"Wir werden unser Leben verbessern."

Translation:We will improve our lives.

March 8, 2013

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Shouldn't this be "unsere Leben," if it's plural?


"unser Leben" implies a shared life, e.g. a couple who wants to improve their conjoint life. Unsere Leben would be used in any other case.


Thank you. I hadn't thought of that. So it's the English translation that's off. Or, in any case, the two don't quite jibe.


German is a bit weird about that and I can't judge the english sentence. We say: Technology improves our life – you can find that phrase very often –, since it's improving the conjoint lives of many, many people at once or life overall. But you would find "unsere Leben" there, too, since it might improve your individual, personal life if it's not relevant to just each and everyone. I found a newspaper headline that says: Unsere Leben liegen auf Eis – Here, each individual life of every affected person is on ice/hold.

To make a long story short: Both answers are fine, both in their own right.


That is interesting. English handles that a little differently: I think we would sometimes use "our life" but only in relatively small circles--for a couple, a household, perhaps--at most--a small insular community. For many people, we'd say "our lives" (plural), but we might also say "our way of life" (singular, but including a wide range of abstract and concrete aspects. So either English translation ("our lives" or "our life") would be OK, depending on the speaker's intent.


Could someone show me a reference (link to dictionary for example) where it shows that "Leben" can be also a masculine noun in German? I can only find the neuter and plural options. Thank you.


There are no nouns which 'can be also [of] a' different gender at thd same time in German(and in French, Spanish, Swedish and so on). That is nothing arbitrary. I assume English had different noun genders many hundred years ago. Why do you ask? What madd you think that ? 'Ein Leben' in indefinite and does not show you as a beginner, but you can only say that it is a 'der' or 'das' noun. But w/o being a native, I can assure you that there is just 'das Leben' (and in plural 'die Leben') and nothing else ;-) Just my two sense.


@Andre16065 It depends on just what you mean by nouns having only one gender. There is "der See - the lake" and "die See" the sea. Their plurals are both "die Seen". There is also Das Meer - the sea. So 'the sea' as a noun can be die or das. There are a few others that have cropped up. das Band - the tape (band); der Band - the volume/tone; and die Band - the music band Whether these are homonyms or just homographs is beyond my level.


But two words written the same but with a different meaning are simply two different nouns. The gender is fixed and cannot flipflop between different genders.


We will better our lives would be correct too wouldn't in. As in we used to do bad stuff and get in trouble with the law.

Or would that be something like bessern. . (Does that exist?) Hmm suddenly my initial thought sounds incorrect

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