I should also give a suggestion for the correct answer. If the German meaning is that the person is heading towards our home, then you have to use a word that means home; you cannot use "us". The British might say "ours" as in "He is going to ours." A more American flavor would be "He is going to our house."
Reply to michio727792, You are right that the phrase if used by Germans should be used. The question is the translation. English speakers would not say that. So you treat the answer like idioms and give the answer as an English speaker would say it. There are plenty of those in Duolingo where what is meant in german is not what it translates to word for word.
'He goes to us' is a strange phrase, sounds very odd to me, a native English speaker. 'He goes to them' or 'he goes to our place /home' would sound more natural. The use of the pronoun 'us' completely throws the meaning. Now, 'he comes to us' has complete clarity. With my limited German, (but coming on in leaps and bounds thanks to Duolingo and the discussions) I would have chosen 'er kommt zu uns' .
Hi LoliChaj, The difficulty is due to a mismatch in translation and not due to any lack of logic in the English. The verb "to go" indicates moving away from the point of reference (whereas "to come" indicates an approach, moving closer).
Online dictionaries assure me that "gehen" can be translated as "to walk" as well as "to go", so "He walks to us" would surely make more sense.
Let's report that suggestion !
(P.S. I appreciate your edit.)
Hi! Did I say English is illogical? :o I don't think so... and I don't think it is. I just said German is (very) logical. And it has a precise structure, when you learn the rules, you can construct it yourself, sometimes even when you don't know the meaning. I am learning it again because 40 long years passed from a course I did... and I remember I've always compared it to mathematics! For ME, the sense in this sentence is PERFECT, just like it is, so I couldn't wish more and I can't report it ;) In my language I would say it in the same, identical way!
And I've never had problems with English sense and logic either, even when it's very different from "mine". We just have to switch when we learn other languages and try not to apply our (maybe rigid) rules and habits to another "systems of thinking and talking" :) I hope it's more clear now. Even if my English is not perfect. But I think it can be understood.
Thanks for writing!
German may have a reputation for being very logical, but after many years of learning it, I've become increasingly sceptical about this as there are so often exceptions to the logic.
But focusing on this sentence, perhaps you could help us understand the logic here. If I'm not mistaken, Krommlech seems to have the best explanation here of how to translate it into English, but I still don't really follow the logic of why the Germans say it this way.
According to Linguee, yes. Report it.... https://www.linguee.com/english-german/search?source=auto&query=%22zu+uns%22
Is this an exercise which is meant to be discussed? Your example nr.1 is definitely an idiom no matter in which language it is present and should be explained additionally. Literal translation is not supposed to make sense in any language and this approach is wrong but others are not offered as correct answers. Don't get me wrong - my criticism is not towards you but towards Duolingo
.. "zu uns" is "to our home, our house, our place".
An English expression that conveys the same would be, "He's going to our place..." in a situation when you're out and telling someone that another friend is joining you at home when you return.
Nevertheless, an English speaker would more standardly say, "He's coming to our place..." since, pragmatically, this still expresses movement towards you / your home.
UPDATE (26-Oct-2017): This expression happens to be quite standard in German. Not only can it mean the above (ie. He's going/coming to our place) but also, "He's joining us..." in situations referring to "our team, our club, our party, our company or employer" and so on.
'He goes....' is what we call the Present Simple tense. It is used to describe generalities and habits. 'He reads the bible.' 'He drinks red wine, rather than white.' etc. To describe an event that has begun and is in progress we use the 'Present Continuous', which used the verb BE as an auxiliary. 'He is going to ours.' would be a better way of expressing that 'he' is on his way to our home. I agree with the comment of Richard below: 'He goes to us.' is something an English speaker would not consider as correct syntax and should never say. Therefore, if we are at home and 'he' is on his way to see us, the correct phrase is 'he is coming to us' for example 'He's coming to us for dinner.'
Why do the reporting options not include, "The English sentence is wrong or nonsensical?" I worry that on the other side, Duolingo is telling English learners that this is an acceptable English phrase. Also it's annoying I'm getting it wrong. So many options: He is coming to us, he comes to us, he's on his way, he's coming here, he's coming to our house, he's on his way over, he's joining us, maybe even get fancy with "he'll be joining us."
As stated in almost all the other comments on this exercise, the English translation is wrong because it is bad English. Assuming the sentence means that he is moving toward us to end up with us, the translation must be "He comes to us". You can never say "He goes to us" in English.
"He goes to us" is incorrect English.
"Us" is where we are - right now. "He" is somewhere else, not with us. For him to join us, he must COME to us. If he is leaving us and heading home, then he "goes" or "is going" AWAY from us.
So, my question is: Is this the wording commonly used in German to say someone is going (for 'coming') to us? If so, then fine. I can learn the German way to speak. But, if this is another funky Duo oddity then it would be nice to know so I don't try to make some rule or exception for it.
Thus, in the same sense, how would Germans say something like, "The football is coming towards us.", or, "The taxi is coming to pick us up"? Would Germans use Gehen or Kommen?
Can someone please explain to the Duo people that "He goes to us" is NOT proper English? We would say, "He is coming to us." "He is coming towards us." But NEVER would you say, "he goes to us." The verb "go" means he is leaving, or going away from, it doesn't mean coming towards you. For example, you would not say he is going to the store if you were at the store, you would say he is coming to the store. If I am speaking (and I'm part of an us), he can't be going to us or me, but only coming toward/to me/us.
I wrote "he comes to us" (which was marked wrong) as I would not myself say "he goes to us" , that sounds just very odd and strange to me... and Im an Australian, living and bred.
I see Im not the only one here who has said something about this. Please duolingo read the comments here and correct it.
"He goes to us" is wrong and I sunitted a comment to say so, starting with, "Duolingo, read these messages and allow more answers."
I had originally tried, "He walks to us" (not accepted), then, following advice from a native German speaker who posted below, "He joins us" (also not accepted). I may try, "He goes to ours" but I can't see that working!
It will pain me to have to write nonsense in order to get out of the exercise! Ho hum!
Surprised this hasn't been removed or changed yet.
"He goes to us" is a contextually impossible sentence. I understand that it may mean "He goes to our house", but THAT should be the answer; no one in English would say the given sentence.
As I understand it, Germans learning English will get the flip side of this question, and keeping it like this isn't doing them any favours if they want to speak fluently.
"He goes to us." sounds odd. He goes to them sounds normal. He goes to her sounds normal. He goes to us/me/our house/where we are (1st person) sounds strange.
He comes to us. He is coming to us. He is coming towards us. He comes here. These all sound much more natural.
He goes ___ as in leaves and goes somewhere else sounds fine though.
For native American English speakers I think this needs to be remembered more as a phrase and not as a sentence. For example needed is the prep 'for' as in "he goes to us for...." So my question is what is the context for the German. Is this a location change - if so 'comes' would be better. Or is this some object. If so, then the sentence needs to be a bit longer.
My overall question though is if the German is natural to Germans. No sense in learning something not really used.
Dear LoliChaj, I did not take DianaM's comment as an attempt to make fun, but rather as an initiative to point out the standard grammatical form for the question formation of the previous commentator, and for the latter's benefit... In any case, that was an interesting link; in my opinion, no fun should ever be made at all from anyone trying to communicate in any language to the very best of their abilities, independently of whatever native or mother tongue they may speak... I see that you are yourself learning many languages and undoubtedly speak more than a few like myself, so I relate to the fact that, just like me, you may have been the target of uncalled for comments throughout your linguistic endeavours... :)
Thank you, Krommlech, you are correct that I had no thought of mocking the previous poster. It is usual here for people to simply correct others' linguistic errors, not to be mean but because we all make mistakes and we are all here to learn. I get corrected, too!
I don't yet have enough German to make any serious effort to speak to actual Germans, but my French is a little better. I am fortunate that, when I have had the good fortune to be among French people, I have never yet had anyone be unkind. I found the usual response to my halting efforts was to re-state my question with the proper genders/verb tenses/syntax, and then carry on to answer it. Very matter-of-fact, and very helpful, I always thought.
I agree. Great clarity by Krommlech. Also great answer by Jadis572420. Maybe apply a little spice note on future phrases that obviously are so problematic. The problem is flagging all of us for the English translation. If I heard, "he goes to us" I would assume not a native speaker. Goes is a direction of "away from" or colloquially; "belonging to". In the sense that he is going to us; it would be, "he goes to our house, etc."