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  5. "Für sie oder gegen sie?"

"Für sie oder gegen sie?"

Translation:For her or against her?

December 5, 2017



Is there no way to know if the person is talking about "her" or "them" in this sentence, or am I missing something?


No, you're right: there is no way to tell the difference, except context.

And in the spoken language, where you can't see capitalisation, accusative sie might even be Sie "you".


If "Sie" is capitalized when it means "you", then why are we being taught to not capitalize "du" and "ihr"?


Sie is a formal pronoun; it's capitalised for politeness.

du and ihr are informal pronouns and are not usually capitalised.

(They may be optionally capitalised in letters -- but we're not writing letters on Duolingo.)


First "her" not strictly necessary. Reported.


Exactly. "For or against her" is perfectly acceptable English


= "Für oder gegen sie."

please translate the sentence given as closely as possible.

We don't need the first "sie" in German either. But since there are two "sie"'s it's best to translate it with two "her"'s as well.


If you highlight over "gegen", the first solution says "for". I tried it and it said it was wrong. ??


Yes, it's wrong.

The hints system gets confused easily if a given word occurs somewhere else in the sentence already -- in this case, there is a "for" in the correct translation (as the translation of für) and I suppose that's why it brought "for" to the top of the list for gegen as well.

But that's not what it means here.

The ordering of the hints is not completely reliable and so they can never be "suggestions" or "recommendations" -- in the end, you have to rely on your own knowledge. (Either because you knew it already, or you try it and get it wrong and see the correction and then you learn it.)


Could it be..."For her or againgst them"?


Could it be..."For her or againgst them"?



why? the Sie doesn't indicate that, and the plural gegen certainly doesn't help



Because it would be much more likely to be contrasting two prepositions applying to the same person ("for her or against her?" or "for them or against them?"), than the change the preposition and the meaning of the pronoun at the same time ("for her or against them?").

the plural gegen

Er, what?


How do I know it is "She'? and not the formal Sie ?


How do I know it is "She'? and not the formal Sie ?

By the capitalisation. The formal Sie is always capitalised, but in Duo's sentence, you have lowercase sie.


What about when you are talking? (Thanks , by the way for the written clue). This will help my lessons!


What about when you are talking?

Then you usually have context -- have you just been talking about a woman ("her"), about several people ("them"), or about the listener ("you")?

Without context, you can't tell the difference in speaking between sie (her/them) and Sie (you).


In a previous lesson, I think we were taught: her = ihr. Why 'sie' is used here?


In a previous lesson, I think we were taught: her = ihr. Why 'sie' is used here?

English has merged the dative and accusative cases into a single objective case, while German keeps them separate.

So "her" can be either ihr (dative) or sie (accusative) in German: ich gebe ihr ein Buch (I give her a book) versus ich sehe sie (I see her).

Also, "her" in English is also used for possession; the translation for this happens to be ihr as well ("her book" = ihr Buch).

So "I buy her water" (Ich kaufe ihr Wasser) is ambiguous in both English and German, between "I buy water for her" and "I buy the water that she sells". (The masculine equivalents would be "I buy him water" and "I buy his water".)


"sie" is nominative and accusative, 'ihr' is dative. Here's the full table: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/German/Grammar/Pronouns


Definitely for her, that's the only reasonable answer. Never be against her or you're gonna have a bad bad time.

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