"I am the second one."
Translation:Ich bin die Zweite.
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I'd like to offer an explanation to new learners of why this is the case, knowing how much it used to confuse me.
The reason is that German articles and adjectives need endings and these endings depend on the gender of the noun that they are attached to. But sometimes when the context is clear, you can leave away the noun. The article/adjective still needs to match to the implied noun, though. In fact, the adjective is actually supposed to be turned into a noun ('nominalised'), which means it gets a capital letter.
In Duo's example, the context is not clear, so we are left with several plausible possibilities:
Ich bin die zweite Person/Frau --> Ich bin die Zweite
Ich bin der zweite Mann --> Ich bin der Zweite
Ich bin das zweite Mädchen --> Ich bin das Zweite
In practice it would be most common for you to choose der/die based on your own gender.
There is another exercise that has "You are the first ones." with eight German words printed below from which to select the desired translation. "Ihr seid die ersten." is the answer that is expected. There is no option to select "Ersten" unless the translation is switched to keyboard and "Ersten" is typed. az_p mentions (above, below, somewhere in this list...) that adjectives used as nouns should have capital letters. Small detail, perhaps, but it would be helpful to have clarification of the inconsistency.
I understand now (after reading the comments) that the purpose of this example was to show that "Zweite" can/should? stand alone to mean "second one" and that in that role zweite, because it is functioning as a noun should be capitalized. However, for the sake of argument, I have read that Man (one n) and der Einer can also mean one (as in one person/object respectively). In that situation is it grammatically correct to say Ich bin der zweite Man (zweite being used as an adjective and declined masculine singular nominative with -e ending, and (der) Man meaning one genderless person, although I do not know if "Man" is nominative singular das or der, i.e., das Man). Same question on using this sentence "Ich bin der zweite Einer." (I believe Einer is "der Einer" though.) Thanks! If grammatically correct, is its use here unnatural/stilted/not used in common german parlance?
Man and einer aren't nouns, and therefore they shouldn't be capitalized. You are right, both mean "one" but that doesn't mean that they are interchangeable. You can't use man or einer (or any of the variants of ein) any time you use "one" in English.
If "one" refers to an item/animal/person/etc. of a group, it's probably translated as ein (or any of its variants, including einer).
- "A house." = "One house." = Ein Haus
- "There are four chairs. One is black and three are white." = *Es gibt vier Stühle. Einer ist schwarz und drei sind weiß.
If "one" is refering to the number itself then use (die) Eins. This is also used when couting.
- Mein Telefonnummer ist Drei Acht Eins Null...
- Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier, Fünf, etc.
If "one" is a pronoun that act as subject of a sentence and refers to people in general (widely used for rules) then you should use man
- "One shouldn't drink here" = "Drinking not allowed" = Hier soll man nicht trinken
Finally, if "one" refers to a previously mentioned item/person/etc. AND it appears following an adjective then you need to use the capitalized adjective.
- "I have three tables. I like the old one" = *Ich habe drei Tische. Ich mag den Alten. *
This exercise: "I am the second one" belongs to the last category.
Is there any way to tell "zweite" from male to female?
Yes -- by the definite article in front of it.
der zweite is masculine, die zweite is feminine.
Since the article already has the characteristic -r, -e ending, the adjective doesn't have to do so as well.
der zweiter is simply wrong. It would be like trying to make "the bigs houses" -- you can't add a -s on the adjective to make it plural; it's enough of the noun has an -s to make it plural. "bigs" is simply wrong, as is der zweiter.