Here in Germany I have always heard only "meine Freundin" as "my girlfriend". It's a little confusing because it means both "my girlfriend" ad "my female friend".
in german , if you say "meine Freundin" it means my girlfriend, and if you say "sie ist ein Freundin von mir" that means your female friend
Wouldn't that be EINE Freundin? Isn't the feminine form required with a feminine noun?
It must be complicated to explain to your girlfriend that someone is "Nur eine Freundin" in Germany.
In the Arab world we don't have an equilivant word to GF, you either say "Habibi(m) / Habibti(f) = My Love" which is weard to say somtimes / or you get married and you say: my wife hahha
My girl in Arabic means my daughter while in English mainly means my girl friend. In Arabic, due to cultural thing, "my friend=Sadiqati" is used and from the context you'd guess if she is just a friend or a girlfriend.
Mein Freund. To avoid the ambiguity you can use: Er ist mein Freund - he is my boyfriend, Er ist ein Freund von mir - he is a friend of mine
Another word I have heard for friend is "der Kumpel" which is more on the line of buddy or pal.
The same in English, although usually only women say girlfriend to mean female friend, to avoid confusion between men and women. I assume homosexual women would avoid it for the same reason, not sure though.
That confused me with English... how am I supposed to introduce my girlfriend without people thinking it's a female friend? In norway we use "Kjæreste" which is gf/bf for both genders and we use "venninne" for female friend and "kamerat" for male friend. Venn as a neutral word for friend.
In the US "girlfriend" can mean either a romantic girlfriend or a platonic female friend as well.
Note, Ketabi, that you qualified where "girlfriend" is no longer assumed to imply a romantic relationship: LA/OC and Seattle, within many groups of people.
I cannot speak with authority about all the rest of the U.S.--I've conducted no surveys or other in-depth study--however, I will note that the the most common usage usually occupies the first definition in a dictionary.
It can, but if a male says "girlfriend"--especially "my girlfriend"--it is generally assumed to be a romantic female friend.
It's the same in England. The language doesn't have different words, however, if I (as a man) was talking to someone about a girl who was my platonic friend then I would say "my friend" and then, often, her name. If she was my girlfriend then I would introduce her as such, "have you met [insert her name here], my girlfriend."
There are lots of ways, in English, to talk about a person and make it clear what your relationship with them is but it is all contextual.
For some reason I don't have a "Reply" link to respond to zengator's reply to my post. I would disagree that it is generally assumed to be a romantic female friend. I've lived in the LA/OC and Seattle areas all my life. Within many groups of people, the romantic relationship is no longer assumed when a man uses the term "girlfriend". Furthermore, when it is assumed, there isn't any surprise in finding out that assumption was incorrect.
I'd say daughter,as in the same way in English you could say "She is my little girl"
I believe like this it must be: sie frisst meine Mädchen / "frisst" = eats for Animals,or cannibals
Yes, when referring to animals (and perhaps also to people whose eating habits are akin to those of animals ; ) we would normally use 'fressen'. But 'Mädchen' is neuter gender, so it would be 'sie frisst mein Mädchen', not so?
This was just a joke. However, I do have a serious question now: what about anthropomorphic animals in stories? Essen or frissen?
If anthromorphic, then use the verb/term that relates to humans. That's the point, no?
Although, one could use frissen to demonstrate in such a story that the anthromorphic character (e.g., C.S. Lewis' Aslan) still retains some fundamentally animal characteristics. There's some subtlety involved in that.
Why "sie" and not "es"? I thought the pronoun and antecedent gender had to agree.
This is a slight confusion between natural gender, like the sex of a person, and grammatical gender.
Grammatical gender is very unforunately called "gender" but it has NOTHING to do with natural gender except sometimes coincidentally. It is easier to think of it as simply categories of nouns that all behave the same.
The word "mädchen" is "neuter" so you use "das / ein / mein" but the real girl who you are calling "mädchen" is female. So when you use a pronoun you don't call her "es / it". You call her "sie / she".
Thank you for explaining this.
In English, I've heard "verbs of being take the nominative case", which led me to somehow assume that, in German, two words would have to have the same grammatical gender if they refer to the same object/thing/noun/item, but clearly "sie" is feminine, while "mein Mädchen" is neuter. Your explanation clears this up for me.
Thanks for the clarification although saying that coincidentally grammatical and natural gender mostly unrelated sounds odd to me, especially in this case when we're talking about a girl as opposed to an inanimate object in which case the idea of a natural gender is odd (let's leave aside that is Das Madchen, like an object)
I am sure I have seen Mädchen used with es before though. I know in the original German versions of the Brothers Grimm stories, es is the pronoun used for ein Mädchen. I recall finding that a little strange when i read it. Maybe it is an older practice that is not used in German anymore.
I think it's because, in the stories, es refers back specifically to the word Mädchen. In this sentence, though, we don't know the context. The sie could be referring directly to the girl herself, or to another word that was used in reference to the girl that is feminine, e.g. Schülerin.
I mostly agree with mizzoth but I have to add sth. If you begin a sentence with das Mädchen and the next sentence is also about das Mädchen and you want to use pronoun, then you should use es. But as in this case if you point someone and say sie ist ein Mädchen, then you use sie because the person is female but after mentioning das Mädchen you can continue with es. Normally the sex of a person and the gender of a word matches, but das Mädchen is an exception (because of the -chen ending). That's why there is this confusion. You should also use for example "Das Mädchen isst sein Essen." and not "Das Mädchen isst ihr Essen." The first one is the grammatically correct version. This issue is I think unresolved in German, you can read further here: http://www.grammatikfragen.de/showthread.php?155-Sagt-man-quot-Das-M%E4dchen-mit-seiner-Puppe-oder-das-M%E4dchen-mit-ihrer-Puppe
Not exactly true. You say "Die Katze trinkt Milch und sie springt." Sie refers here to the cat but you should use sie although the cat is an it in English, because the gender of the word is feminin. You can't simply match sie-she, er-he, es-it. You have to check the gender of the word first.
>A male cat is called "der Kater".
I agree. But I looked up "cat" at the following website, and it did not list "Kater" as an option. http://en.pons.com/translate?q=cat&l=deen&in=en&lf=en
I looked up "Kater" and it said "tomcat". I'm guessing that "Katze" is used like "cat" is used in English--for cats of either sex. And that "Kater" is used like "tomcat" is used in English--more for a male cat that has not been neutered. http://en.pons.com/translate?q=Kater&l=deen&in=&lf=de
Can anyone confirm or refute this?
but then why in this case is it mein when we are talking about a girl?
Because the noun Mädchen has neuter grammatical gender, not feminine gender.
Grammatical gender is not necessarily related to the meaning of a word, and even different languages agree about the gender of words meaning the same thing -- the sun is grammatically feminine in German but masculine in French, for example.
@mizinamo how would you tell the gender in these 2 sentences: "das ist mein Mädchen" (n) vs. Das ist mein Hund (m) ?
Are you asking about the das at the beginning?
When we're pointing at something new, we always use neuter singular, regardless of the gender of the thing we're going to introduce -- or even of the number.
We would say das sind meine Kinder, for example, with neuter singular das introducing something plural.
Or are you asking about telling the gender of the nouns Mädchen and Hund? Those you just have to learn; they don't change, after all. Mädchen is always neuter, Hund is always masculine.
So after 42 comments no one has answered the original question which was "So would you use this to reference your daughter, girlfriend or both?" This is what I'm wondering too. And does everyone notice how much clearer the anticutter warning is in the high contrast RED? I need better larger clearer less pale fonts throughout to save my eyes. please. (and yes I've made this comment often to "support" who always reply thanks and never respond with any information about their fonts, which should be an easy thing to fix or even offer options for students like me who need it.
Freundin is a better choice for "girlfriend". (Note that Freundin can also be just a friend who is a girl). See http://german.stackexchange.com/questions/26114/is-it-proper-to-call-your-partner-m%C3%A4dchen-or-junge as well as the mirror of this discussion: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/130913 which includes this marvelous bit from geoastro:
If my boyfriend said about me, "She is my girl" instead of "She is my girlfriend", I'd slap him. (Poor him has a hard life... :P)
If my dad said about me, "She is my girlfriend" instead of "She is my girl", I'd tell him to mom. ;)
Mädchen generally means little girl. Even a teenage girl is generally referred to as Fräulein, not Mädchen. So i dont think it would ever be used to mean girlfriend.
This isn't totally true. Mädchen ist used colloquially by native speakers for young women sometimes. And Fräulein is falling into disuse
Two items: use mein or meine depending on what is being had; mein for grammatically masculin or neuter, meine for grammatically feminin nouns. You will not make gender mistakes in German if you manage to use only diminutives or mostly foreign words. They are neuter. Same as all plurals are feminin.
It has not been mantioned here or in other exercises that Mädchen is also 'maid' both as girl and as female servant.
Aren't we supposed to say "meine" when it's a feminine? Please can someone "hilfe" me?
Is "Sie sind mein Mädchen" correct, assuming I'm using "Sie" as a polite form of "you"? (I am aware that this phrase is unusual)
That would be grammatically correct for "You are my girl", and as you say, a bit unusual for you to be calling someone mein Mädchen that you're on Sie terms with.
Thanks, my question was solely about being grammatically correct. I just couldn't come up with a better example of both "meine" and "mein" being correct (no matter whether they mean same or different things).
How about Sie sind mein Lehrer (You are my teacher) / Sie sind meine Lehrer (You are my teachers).
Because it's plural.
meine Brüder, meine Schwestern, meine Kinder -- all take meine regardless of what grammatical gender the word has in the singular. (Bruder is masculine, Schwester is feminine, Kind is neuter.)
There are no gender distinctions in the plural in German. In a way, it's like a fourth gender: masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural.
Sie ist mein Mädchen = singular, nominative case, neuter gender. (She is my girl).
Sie sind meine Mädchen = plural, nominative case, neuter gender. (They are my girls).
What is a umlauts? I entered Madchen and it said to watch out for umlauts.
An umlaut is the little two dots above some German vowels. The word is Mädchen, not Madchen.
why is mein used? shouldnt it be meine? i thought meine was used for feminine..and madchen(girl) should be feminine right?
Why not "They eat my girlfriend?" Oh wait... Only one s. Gah. TWD ruined me for German context...
Is the difference between mein/meine because it's plural, or because of the gender?
How come you don't say "Sie ist meinem Maedchen". Where the dative case is being used to show possession?
sbreiff is exactly right, but let's also address the statement concerning the dative case being used to show possession:
Dativ is NOT used to show possession. Der Genitiv is used for that. Der Dativ is used to indicate an indirect object. (And der Akkusativ for direct objects.)
So if you want to say this to a girl it would be like Du bist meine Mädchen or meine frown?
This question was asked above two years ago. And the correct answer was shortly thereafter provided. Usually, reading the comments will either directly answer questions one might have, and/or provide additional information that will enhance one's learning through this site.
This is not dissimilar to college, where 75% (or greater) of the most important things you learn in life occur outside the classroom.
No, because the verb is conjugated for a singular subject (Sie sind = They are, Sie ist = She is).
I saw 'Fräulein' in one of the comments. I haven't heard it from the moment i set foot in Germany. Don't people use it any more, or do people use it a lot and i somehow don't hear it every time?
They are both good English sentences but only the second one is a good translation of Duo's German sentence.
The first one would be a translation of Das Mädchen ist meins.
Die Mädchen sind Frauen, das weibliche Geschlecht.
[Girls are women, the female sex.]
The word, however, is neuter.
Gender (a linguistic property) and sex (a biological property) are two entirely different things. Similarly, the word and the thing referenced by the word are two different things and have different properties. Is the word "whale" heavy? Is there a "w" at one end of a whale and an "e" at its other end? Or does a whale have a head at one end and a tail at the other?
But the use of mein vs. meine has been discussed numerous times in the comments.
No, the word Mädchen is grammatically neuter -- das Mädchen, ein Mädchen, mein Mädchen etc.
Pls can someone explain the usage of meine and mein. Similarly for dein and deine.
Partially what I have understood is deine/meine are used for plural nouns.
So is "mein" used where "das" is the article? Not really explained yet .....
das or der.
For example, der Apfel : mein Apfel and das Obst : mein Obst but die Banane : meine Banane.
mein Tochter does not exist, and meine Tochter (with the correct feminine form of the possessive) would mean "my daughter".
"my girl" could mean "my girlfriend", for example.
Would you use this sentence in as an endearment to your girlfriend, a reference to your child or would both imply? I'm confused (^_^”)
In the nominative case, mein is used with masculine and neuter nouns and meine is used with feminine nouns. Thus, you just have to know that Mädchen is a neuter noun (as are all diminutives ending in -chen)
Is Duolinguo only using Madchen because they have'nt introduced Tochter yet?
No. Mädchen means "girl" and Tochter means "daughter."
All of my Töchter were once Mädchen, but not all Mädchen are my Töchter. That said, all Mädchen are somebody's daughter.
I'm wondering why in this instance "mein Mädchen" is correct and not "meine Mädchen? I thought "meine" was feminine/plural and "mein" was masculine/singular?
You are correct, Maryjoy462, that "meine" is used as the first-person possessive pronoun for feminine or plural objects. You are also correct that "mein" is similarly used for singular masculine objects (when Nominativ).
But it appears that you have overlooked or forgotten that "mein" is also used with neuter objects that are Nominativ. (Or perhaps--because it can be confusing--you forgot that although Mädchen are girls, the word Mädchen is neuter.)
In this sentence we also know that Mädchen is singular because sein was conjugated as ist: singular. If the sentence were "Sie
sind meine Mädchen", then it would be "they are my girls".
NB: one might think you could say "Sie sind mein Mädchen" to say "You [formal] are my girlfriend," but I'm pretty sure this wouldn't make sense, because anyone who could be your girlfriend would not be addressed by the formal/unfamiliar you (Sie).
Why is it 'Mein Mädchen' rather than 'meine'? I thought it would be 'meine' as it is the feminine?
The word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, not feminine -- hence das Mädchen and mein Mädchen.
Meine Mädchen olmayacak mı? Mädchen kız olduğundan Artıkeli de die oldugundan Meine olmasi gerekmez mi?
Mädchen kız demek ama kelime dişil değil, nötr. O yüzden das Mädchen, mein Mädchen vs deriz.
Because the word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, and mein is the form used before a neuter (singular) noun.
meine would be before a feminine singular noun or a plural one of any gender.
Your second sentence is a non sequitur.
meine Mädchen is incorrect because that means "my girls" -- you used the plural ending -e that would be used with a plural noun.
Or perhaps the feminine ending -e, but the noun Mädchen is not feminine: it's neuter.
So in the singular it has to be mein Mädchen.
Note that the endings on the possessive determiners depend only on the gender, number, and case of the possession; there is no difference in the word "my" depending on whether the "owner" is male, female, or anything else.
A father would say meine Tochter und mein Sohn "my daughter and my son" and a mother would also say the same thing.
So there I was, about to post a joke in response to the previous question in my practice session. I was going to write,
"Nein, wir sind geschieden." (from google translate; I don't attest to the correctness of usage)
Ultimately, I decided against it. There were already several similar jokes, the newest ones weren't getting votes, and I decided it wasn't in the best taste to post it.
So, I moved on to the next question in my practice session. It was the sentence being discussed here: "Sie ist mein Mädchen." "She is my girl."
It would appear, either by design or coincidence, Duo has had the last laugh, after all. Shame on you, Duo.
The previous question?
"Ist das deine Kuh?"
How is it MEIN when the noun is feminine? I keep putting "MEINE mädchen".
As other comments have stated, Mädchen is neuter, as are all diminutives ending in -chen
The word is Mädchen (capital M, ä -- or write Maedchen if you don't have an ä, not even when long-pressing the A key).
And it's not feminine: it's neuter. At least grammatically. Hence mein Mädchen.
Grammatical gender is not, in general, related to the meaning of the word.
See responses above. But Mädchen isn't feminine, it's neuter, because it ends in -chen which is always neuter.
Just as sbreiff said, but to perhaps make the concept a bit clearer: you are right, ein Mädchen (a girl) is a female--and usually behave in a feminine way--but the word "Mädchen" is neuter.
Gender is traditionally a linguistic characteristic and is not necessarily consistent with the biological sex of the object referenced by the word. Similarly, letters are a characteristic or attribute of the word, but not the object. "Mädchen" has seven letters and an umlaut. Ein Mädchen konnte sieben Briefen haben, aber konnte auch nur fünf Briefen haben.
(A girl could have seven letters, but could also have only five letters. In either case, she probably does NOT have an umlaut, but that seems to be a rather personal question to me, don't you think?)
Of course, you might occasionally see the phrase die Mädchen, but when you do, you will know that there's more than one girl, since die is used with Mädchen only to indicate plurality.
Mädchen..so shouldnt it be meine? Since mädchen is a girl... Mein is used for male right?
The choice of mein or meine is governed by the grammatical gender of a word, which is not always connected to the sex of the person described by the word.
das Mädchen is neuter, so you use mein Mädchen.
das Kind is also neuter, so you would say mein Kind, whether that child is a girl or a boy.
No. It is neither die madchen nor meine Mädchen. Not in this sentence at any rate. Mädchen is neuter, thus use das for singular and die for plural.
So, if you change the subject of the sentence to plural (Sie for "they" instead of "she") then you can refer to die Mädchen or meine Mädchen. But if one changes the number of the subject, the verb must change to match, thus "Sie sind meine Mädchen." ("They are my girls."). But that's not the sentence presented.