1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. sharp s and ss

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

sharp s and ss

I used to study German in highschool, and our teacher there thought us that writing "ss" is same as "ß". Is it correct, 'cause Duolingo doesn't recognize it?

June 26, 2012

6 Comments


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

According to the new German grammar rules ss should be used after short vowel sounds (muss) and ß after long vowel sounds (Fuß).


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

It's "ss" after short vowels and "ß" after long vowels and diphthongs (ai, ei, eu, au, äu, ie). I highly recommend you don't just use "ss" everywhere as the distinction lets you know how to pronounce the preceding vowels.


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

kcin is absolutely right. the german ortography reform dates back to 1996.


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

Also, Capital ß too is recognised by unicode as ẞ ( U+ 1E9E) as opposed to lower case ß(U+00DF).


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

@kcin and @gajaloc are right, there is a rule about the use of "ss" and "ß", they are different and are not freely exchangeable. It's not true, like @christian and @JacobWilliams said, that people is losing the use of ß. I live in Germany and everybody here, in official papers as in everyday writings, use it correctly. German keybords of course have the special ß character.


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

@scampaforche: I think you misunderstood what I said. I didn't say that the ß was disappearing. I was referring to the upper case ẞ, which is a relatively recent invention and hasn't really caught on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_%E1%BA%9E Trust me, you definitely can't type this letter on a Germany keyboard. When writing in all caps, most people either use the normal lower case ß or they use SS.

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