1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "You are saying it to him."

"You are saying it to him."

Translation:Du sagst es ihm.

August 16, 2017



Shouldn't pronuns come first? "Du sagst ihm es"

  • 1809

normally, Dativ comes before Akkusativ. Akk. pronouns come before Dativ though. "es" is Akkusativ.


As I understand it, not in this case because the word es (it) is a placeholder for a thing (already mentioned or implied) rather than the thing itself.


I am so confused.

Marked wrong: Du sagst ihm es

Claimed correct: Ihm sagt ihr es.

Explanation: "You used the wrong word."

free translations:

you say to him it

to him say (you pl) it (acc.)

If this were a case of "wrong word" rather than "wrong order" , then "ihr sagt" and "du sagst" would not both be correct translations of "you are saying".

This isn't even the usual issue, with the German equivalent of e.g. "say" and "says" being referred to as "different words" rather than "different forms of the same word".

If I were 100% sure the message was wrong, I'd be fine. Instead I'm here asking whether the complaint was about order, or whether both answers are correct, but someone's misprogrammed it so only one form of "you" is considered "correct".

Or maybe it's something else entirely.

I'm glad I'm not paying for this - and it's things like this that have me continuing to consider it Beta software, not appropriate to pay for.

FWIW, 3 of 4 words are underlined. So I conclude none of "ihm", "sagt" and "ihr" should be in this sentence. Even though "ihm" is present in the "correct" sentence.


I'm a native and "Du sagst ihm es" is the wrong word order, it is "Du sagst es ihm". "Ihm sagt ihr es" is unnatural, but grammatically correct. You wouldn't really say that though, because it sounds forced, like a child trying to avoid repetitive word order in a short story for school. "Ihr sagt es ihm" is the natural way to say it. It could either be "Du sagst es ihm" or "Ihr sagt es ihm". Both should be accepted. If not, report it as correct. Duolingo has a lot of issues, I keep reporting correct sentences marked as wrong...


Helpful. Although what is the grammar rule behind this? I was just wondering cuz of the pronoun first/dative first preference rule and this goes against it.


"Pronoun first/dative first" is not the complete set of rules. According to one of the lesson tips, 1-pronoun first, 2-dative first if no pronouns, 3-accusative first if both are pronouns. This is an example of the third scenario.


11 August 2018 - I wrote the same and got exactly the same reply from DUO. I think it is the word order that I got wrong and not the wrong word.


"Ihm sagst du es" is accepted


I shouldn't have used zu

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