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German native speaker. If you have problems you can ask me questions.

Hey everyone, I am a German native speaker and would like to offer my help. If you have any questions or problems with the German language you can ask me here or on my profile.

Please note that I am just a normal person with German as his native language and that I am not a German teacher, so my amswers could be different from what you would get from grammar books or German teachers but I will try to help you the best ways I can.

Edit: Now that I have already tried to answer a few questions I have to say, that I have never thought so much of my own language before. It kind of feels like I am learning my own native language. Hahaha.

March 24, 2014



It's great you want to help! The best way to do this is to go over to the "sentence" section and look for questions that are not answered yet. This way, you won't clutter up one thread and people who later stumble over the same problem will find your explanation in the sentence discussion.


I am curious where the "Sentence" section is or how to get to it. Is it open to all?


It is a tab which can be found along the top of the parent forum for any given language, alongside other tabs such as 'new' and 'popular'.


Sorry to have asked about the obvious! I guess I tend to stick to the "Popular / New / Followed" from the top-level. Thanks for the pointer off my beaten path.


Thanks, i had no idea that section even existed!


never noticed that before, thanks!


I am also unable to find the "sentence" section you describe - am I perhaps missing an update?


You are probably viewing the "duolingo discussions" section, which is split into popular / new / top all time. To see sentence discussions, you have to select a language forum first, then you will get to see the same options as in idshanks screenshot.


Sakasiru, please bear with me too. I'm trying to locate the German forum, but can't possibly find it. If the forum is still active and you are still there, please kindly help. Looks like I'm missing or overlooking something.


I'm not sure what you mean with German forum? There is a general forum in German here: https://www.duolingo.com/topic/816 and there is a German from English forum here: https://www.duolingo.com/topic/67
If you click on "discussion" above, you should be able to subscribe to the different forums (right next to the discussion stream).


Thanks a lot. You were most helpful.


Thanks for the offer and I'll take advantage of it.

What is the difference between dies, dieses, dieser?

Ich danke dich.


You use the words "dieser", "diese" or "dieses" when you are refering to a specific object. The english translation would be "this" or "that"

You use "dieser" with masculine words. "Der Hund jagd das Reh" = The dog hunts the deer "Dieser Hund jagd das Reh" = "This dog hunts the deer"

You use "diese" with femine words and the plural form of all genders. LLike "Die Katze schläft" =The cat sleeps "Diese Katze schläft"= This cat sleeps

You use "dieses" with neutral words "Das Pferd frisst" = The horse eats "Dieses Pferd frisst" = This horse eats

Like I wrote before "diese" is also used when you have plural many things "Diese Hunde" =These dogs "Diese Pferde"= These horses ....

The word "dies" is used like in the English sentence "This is a bird" = "Dies ist ein Vogel" But honestly I don't use the word "dies" very often in daily life I would prefer the article "das" "This is a bird" = "Das ist ein Vogel"

And the last thing I want to add is that the words "diese", "dieser" und "dieses" are in the Nominativ case so they change with the other cases.

Nominativ = Dieser, Diese and Dieses Genetiv= Dieses, Dieser and Dieses Dativ= Diesem, Dieser and Diesem Akkusativ Diesen, Diese and Dieses


Hi there! I'm just wondering - you said "Der Hund jagd das Reh", but assuming the verb is jagen - should it not be "Der Hund jagt das Reh"?

Not a native speaker - just curious!

Vielen Dank.


Yes, it must be "Der Hund jagt das Reh".


"Ich danke dir." - danken takes the dative case :)


Ich danke dir für das.


ich danke dir dafür. :)


Ich danke dir dafür.


Darf ich dir auch dafür danken?


i just link to what I've just written about dative use, maybe interesting for you guys :-) https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2290661


As far as I understand it:

Dieses Auto ist, ...

Diese Katze ist, ...

Dieser (mascline thing) ist, ...

I think dieser would also apply to genitive case, but that's my weak-spot, so I couldn't say for sure whether it applies to the "dies" word.

Generally, dies words seems to mean this, these, or those.

Ich habe alle diese Katzen.

I have all these cats. It's diese because the noun after it, is both a plural and a feminine word. It would also be a feminine article (diese) if it were just the one cat, because of "Katze" being feminine: "Ich habe diese Katze."

I'm not a native, but hopefully I at least helped a little tid-bit.


Danke. Du bist nützlich.


Also feel free to ask me things, especially if you want to know more about German in Switzerland :) I love talking about this stuff, but just like OP I am not a teacher or anything either.


Could you recommend any books on learning Schweizerdeutsch (besides Hoi)? I am Russian currently learning German via English (hi there, Duolingo); I intend to move into beautiful Switzerland in a couple of years, but I'm afraid that my less-than-perfect standard German would be pretty useless there.


Sorry, as I never had to learn my own language, I can't really help with that. I'd suggest to ask around on www.reddit.com/r/languagelearning, or maybe /r/switzerland. Make sure to also say where you'll be moving to (if you know already), as the variety of dialects is quite substantial. Knowledge of standard German is, however, very useful, as everyone does speak it. We just prefer not to, but we can. And if you already speak it, learning Swiss German is basically finding the patterns (Haus->Huus, Buch->Buach, easy, innit?) and coping with some slight differences in Grammar (notably the lack of the preterite tense and the genitive case)


Merci vilmal, I will definitely have a look at these subreddits (and also /r/askswitzerland, as well as /r/schweiz for motivation ;) ). And what canton are you from?


I'm from Graubünden (Grisons in English, the big one to the east). Don't speak Romansh though, sadly.


Oh, man, i totally love your avatar! i'm learning german to be able to understand Richard Wagner's operas! :D


Thanks I think Wagner is pretty difficult to understand even for me as a native speaker at least when you want to get all the meanings of a piece. But I think it's great that you want to understand his operas and wish you much success in doing so.


Yep, i heard a lot of Germans saying this. Well, i will be quite happy if i understand at least partially. Yesterday i was listening to Weber's "Der Freischütz" and a little effort went on regarding the understanding of some words and phrases; hell yeah, i know i'm far, far away to be fluent, but that amazed me so much. Is it okay if i add you? I see you`re into portuguese. I'm fluent and i have tons of great Brazilian and European Portuguese songs. ;)


I find listening to Wagner's operas a good way of learning new words. A good resource, which you may have found already, is here: http://www.rwagner.net.

It has good literal translations available for the libretti of all his operas - for example: http://www.rwagner.net/libretti/lohengrin/e-lohen-a1s1.html


Many thanks, sheefrex! I forgot about this website after my browser's bookmarks were deleted and that`s a crime! Good to see another Wagnerian here! Is it okay if i add you?


No problem at all.


Dankeshön! I'm on the first steps, but I know that I'll need some help when the things get tough.. So.. I'll follow you, if you need some Help with portuguese, I am a native speaker!


Obrigado, eu vou te perguntar se eu tiver um problema ou uma pergunta.

Was this sentence right?


Also just learning, I'm pretty sure it is, but you can cut those eus, it'll sound more natural without them. The only word I'm not sure it 'tiver' as I haven't learned that form yet, but assuming it's the future subjunctive it should be right.


That sentence is perfectly fine! I would cut the first "eu", but not the second. Just a suggestion though, a question of preference :)


Yes! it's pretty good. but you can cut the first ''eu'' to be more natural. The first ''eu'' make this more.. formal.


I'm actually studying German, but I work in a medical setting and I would like to be able to ask a few questions of some of the patients that come in. Typically, we may see an older person (grandparent or parent) with limited English bring in a younger person with better skills and often the little one translates. I would however like to ask the adult "What is the Patient's date of birth" Could you answer that for me? And would it be the same for a boy or a girl? Danke!


"What is the patients date of birth" Would be "An welchem Tag hat der Patient (male)/ die Patientin (female) Geburtstag?

You can also ask "Wann hat der Patient/die Patientin Geburtstag?" which in my opinion would be the most common one.

Another possibility would be "Wann ist der Geburtstag des Patienten/der Patientin?"

As you can see there are many ways to ask that question.

Okay so for a man or a boy it is "(der) Patient for a woman or a girl it's "(die) Patientin.

When you ask the question to one of the parents of a child for example you can of course also ask "Wann hat ihre Tochter Geburtstag?" which would be "When is your daughter's birthday?" or "Wann hat ihr Sohn Geburtstag? what would be "When is your son's birthday"

I hope I could help a little


You can say "Was ist sein (male)/ ihr (female) Geburtsdatum?" or "was ist das Geburtsdatum des Patienten (male)/ der Patientin (female)?" or simply "wann ist er (male)/ sie (female) geboren?"

Maybe for the answer this will also help you: "Können Sie es aufschreiben?" (= Can you write it down?) since "achundzwanzigster März neunzehnhundertvierundachzig" might come too fast on you ;)



Ich habe eigentlich ein paar Frage...

Er ist Deustcher


Er ist ein Deustcher

Wir sehen einen Deutscher.

^ Ist das richtig, wenn sie an ein männliche Deutscher sehen? Der Teil worüber ich nicht sicher bin ist, ob es soll "einen" sein, wie der Akkusativ?

Auf einem Programm, dass sehe ich oft an, gibt es ein paar Dinge, dass Menschen oft sagen:

"Mensch!" = meint das "Man!" Wie sagen wir auf Englisch: "Ah man, I just lost." ?

"nun" = kannst du bitte mich ein bisschen erklären, wie man dieses Wort benutzen kann?

Es gibt doch weitere Dinge, jedoch vergesse ich oft daran. ¬_¬

Danke sehr für jeden Antworten.

(tut mir leid für seltsame Formatierung, ... keine Ahnung, warum passiert es so)


"Wir sehen einen Deutscher." ist nicht richtig. Wie du richtig erkannst hast, steht das Wort "Deutscher" im Akkusativ. Deshalb muss es richtig heißen "Wie sehen einen Deutschen."

Ja, ich glaube wie man "Mensch!" benutzt, hast du schon ganz richtig verstanden.


Danke sehr. Nur zu überprüben... wenn man sagen: "Wir sehen einen Deutschen" es bedeutet nur ein Mann wer Deutsch ist? Meine dumme Frage... ich habe gerade realisiert, dass weil es "einen" ist, kann es nicht die Mehrzahl sein.


"wir sehen einen Deutschen" can also mean you see a person who you know is German, but for some reason you don't know whether it's a man or a woman. In such a case, the male form is the default option. If you know it's a woman, you say "wir sehen eine Deutsche."


Ich denke wenn es Mehrzahl wäre sollte stattdessen: Wir sehen einige Deutsche da der Mehrzahl im Akk. die + endung e gebildet wird.


Das Wort "Deutscher" in diesem Fall soll als einen Substantiv betracht werden und deswegen ändert sich nicht. Fall es klein geschrieben wäre dann würde es doch eine der Endungen bekommen.


Hallo, Ob du nun "Er ist Deutscher" oder "Er ist ein Deutscher" sagtst macht für mich keinen großen Unterschied. Beides erscheint mir richtig.

Wie bereits vorher gesagt: Der Satz "Wir sehen einen Deutscher" muss richtig heißen "Wir sehen einen Deutschen" weil er im Akkusativ steht. Vielleicht hilft es, wenn du dir das Wort "einen" ansiehts, welches eine "en" Endung besitzt und dir dann denkst, dass du bei Wort "Deutscher" auch diese Endung brauchst, und es somit zu "Deutschen" wechselt.

Die benutzung des Wortes "Mensch" hast du eigentlich schon ziemlich gut verstanden.

Das Wor "nun" wird benutzt, wenn gerade etwas stattfindet oder Mann kurz davor ist etwas zu tun, vielleicht kann man es mit dem englischen Wort "now" übersetzen. Meines Erachtens hat es so ziemlich die gleiche Verwendung wie das Wort "jetzt".

"Ich gehe nun ins Bett" = I go to bed now "Ich werde nun essen" = I am going to eat now.


Irgendwie macht es keinen Sinn das Wort "Deutscher" zu "konjugieren" da es um ein Nomen geht. Sonst hätten wir alle Nomen deklienieren müssen. Z.B: Ich sehe das Hause ... und das passiert aber nicht in diesem Fall. Doch aber wenn wir über Dativ reden. Dann logischerweise muss man den Nomen deklinieren, z.B: Im Lande sieht man es oft. Das Deutsch = die Sprache aber Der Deutscher = das Mensch das deutscher Blut hat u.a auch wer in Deutschland geboren ist.


Nun, zu einer Sache kann ich etwas sagen: "nun" kann man auch wie "well,..." am Anfang eines Satzes verwenden ;)

Das Wort ist allerdings in der Umgangssprache weniger gebräuchlich, eher in der Schriftsprache bzw. formellen Sprache (in einer Politikerrede könnte ich es mir auch vorstellen).


Im Alltag(e) sagt man normalerweise - So ... ! statt - Nun ...! Aber dann und wann taucht das Wort in Fällen wie: nun hätten wir das und das getan z.B;


'Nun' generally means 'now' but I think it can sometimes be one of those little emphasis words like 'ja' or 'doch'. Asking 'nun?' means something along the lines of 'well?'

Out of interest, what is the progamme that you watch? P.S. I'm not a native German speaker but I have spent time in Germany and this is what I've gathered.


It's called "Extra", ... oder "Deutsch Lernen Extra". You can find it on YouTube; it used to show on Channel 4.


Oh, is that the show about Sam from America? I love that programme!


Yes. :D Sam is awesome. I like Nic. Anna is awesome (and I think she's very cute xD) but yeah, awesome programme. Wish they made more episodes.


Yeah the English version goes on for way more episodes. There's also a Spanish and a French version I think - it's really weird watching the almost-same characters in the same flat, in the same clothes, speaking a different language. Like slipping into a parallel universe.


Lol. Yeah, I checked out the English one, and I was really surprised. 'o.O Total head-funk.


Das Wort "Deutscher" in diesem Fall soll als einen Substantiv betracht werden und deswegen ändert sich nicht. Fall es klein geschrieben wäre dann würde es doch eine der Endungen bekommen.


Thank you for your generosity!


Thank you so much for your help, I am learning German and I would really like to get in touch with native speakers ( I can help with english or spanish as well)


Is swiss german different than regular german? lets say i learned regular german and went to switerzland would it be hard to pick up?


My German teacher told us that when a Swiss person is on TV they often give them subtitles because the Germans find them hard to understand. But maybe it depends which region of Germany they come from - dialects vary a lot anyway.


Maybe I'm a little biased here because I live in the southwest of Germany and am surrounded by the same accent (just the other geographic end of it), but if I hear Swiss, I either understand them very well or they don't make any effort to be understood in the first place. if they talk in their deep dialect, it's like a completely different language. But if they care to be understood by a German or by someone who isn't even that proficient with German, they make an effort. It surely depends on where you go in Switzerland, tourist destinations and cities close to the border have a lot of people speaking understandable German, while in the deep valleys you can as well start using sign language. And then of course there are the regions where you better have learned French or Italian instead of German.


your English is flawless


Can you please suggest where can I find English translation of Klaus Hoffmann's "Berlin"? I'm trying to explore learning from music and this song sounds fantastic. I tried to google search but couldn't find it. Alternatively, can you please help me translate. Many Thanks


I didn't find any so I tried a translation myself (it's a good exercise...):


my conversation, my songs
my hate and my luck
my day, my night, my forward, my back
my sun and shadow, doubts that I have
about you and inside me until the last day
your streets where I flee, stumble and fall
your warmth that I need, that I feel everywhere

Don't sell yourself
you are not young
you age so fast
kowtowing too much
you carry so arduously
the money of the suitors
they will go
see you die
Berlin, beloved Berlin

Your corners and nooks, your courts uncounted
where the dirt and the poverty barks for change
your inebriation in the morning
smells like pot and beer
and snot is falling calmly from you on alleys
your markets, the women, their calmness, their craftiness
and sometimes a joke that hits me in the stomach

do not sell yourself...

Your houses with corridors
where there is beating and laughter
where they make, when it gets dark,
new flatmates
your rooms, where sleep comes reluctantly
because the air to breathe is lacking
where the grim reaper lives
but where you experience to be free in this big city
even though it confines and presses and has many walls

Don't sell yourself...

my conversation, my songs
my hate and my luck
my day, my night, my forward, my back
your half-dead train station, where I stand among those
who will tomorrow, already tomorrow, go to better cities
Where I want to leave you
time and again, still,
I will manage the jump, too
I will manage the jump after all

Don't sell yourself...


Half a dozen lingots for the musical maestro!


Kommen wir nun zu etwas völlig anderem:

My words, my muse, my ire and my joy
Alive day and night, My life is your toy,
Sunbeam and shadow, even doubts in me stay
Of you and in me to the very last day
I flee to your streets, should I stumble and fall
To your warmth that I need, that I hold over all

Sell yourself not,
Young, you are not,
You've age beyond years,
Seem buckled in fear,
While you hang on the coattails of suitors my dear,
Who'd merrily see,
Your end come with glee,
Beloved Berlin.

Your nooks and crannies, your countless green parks,
Where the poor and the dregs of society barks,
For change from the stench of hashish smoke and beer
While they stride through the flotsam from yesteryear
Your bustling markets, your peaceful charms,
And once in a while, a joke that disarms.

Sell yourself not...

Your houses with halls full of laugher and strife
In darkness new neighbours are made friends for life
Your rooms in which sleep comes painfully rare
Where the grim reaper seems to have taken the air
The great city presses you tight with its walls
Yet despite every setback your destiny calls

Sell yourself not...

My words, my muse, my ire and my joy
Alive day and night, My life is your toy,
Your run down station, I stand in its waste
Dream tomorrow I may be in some better place
Where I'll break away, still time, yet to be,
I'll make the leap yet
I'll jump, you'll see.

5 minute Guitar Solo

Sorry if I couldn't provide a perfect translation, I love the song but I took some liberties to make an English version that rhymes. However, I would like to know if I have misconstrued the songs meaning in any way, so don't be shy to shout at me...


That's great! Have some Lingots; too ;)

Just two minor notes; Höfe doesn't mean green parks but the spaces that are behind the houses. Sometimes they are green, but often they are just paved spaces. And the line about new flatmates means, well, they go to bed and make a new family member ;)

Your translation is pretty free, but I think it carries the overall feeling of the song well.


Thanks for the tips! I suppose Hófe would be better translated to Yard, but to my American friend that just means garden, so I don't know. I'm not at all satisfied with my representation, but I had to go to sleep sometime. But anyway, I am going to learn this one in German, because I like this kind of Music, so I am sure I can work on my version.

I just want to speak out for the extraordinarily amazing power music has to fix a language in your head. I haven't been to Germany for years, but I'll be making a cheese and onion sandwich at work and for no good reason things will pop into my head; "Da hat das rote Pferd sich einfach umgekehrt...". The last time I was in a French speaking country was even longer ago, but 'La Mer' is pretty much in my head on repeat. And I only ever spent a month in Ecuador, but I can give you Antonio Banderas' intro to the movie Desperado at a moments notice, in all weather conditions. If anyone is thinking of learning a language primarily through the Music, You Are Doing The Right Thing.


I don't know about that song in particular, but if you're looking for translations of lyrics in general check out Lyrics Translate. Just be aware that translations can be submitted by anyone and may not be spot on.


Thanks for helping us!

I was thinking about this case today:

In German you have some flexibility in word order that comes from declination. So you can have "Die Frau isst den Apfel" and "Den Apfel isst die Frau" both meaning the same thing, with an emphatic difference.

However you have many articles that are the same for different genders and cases. So if the woman ate more than one apple you have "Die Frau isst die Äpfel" and "Die Äpfel isst die Frau". Is the second sentence correct along with the same meaning as the first(but in need of context) or you cannot do this inversion when there is ambiguity?


Honestly I am myself not to sure but both sentences "Die Frau isst die Äpfel" or "Die Äpfel isst die Frau" sound correct to me with the same meaning. Although the first one is of course much more natural and probably nobody would use the second one in everyday life.

The second one maybe could be used in poems or songs.

My explanation would be that you can see from the verb "isst", that it is refering to "Die Frau" so in this case you can see that "die Frau" is doing something. Would you write "Die Äpfel essen die Frau" Instead of "Die Äpfel isst die Frau" it would mean: "Thd apples eat the woman".

However when you have both words "Apfel" and "Frau" in plural Form it is not possible in my opinion to change the order because it would change meaning. At least in everyday life.

When you would say: "Die Frauen essen die Äpfel" I would understand "The women eat the apples" because for me "essen" refers to "die Frauen" however if you changed the order to "Die Äpfel essen die Frauen" I would understand it as "The apples eat the women" as for me the word "essen" refers to "Äpfel" here.

As I said I am not too sure myself about that matters but those would be my explanations and I hope I could help you a little I know that I am not that good in explaining things.


Thanks. Your explanation was fine, it was what I needed: a feeling from a native speaker's standpoint, not a set of rules.


Ich verstehe schon was ihr sagt aber man würde nicht die zweite Möglichtkeit anwenden. In diesem Fall könnte man es schon in Passiv sagen: Die Äpfel werden von der Frau gegessen jedoch klingts auch sehr poetisch lol


Thank you so much for offering your help! I don't require it yet but I would like to offer my knowledge as a native brazilian portuguese speaker (and portuguese teacher too) to you in return. Feel free to message me! :]


Thanks for the support. My native languaje is Spanish and I already know some English so it is kind of hard to learn German from an English perpective, anyway, my question is about the Nominative an Acusative forms of "Die", Are both the same?. I have the same question for "Das". Thanks a lot.


I think SOS_90 answered your question already. Maybe it also helps you, or any other if I just try to make a short tabke about the defined articles and how they are changing in the cases with short examples. I will wright the Articles in capital letters.

Nominativ: Male: DER Vogel fliegt (the bird flies).

Female (and also plural): DIE Spinne schläft (the spider sleeps)

Neutral: DAS Haus ist riesig (the house is huge

Genetiv: Male: Das Haus DES Künstlers ist klein (the house of the artist is small)

Female (and Plural): Das Futter DER Katze ist kalt (the food of the cat is cold)

Neutral: Die Geschichte DES Lebens ist kurz (history of live is short)

Dativ: Male: Ich gebe DEM Hund einen Knochen (I give a bone to the dog)

Female: Ich laufe mit DER Frau (I run with the woman)

Neutral: Ich höre DEM Mädchen zu (I listen to the girl)

Plural: Ich höre DEN Frauen zu (I listen to the women)

Akkusativ: Male: Ich höre DEN Hasen (I hear the rabbit)

Female (and Plural): Ich lese DIE Zeitung (I read the newspaper)

Neutral: Ich liebe DAS Buch (I love the book)


Thanks for the info, it really helped me out to understand a lot more.


Yes, they are the same. Only the masculine gender is different in acusative: "der" becomes "den".


I saw in a dictionary that in German "toe" can be both "die Zehe" and "der Zeh". Are both used? And is there a difference between the two?

  • 1653

In German the word for toe is usually "Zeh". "Zehe" is not wrong but it isn't used that much. Toes would be "Zehen". "Zehe" is also used to describe a small piece of a nodule (e.g. garlic clove = "Knoblauchzehe").

...also German native speaker ;-)


Good discussion and great people! I am also a Spanish (Vzla) native speaker, in case you have questions to make. I am really interested in learning German, so it's good to know that i can find some help here. Thanks in advance! and feel free to ask me too.


how and when i have to use akkusativ and dativ ? :)


I think this is pretty complicated.

The basic thing would be, that you use Dativ when you do something indirectly with something or someone like "Ich gehe mit meinen Freunden spazieren" (I walk with my friends). You do not act directly with your friends When you do something with (the word "mit") someone,something you always use Dativ. Ich schwimme mit dem Hund (I swim with the dog).

And Akkusativ you would use when you do something directly to someone or something. "Ich fange den Ball" (I catch the ball.) You do something directly with the ball here.

The complicated thing is, that there are some expressions that need Dativ but you could think that they need akkusativ and the other way round. For example the word " jemandem helfen" (to help someone) always needs Dativ although you might act directly with the person.

That are the thjngs, thst spontaniously came to my mind if I can think of any other informations later about that topic I will post them here.


Hi! Can you tell me please, when should I put Der, Die, or Das? Thanks :)


Der is used for words with male gender, die is used for words with female gender and das is used for words with neutral gender.

However it is not always as simple as that as for example many objects also use der or die even if they are clearly not male or female. Like "Der Stuhl", "Die Brille" (the chair, the glasses) .... I think the best thing is you always learn the articles together with the word.

As a native speaker I cannot think of many rules to help you because I never really think about why this article is used there.

The only things I can say is that words that end in -chen always use Das. "Das Mädchen" (the girl)

And Words that end in -ung mostly use Die. Die Verbindung (this connection)

If someone can think of other rules he might post them on here.


Ok, thank you very much for the help :D I gave you a lingot :3


-e - Mostly Female


Another thing, when should i put "Einen" or "Eine? "Meine" or "Mein"?


Mein is used with masculine and neuter nouns, whereas meine is used for feminine and plural nouns. You need to know the gender of the noun to know which one to use - feminine and plural = meine, masculine and neuter = mein. This is for the nominative case. Once used in most sentences it gets more complicated.

der Hund, mein Hund.

das Pferd, mein Pferd.

die Katz, meine Katze.

die Hunde (plural), meine Hunde.

So just as words, all you need to do is know whether the noun is masc/fem/neut/plural and you know whether to use mein or meine.

Note if used in a sentence these will likely (?) fall into the accusative case (as direct object) and that's when things like einen/meinen show up. Einen is the masculine indefinite article in the accusative case.

Masculine: Ich habe meinen Hund. (likewise, Ich habe einen Hund)

Neuter: Ich habe mein Pferd.

Feminine: Ich habe meine Katze.

Plural: Ich habe meine Hunde.

So mein/meine is used depending on the gender.

Einen/eines (and likewise, meiner/meinen/meines etc start showing up instead of the simple ein/eine once you start putting sentences together and different cases have to be used.


Ok, thanks. And can you explain again when should I put einen or eine?


The exact same rules apply as with mein/dein/sein and a bunch of other articles, but I'll give you some examples in the accusative case.

Ich will einen Hund. (I want a dog - use einen because Hund is masculine - der Hund, and we are in accusative case)

Ich will eine Katze. (use eine because Katze is feminine - die Katze and we are in accusative case)

Ich will ein Pferd. (use ein because Pferd is neuter - das Pferd and we are in accusative case)

It does not have a plural variation (you can't say "I want a cats") Instead you could say zwei/trei/vier Katzen (three, four, five cats), etwas Katzen (some cats), viele Katzen (many cats) etc.

See the linked table for when to use which version of ein/eine/einen/einer/einem/eines. You need to know the gender, and which case you are working with.

Here are some dative examples:

Ich laufe mit einem Hund (I run with a dog - use einem because Hund is masculine and we are in dative case)

Ich laufe mit einer Katze (einer because Katze is feminine, and we are in dative case)

Ich laufe mit einem Pferd (einem because Pferd is neuter, and we are in dative case)

Again, ein and its variations cannot apply to plural words.

-- Here is a link to a chart. Keep this bookmarked, or one similar. Refer to it EVERY TIME you work on German.


So a handy guide to know which version to use: 1. You must know the gender 2. consult a chart like above to find out which to use in which case!

You will memorize or get a feel for these after time. You just start to learn what "sounds right." I am FAR from the point of being certain and make mistakes all the time, so don't worry!

EDIT: I should also add, all above applies to "mein" as well! Except here plural is accepted:

Ich will meine Katzen. (Accusative)

Ich laufe mit meinen Katzen. (Dative)


I want you to explain me, how to difference those words in german the ones of the pronouns, nouns, contractions; Is that I get confused.


Nouns you can recognize as their first letter always is a capital letter and they mostly come with an Artiel: Der Stuhl (The chair) Die Blume (the flower) Das Zimmer (the room).

Pronouns are words you can use instead of Nouns. Der Stuhl ist kaputt du kannst nicht auf ihm sitzen. (The chair is broken you cannot sit on it). In this sentence there are two pronouns, the first one is "du" meaning you and is the peronal pronoun for the second Person singular the second is "ihm" meaning him or in that case it as in German the word for chair is masculine. It is the personal pronoun for er (he) in the Dativ case and is used here instead of the word "der Stuhl"

About contractions, those are when we connect two words to one.

Examples in+das becomes ins. Ich gehe ins Kinos (I go to the cinema) instead of Ich gehe in das Kino

In+dem becomes im. Ich bin im Haus meiner Tante (I am in my aunt's house) instead of Ich bin in dem Haus meiner Tante

zu+der/einer becomes zur (note that der and einer are the Dativ case for the femine gender here do not confuse them with the male gender of the Nominative case) Ich gehe zur Frau (I go to the women) instead of Ich gehe zu der Frau

zu+dem becomes zum. Ich gehe zum Fernseher (I go to the television) instead of Ich gehe zu dem Fernseher.

Note that these are not all contractions existing and there're many contractions that only exist in certain dialects.

I hope I got your question right and I hope I did not confuse you even more with my answer.


Thank you for give me some of your time to explain me; well there are more question that I have, but with your answers, now I understand better; not perfectly, but now I think that is goona be hard to get confused;is that I even Know perfectly Inglish, cause I'm Latin, but is that I like German, and if a want to learn Germa, I have tu put my accounton Inglish, I Know Inglish but not Perfectly too.If I have more question I will ask you.

Thanks, for your Help!


Hey there, First - I very much appreciate you giving of your time for this, thank you very much! this is not obvious. second, I was wondering about the difference between dir, dich and dein - i know dein is your, lets say "Dein Hund" - your dog, right? but what's exactly going on between dir and dich? and why is it, for an example, "zu mir oder zu dir" instead of "zu mein oder zu dein"? one more thing - I'm having a little difficulty to actually understand what is nominative/genative/dative/accusative/any tive in general - my native language is Hebrew and the Hebrew grammer is quite different, and i can't really find a translation to those terms into Hebrew.

thanks a lot! Guy


Okay probably the question is answered already but I want to try to explain it also.

Dich is the Akkusative case of the word Du. The Akkusativ normally is used when you do something directly to an object, although there're many expressions that need Akkusativ even if it doesn't seem so at first, you might just have to learn them. You ask that case with "Wen oder Was?" (Who or what?)

E.g. Ich werde dich fangen. (I will catch you) Ich unterhalte dich (I entertain you)

Dir is the Dativ case of the word Du. The Dativ case shows normally when you do something inderectly to an object. Again there are certain expression that need Dativ case even if it might sound unlogic at first.You ask that case wirh "Wem?" (Whom?)

E.g. Ich gebe dir den Schlüssel (I give you the key) Ich versuche dir zu helfen (I try to help you)

With dein(e) you are right it simply shows possesion. Dein Hund (Your dog) deind Katze (your cat) I think it stands in the Genetiv case that shows possesion. You ask this case with "Wessen?" (Whose?)


thanks a lot! it DOES make some order, in addition to what moz wrote..


I am not a native speaker nor am I close to fluent, so I'm sure someone with more expertise can add to this comment. However, I know at least this distinction: "dein" means "your" but dir/dich mean "you" (equivalent to me/him/her/them) just in different cases. So they are completely different words.

Dein/your indicates possesion. Dich is second person singular pronoun in the accusative case (direct object). Dir is second person singular pronoun (for du/you) in the dative case (indirect object).

If it helps, since "you" is used so often in english, try substituting the first person pronoun to see if it makes sense.

Dein/your = mein/mine

Du/you = ich/I

Dich/you = mich/me

Dir/you = mir/me

So where you would use "me" in a sentence (or him, her etc. instead of he, she etc.) , that's where you would use the accusative or dative form of the pronoun.

If any of this is wrong, I will gladly be corrected.


I think i got it but i'm really not sure (again, "dative", "nominative" etc. don't mean anything to me. if someone has a page that could explain those terms i would be thankful):

Dein - means possesion, like "your coat" Dich - means who the action is being held on (i think the term is object?), let's say i love you - ich liebe dich Dir - means where/what the action is held on - let's say - zu dir - to 'yours' - or when asking "wie gehts dir?" what's going on with you

am i anywhere near?


You have it exactly right, as far as I understand. Again, I am not a native speaker nor remotely fluent, but everything you said in terms of when to use dein and dich/dir rings true.

As for cases (nominative, dative, accusative, and gentive) I am in the same boat as you. I can sort of understand when someone explains it slowly, but when it comes to constructing sentences on my own, at this point it is purely guesswork for me. I don't mean to sound dense, but I have yet to read an explanation of the cases and declension that gives me an "aha!" moment. But I understand a teeny bit more each time. What has been a HUGE help is starting the English-from-German course, which forces me to create sentences in German. You really find out the limits of your grammatical knowledge!

I read some explanations/hints that are like "if there is no article, just use the DER-ending" and I nod my head as if I understand, then go to write and...nope, no clue. I'm not saying it is impossible, far from it, just in my personal experience my biggest problem, far beyond pronuncation or spelling or comprehension, is knowing how to decline and which case I am working with on a particular sentence. Others may feel completely differently and hopefully they can help us a bit.

I can link you to some articles and lessons that have been linked in other duolingo discussions, and hopefully a native speaker can help us further. At this point, I'm convinced the only key is practice and patience.

http://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/declension/dative (click the guide on the left side to see explanations for the other cases)


thanks a lot! yeah, i reckon that the moment you actually get the bigger picture of the grammer, it's easier for you to realize what you should do... maybe i should get a proper book for that. I'm moving to Berlin so proper German studies, including good grammer, are a big aim for me.

...and wow, this website is a serious one!! 0_0


Whatarethegrammarrulesingerman? #NoSpaces


Well here's probably a question you haven't gotten: How does one go about finding a german language exchange partner?


What are the rules for forming comparatives in German? For example, how would you say that something is "more beautiful" or "most beautiful" in German?


Mehr = more and meist/am meisten = most, but in the same way we have words like "bigger" to mean "more big" and "biggest" to mean "most big," German does thes same.

Die Blume ist schön. (The flower is beautiful.)

Die Blume ist schöner als der Stein. (The flower is more beautiful than the stone.)

Die Rose ist die schönste Blume. (The rose is the most beautiful flower.)

Groß, größer, am größten (big, bigger, biggest)

Hoch, höher, am höchsten (tall, taller, tallest)

klein, kleiner, am kleinsten (small, smaller, smallest)

gut, besser, am besten (good, better, best)

schlecht, schlechter, am schlechten (bad, worse, worst)

etc. etc.


So are there specific rules on how to form these words with any adjective? It seems to me that to make the "more" form you add "-er" and to form the superlative you add "-ste" and modify based on the case. Is that correct?


Yes, exactly. There are always exceptions and irregular formations, but the core of adjectives can be modified in this way.

Obviously you can see something like the transition from hoch to höher is irregular, but you will memorize those pretty quickly as you use those words.

This link lists some of the major ones to know http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa101998.htm

Also note the importance of knowing pairings as listed partway through the document (the use of als, so, wie etc.)

to Nedflander, sorry to be posting so much! I am simply learning German myself and any errors I make or additional hints/advice/facts you can offer I would welcome for my own knowledge, in additional to those who asked.

But it feels like a slight validation of what I have learned so far to see a question about learning the German language and realize I can actually help, even if it's just a little! ;)


Hi, I just completed Idioms and I don't want to start saying "Es geht um die Wurst" to people thinking I'm saying "It's now or never" (which I now know to be "Es ist jetzt oder nie"). I've always known Wurst to be sausage. Why could that phrase be translated into "It's now or never" but could actually be "It's about the sausage"?


It's completly okay to say "es geht um die Wurst" like in the meaning of "it's know or never". For example in a competiton. "Du musst diesen Lauf gewinnen sonst war's das für dich. Jetzt geht's um die Wurst" (You have to win this run or it will be the end [of the competition] for you. It's know or never).

According to some sites on the internet the origion of this idiom is that in earlier times in poorer regions the highest price of a competion to win often was a sausage. (Eine Wurst). So the competion was "about the sausage".


Is it true that all Germans must wear Hausschuhe and have kartoffels at every meal?


Sure. We also sit in the rubble of World War II and build Mercedes wearing Lederhosen.


hi I think it is cool that you know how to speak germen but I am having a little trouble learning germen basics the "the" confuses me so much. Their is de die and one other one so if you could help me get around that it would be really great. Thanks so much and it great that you are helping other people learning germen


I can't really answer your question but I'm wondering if it's similar to saying "the end" where it ends up sounding like "thee" because it's next to vowels?


To say the english equivalent of "those are" do you say "das sind"?


Yes you are right. I think there are more possibilities like "dies sind" but "das sind" sounds the most natural to me. So "those are horses" for Example would be " Das sind Pferde".


Thank you. I saw this on a lesson and was a bit confused. :)


Hi, would you be willing to help me with a bit of research? I'd like to know when the German equivalents of these names for colors entered the German language. I was able to research them online via Wikipedia and the Oxford English Dictionary to find the answers for English. They are all pretty late arrivals to English: from the year 1000 to 1900. purple violet orange turquoise magenta cyan


That is cool to hear! It's nice of you to help us with German. :)


I would like to ask for german exams. I am going to attend the telc b1 exam and i want to know if after telc b1 i can attend the goethe exams for b2 level. What is the difference between the 2 of them?


I am having lots trouble with your German translator I was born in Germany and speak German but have lived in Australia for 60 years however I still know how to speak German , speak German very clearly but when I have same sentence time and time again the translator does not understand that it says on the wrong either my iPad understands me when I speak German and I don't see what the problem is with your translator I'm currently doing three languages at once and would have no problems there I only have a problem with the German translator please help me with this problem thank you


How do I say "Isn't that in Germany?" in German?



Ist das nicht in Deutschland?


I need to know whether, 'Ich werde ruf deine Mutter an.' Is correct Or 'Ich werde deine Mutter anrufen.' Is correct?


Ich werde deine Mutter anrufen.


Hi NedFlander1, thank you so much for being willing to help people! Could you possibly explain what this sentence means? It is from the German insolvency code (insolvenzrecht): "Der Wert des Streitgegenstands einer Klage auf Feststellung einer Forderung, deren Bestand vom Insolvenzverwalter oder von einem Insolvenzgläubiger bestritten worden ist, bestimmt sich nach dem Betrag, der bei der Verteilung der Insolvenzmasse für die Forderung zu erwarten ist."


when do you use tut mir leid and when do you use entschuldigung or is it just personal preference


how do I tell when to put meine or mein?

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