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  5. "Sie gibt Wasser."

"Sie gibt Wasser."

Translation:She gives water.

October 11, 2017



This sentence makes no sense to me. Does it mean "She's serving water" or possibly "She has water for whoever wants it" because "She gives water" doesn't mean anything by itself in English.


I think here is a difference between English and German language as i understand it. I am a native Russian speaker, and if that sentence would be in Russian it would sound the same "she is giving water", but my first thought would be about a river(feminine in Russian) which is giving water. ))))which is not a big surprise).. Here the sentence is out of any context, though, and it might be confusing((


That is interesting that you would think of a river. What do you mean, as in English a river does not “give water” ? A river flows or is flowing. A mountain spring can be the source of water for a river and even a spring is not “giving water.”


I don't understand what's special about this sentence. Isn't it just Nominative?


Sentences are not Nominativ, Dativ, Genitiv, oder Akkusativ. Sentences have all or some of those components. The sentence "Sie gibt Wasser," for example, has a Nominativ, the pronoun sie (she) and einen Akkusativ, the direct object Wasser (water).


But it is in the dative lesson block... I see no dative mentioned here. There may be an implied "to someone" but that is stretching it a bit.


For you, perhaps, it shows in some lessons for Dativ; for others though, it may be showing up elsewhere.

Regardless, this may be a situation where die Eule is juxtaposing sentences without Dativ in order to emphasize the usage in others.


Every lesson also introduces new vocabulary and simple sentences are always included to build up to more difficult sentences.


This sentence is not grammatically correct in English. The word "gives" cannot be used like this without a receiving object in the sentence.

Proper solutions would be along the lines of "She serves water," "She provides water," "She gives out water," etc., but of course none of these are accepted.


Unless this is an answer to a question that already stated the indirect object: “What does she give to the people?” “She gives water.”


Why isn't "She is serving water" correct?


Do "give" and "serve" really mean the same thing? Is there no difference between being "given" something and being "served" something?

On your birthday, do your friends and family "serve" you presents? At a restaurant, would you prefer a waiter who "gives" you dinner or "serves" you dinner?

Does a priest "serve" God, or does he just "give to" God?

And although there is an unfortunate tendency in today's electorate to conflate the two concepts, being a public servant is far more than just being a "giver", and sometimes requires being a taker as well.


Certainly "give" and "serve" are different. However, most words have more than one meaning, in German as well as English. The Duolingo definition included "serve".


So, "give" and "serve" are different words, having different connotations and subtleties. Circumstances lead to one being the better, more appropriate choice over the other. In the absence of additional information--for example, "Im Restaurant gibt sie uns Wasser" where it might be sensible to use "serve" instead of give--it is best to use forms of "give" for sentences with "geben", and "serve" for sentences with dienen.

I suspect--and we would need one of die Muttersprachler here to confirm this--that if a German wishes to impart the sense of "serve water", he would say dienen Wasser. Otherwise, geben means "give".


You cannot use dienen in this context. In German you would use the verb servieren as in * Die Kellnerin servierte den Hauptgang*.

Dienen can mean to serve in other contexts, though:

He served in the army = Er diente in der Armee.


Come on, Duolingo. Stop teaching such nonsense sentences. I don't mind bears buying newspapers or babies showing dresses to women as long as these sentences teach a useful pattern. But Sie gibt Wasser is not a German sentence at all.

X (noun, nom.) gibt Y (noun, acc.) is not a productive pattern in German. There are some idiomatic phrases that follow this pattern (Sie gibt eine Party / She throws a party), but you cannot use this pattern to produce new meaningful sentences.

When you add a dative object to the sentence, you get a productive pattern:
X (noun, nom.) gibt Y (noun, dat.) Z (noun, akk.).
Sie gibt dem Kind Wasser.


Simplistic, yes; meaningless, no:

  • Kühe geben Milch.
  • Weihnachtsmann gibt Geschenke.
  • Freiwillige geben Zeit.
  • Du gibst Kritik.
  • Ich gebe Beispiele.


I still don't think it is a pattern that should be taught. Sie gibt Wasser is meaningless, and I wouldn't expect anyone to learn anything from it.

  • Kühe geben Milch is idiomatic. Not the standard meaning of to give. If you say Ich gebe Milch, you might hear questions such as Who milks you or How many liters a day?
  • Weihnachtsmann gibt Geschenke doesn't sound German at all. In Germany bringt der Weihnachtsmann Geschenke.
  • Du gibst Kritik doesn't sound German either. You would say Du übst Kritik.
  • Freiwillige geben Zeit is ok, but then it's idiomatic again, to give meaning to donate.
  • Ich gebe Beispiele is acceptable, though Ich gebe Ihnen (einige) Beispiele is more frequently used.


If this were the only pattern being taught, then I'd agree with you. But it's one of many, and it does have value. Certainly it is not the highest-value lesson, but that's a far cry from having no value.


I still think this sentence is nonsensical, doesn't sound German at all, and should therefore be removed as soon as possible.


None of which illustrate the dative case, which is the lesson, after all.


where is the (wasser)'s article?why we don't use articles in some cases?


Water is a mass quantity, so you do not need an article here in English or German. In another sentence you could say "a cup of water" or " a drop of water" or "a pitcher of water. It basicly means some water, but we do not have to say "some" in either language, since you cannot mean all the water in the world. After the word for "eat" you will find this a lot, because we tend to cut up ingredients and make dishes of combined food that are mass quantities also. You could say " a serving of food", but you are more likely to just name that food. For example, I like to eat chicken, but I am not likely to eat a whole chicken. I will eat some chicken. Again, we do not have to use the word "some" as it is assumed. We also do not use an article with plural indefinite nouns, so "I am eating beef and potatoes." is quite natural to say. I could say "I am eating a steak and a potato." if there were one of each countable noun. We still use "the" when there is something specific. "Who ate the cookies from my cookie jar?"


Wasser--much like "water"--is an uncountable noun (aka, "mass noun"). These commonly don't use articles.


That's exactly what I wrote and you marked it wrong


In German or English and which instructions did Duolingo give yiu?

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