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  5. "She lives in a house the roo…

"She lives in a house the roof of which is black."

Translation:Sie wohnt in einem Haus, dessen Dach schwarz ist.

October 15, 2017



The hints say "..., dessen Haus schwarz ist." It must be "dessen Dach schwarz ist". Reported.


The English translation isn't very good. "She lives in a house whose roof is black" is better.


Hmmm... "whose roof" sounds odd.

Aren't "whose", "who", and "whom" best with animate objects? Otherwise "that" works better? (Can anyone chime in on this grammerwise?)

E.g., "She lives in a house that has a black a black roof."

Even better would be: "She lives in a house with a black roof". But, then the point of the excercise is lost.

So for the point of this excercise (clauses), I like Duolingos translation best: "She lives in a house the roof of which is black."


I agree with the first part of what you say. However, I think Duolingo's translation needs to be split into two sentences. "She lives in a house. The roof of which is black." But I think "She lives in a house, which has a black roof." would be best.


Contrary to what FrauFreudeling said, I think your translation sounds most natural. I don't know whether it is the most technically correct, but it sounds way more natural than: "She lives in a house the roof of which is black."


I agree. The possessive relative pronoun in English is whose, regardless of the animacy of the possessor. The various phrasings which avoid any suggestion of animacy in the house are awkward. They have the air of the contortions people go to to avoid other false grammatical rules -- e.g., http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001702.html .


I think 'whose' does the best job of helping English speakers understand what's happening grammatically, even if it's not a great translation. For some reason, we don't seem to have an equivalent way to speak about objects. 'Whose' is to 'a person' as ??? is to 'an object'?

  • 222

"whose" can be used for objects as well.


I would normally say this as you suggest. But, the way they put it is grammatically correct, and less ambiguous. I appreciate that where we are dealing with stand alone statements without other context.


As a native English speaker, I can confirm that the English sentence is correct and definitely more natural that "whose roof".


The English sentence does not make any sense.


Or 'She lives in a house of which the roof is black'


No. That sounds worse.


It could be "she lives in a house, the roof of which is black"


Why is it einem Haus and not ein? Is wohnen a dative verb?


Perhaps it's because of the 'in' which is dative if there is no movement/transfer from one place to another. In this case it's a person living in a house=no movement, dative.


Could someone please refresh my memory on why it is "schwarz ist" and not "ist schwarz". Thanks

  • 222

In a subordinate clause (this one is a relative clause) the verb always goes to the end.


No need for 'das' Dach then?

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"dessen" is the genitive form of "das": "of the".


Can anyone please explain why I cannot use "lebt" here?

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You can. If your answer is not accepted there must be an error elsewhere.


Would you like to identify the mistake and propose a correction, please? That would be more helpful.


The hint for the first part suggests using “im” rather than “in einem”; but then it won’t accept that.

The hint for the second part is: dessen HAUS schwarz ist; rather than: dessen DACH schwarz ist.

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