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  5. "It is a horse whose name I d…

"It is a horse whose name I don't know."

Translation:Es ist ein Pferd, dessen Namen ich nicht kenne.

August 17, 2017



Why is it not "dessen Name ich kenne nicht?


Because it's a subordinate clause, and that kicks the verb to the end. If it were a main clause, it'd be "Ich kenne (den) Namen nicht." But because we have the relative pronoun "dessen" (whose), "kenne" stays conjugated and goes to the end: ...dessen Namen ich nicht kenne.


It's also wrong because it should be Namen, not Name. Name is a so-called weak noun and is therefore declined as if it were an adjective followed by an unseen masculine noun. SEE MORE ON THIS IN THE COMMENTS CURRENTLY BELOW.


Super Erklärung. Kleiner Grammatik-Tipp: Ich kenne (den) Namen nicht. ("n" is missing)


Danke. Erst nach zwei Jahren habe ich endlich den Fehler behoben. :)


why Namen and not Name? what does the "n" do there?


The verb "kennen" has to be combined with the accusative. Ich kenne seinen Namen. Den Namen des Pferdes kenne ich nicht. ABER: Sein Name ist Programm. Sein Name steht auf der Liste. (Nominativ )


so nouns do get declined too in german? never saw it before.


Ich weiß, Deutsch ist schrecklich!! Singular: der Name, des Namens, dem Namen, den Namen. Plural: die Namen, der Namen, den Namen, die Namen. I am so glad, I don t have to learn it.


Yes, nouns get declined, too, though most of them don’t change much.

Name belongs to a group of nouns where the change is very visible.


@mizinamo would you please refer me to sort of a table or something to study rules regarding noun declension too?


I don't know of a resource for general rules on noun declensions.

When I am in doubt about the declension of a particular noun, though, I have a look at canoo: http://www.canoo.net/.

It also lists inflected forms of verbs (handy to check whether a given imperative can take both forms with and without -e, for example) and other inflectable parts of speech.


What lesson is this from? I'm stuck in some eternal hell of a practice session that makes no sense to me!


Relative pronouns.


That's what the French subjunctive feels like to me.


I feel your pain Matt869692. I am hoping for some magical form of osmosis which will make it less hellish. Alternatively, I may have to read that grammar book I bought.


WHY Kennen and not Wissen?? I thought that you are supposed to use kennen when you know a person, someone and wissen for objects, things, names, etc. Here we are talking about knowing a name which is thing. Why use "kennen" instead of wissen?? Could a native speaker explain this to me? I would appreciate that very much.


Why is it Namen, not Name?

  • 1584



Could you explain it further please?


What I wrote is wrong. I do not delete , because mizinamo answered to it. What I wrote was:. „I think it has to be "Name", as long as the horse has just one single name. "Namen" as Genitive Case is Plural. Ein Pferd, dessen (zahlreiche) Namen auf der Urkunde vermerkt waren, hat das Rennen gewonnen ...“


Namen is accusative, not genitive -- ich kenne den Namen in the singular, and thus ... dessen Namen ich kenne.

You can't say ich kenne den Name and so you cannot say ... dessen Name ich kenne.


Ooops. Of course you are right. Thanks. The verb ‚kennen‘ is followed by the accusative. In „der Mann, dessen Name Programm wurde“ it is Nominative.


Why is it wrong: Es ist ein Pferd, dessen Namen kenne ich nicht.


word order, the verb comes at the end.


Can 'weiß' be used instead of 'kenne'? If yes, would it also be 'Namen' or just 'Name'? If not, why not?


Can 'weiß' be used instead of 'kenne'?

Yes, in this case, both are possible

If yes, would it also be 'Namen' or just 'Name'?

Still accusative case, still Namen


Thanks for your help!


I can't understand why there is no lesson at the beginning of this section. I'm going around in circles, and think a quick breakdown of relative pronouns would have made everything fall into place from the beginning.


The volunteer course contributors have provided tips and notes for this unit -- you may be able to access them here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Relative-Pronouns/tips-and-notes

However, our tips and notes are being replaced by just "tips" written by someone else (I'm guessing Duo staff), and those tips are not available for all units yet -- only for the first dozen or so.

Hopefully more tips will be added eventually and they will be as useful as possible.


Ich beantworte die Frage richig (3x), sie wird als falsch gewertet. Was kann ich tun?


Was kann ich tun?

Du kannst beim nächsten Mal ein Screenshot machen, auf dem die Frage, deine Antwort sowie die Fehlermeldung zu sehen sind und dieses Screenshot auf eine Webseite hochladen (z.B. imgur) und dann die URL des Bildes in deinen Kommentar einfügen.


Did he cross a desert on that horse?


Indeed he did and it felt good to be out of the rain.


I used 'wissen' for this rather than 'kennen'. The rule I learnt was 'wissen' was to know a fact and my brain interpreted the horse's name as a fact. Would it be better to think of 'kennen' as meaning "know" in the sense of "to be familiar with"?


@tangavango: I can't explain the "why", but I can tell you, how certain words usually are used.

When I don't know a person's name I usually say:

Ich weiß nicht, wie er/sie heißt. This sentence cannot be misunderstood.

Ich kenne seinen Namen nicht has two possible meanings. It might be that he has a very rare name I never heard before. ( = I am not familiar with the name). But it can also mean that I just don't know his name.

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