"This girl is me."
Translation:Dieses Mädchen bin ich.
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....
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."
In English, we say "is" in your example because "that's the way that people say it in real life." Apparently not all of us know the same people, but even those who use the colloquial "me" at the end still use "is" as the verb. German uses the same rules as English for the pronoun but not for the verb.
Edit: I've researched it a bit more, and as Early Modern English was replacing Middle English, there was a switch from "this girl am I" to "this girl is I."
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?).
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...
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...
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.”
"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?)
It depends on which of the two you are declaring to be the subject of the sentence. If "This girl" is the subject, then "is" is the proper verb. If "I" is the subject, then "am" is the proper verb. Subject-verb agreement, and in this case, one could conceivably claim either one to be the subject. Same works for Deutsch; the verb will depend on what the subject is. I do not think Duolingo got this correct.
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....
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.
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....
The correct sentence is "Dieses Mädchen bin ich."
You do need "dieses," because "Mädchen" is neuter gender. You also need "ich" instead of "mich," because "ist" is a so-called "linking verb" and so requires that the object be in the nominative like the subject is. And finally "bin" rather than "ist," because German treats "ich" as the subject here.
"Diese" would be the wrong gender/case. Das Mädchen becomes Dieses Mädchen. If it was "die Mädchen (as you might expect in a rationally designed language that still had such mind-bending concepts as "gender for words), then, yes, Diese... alas. Nein. Es ist Deutsch. Nearly as silly a language as English, gosh!
I do not even understand what this is trying to say in English. What is the context here?
Is it someone pointing to a photo saying "that is me" - "das bin ich", or in the case of a group of girls and the girl uttering this problematic sentence is pointing to herself saying that that is her?
Duolingo isn't always big on explaining their "weird" sentences, or on giving us a conversational context. (Except in "conversations.")
Look at these as general exercises. In this case "this [noun] is [personal pronoun]" kind of thing, and make it into a general situation. Play with it. Say more silly things: this coffee cup is me. This coffee cup is not you. This charger is her dog. Play with it, and you'll start seeing various contexts yourself. None of them for general use, but we're not memorizing sentences, like for travelling through Germany for a two week trip; we're learning how to actually use the language.
Perhaps the real point of this lesson is that it's "das bin ich" and not "das bin mich" that is the real take-away.
Just a thought.
We add the "-es" to indicate neuter gender, as in most adjectives and determiners. "Dies" is simply the stem; the fact that it already happens to end in the letters "-es" doesn't really matter, since that "-es" isn't an ending and doesn't even sound like the "-es" ending anyway.
All adjectives and articles in German add endings ("conjugate") based on the case and gender of the noun they're attached to. Case is how the noun is used in the sentence (either of nominative/accusative/dative/genitive), and gender is a somewhat randomly-assigned property of the noun itself (labeled either of masculine/feminine/neuter, but not always clearly associated with actual masculinity/femininity or lack thereof). So each combination of case and gender (e.g., "masculine dative," "neuter nominative") will get its own ending (one of the five endings "-er/-e/-es/-en/-em").
You can find charts here on which endings go with which case and gender; you'll just have to memorize them; there's not entirely clear intuition to them. For "dies-," we'll look at the "Definite Articles" chart, since "dies-" happens to be a definite article. (The chart uses "der/die/das" instead of "dies-," but the same endings are still going to show up.)
"Mädchen" is neuter gender (which isn't what you'd expect, but most nouns don't have an intuitive gender anyway), and it's nominative case (because it's the subject of the sentence), and we see that the neuter nominative ending is "-(e)s," so we need "dieses."
Suppose the sentence were "Das Mädchen isst dies... Apfel." "Apfel" is a masculine noun, and it's the direct object of the sentence and so accusative. We see that the masculine accusative ending is "-(e)n," so correct is "diesen Apfel."
Or suppose we had "Das Mädchen isst dies... Äpfel." Now "Äpfel" is plural "gender." Plural gets treated as sort of a fourth gender because it has its own separate conjugation but is the same for all three real genders. Still accusative, so we need the plural accusative form "diese."
And to be a little trickier, we'll try "Das Mädchen ein... Ei." "Ei" is neuter and accusative. But now we're going to look at the "Indefinite Articles" chart because we're dealing with "ein-," which is indefinite. We see on that chart that we actually need no ending for neuter accusative, so we just say "ein Ei."
Ich als Deutsche übersetze es so: Dieses Mädchen ist mir. Möglich ist auch: Dieses Mädchen gehört mir. Oder auch: Dieses Mädchen ist mein. Umgekehrt von Deutsch in Englisch finde ich in Google die Übersetzung von Duo. Aber das sind dann zwei verschiedene Aussagen: Dieses Mädchen bin ich/I am this girl. Das Madchen gehört mir/this girl is me = this girl belongs to me. Das ist sehr verwirrend ...???