of years and a full dissertation to articulate.

Asking about the lack of an element makes this even tougher, because with the converse you can zero in on exactly what purpose an element is serving in a sentence, whereas with an element that isn't present you can't do that.

With that being said I think the answer I gave is rather suitable.

P.S. *Why isn't there a comma after "Ohne dich"? :)

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas328056

If I may ask, what was your process for learning German? How much of a role did Duolingo play?

March 23, 2019

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

Many apologies for the delay in answering, Thomas. And of course you may ask!

As you might well imagine, it was not a simple process for learning German, and I would need to write an essay to detail it all, which I don't think would be appropriate for this specific thread, however, if you are interested, I went into my process at the beginning somewhat on this thread, and listed some of my more recent learning resources on this post of my own (apologies that it is entirely in German and awfully long), and in this collection of German language learning resources, though I haven't used all of the resources I listed there.

To quickly summarise though, shortly after starting here I studied the grammar in a little book I got, and over time supplemented that with various different TV shows, films, books, YouTube videos, podcasts and more, as well as some other websites/apps like Memrise & Anki.

How much of a role did Duolingo play?

As you can imagine, over time the role Duolingo played diminished as my collections of resources grew, however, it has always been a source of motivation, and I've gained a great deal from the discussions here :)

April 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah0741

Why is 'Ohne dich' a constituent, but 'ich bin' is not?

July 4, 2018

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

First to 'Ohne dich':

"Ohne" is a preposition and, as such, cannot stand alone in this sentence. It is bound to "dich" (it is the reason why "dich" is used and not "du" or "dir") and if you separated them, you would change the meaning of the whole sentence.

Now to 'ich bin':

This is tougher to explain because although they are related to each other ("bin" is the "ich" conjugation of "sein" in the present tense indicative mood) they do not form a constituent of a sentence.

"Ich" is a personal pronoun, and "bin" is a conjugated verb.

The position of "bin" within a clause is always fixed, be it in the first position for direct questions, in the second position for declarative statements, or at the end of a clause for subordinate clauses - it is always determined by the type of clause it is a part of.

The position of "ich" is more flexible and can usually be chosen by the speaker or writer. That doesn't mean it can go anywhere in a given sentence, but that there are usually a couple of options for where "ich" can go, and the speaker will decide based on where s/he wants to put emphasis within their sentence.

September 14, 2018

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

Finally we have a sentence I can use while talking to myself!

January 10, 2018

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

this phrase reminded me of this beautiful song: https://youtu.be/LIPc1cfS-oQ

January 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffBowman1

I seriously thought of this song immediately!

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Galaxy582

I was looking for this comment.

June 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adam.a.war

Mit dir bin ich auch allein, ohne dich!

August 8, 2019

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

'Ohne dich bin ich nichts.' I get that because of V2 rule but 'Ich bin nichts ohne dich' does that need a comma? 'Ich bin nichts, ohne dich' ? And as this is quite a dramatic thing to say what then is wrong with 'Ohne dich, ich bin nichts' or elaborating 'Ohne dich meine Schatz, ich bin nichts!' or 'Nein, ich bin nichts! Grünhilde, ich bin nichts!' Now take a more mundane sentance -'Es wird nicht funktionieren' and prefix 'Ohne Batterie' and it seems to me in this case I really do need to follow the V2 rule - 'Ohne Batterie wird es nicht funktionieren' Can a native speaker please clarify?

September 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris463228

Okay, thanks for clearing that up

November 7, 2018

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

You're welcome.

November 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MuhammadKh771151

Why "nichts"? But not "nicht"?

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raphi.s

Nichts means nothing, nicht means not (and needs to modify something) For example: "It is nothing" would be "Es ist nichts," while "It is not important" would be "Es ist nicht wichtig."

April 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samLudwig7

do you like german or hebrew better?

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewPear68949

Sentence structure seems like its a question. Without you, am I nothing?

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris463228

Why is it 'dich,' instead of 'du'?

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Huey616889

Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein, ohne dich. Mit dir bin ich auch allein, ohne dich!

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adam.a.war

Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein, ohne dich

August 8, 2019

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

"nix" auch meint "nichts", richtig?

December 6, 2018

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

Ich sage zögerlich ja :P

„Nix“ wird oft gesagt, auch manchmal da, wo man „nichts“ schreiben würde. Es ist (mindestens schriftlich) aber fest in der Umgangssprache genagelt und ich möchte hier energisch betonen, dass man „nix“ nie schreiben sollte, wenn der Zusammenhang auch nur ansatzweise formell ist.


Dein Satz sollte übrigens folgenderweise lauten:

„Nix“ bedeutet auch „nichts“, oder?; oder
„Nix“ heißt auch „nichts“. Ist das richtig?

Kann sein, dass man „richtig“ als Fragewort ans Ende eines Satzes einfügen kann, aber mir ist das nicht bekannt und da kenne ich mich auf keinen Fall aus.
Was hier wichtig ist:

  1. Das konjugierte Verb muss das zweite Element eines Hauptsatzes sein.

  2. „Meinen“ heißt „to mean“ nur im Sinne von „What do you mean?“. Also, in diesem Sinne hängt es immer mit einer Person zusammen. Wenn man sich also nach einer Bedeutung oder Definition eines Wortes, Begriffs usw. erkundigen will, muss man entweder „heißen“ oder „bedeuten“ verwenden.

December 7, 2018

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

Dankeschön! ich werde das jetzt verwenden :)

March 23, 2019
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