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  5. "The mouse forgets how cheese…

"The mouse forgets how cheese tastes."

Translation:Die Maus vergisst, wie Käse schmeckt.

October 8, 2017



Another strange, memorable sentence. Duolingo, how do I love thee.


I wonder if this is a reference to some German folklore?

  • 858

Once Hemingway bet he would write the most tragic six-word story.


When spoken out loud, would a sentence like this have the same intonation as the English sentence? I ask because the words are a one-to-one translation, but the comma implies that there's a bit of a pause.


It doesn't add a pause in German. It's a grammatical marker, not an instruction for speech. English does the same kind of thing to introduce what someone says (e.g., He said, "take me to your leader.").


I believe you're right that the German comma doesn't signal any pause or intonation change.

But I don't think your English comparison is correct. I would pause and would also change intonation quite a bit when reading aloud: "He said, take me to your leader." Any good reader would.

I was taught that a drop in voice pitch and a small breath shows you, as a writer, where to place English commas. It's been good, useful advice -- for more than forty years. It's how we naturally express the underlying grammar.


Their is a slight pause in that sentence though


I'm not German, but I am Dutch and we do about the same thing and normally a comma means a small pause and adjusts the intonation somewhat since it's actually two sentences. Maybe somebody can confirm or deny this?


Is there a way to say this in perfect past tense?


Past perfect, as in pluperfect?

"The mouse had forgotten how cheese tastes." / Die Maus hatte vergessen, wie Käse schmeckt.


Is there a difference between vergisst and vergessen?

  • du/er/sie/es vergisst
  • Sie vergessen
  • wir/sie vergessen


Is this a metaphor in German?


Is this a metaphor in German?

No. Just an example sentence.


I don't understand german punctuation system.


Subordinate clauses need a comma before them (or after them, if they're at the beginning of the sentence). "Wie Käse schmeckt" is a subordinate clause and so needs a comma before it.


They got the corona

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