1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Du bist Schülerin."

"Du bist Schülerin."

Translation:You are a student.

August 18, 2017

This discussion is locked.


The required answer was "you are pupil" which is not grammatical English. The answer should be "you are a pupil" as English requires an indefinite article when stating someone's profession. I have reported it


'I am teacher, you are pupil'—it is grammatical under some circumstances. Still, this is an atypical usage and certainly shouldn't be the default translation.


What? No. That definitely isn't grammatical. It would need to be "I am a teacher, you are a pupil" or possibly with a "the" instead of an "a". It's not just atypical, it is flat out wrong.


I am afraid I must disagree with you. I am unclear as to whether you are a native speaker or not, but the 'rule' you state, although it might frequently appear to be the case, is no such thing. A quick search on Google books reveals countless examples of with just these two words alone, spanning three centuries. You may find many more using other professions and positions. The first one, in particular, makes especially perseverant use of this device. All the following are perfectly good English:

At school you are pupil, with classmates and teachers. If you go on studying, you will have the role of student and be attended by lecturers, tutors, and professors. You are friend of someone. You have the role of neighbour in the street where you live. At work you are employee and you have colleagues, with chiefs and director in charge. In bus, tram, train, boat, or plane you are passenger. For the administration and the police you are citizen, holder of a residence permit, foreign tourist, or illegal person. If you commit a crime, you become suspect, and can be accused. [...] In health care you are patient. In social work and for a lawyer you are client. In the military you are solider, sergeant, or officer. In (web)shops and the supermarket you are customer, as you are for the energy, gas and water supplier. You are tenant if you rent a room or a house...[continues ad nauseum]

Core Social Work: International Theory, Values and Practice, 2012

My aim in so doing is to persuade you to be prepared to engage in genuinely hard work in tackling the science of your language, whether you are pupil or teacher.

Gwynne's Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Grammar and the Writing of Good English (!), 2003

Now Roni takes the old construction apart and with a clack of her magic cutting, I am pupil again.
Poetry in Painting: Writings on Contemporary Arts and Aesthetics, 2012

It was not as one master to another, nor, as you say, as one pupil to another, but as a master to his pupil (for you are master, I am pupil, and so you call me back to school while I am still keeping the Saturnalia) that you sent me your book.

The Letters of the Younger Pliny, tr. 2003

In fact,we hope this chapter will help you recognize and understand the cultural underpinnings of the school where you are teacher assisting, student teaching, or beginning your career[...]

Early Career English Teachers in Action: Learning from Experience, 2014

Whether you are teacher or student, in a film club or just one of those people who enjoy contemplating the movies they see, there's a lot to learn from the interplay of ethics and film.

Seeing the Light: Exploring Ethics Through Movies, 2012

I am a pupil of Dr. Pusey, but I never listened to his oral teaching; I am pupil through his writings.

The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite, tr. 1899

Might I suggest that as you examine your life as teacher/artist or artist/teacher you try to give each part of your “self” equal emphasis? You are artist. You are teacher.

The Artist Within Me: A Teacher's Year of Creative Rediscovery

"Go ahead. You are teacher. Just call the class to order." She proceeded to stick her feet in the aisle, chew gum, drop books, and talk to pupils near.

The Living Church - Volume 123 - Page 6, 1951

You are teacher and have many children.

Woman's Missionary Friend - Volumes 53-54 - Page 402, 1921

No longer pupil for you are teacher. You may have trouble later getting their attention but not this morning.

The School News and Practical Educator - Volume 22 - Page 440, 1908

I am pupil and teacher too, for I'm working for a first grade certificate.

The Christian Evangelist - Volume 41 - Page 1535, 1904

I am pupil of Dr Wayland, who was the head of the Children's Infirmary in Dublin. I was a pupil of Professor Larkin, of the University College, Liverpool, Professor of Anatomy.

Report of the Royal Commission on Physical Training (Scotland), 1903

"You are pupil to a destroyer of millions—we must send you to Dresden— and, harkee, Sir, conceal your passport, as you would avoid being torn to pieces by those whose husbands, sons, and relations have been wantonly sacrificed to the shrine of Prussian ambition"

The Town and Country Magazine, Or, Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction and Entertainment, Volume 19, 1787


I am indeed a native (British) speaker and stand by my assessment. All of your examples sound, at best, stilted and affected and at worst entirely unnatural to my ears.

The only exception I note are the examples beginning with "whether", those sound perfectly acceptable to me, although they would also be acceptable with an "a".



for some reason I can't reply to your most recent response so this will have to do.

I am not making the claim of it being ungrammatical prescriptively (because, well, prescriptivist grammar is pretty much yet another form of scientific bigotry). I am making this claim entirely descriptively. This sentence is wrong to me and to all of the many friends I've asked (who are all also native speakers).

As for your claim that it's all over the place, take a look at google n-grams: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=you+are+student%2Cyou+are+a+student&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cyou%20are%20student%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cyou%20are%20a%20student%3B%2Cc0

It's pretty much completely absent. The same is true for other pronouns and professions. When you have two equivalent ways of saying something and one occurs approximately a hundred times less in the corpus with no differentiation in their contexts it's pretty reasonable to say the less frequent form is ungrammatical.


'Stilted and affected' !=incorrect grammar; this is important to point out. Being a terrible wordsmith does not necessarily make one an incompetent user of English.
If this usage is so strange to you, then I can only respectfully suggest that you read more, because you will find it all over the place. I have already said that it is atypical, but it is very widely distributed throughout time.
And there is nothing I am aware of in the prescriptivist school of grammar against it (I have already dealt with the descriptivists). You are really not arguing your case here, just asserting it.


In English you would say you are a pupil


"YOU ARE PUPIL" Sounds wrong for a required answer :/


Such bad english!


Lesson 4, same catagory gives " Ich bin Bauer " and counts " I am farmer " as wrong, requiring the indefinite article "a" (I am a farmer) for the correct answer. This is logically inconsistent with the translation given here.


Someone cant be pupil


In English you would say you are a pupil

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