"This girl is me."

Translation:Dieses Mädchen bin ich.

November 16, 2017

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thunder_Lighting

Why must it be 'bin ich'. Can we not use 'ist mich', or am i missing a rule?

November 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

It's a predicate phrase, that means, behind the verbs sein/werden/bleiben nouns and pronouns are used in nominative case. It's like an equation, so a = b also means b = a - there is no direction of "sein". I recently learned that the same rule is also applied in formal English: This is I....

November 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tonatihus

So, in formal English, should it be "This girl is I"?

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne____

Yes, the formal and correct English is "This girl is I." "This girl is me" is bad grammar because "to be" is a copulative (linking) verb and has no direct or indirect object. It's used casually, but a better way to say it is "I'm that girl."

The first way sounds pretentious to some, and the second sounds ungrammatical, so it's best to avoid both.

When I was growing up, a huge advantage of learning a foreign language was that grammar was covered extensively and it forced people to learn the counterpart in English. When software uses an incorrect translation, not only does it reinforce bad habits, it also confuses people. If they used "I" then it would be obvious why to use "Ich."

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SKT_Peanutbutter

Yeah you are right

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ly_Mar

As Max.Em explained, “ist mich” is out of the question because then “me” would be accusative when it isn't a direct object. The interesting question is why “ist ich” isn't allowed, and you have to resort to a rearranged version of the sentence “I am this girl – ich bin dieses Mädchen” instead. But I guess that's just how languages work. In my experience first and second person have “precedence” over third person, so, for example, even something like “it's me“ or “it's you” would be translated as “ich bin's” and “du bist es”. It would be interesting to know whether this kind of “hierarchy” extends further, if, for example, “I'm you” can only be said as “ich bin du” or “du bist ich” (I don't know why, but the latter sounds really awful, although I'm a learner too, so what do I know?).

November 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SirLingualot

It can't be "ist ich" because that would be incorrect conjugation of sein; the correct form there would be "bin ich" for 1st person singular. All that has happened here is reverse word order rather than normal word order. So you are right to re-arrange the sentence to make sense of it.

I am not sure what you mean by "precedence." But I'll think about it a bit and get back to you...

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BismaBRJ

But what if the conjugation of sein is taken from „dieses Mädchen“ (and therefore becomes „ist“) instead of from „ich“, and that no word order reversal happened at all? Kind of like „dieses Mädchen ist ein Kind„ for example but replacing „ein Kind“ (or whatever takes that place) with „ich“ so that it becomes „dieses Mädchen ist ich“... Why would that not be possible/allowed? Yes, as a learner, after hearing some German I do feel like it sounds a bit wrong, but from a grammatical point of view I'm not really sure why...

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mistdust

Does anyone have a link or something to a different explanation of this? I still don't understand after everyone's explaining...

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/savetheclocktowr

This is how I’m trying to explain it to myself:

In English, you can say “This girl am I” and people would look at you funny because of the weird word order, but you could get away with it. It’s poetic, but it’s not ungrammatical. In that sentence, “I” is the subject even though it comes at the end, which is why “am” agrees with “I” instead of “girl.”

In German, “Dieses Mädchen bin ich” is the same thing, only it’s not weird at all, because German is less rigid about word order.

The other question is why German requires “Dieses Mädchen bin ich” and forbids “Dieses Mädchen ist ich,” and I think there may not be a good answer to that aside from “because that’s how German works.”

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SirLingualot

"ist ich" would be improper conjugation. First person singular conjugation of sein is "ich bin," not "ich ist," so "ist ich" would be wrong.

Now, as to the problem on the English side... whoooo boy. Yeah. I find myself doing that "me" thing also. And it is wrong, actually. To say "It is me" is incorrect, because one cannot say "me is it." When using sein or any linking verb, the subject and predicate must be nominative case. And that is true in both German and English I'm afraid.

(Actually, I should point out that "me" is objective case in English, whereas we need to use nominative in both subject and predicate with forms of "to be." The same applies to German, but that language has 2 objective cases, dative and accusative.)

"It am I" is correct, even though that really does sound... well, frankly: utterly ridiculous! The problem is that "I" must be with "am," never "is." However, English speakers do not speak that way in real life, as you know. And why we usually say, "It is me," even though many a grammar cop would have us in cuffs immediately.

(Same reason for your last example with Maedchen.)

It also occurs to me that when we form questions, we reverse the subject and verb (usually). So it may be a fact, e.g., that "You are here." The question would become "Are you here?" By analogy, then, if it is a fact that "I am here," I might ask "Am I here?" and not something like "Is I here?" or the like.

Again, "It am I" would make any English speaker sound like we just stepped off the boat! (But, we assure you non-native English speakers, we will not shame you if you say it that way, OK?)

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne____

That's because in English, it's either "This girl is I" or "I am this girl." It's hard to give a reason aside from convention since neither is an object, but "This girl am I" is incorrect.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Farshid961505

Mich is an akkusative you cant use it in here...you should use ich or du or er/es/sie or wir or ihr or sie

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeHoughton1

Why dieses?

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because Mädchen is neuter, and dies- is right before the noun (demonstrative determiner, not demonstrative pronoun).

dieses is the more common form in that case.

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hannahchen6666

Why not DAS MÄDCHEN BIN ICH? What is wrong with das?

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleksandra278494

What would be the less common form then?

I have a feeling like I saw dies used before a noun. Is it used like that or only on its own, without a noun following it?

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indymcfly

I'm also confused about why the verb becomes "bin" when it's the "Dieses Mädchen" (aka "she") who is being someone. Putting it as "bin" feels like I'm writing "This girl am me."

April 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

In fact it's more like "This girl am I".

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indymcfly

Which is also strange English!

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Since you can invert the order in German, it's a perfect German sentence. For us, "I am this girl" and "This girl am I" would be totally the same. Another point is that known stuff tends be mentioned first in the sentence, but please don't ask me why it's not "Dieses Mädchen ist ich" in German ;-). It's just natural to talk about yourself in the first person....

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SirLingualot

English relies on so-called "subject-verb-object," or SVO, word ordering. The only exceptions would be questions, poetry, and some sordid other situations.

Playing with English word ordering should be left to only the finest word smiths.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne____

True except there's no object when a copulative (linking) verb is used, so both are subject pronouns.

Verbs like "to be," "to smell," "to taste," etc. are linking verbs (most of the time), which is why you'd "it tastes good" and not "it tastes well" because "good" goes with "it." You could say "he smells well" if he has a good sense of smell, but not if you are describing his scent. There's no object, except in the last case.

With "to be" you have the same situation. You'd say "he is good" or "he is happy" and "he is happily" makes no sense. Likewise, you'd say "It is I" but I'd personally say something such as "I am," and avoid it.

German seems not to have picked up the common misuse of many words so it would be easier to translate if the proper English grammar were used, rather than what Duo considers common usage.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SirLingualot

Or to be really poetic, perhaps "This girl I am." (Sounds like the name of a music album.)

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisPlatt8

Surely the difficulty comes because the sentence mixes first person and third person? There can be no doubt that "This girl" is 3rd person and so should therefore require "ist", rather than "bin". Presumably, the sense is that perhaps there has been a discussion of what "this girl" has done or said and so that is clearly the subject of the sentence. She then relates that discussion back to herself. The verb "to be" takes nominative, so there is some logic to argue for "Dieses Maedchen ist ich". Okay, you can't then logically then turn it around and still have it "correct", but surely its as logically correct as "Dieses Maedchen bin ich.", where the "Dieses Maedchen bin" part of the sentence is logically wrong? The Germans have chosen the latter of the two and we just have to get used to it, I suppose. I don't see that there's any more "logic" to it than that....

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Turkestans_Arab

What are the different types of "Dieses" like masculine or feminine

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

It conjugates just like any adjective. Here's the full conjugation. (Note that in that neuter column, it's always "dieses," not "dies," before a noun. "Dies" is for a standalone pronoun as in "Dies ist ein Mädchen.")

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hannahchen6666

Why not DAS MÄDCHEN BIN ICH? What is wrong with das?

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelikaku

This section is on 'Nominative Pronouns'.

'Das' is a definite article.

See this link:

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Nominative-Pronouns/tips-and-notes

Hope this helps. בס״ד

May 30, 2019
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