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  5. "Is it his dog?"

"Is it his dog?"

Translation:Ist es sein Hund?

September 13, 2017



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


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.


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


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.


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.


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



You're absolutely right.


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?


The verb "to be" describes a state of being. It just is--what it is.


Because the dog is masculine


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


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".


Suppose we are pointing at a dog and want to ask if it is his dog or not. Would "Ist er sein Hund?" be correct then?


Suppose we are pointing at a dog and want to ask if it is his dog or not. Would "Ist er sein Hund?" be correct then?

If you're pointing to something you haven't spoken about before, in order to introduce it to a conversation, you wouldn't use a personal pronoun at all -- neither er nor es. You would use a neuter demonstrative pronoun.

Thus in this case you would ask Ist das sein Hund?

Personal pronouns refer back to something that you have spoken about already.

For example, you might say, Oh, da kommt etwas! Ist es sein Hund? "Oh, look, there's something coming! Is it his dog?". Here es refers back to etwas "something", which is neuter.

Or you might say, Oh, das ist aber ein schöner Hund! Ist er sein Hund? "Oh, what a beautiful dog! Is it his dog?". Here er refers back to ein schöner Hund, which is masculine.


I wanted to us "es" for my answer, but I figured two things:
1) Hund is a masculine word.
2) Hund refers to a dog or a male dog. Hündin is a female dog.

I assume the question means we have identified the animal as a dog, and thus, might have also identified it's sex. Given that, I tried "er". I would think you could use either.

What would you say for a female dog? "Ist sie deine Hund?" or "Ist es deine Hund?"

Basically, if you know the sex of an animal would you use the er/sie pronoun or only es?


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


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


Hund is a masculine noun and does mean a male dog...although, I believe it can also just mean a "dog" in general.
Hündin is a female dog.


Hund is a masculine noun and does mean a male dog...although, I believe it can also just mean a "dog" in general.

Hund refers to a dog in general.

A specifically male dog is ein Rüde.


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


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).


I used das and it was counted wrong...


"das" ist richtig. "es" ist falsch.


that "das" gave me a "wrong" answer


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.


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


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


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!


"das" ist richtig. "es" ist falsch.


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


Leider nicht! "das" ist hier richtig. "es" ist falsch.

[deactivated user]

    "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.


    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?


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


    I had the same idea but "Ist er sein Hund?" is not accepted.


    why is "das" wrong?


    Mizinamo provided an answer to this.

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


    "das" ist absolut richtig. "es" ist schlechtes Deutsch.


    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!


    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.


    Ist das sein Hund? Why wrong!!


    "das" ist hier sogar tausendmal besser als "es".


    Schlechtes Deutsch: Ist es sein Hund? Gutes Deutsch: Ist das sein Hund? Das englische "it" kann nicht immer mit dem deutschen "es" übersetzt werden.


    An den Autor des Kurses: Bitte "es" in "das" umwandeln! ("es" ist nicht absolut falsch, aber schlecht.)


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


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


    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.


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



    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.


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

    what am i missing here?


    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?"



    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 ????


    "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.


    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"?


    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.


    What happened to seine?


    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.


    Why is it Sein instead of Seine?


    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).


    Thanks for clearing the doubt


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


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


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


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

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


    Why siene is not used?


    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.


    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?


    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).


    why not ist es ihr Hund?


    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).


    Das must be correct


    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".


    "das" ist absolut richtig. "es" ist schlechtes Deutsch.


    Why cant it be es ist er hund?


    Why cant it be es ist er hund?

    Because that would mean "it is he dog".


    Really very pedantic to disallow "das" in my opinion.


    Nicht nur pedantisch, sondern sogar falsch. "es" in dieser Situation zu sagen, ist schlechtes Deutsch. Richtig ist "das".


    I put "es ist sein Hund" and was marked correct, with an alternative correct answer given as "ist es sein Hund". How can they both be correct when one is a question and the other being an answer?


    Why is "Ist er sein Hund?" wrong. The article for Hund is der and in all the German textbooks I have read it is stated that Das -----es Der -----er Die -----sie Even for things and animals.


    Why " es ist sein Hund " is correct , If you don't believe it , you can try it


    Can you say, "Ist es sein Hund". as dog is a male noun, and if it's a female you could say "bitch"? There was one of the stories where the snake was referred to as female, sie, because Schlange is a female noun, then later as "er" because it was a male snake.


    why not 'ist das sein hund'??


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


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

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