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  5. "I am committed to my friend."

"I am committed to my friend."

Translation:Ich bin meinem Freund verpflichtet.

March 16, 2013

98 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tony.nadro

ich bin Verpflichtet zu meinem Freund, i wrote that and duo didnt accept it, why?


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

well, "bin ... verpflichtet" is a frame.

so , "verpflichtet" must be placed at the end.

and, "meinem Freund" is dative, so it means "to my friend", doesn't need "zu" any more


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

What does it mean to be a frame?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariam.m.s.e

good question - i think it has to be this way, one at the end one at the beginning i.e. A frame!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandy54630

That's more like bookends.


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

It works like 'ähnlich'.


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

Does that also mean that "Ich bin zu meinem Freund Verpflichtet" is also not acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew770880

"Meinem" is Dative, so it already means "to my..."

Therefore, placing zu in front of it is redundant and incorrect. That would be "to to my..."


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

Zu is an existing preposition of the German language. Its complement always comes in the dative. Since the complement X is always in dative, it always already means "to X". Therefore, the preposition zu is always redundant and incorrect. Did I understand your reasoning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

I can’t think of any situation where you could use either zu or a dative object interchangeably. Even in sentences where either can be used, you usually have to change the word order as well: Ich schicke meiner Mutter ein Buch (I send a book to my mother) vs. Ich schicke ein Buch zu meiner Mutter. (I send a book to my mother’s)

Whether or not you can use a dative object is determined by the verb. Typically you can in situations where something is transferred (given, sent, sold, taught…) but there are a handful of verbs which don’t fit that pattern (for example folgen “to follow” demands a dative object). The preposition zu on the other hand typically involves a movement. Consequently, there is a nuance difference between the two sentences above: Ich schicke meiner Mutter ein Buch means that I transfer ownership to her. Ich schicke ein Buch zu meiner Mutter on the other hand means that I cause the book to be moved to her place, but just because I want it to be there (maybe so that I can read it when visiting her), not because I am giving it to her. This is why I translated it as “I’m sending the book to my mother’s“ rather than “to my mother”. Does that make the difference clearer?

In any case, verpflichtet takes a dative argument because the verb from which it is derived (sich jemandem verpflichten “to pledge oneself to somebody”) has a dative object. And it has a dative object because there is a transfer involved: By pledging yourself to somebody you give them certain powers over you.


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

JackYakov may have meant "verb-framing", but I am by no means certain of this.

What I do know is that in German, when using an auxiliary verb, the main verb goes to the end of the sentence. In this case, verpflichten is conjugated as a past participle. What I don't understand is why die Eule uses bin here, when resources I have checked (Wiktionary, Langenscheidt, Duden) indicate verpflichten should use haben--not sein--as the auxiliary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jussel11

"Ich habe mich (jemandem/einer Sache) verplichtet (etwas zu tun)." means "I committed myself (to sb/to sth/to do sth)." So there once was an act, where you committed yourself actively. And you refer to this act in this sentence. For an example the teacher asked the class, who wants to do a presentation, and then you rose your hand; so you committed yourself to do the presentation.

"Ich bin (jemandem/einer Sache) verplichtet (etwas zu tun)." is more ingeneral: Maybe you committed yourself. (Then the difference to the first sentence is that you do not refer to the act of self-commiting.) But you can also be committed by someone or something other (state/law, king, politican, police, or other authority, teacher, boss, "unwritten laws" {-would you say this in english? in German we call them "ungeschriebene Gesetze"}/rules of the society...). Indeed it is grammatically a short form of the passive voice past sentence "Ich bin meinem Freund verpflichtet worden." literally: "I have been committed to my friend."

"Ich habe mich meinem Freund verplichtet." would mean that you two have an agreement about anything. For example he/she asked you to help him/her and you said yes. "Ich bin meinem Freund verpflichtet" means, that you are committed for an example to help him/her just because he/she is you friend (- rules of the society) and not because you promised it (which does not mean that you did not do this; you just do not refer it.)

I think it is a very fine different which many Germans would not get.


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

Wow! Thanks, Jussel11. I'm not at all certain that I understand the subtleties here, but at least I have a general understanding that (1) there IS a difference and (2) that even if I don't, I'm not all that worse off than some natives. I really appreciate your describing this.

(If I may offer a minor suggestion: instead of "it is a very fine different", you might say "it is a very subtle difference" or "there is a fine distinction here". )

Tschuss. Vielen Dank.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleema-Imran

Is "Ich bin zu meinem Freund verpflichtet" correct? Meinem Freund is dative but we use dative with zu too.


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

With Dativ you do not need to include zu--it is implicit.


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

Thanks, I wrote exactly the same as Tony above


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

Be careful. Just because something is dative doesn't mean that it doesn't need a preposition. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. And which ones you need to use are often very idiomatic from language to language. For instance, one can say we go/drive by car in English, but they say "mit dem Auto" in German."

And sometimes something that would be dative in English uses accusative in German. They are just things you have to learn.

I am not a native speaker, so there may be multiple ways to say this in German, but Duo can't include every possibility.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scotty961538

Also if you say by foot it is zu Fuß rather than mit


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

Wait, why do you Duo can't include every possibility?


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

Just be patient; they are busy in the engine room.


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

I know it takes them a while to accept every correct answer, but that's very different from saying Duo can't include every possibility. I'm just wondering why he thinks that.


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

Because resources are limited.

Databases become too large, searching takes too long, too many people are needed to vet each and every possible answer, there is disagreement even between knowledgeable and experienced speakers as to what actually is acceptable, and humans have a wonderful capacity to rearrange, reform, and reinvent language and language elements.

It's why every song and poem has not yet been written about a boy who loves a girl who doesn't love him.


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

@zengator, As a contributor, I'm aware resources are limited, but the only real, tangible limit to acceptability is that there's a cap for 3,000 possible translations of a given sentence (something you hit quite frequently with Chinese>English, surprisingly), but besides that, it's just a matter of getting contributors who have the time to accept answers, particularly ones that generate a lot of errors and conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertFren1

I'd also like to know this.


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

Why is it dative for meinem Freund please ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertFren1

Because it's "to my friend". In general, whenever a noun is "to something" (ex. "to me", "to you") you use dative.


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

It does make sense, thanks :)


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

But isn't "meinem" accusative....?


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

Thanks! I'll add that info ro the list.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexReese7

sehr nützlich!!


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

I have a question about the dative form of Freund. If I look on canoo.net http://unico-short.tk/m the dative ending can also be in -e. Then I wrote: "Ich bin meinem Freunde verpflichtet" and Duo marked it as a mistake.

Why then we have both possibilities?


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

From the Wiktionary
Declension (Dative singular -e in noun declension):

Many strong masculine and neuter nouns have two dative singular forms: one is identical to the nominative (das Buch, dem Buch; der Tod, dem Tod), the other adds an -e (dem Buche, dem Tode). In writing, the form with -e was very common, though far from universal, until the mid-20th century.

Forms with -e are still used in contemporary German, but they are widely restricted to a large but limited number of more or less fixed expressions (zum Tode verurteilt, in diesem Sinne, zu Hause, and many more). Outside of such idioms the e-form is now very rare and likely to sound odd in many cases. Note, however, that some regiolects (chiefly in eastern central Germany) have retained the dative -e and may still use it freely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgAnders1

Thank you for the explanation, zengator. For those trying to get to the Wikipedia article mentioned, it's at the following URL: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:About_German#Dative_singular_-e_in_noun_declension


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

I have done the same. The dativ -e ending is literary/obsolate, however, not at all (and should not be noted as) incorrect. The best example for dativ -e would be the inscription on the Bundestag building: "DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE"


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

Freunde is plural right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jussel11

That is also right, but the article is always important, because there are nouns, whose only difference between singular and plural form is the article. For an example: sg: das Mädchen, pl: die Mädchen or sg: der Haufen, pl: die Haufen (the heap)

Singular: nominative der Freund, genitive des Freund(e)s, dative dem Freund(e), akkusative den Freund; Plural: nominative die Freunde, genitive der Freunde, dative den Freunden, akkusative die Freunde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s33br0wnb0x

You couldn't add an -e because that would then make "Freund" plural, in which case, you would have to change "meinem" to "meinen". With the "Dem Deutschen Volke" phrase, "Volke" is plural so the dative for "volke" would technically be "den"; however, these rules may have changed over the years i.e. it may have been proper then to use "dem"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jussel11

The plural form of "das Volk" is "die Völker". So what you thing would mean "den deutschen Völkern" As I answered to KoolSIM the word "Freunde" can be both, because the article is very important.

And about etymology: It needs less time to make an ending -e unneeded than it need to change the article of one case to another one.


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

It is 'Ich bin meinem Freundin verplichtet'


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

No. If one uses Freundin (feminine) then the proper dative form of mein becomes meiner.


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

I wrote "Ich bin verpflichtet meiner Freundin" and that was marked wrong... Does anyone know why? :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flying-elephant

Because of the word order. As someone said before me "ich bin.. verpflichtet" is a frame, so "verpflichtet" needs to be at the end. And the sentense shousd be "Ich bin meiner freundin verpflichtet."

Also, the dative phrase is usually in the second place in a sentense. I will try and give you a better explanation about this.


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

How do we know when words are part of a frame and get kicked to the end?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

Basically the verb will always consist at least of a finite word (a word conjugated for grammatical person). If there are more parts to the verb (e.g. infinitives or participles), those are always infinite (not conjugated for person) and go to the end. In our sentence above, the verb is bin verpflichtet. Bin is the finite part, and since we’re in a main clause, it goes to second position. Verpflichtet, being an infinite participle, goes to the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flying-elephant

The General German Sentence construction is: subject + verb + indirect object (dative) + direct object (accusative)

Please, take a look at this article for more details: http://marathonsprachen.com/german-cases-understanding-verbs-subjects-and-objects/


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

I thought "mein(em) Freund" meant boyfriend? Should this be "einem Freund"? Or, alternatively, maybe the English should say "my boyfriend"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

Freund could mean “boyfriend in a romantic relationship” or “platonic male friend”, it depends on the context. If, when you bring him up the first time, you immediately talk of him with a possessive, mein Freund, that implies that there is only that one, and so it will be understood as “romantic partner”. If that’s not what you want to say, you’ll say ein Freund von mir “a friend of mine”.

If you’re referring back to a person who has already come up before, mein Freund can also be used for platonic friends because the listener has already heard about that person before. But if both your boyfriend and a platonic friend feature in the same story, I would understand mein Freund to be your boyfriend.


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

In this case it is indeed also possible to say "Freunde".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

Technically possible but extremely strange in modern German. The masculine dative -e ending has fallen out of use during the last 150 years give or take. It was still common in formal language in the early 20th century, but even there it has become extremely rare by today (that is to say, pretty much non-existant except for some fixed expressions such as auf dem Fuße folgen “to follow on its feet = to follow immediately”). So nobody would say seinem Freunde verpflichtet today, unless maybe they try to sound like Goethe for humorous purposes.


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

I translated word to word from english: "Ich bin verplichtet zu mein Freund." Is it correct?


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

Translating word-for-word from English will often give a result that is understandable in a pinch (lost in a foreign country), but quite often the result will not be formally correct. Languages do not always have the same structures or the same conventions. We have to learn not only the individual words, but also the patterns of assembling sentences correctly. No one said this would be easy!


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

I think "zu" is only used either to mean "too", or as "to" in the case of infinitives. E.g. "to eat" "to walk".


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

Verpflichtet has to go to the end. Freund is accusative, so it would be "meinen Freund" after "zu". To commit something with "zu" means (I think) to commit to an agreement. In this context, the dative is right without a preposition.


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

Aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von and zu take dative, so it would be "zu meinem Freund". I think that in this case the zu might implicitly be there, but is omitted for convenience?


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

Why does verpflichtet have to go at the end?


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

Because it is a Partizip


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

so it is either "zu meinen" or just "meinem," which mean subtly different things?


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

my dictionary says: "to commit to something" = "sich zu etw. verpflichten" but "Ich verpflichte mich zu meinen Freund" seems to be wrong. Somebody knows why?


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

dont know the complete answer but i do know that "ich verpflichte" means "i oblige" and "ich bin verpflichtet" means "i am obliged".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J03Woo

Why is it dative? Can someone explain the word order to me? Danke.


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

The direct object here is commitment, (akkusativ) with Dativ you ask the question "to whom/for whom" is affected by the Akkusativ.. In this case "to whom am I committed?" Dativ answer "meinem freund"


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

The word is not "Commitment," but "Committed," which isn't accusative; it is a participle/adjective referring back to the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdShaw1

meinem (dative masc. version of mein) = to my (masc. noun) so in this sentence meinem freund = to my friend


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

"Ich bin zu meinem Freund verpflichtet": my answer, is incorrect. I see mention that in this case "zu" is omitted because it is implicit. Is that right? Thank you all!


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

Meinem freund being Dativ already means to my friend. With Dativ you ask the question "to whom" or "for whom" in this sentence "to whom am I commited" I hope that helps :)


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

Can someone just give any context to this english sentence. Actually i just don't understand this word because my english is not very well


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

"Committed" can mean many things in English. Use a good dictionary to help you see the various possibilities in your own language. In this case, it has the meaning of being loyal to someone. If someone asked you to betray your friend, this would be a good response, a way of saying "no" to the request. It could also mean that, despite the difficulties of the friendship, you have every intention of remaining their friend through good times and bad, you are not going to give up on the friendship.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robertmerr5

OK, what's wrong with " Ich bin verpflichtet meiner Freundin"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flying-elephant

Look through the other comments for answers. I wrote one below.

The problem is with the word order. As someone said above, "ich bin.. verpfleichtet" is a word frame, so "verpfleichtet" should be at the end of the sentense : "ich bin meiner Freundin verpfleichtet".


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

Why the second verb is not given in infinitive?


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

Because "committed" is the past participle, hence "verpflichtet." If it was "verpflichten" it would mean "I am to commit to my friend," which at least in English sounds more like a future construction, is a bit odd, and is not what the original sentence says.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsteele31415

I know that "Freund" and "Freundin" usually translate to the English equivalent of "boyfriend" and "girlfriend," and I've been told that "ein Freund von mir" asserts a friendship rather than a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. How would you do the same with this sentence structure?


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

ich bin meiner Freundin verpflichtet


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

Sorry, english is not my native language. Could someone explain to me what exactly this sentence mean, in which context will I use it? Thanks :)


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

I'll paste what I posted to a similar question above:

"Committed" can mean many things in English. Use a good dictionary to help you see the various possibilities in your own language. In this case, it has the meaning of being loyal to someone. If someone asked you to betray your friend, this would be a good response, a way of saying "no" to the request. It could also mean that, despite the difficulties of the friendship, you have every intention of remaining their friend through good times and bad, you are not going to give up on the friendship.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erik226858

What does it mean? That you are going to marry your friend? Sorry but english is not my mother tonge


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

"Commitment" is, in fact, something you should have for your spouse (present or future), but one can also feel a sense of obligation towards a friend.

The use of "commit" in the sense of betrothal--a promise to marry--is somewhat archaic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJam5077

Why is this dative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

Because if you want to add a noun to verpflichtet to express who you’re committed to, verpflichtet wants dative case on that noun – just like you have to say “committed to somebody” in English, not “committed + bare noun” or “committed with” or “committed by“… It’s a property of the adjective which comes from how it developed historically (as it happens, both verpflichtet and “committed” are originally participles of verbs: You commit resource x (acc.) to a cause y (dat.), and as a result of that, a is committed to y).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJam5077

Thanks for explaining; I get the concept but have a long way to go before all these rules are second nature. I will persevere. Vielen dank.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hmsong.10

my mouth literally does not want to pronounce "verpflichtet." what a tough one haha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrettL.Haw

Duolingo's hints have been treating "verpflichtet" as an independent word, not as part of a verbal frame. Shame on Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

What do you mean by verbal frame? Is that a term used by the German Duolingo course (sorry, I’m not taking it myself, so I don’t know what terminology they use).


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

At a previous exercise in this lesson, even hinted by Duo and by one of the mods, I have found "engagiert" as translation for "commited". Now I tried to use it and it got rejected.... :-/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

Oftentimes a single word can have multiple meanings and languages don’t always agree on which meanings to group together under a single term. “Committed” can mean that you are very dedicated to some cause – this is engagiert – or it could mean that you are under some kind of obligation (in this case possibly just a moral one because your friend helped you in the past or because of the simple fact that you’re friends) – this is verpflichtet. (Committed can also have other meanings when used as the past tense of “commit”, but we’ll ignore these for now.)

When in doubt, go for verpflichtet when it says “committed to sth/sb”. Engagiert is normally not used with an argument telling you a specific cause. You usually see it either by itself and the context tells you the cause (e.g. Wir brauchen engagierte Mitarbeiter. “We need staff who are committed [to the company]/enthusiastic.”) or with an adverb telling you the field (e.g. politisch engagiert “politically active”).


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

I thouht that zu sein always makes it predicative and thereby nominative?


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

I thought 'friend' in this sentence was accusative - it's the direct object, in which case the sentence would be: Ich bin mein Freund verpflichtet.


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

Maybe it is better to think of yourself as the direct object: you are committing your very self to your friend (indirect object), which is what is indicated by the English "to my friend" and the German "meinem Freund."


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

Never mind the grammar, I find pfl is a real tongue twister!


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

Repeating the correct answer for a previous exercise is confusing


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

Ich bin verpflichtet meinem Freund?


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

Warum nicht Ich stehe hinter meinem Freund?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karen3388008

Ich bin verpflichtet zu meinem Freund ("I am committed to my friend.") There is no need to change the whole sentence. Just translate it simply.

"zu" is required to fulfill the sentence construction. It is the preposition. What is spoken is Not necessarily written Correctly in any language. just Respect that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang
Mod
  • 606

No, you cannot use verpflichtet sein with the preposition zu. Simply use a noun in dative case.


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

I'm afraid the "zu" is not necessary--in fact, I think including it is wrong due to the redundancy. The purpose of "to" in the English version is served auf Deutsch by dem Dativ.

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