"I am committed to my friend."

Translation:Ich bin meinem Freund verpflichtet.

March 16, 2013

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


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


What does it mean to be a frame?


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


That's more like bookends.


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


"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..."


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?


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.


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.


"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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


Why is it dative for meinem Freund please ?


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


It does make sense, thanks :)


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


sehr nützlich!!


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?


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.


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


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"


Freunde is plural right?


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.


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


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.


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


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.


Rule regarding the word order that i learnt in some earlier lesson - 1. VERB is the 2nd component of the sentence. 2. WHOEVER you are talking about needs to be next to the verb. 3. IF YOU ARE SAYING WHEN, WHERE, HOW OR WHY SOMETHING HAPPENS, put that bit either after the verb or at the beginning of the sentence!

In this sentence -

I am committed to my friend Ich (SUBJECT) bin (RULE NO.1 - VERB) meinem Freund (RULE NO.2 - WHOEVER) verphlichtet.


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/


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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!


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


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?


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


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


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"


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


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


"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!


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 :)


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


"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.


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


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".


Why the second verb is not given in infinitive?


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?


ich bin meiner Freundin verpflichtet


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 :)


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.


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


"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.


Why is this dative?


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).


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.


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


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).


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.... :-/


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”).


Why is "der freund" in dative?


Because if you want to add a noun to verpflichtet to express “to whom” one is committed/obliged/indebted, that noun has to be in dative – incidentally just like in English “committed to somebody/something”. The reason why it has to be is because verpflichtet is just the participle of the verb sich jemandem verpflichten “to commit/obligate oneself to somebody”.

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