"Is our grandmother cold?"

Translation:Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?

March 15, 2013

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lana1204

Hmm. This can be tricky if you, like me, interpret it as a cold personality-- or probably the grandmother has been standing outside in the snow so she's cold. I realize it's "does she feel cold"?" and in the same case as "mir (dat.) ist es kalt" but I didn't immediately think that way... :-/

March 15, 2013

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

Watch out! To say that someone is cold in German with the nominative form (Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?) is an idiomatic expression. Unlike Engilsh, you wouldn't be asking whether she has a cold personality. It wouldn't even mean that she's cold from standing in the snow. Instead, you'd be asking, "Is our grandmother dead?"!

Using the nominative with temperature is always idiomatic in German. Using Opa as an example:

Der Opa ist kalt = The grandpa is dead.
Der Opa ist warm = The grandpa is gay (homosexual).
Der Opa ist heiß. = The grandpa is sexually aroused.

It should be "dem" in all of these cases in order to show that the environment is cold to the grandpa.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lana1204

O Gott. Thanks for clarifying this and averting possible awkward situations!

August 26, 2014

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

Wow! I really like the selection of the phrases by the owl. This one single sentence with your additional explanation teaches more than an ordinary "mir ist kalt" would had teached.

It is a real pity that the owl does not provide similar explanations by default, though... This time we were lucky to have you around here, because without your explanation we would have probably left this test confused and irritated and with the willingness to give up because it is all so hard to understand.

November 17, 2014

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

It's funny because I was thinking of a dead grandmother even in English. In any language there's a slight macabre ambiguity here, so I agree that this is a bad example either way. But your argument settles it anyway. Duolingo should fix that :)

September 5, 2014

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

It's not a bad example, because this sentence properly puts Grandma in the dative case, meaning that she's not dead, she's just feeling a bit cold.

September 6, 2014

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

Yes, you're right. I completely forgot about the case :) Only in English it's slightly ambiguous.

September 6, 2014

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

That last one... Thank you for saving me from that.

October 30, 2014

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

Thank you very much for this excellent explanation.

April 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thanos-t

Great comment man

May 6, 2015

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

My first thought was that she was dead, really. So I'm like you only to some extent.

September 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam91

Why ist it "ist unsereR großmutter kalt" and not "ist unserE großmutter kalt" ?

May 5, 2014

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

As I understand it, it is proper to say "It is cold for our grandmother" in German, which is why "unserer" takes the dative case in instances like this.

August 5, 2014

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

Großmutter is feminine. The dative feminine form of 'unser' is "unserer" Note: Dative Masculine Neuter = "unserem"; Dative Feminine = "unserer"; Dative Plural = "unseren"

June 24, 2014

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

Friert unsere Großmutter wäre eine bessere Übersetzung!

May 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Unusual2be

This would mean "Is our grandma freezing?" And this is already a different word, that gives a little bit another meaning of the sentence. If I am freezing, I will definitely not say that I am cold.

December 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/be-so-freak

She is right.

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPablo001

"Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?" got accepted... I don't get it, why? It's dativ, so it should be wrong, shouldn't it?

January 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oco257

I had "Ist es unserer Großmutter kalt?" and it was rejected. "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?" was the correct answer. However, that doesn't make sense because 1. it's not dative and 2. as Lana1204 said above, that would refer to her cold personality, not the state of her being physically cold.

February 25, 2014

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

Hmm maybe they've fixed it. I also just got rejected on "Ist es unserer Großmutter kalt?" but it now says the correct answer is "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?" meaning it is dative but I was meant to leave the "es" as implied (damn it).

November 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucaBertol2

I don't think "es" is implied, I think that "kalt" is already the nominativ/subject of the sentence and therefore by using "es" you might be putting two subjects in one sentence.

Are you getting confused by the "es gehet mir gut" constructions?

January 4, 2015

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

That's exactly what happened to me. I just couldn't stop laughing at "is our grandmother dead?" the other implication of "ist unswerer Grossmutter kalt" might be "is our grandmother fridged ?" (sexually). That's what I was told by a German speaking friend.

December 11, 2014

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

Why should we use dativ in this case? (no pun intended)

January 23, 2015

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

agree, I also got trapped

April 12, 2013

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

Question: Why can't we say: "Sind unserer Großmutter kalt?"

July 3, 2014

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

When deciding on which verb form to use, sometimes it helps to replace the noun with an appropriate pronounced. Here "unserer Großmutter" would be replaced by ihr, which is the dative 3rd person singular. Hence, we use ist instead of sie

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jphager2

Normally when I would say this I use es. Like: Es ist mir kalt. But Ist es unserer Großmutter kalt? Was not accepted

August 18, 2014

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

I think it's technically correct, but I've never heard a native say it and it sounds strange to my ears. Instead of "Es ist mir kalt," most Germans would say "Mir ist kalt." The "es" is implied, and although "mir" is dative, it is treated as a subject. Hope that helps.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omegaman661

Ist unserer Großmutter kalt. Ist is in the first position. But it shoyld be in the second. Please explain this!

September 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malex0994

Wouldn't "Ist es unserer Großmutter kalt?" work?

November 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucaBertol2

Can somebody explain me why "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?" is listed in the correct answers?

Wouldn't "unsere Großmutter" be a nominativ?

January 4, 2015
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