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"Is it his dog?"

Translation:Ist es sein Hund?

September 13, 2017

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmbrielleAS

Why is it “sein” rather than “seinen” (the accusative form)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because it's in the nominative case, not the accusative case.

"to be" is a linking verb, linking a subject to a predicate that says something about that subject, and predicates are generally in the nominative case in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maralibe

This is the question and answer I was looking for and I had to scroll all the way to the bottom of the comments.

Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChikNuggets

But why isn't it "seiner" instead of "sein"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the masculine nominative form is sein, not seiner.

It has no ending -- like the indefinite article ein Hund, which is not *einer Hund.

I've no idea why those have no ending for masc.nom. or neut.nom. or neut.acc., but they don't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regitze_Rille

Exactly, and seiner would indicate a genetive case of either a feminine subject or a plural subject, e.g. Die Welpen seiner Frau = His wife's puppies Die Bücher ihrer Kinder = Their children's books/Her children's books. I hope, this was a least a little useful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regitze_Rille

You're absolutely right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RicksterBerlin

I used to find this confusing. A teacher once explained this to me with help of arithmetic!

The verb 'to be' is unique. For every other verb there is 'action' and the direct object 'receives' that action. Ich liebe meinen Hund. Sie sehen den Zug, ich öffnete die Tür. Dog, train and door are all in accusative case here.

BUT. With verb 'to be' there is no doing or done unto. You are simply describing a situation and both sides of the verb are equal. Like a sum, both sides are the same. 2 x 5 =10. 50 = 30 +20. 10 + 10 =20.

Das ist der Himmel. Ich bin dein Freund. Er ist sein Bruder. No activity in these three sentences , just statements. So, the sky, friend and brother are in the subject /nominative form. Does this help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/badboys819703

Because the dog is masculine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarjoryTavares

I thought it would be "er", since "hund" is a male word!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mnarhins

You cannot be sure it is a dog at all you're referring to here. That's why the subject of the interrogative sentence is "es". It can refer to any thing in general. If you hear the sound of an animal, you cannot be sure as to whether it is a dog at all. It might also be his hyena (die Hyäne), to which you would refer as "sie" to. So use a generic "es" for the "it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

'Er' means he. 'Sein' however, means his.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexht

"Hund" is masculine (not male), yes, but not all dogs are male, so the question is still with "es" for "it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs_Coxackie

Just to confirm this- das instead of es is wrong because we are not talking about a person?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

You can use both es and das, the difference being that das is understood to be more direct (pointing at a dog in sight, for instance).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/86percent

I used das and it was counted wrong...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TitiLaCarotte

that "das" gave me a "wrong" answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs_Coxackie

Thank you very much for the reply! One more question if I may... If i use pronouns for persons is it considered to be rude? For instance Ich sehe Anna.-Ja, die ist da.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

Pronouns (here: "sie") are perfectly fine and natural, but using an article ("die") may – depending on context – come across as rude.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mrs_Coxackie

Thank you once again. Of course-articles not pronouns...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

Sorry! I was mistaken! It is of course a pronoun, just not a personal pronoun but a demonstrative pronoun! How embarrassing! Here, you get your lingot back!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dudeface34m

Es is "it", das is "that" and diese is "this".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveLommen

"Das" would more directly translate to "that," while "es" literally translates to "it." So it really does not have anything to do with talking about a person or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

I think "er" could also be used here. What if it certainly is a dog and the question is whether it (the masculine Hund) belongs to him or not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoubleLingot

"Ist er sein Hund?" would seem correct to me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PetulantVi

why is "das" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanRad

Mizinamo provided an answer to this.

If you put das, it would translate as "Is that his dog?" rather than "Is it his dog?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ksr2106

I suppose must be ER instead of ES, because we exactly know that this is a dog, there is no doubts either it's a dog or not. And dog in deutsch is masculine DER HUND!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BILLOUK

Please give me a quick rule sein#seine. Thanx a lot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Sein would be used for neuter and masculine noun, whereas Seine would be used for feminine nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

seiner would be feminine genitive singular, feminine dative singular, or genitive plural.

Possessive determiners such as sein take similar endings to ein or kein -- thus no ending in masculine nominative singular.

sein Hund "his dog" but der Name seiner Katze (the name of his cat), for example, just as it would be ein Hund and der Name einer Katze.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D-SprichtDeutsch

Seine is used for feminine too So how seiner different from seine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Case.

seine Katze is "his cat" in the nominative case (e.g. as the subject of a verb) or the accusative case (e.g. as the direct object of a verb).

seiner Katze is "(of) his cat" in the genitive case of "(to) his cat" in the dative case.

Like the difference between die Katze and der Katze.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albao9

if Hund is Männlich why is it not "seiner"? as "ist er seiner Hund"

what am i missing here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexht

Because possessive pronouns and indefinite articles - the "-ein" words - don't have the "-er" suffix for masculine nominative.

If there something else in the sentence to take the "-er" ending, that word would have it.

"Ist es sein schwarzer Hund?" and "Ist es der schwarze Hund?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Weak_and_strong_inflection


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/etman.aiad

Excuse me, when i write (ist es seine hund) it turns wrong and give me (ist es seine Hündin ) i want to know why is that ????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"his dog" is usually sein Hund, using the masculine noun Hund which is used as the generic word for "dog" when the dog's gender is not relevant.

If the dog is specifically female and you want to point this out, you can use the feminine noun Hündin, in which case sein takes the ending -e and you have seine Hündin.

seine Hund (with feminine seine and masculine Hund) is never correct.

Unfortunately, Duo is not particularly clever about what to correct if two words don't match each other like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChikNuggets

Someone please explain to me, why is "this dog" or "that dog" "dieser Hund" (which makes sense to me) but "his dog" isn't "seiner Hund"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I'm not sure whether there is a reason. (Perhaps something historical, but nothing inside the modern language.)

sein Hund, like ein Hund, simply has no ending at all in the masculine nominative, neuter nominative, or neuter accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christo-fur

What happened to seine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's still alive and well and is used before feminine nouns (e.g. seine Katze "his cat") or plural ones (e.g. seine Tiere "his animals").

Hund is neither -- it's masculine, and so it gets sein Hund. Neuter nouns such as Pferd (horse) would also take sein.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeosamhOSlatra

Why can't I use "er" instead of "es?" If I see a dog, and want to know if the dog in question belongs to him, wouldn't I use "er?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoorPliers

Why is it Sein instead of Seine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Hund is a masculine (mannelijk) word, so you need the masculine form sein in front of it.

sein is also used before neuter (onzijdig) words such as Pferd: sein Pferd = his horse.

seine would be used before feminine (vrouwelijke) or plural words: seine Katze (his cat); seine Tiere (his animals).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AvijitKund

Thanks for clearing the doubt


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoorPliers

Kan iemand me in het Nederlands uitleggen, waarom het sein is en geen seine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Omdat Hund in het Duits mannelijk is en niet vrouwelijk zoals bijvorbeeld Katze.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BendikTB

Why is this wrong: "Es ist sein Hund?". It says I should write Hündin, which I have never heard of before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why is this wrong: "Es ist sein Hund?".

Yes–no questions start with a verb: Ist es sein Hund?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SanyamGira

Why siene is not used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

siene is not a German word.

As for why the masculine noun Hund requires the masculine sein rather than the feminine seine -- this has been asked and answered several times already.

Please read all of the comments first before posting a new one.

Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmitryArty

You used the wrong word. Ist es seine Hündin?

I wrote: Ist es seine Hund? and my answer is wrong, correct answer is above. Why my answer is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I wrote: Ist es seine Hund? and my answer is wrong

Indeed. That would be a bit like writing: Это моя пес?

Hund is masculine (like пес), and so using a feminine form such as моя or seine before it is simply wrong.

It has to be sein Hund (and мой пес).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deborah853655

why not ist es ihr Hund?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

why not ist es ihr Hund?

Because we're asking about "his dog" (sein Hund) and not about "her dog" (ihr Hund) or "their dog" (ihr Hund).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haluk341090

Das must be correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Das must be correct

das does not mean "Is it his dog?"

The translation is Ist es sein Hund?

das is "that" or "the" or "this".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francesca411371

Why "ist er sein Hund" is not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nevermind313

Why isn't "Ist das sein Hund?" acceptable? To me "it" and "that" has basically the same meaning and hardly changes the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabrielnit8

Why cant it be es ist er hund?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why cant it be es ist er hund?

Because that would mean "it is he dog".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamakatsu

Why is "Ist das" not accepted here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regitze_Rille

Ich habe "Ist das sein Hund?" geschrieben. Warum wird dies als eine falsche Antwort beurteilt? Ich finde, dass meine Antwort genauso richtig sein könnte wie die ursprüngliche obige Übersetzung: "Ist es sein Hund?", wenn es dem Satz "Is it his dog?" gilt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dudeface34m

Wouldn't that translate to "Is it be dog?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

That depends upon the context, though sein means 'to be' that is not the usage in this sentence.

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