Courtesy is often cited in this context, but there's no bright line of courtesy that makes it into grammar. Ultimately these are separate considerations, and we're not translating a longer text here, just a short phrase with no context. If there's no reason to change the order (and there isn't here, as I see it, at least for the disjunctive/objective form, "me and you"), perhaps the program shouldn't be expected to accept the different order as a proper translation of the order given.
I don't believe that courtesy has any bearing really worth considering. "Between you and me, I'm obviously smarter and more handsome" is of no more advantage to you, in terms of courtesy, than if I say "between me and you".
With "you and I", for its part, I suspect euphony is the real driver of the common order of that phrase (along with some schoolmarm-induced superstition and anxiety), and that phrase may have some influence on how people perceive the "me" version, but because there's not a strong word-sound push towards "you and me", "me and you" is common. Indeed, according to Google's Ngram Viewer, it's 1/5 as common in English-language books as "you and me".
Perhaps "you and I" could be accepted as an alternative for the subjective/nominative translation, but the order is arguably misleading.
I agree Chris.
PeaceJoy, you have made it your mission to modernize us old fogies who stick to grammar traditions. You are articulate and well spoken, I give you that, and in 20 years, you maybe right, this may have become a meaningless argument, language is fluid. I understand with a lot of younger people the idea of using courtesy is antiquated and you all see everyone as equal on every level. But it will be a few more generations before this will be accepted by us who come before you and respect some old ways. Whether in English or German to use "me and you" is a sign of limited education and impolite, and that will be older, educated people's opinion of you. You can then give them a 20 page thesis explaining how wrong they are, and some may come to your understanding, but more will just decide you are an arrogant youth with no manners. So I know you are on a mission to make all of us traditionalists sound like blithering idiots, but we're not. And one day you might decide that courtesy actually has some value after all.
Ana, I have no idea how old you are, and I presume you don't know how old I am either. I think my tendency is really just toward using observation to bust grammar myths widely touted among the old and the young alike.
I'm not against courtesy. I just don't think it's as strong a factor in the ordering of the English pronouns as is sometimes made out, and insofar as it plays any role, it also strikes me as rather false, and in any event it's irrelevant to the basic grammar question.
What I do think is respectful, however, is treating people as if they're capable of interpreting the very same evidence I'm looking at, and understanding the very same grammar arguments, if they care to engage with such evidence and arguments at all.
You may be interested to know that, in spite of the German idea that "a donkey says its name first", Google's Ngram Viewer shows that in German books "ich und du" has historically been more prevalent than the reverse. To my mind and mouth, "ich und du" is easier to say, which I suspect may be a factor in why, if the Ngram Viewer's results can be trusted.
As for the English "me and you", it's 1/5 as common as "you and me", which is quite significant, and which is part of why I don't see the sense in insisting that "you and me" is the only correct or acceptable order. And if we accept that it's not grammatically wrong (and I can't see any reason why we shouldn't), it also reflects back on "I and you" by demonstrating that the order of personal pronouns is not really a matter of grammar (though it may be a matter of euphony and general habit).
You are making your argument using improper English grammar though. Whilst good grammar requires 'You and I', there are many more casual instances where that is not used. For me, this thread just makes me think of the song 'Happy Together' by The Turtles ("remember me and you ... "), but lots are probably too young to be familiar with that.
In the phrase “Remember me and you”, me is the object of the verb. The subject you is not spoken, but is understood. It is you who must remember, and what You must remember is me. This is correct English grammar. The basic English grammar requires I for the subject and me for the object. In German, ich and du are used for the subject (nominative case) and mich und dich are used for the object (accusative case). Those on this forum who are arguing for the possibility that ich could be translated to me, correctly, are digging deep to find rare circumstances where they can justify changing the pronoun - for example for emphasis. But such literary license is way beyond the scope of this basic language course. Here we should be learning that ich means I and dich means you. Besides that, the purpose is to learn German, so it’s only important that you understand the meaning of the German words. If your passion is to explore and debate whether/when it is proper to substitute me for I in the subject part of the sentence, then you really should be doing so in advanced creative writing class, not in the elementary game and definitely not where German is the target.
A lot of things have been discussed on this page, so it's easy to forget some of them.
The use of disjunctive or objective pronouns such as "him", "her", "them", and "me" as complements after the verb "to be" is not rare or questionable in English; it's the way it's done:
- It's me. / Ich bin's.
- That's her. / Das ist sie.
- Is it them at the door? / Sind sie's an der Tür?
- Is this me and you in this picture? / Sind das ich und du auf diesem Bild?
German, on the other hand, uses the nominative in the translations of the above English examples. This isn't esoteric. These are very common and idiomatic types of sentences. (That said, I welcome corrections to the German.) And they show a clear difference between German and English – one that you need to know in order to translate very basic everyday things from one language to the other.
That said, this point could be made with exercises based on those exact sentences. But it's curious to suggest that such a fundamental observation about the grammar of these two languages should be part of an advanced creative writing class.
Hmm, I'm pretty sure that's a weak case to make , as the literary arts are given a license to play with the language , rules and all .. song lyrics , poems etc .. they might even create new words perhaps even a phrase, but basic rules aren't as easily tossed aside. It may be a mad sort of world, but if we toss out basics, then we erode the basic building blocks of any given language. There's no language police , in English at least, and we express ourselves as we desire, but it still doesn't change the rule of the given language other than organically over longer periods of time when the original bit has fallen into disuse or close enough to it
There's nothing grammatically wrong with "ich und du", and in fact, it's about equally as common in German books as "du und ich" as of 2008 (which is as recent a year as I could check at the time of this comment).
As for "me and you", it's about one fifth as common as "you and I" in English-language books as of 2008, which is on the same order of magnitude, i.e. pretty common as well.
There's a grammar argument to be made, but perhaps it's not what you would expect.
It turns out that both "ich und du" and "me and you" are legitimate here. "I and you", for its part, is rare, but it's grammatical and it does see some use.
Up to your old tricks again, eh, Earle?
Shouting doesn't make it true, and neither does repetition, and I'm afraid I've put far too much thought and research into this question to be bullied into submission by a vague and irrelevant comparison to a language that I don't see any evidence you know anything about (and in fact your remark suggests to me that you don't).
As I said to you at our first go-around, if you have a linguistics-based argument to suggest, for example, that the role of the conjunction "and" should be analyzed differently in this simple pairing from its analysis in other, similar pairings, feel free to articulate your argument. (This is just an example. I'd be interested in any coherent argument as to why putting the first-person pronoun first is ungrammatical.)
I'm all ears.
Duke of Earl, you need to check that out with a grammarian or a good English grammar book. You will be surprised to learn that "I" is always correct when used as the subject of a sentence, while "me" is always correct when used as the object of a verb or preposition. Adding "you" to the sentence does not change that. Just as it is not correct to say "He gave the money to "I" it is also not correct to say "He gave the money to you and I". Both sentences require the objective pronoun "me".
Territech, first my name is Earle. You ignored the "e" at the end. Second, your understanding of grammar is defective. When the speaker refers to himself in a list, the reference to the speaker always comes last whether it is "Curt, Alice, the dogs, the children, and I arrived ..." or "the group arriving last was Curt, Alice, the dogs, the children, and me." This is the proper order in English. The order in proper German may be different, so not only translation is required, but interpretation is required as well.
I apologize for misspelling your name and I agree it is considered more polite to put the first person pronoun at the end of a list (though this is about style, not grammar). I was referring to the use if me versus I. "You and me" is not always correct - it must sometimes be "you and I".
Listen, Ernie, nobody cares what your name is. You seem quite pedantic and frankly unpleasant, Eddie. “Me and you” is fine if you are a descriptive linguist, because actual English speakers say this all the time. Only prescriptivists pedants like you, Earl, want to correct people who say “me and you.”
"me and you" is not perfectly fine English if it's the translation of "ich und du". It's grammatically wrong and English speakers using it doesn't make it right. It just means they're using bad grammar and that's not a reason to teach foreigners the same mistake. Duolingo should teach real, correct English.
I sympathise and I must say I am really struggling with all of these differing comments. This is supposed to be the “basics” section of German. (Not an analysis of the English language). I can cope with some of the posts and points re the use of the disjunctive in English, but I really have to draw the line at the suggestion by Mizinamo below (normally a great contributor to Duo IMO) that “Him and me have some topics to discuss” is somehow proper English. Or “Him and me are the main characters in the play”. This is shocking to me and I can’t be lighthearted about this I am afraid, as another contributor suggested! Someone please help me to regain my love of the English language, which I have been speaking (I thought fluently, up until now) for over half a century!!!
One way to do it is to take the linguist's descriptivist stance, one that attempts to observe both common and uncommon usage and tries to understand these in context – which doesn't, by the way, mean that we have to give up our preferences or our grammatical analyses, but it's a position from which to look deeper into what happens with the language in its actual use. There's something profoundly satisfying in it, and I think it's closely connected to what brings us all to the study of language in the first place. This linguistics approach is where something like this article might come in.
And if you've got two or three hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you can purchase The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (one of the preeminent English grammars, authored by a couple of highly respected linguists) and really dig in.
Frankly, the use of objective/disjunctive pronouns in the subject position rubs me wrong too, but I can countenance that sort of casualness better than I can hypercorrection of the "between you and I" variety.
Another point, however, is that this is just Duolingo, and indeed just one question on Duolingo among tens of thousands, which is not to disparage either the system or the question, but just to say that we don't have to get hung up on it. There are differing philosophies even among the different language teams (and probably within each of them), and none of them is the last word on English usage.
Besides, notice how most people commenting on this page don't seem to change their position, no matter what anyone else says or what evidence they provide. Indeed, I suspect that nothing the German team does with this question will have much influence on the English-speaking world, after all is said and done, so you need not feel as though The Nothing is coming.
NO! Where do you read it's for fluent English speakers? Fluent describes the characteristics of a fluid. That is to say a fluent English speaker speaks very smoothly. You can speak fluently and make all the mistakes you want. As long as they're the same mistakes a native speaker would make. The word you're looking for is proficient.
You are correct, Marian. This is basic German. And the German phrase we are given has the nominative case first and second person. The nominative case (subject) first and second person in English is "I and you." All the arguments for when it is appropriate to say "you and me" in English are irrelevant, because all we know about the German phrase is that it is the nominative case.
RowenaJane, even if you don't like the disjunctive coming before the verb as its subject in English (though we should all recognize that it's common), I was thinking, for example, of a case where someone asks, "Who's in this picture?" The answer: "That's me and you." (Perhaps the picture is of two babies that the questioner doesn't recognize.)
If you agree that we don't say "that's I" in English, you might also agree that "you and I" is questionable after "that's".
But in German, I believe "Das sind ich und du" or "Das sind du und ich" would be correct.
I welcome corrections by native German speakers. In the meantime, here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
There are some other German options/constructions there, but notice the nominative in all of them.
RowenaJane: verbs only have one subject in English, not several ones.
So du und ich can be one subject, but it's not two separate subjects.
Hence the use of the disjunctive by some speakers -- because the pronoun is not the (entire) subject.
Compare also verbal agreement -- "Him and me have some topics to discuss" has the verb "have" in the plural, agreeing with "we" or possibly "they", certainly not with "he".
And even if you said, say, "He and I are the main characters in the play" rather than "Him and me are..." -- the verb agrees with the (single) subject "he and I", not with either "he" nor with "I" (since I doubt you would consider either "he are" and "I are" as correct).
There is nothing unnatural about using "I" for the subject and "me" for the object of a sentence. In English we usually put second person first in the sentence and then first person, so it is more natural to say "You and I" - and that should be an acceptable translation, if you really care about translating to "real, correct English".
Not pedantic, but it's a software, so no mean for it to know if you confuse «Ich» and «du» or not. So, even if it's not a polite syntax style , it should be «I and you».
I agree they should fix the sentence, reorder the sentence, to give «You and I», but if they don't, we have to keep the word order. As it's not possible to translate in Duo by switching word order, it would be too confusing.
That's often true when it comes to grammar, but the choice of word order here seems to have nothing to do with grammar in either language.
Presumably Duo simply needs to know that you know the difference between the first and second person pronouns, and if you reverse the given order, Duo can't tell.
There's no such word-order "rule" in English as a matter of grammar per se, in spite of the strong convention of putting "I" last as a matter of euphony and perhaps politeness.
Certain habits of speech achieve the status of grammar. The order of "you" and "I" in this phrase is not one of them. The function of "and" as a cumulative coordinating conjunction is to link two equivalent things. What's on one side of "and" should have the same grammatical and syntactical role as what's on the other, regardless of their order, particularly in the simplest coordination of two terms. If you change the order of these terms, the sentence shouldn't lose grammaticality, even if it does sound unfamiliar. And in some less simple cases, as a matter of style "I" should even come first, e.g. in "I and everyone around me could hear the strange noise".
Grammar books that mention the matter tend to appeal to politeness, not grammar per se, for the so-called "rule", but they also use descriptions such as "almost always" etc., and in contrast they don't apply the same prescriptive force to the order when "me" is used in coordination with other pronouns, which suggests, as I've said, that it's actually a matter of euphony (and may still be a matter of politeness, as touted), though in a certain respect it can also be characterized as a simple canard based on a misunderstanding proliferated by poor teaching, and now having taken on a life of its own. You can read about this here:
This passage is telling:
As these excerpts show, whether through deliberate oversimplification or through sloppy wording or thinking, the advice literature often mischaracterizes the nature of a grammatical phenomenon, in this instance, pronoun case in coordination.
In another comment I've already linked to a Bible verse that uses "I and you", and here's a scholarly example:
In the end, convention and grammar are not always the same thing. And arguably it would be misleading to allow the English to be entered in the reverse order of the German in this instance, though I'm not totally against it as an alternative option.
That's not entirely accurate. It's perhaps less so now than decades ago, but many grammar books do prescribe this as a rule (not just a convention) of English grammar. Rule or not, it a convention that is universally adhered to in formal writing, and following it should be accepted in translating this phrase. If the software can be programmed to accept the very not-literal "my name is" as a translation for "ich heiße" (which it does, and correctly so), then surely it can also be programmed to accept this word order change in order to comply with a well-established convention of English.
This question doesn't seem to be about style, from Duo's perspective. Instead it seems to be about translating what's given, and showing Duo you know what means what.
It would often (though my references on this page suggest not always) be considered bad form in German, too, to put the first-person pronoun first. So if you have trouble translating the words as they're given, perhaps you can consider yourself to be honoring the bad German form with bad English form (but not bad grammar, in either case).
In any event, I and you may disagree with one another, but style can be subjective, and it's not the same as grammar. (And your claim of "every English style guide" is probably impossible to substantiate.)
Granted, "I and you" is extremely uncommon, as I've said in other comments, but the idea that it "would not happen" is demonstrably inaccurate. Here, for example, is a Bible verse containing "you" and "I" in a coordinated pairing, in different versions, a couple of which (including modern translations) put "I" first, in spite of the general tendency:
And here's an example of a scholarly work that uses "I and you":
The way it's used there suggests that intended emphasis (read: style) can play a role in dictating that the unconventional order be used.
And "I and everyone around me heard the strange noise" is another example that demonstrates that "I" simply doesn't in fact have to come second.
My suggestion was about helping someone come to a certain understanding and acceptance. Ultimately I'm not really on board with the idea of "good German" versus "bad German" for this expression, as I take a more descriptivist approach and have found legitimate examples of "ich und du" out in the world, but I'm glad to have learned from mizinamo what the conventionally accepted word order is.
"Ich und du" is the first line of a counting rhyme for children when they play hide and seek. In my opinion, that is the reason for this translation. The normal German word order is "Du und ich ..." Because it is considered impolite to begin a sentence with "Ich und..." There is a German proverb that you say to children when they do this. Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst. Literally translated: The donkey always calls itself first.
Yes, we've had the donkey proverb here a couple of times already.
As for the translation, note that more idiomatic in English are the following: "The donkey always names itself first", "The donkey always mentions itself first", and "The donkey always says its (own) name first".
"Call" isn't used in this way without saying what something is called: "The donkey always calls itself an ass".
(I'm sure you know all of this but I felt like getting on up on my soapbox about this pronoun pairing.)
"I and you" is extremely uncommon word order, so it's not exactly a fair comparison (if it's the simple comparison between the two options that you're making). In terms of word order, "me and you" and "you and me" are about equally palatable. Not exactly sure why, but it probably has to do with euphony.
As for "I and you", in the absence of any context it's still a better representative of the German here, I'd say, in spite of the uncommon word order. The only thing to say about it grammatically is that in context "me" might be considered preferable to "I".
Typically "me" would be considered grammatically preferable to "I" in the position of object or as a disjunctive. "Me" is also the correct subject complement (which may itself be considered disjunctive), notwithstanding the old canard of "it is I", which misguided grammarians seized on in the olden days but which never really caught on as an absolute rule, and today no one says without tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Schoolteachers, who are invariably terrible at grammar, often indiscriminately tell their students that only "you and I" is correct, and "you and me" (or "me and you") is always wrong, but that's another canard, the result of which being that these days many so-called "educated" or "careful" speakers use "you and I" even in the object position, whereas if their eyes are opened to the fact that "John is coming with you and I" is just as silly as "John is coming with I", they have to admit that they've never really thought for themselves about grammar. (Some, represented on this comment page, admit nothing.)
For some reason, though arguably not technically correct, "you and me" (or "me and you") in the role of subject is more tolerable than "you and I" in the role of object. Perhaps it's because "you and me" as subject sounds merely casual (and a case can also be made that it's just the conscripting of the disjunctive into a new role), whereas (whatever rationalizations are made about phrases acting as joint objects etc.) "you and I" as object sounds like the general grammar lunacy that unfortunately continues to plague the populace, with no end in sight.
Granted, "you and I" is far more common than "I and you". However, below is a link to a Bible verse in different versions, some of which use "I and you/thou", even though most use "you and I". Also note the use of "between me and you" or "between you and me" ("me" being an object of the preposition) in the same verse.
And here's an example of a scholarly work that uses "I and you":
For more on the subject, see this linguistics paper:
"I and you" sounds wrong because we usually hear "You and I", and there are many circumstances in which "me and you" or "you and me" would be correct. However, Duo has not given us a sentence in which we can determine that "you and me" is appropriate. They only give us two German pronouns that are always used in German in the nominative case - so it is baffling to me that so many people would think they could use the objective case in the English translation. Awkward or not, we should translate in the same word order and in the same case. Duo could simply change the word order of the German sentence and stop all this useless discussion. In basic language "ich" = "I" and "du" = "you".
I am a native English speaker. I was taught the correct word order is " You and I" ( is the subject) and " You and me" ( Is the object).
The best way to figure out if you should be using " you and I" or " You and me" is to take away the " You and" from the sentence, and see if the sentence still sounds correct with just I or me.
Example: John is going hiking with you and me.
This is CORRECT grammar.
Removing the "and you", Shows that the following sentence is correct.
"John is going hiking with me. "
However, the sentence would NOT BE correct if you had used " You and I".
"John is going hiking with you and I."
Removing " You and",
"John is going hiking with I. "
This sentence is INCORRECT.
" You and I are going hiking with John."
Again removing " You and",
"I am going hiking with John."
But if you say :
"You and me are going hiking with John."
and once again remove "You and", then the sentence reads:
"Me is going hiking with John."
Which is grammatically INCORRECT. I hope this helps.
That's essentially also how I choose between "I" or "me" (or it used to be, as now it comes naturally).
But no one has provided a grammatical analysis to support "you and I" as the necessary word order.
And I doubt anyone will, or can.
You explained it very well, S.Heller! I remember learning that in school, too!
S. Heller, you're right! I was taught to use the same test (drop you and), and it's a very easy way to remember whether me or I should be used.
I am also annoyed at the misusage of you and I (i.e.: He gave the candy to you and I).....
I, through unfortunate circumstances, only attended school through the fifth grade, but have enjoyed continuing education through informal means, and DuoLingo is one of those means. Not only am I learning several new languages, but I get to add to my repertoire of English (my second language) through the fantastic discussions about word usage. :D At forty three years old, I have the privilege of proving that 'it is possible to teach an old (er) dog new tricks'. ;D
Many conservative speakers consider this incorrect, especially older ones.
Grammar books for foreigners often teach slightly older language.
So I'm not surprised that your books may say that this is "not possible", even if it's something that many native speakers do use.
"me and you" is a common phrase, and there's nothing wrong with it. all though sometimes, and i say SOMETIMES, it is correct to say "you and I" that is when you list people, for instance, "Sarah, Tom, and I" and in some situations, yes "you and I" is correct, but "me and you" is correct in some other situations, such as, if your friend asks, "who are the people in that photo?" while you hold a photo of you and that friend, you can reply with, "Me and you!"
"ich" is nominative, and "me" is accusative. "Me" is sometimes (but never correctly) used in the nominative, which is where the "me and you" translation comes from. But I can't in good conscience translate using the words provided.
The correctly translation is "I and you" though the correct word order should be "You and I."
"I and you" should perhaps be the default here (though not the only option), but it's troublesome because the word order is uncommon.
That said, what exactly is your complaint? Was "I and you" rejected? (Others have noted that it's accepted, so it would be surprising for that to have changed.) Or is it simply that you can't countenance the example translation, even if "I and you" is also accepted?
(Other commentary on this page addresses the issue of "me" as a disjunctive.)
But if you're only given "ich", for example in a put-the-words-in-order question, it's not that "ich" is necessarily wrong, given the disjunctive use of "me" as a complement in English, where (as far as I know) German would use "ich". This is something for you to look at in the other comments here, if you're interested.
It's not the obvious solution, though, and it requires a bit more explanation, which, I think, is why it strikes people as wrong at first blush, and why people don't like it.
Everyone, please stop discussing that "I and you" would be "more correct" English. This is based on a mistaken belief about English how grammar, or language, works. We will not change this sentence to cater to this belief. End of story. You're welcome to use it in your own life as you wish.
"Ich und du" is not a sentence. These are simply three words. At the basic learning level, it is important for students to learn that ich = I and that mich and mir = me. At some more advanced level of learning ENGLISH, it is appropriate to discuss the circumstances in which English speakers would use "me" in the nominative case. The student needs to learn that German requires the nominative pronoun "ich" even though English would accept the normally objective pronoun "me" in the nominative position, for specific circumstances only. This complexity should be taught in the ENGLISH course. If this exercise is intended to inform language students of the circumstances/idioms in which "ich" can be translated to "me," then the words should be presented in a context where that would actually be the case. For example, you could present a phrase such as "ich auch" and accept the translation "me too" along with "I also" or "I as well." When you present the words without context and then allow any translation, without an explanation of when the translation works or doesn't work, students are more likely to be frustrated than enlightened. For this reason I concur with the other student who said this exercise should be dropped from Duo.
Actually "Me and you" can be a sentence. "Who's going to the mall?" The answer? "You and me!" The rest of the sentence is understood. How 'bout some English sentences without explicit subjects? "'Bout time to eat!' , "Changed your mind?", "Didn't feel myself last night!" "Glad to hear it!" Any of the intrinsic elements of a sentence can be implicit. Half the Russian language is implicit. An Italian can go years without using a subject!
Yes, according to this article:
Aside from the question of whether "Ich" can be properly translated to "me", there is the valid question of word order. If Duo is focused on conversational language, without regard for classic literature or modern formal writing, then why present a word order that is very rare in both languages? If you are compelled to keep these words without giving context, then why not change the order to "Du and ich"? What, pray tell, is the purpose of presenting a phrase with word order that is rarely heard in either language and thought by some to be either grammatically wrong or impolite in both languages?
Many people have given examples of when "me and you" is correct. But there is no context in this exercise to indicate that those examples apply. I seriously don't understand why there is so much discussion about this. The German phrase is very simple "ich and du". How can this be construed as disjunctive or any other justification for changing the case?
You're right, there's no context, which is why we can't say for sure what the English should be. I've said repeatedly (in different words) that I think "I" is the clearer path as a simple direct translation here, but it's interesting to me personally that a legitimate grammatical case can be made for the "me" translation, and it's caused me to think and to explore the differences between the languages in this regard, which I've enjoyed sharing with others, who may also have a similar interest in understanding the different possibilities. You've made it clear that this idea doesn't appeal to you. Different strokes.
I agree with PeaceJoyPancakes, I have learnt a lot about both languages through this thread and it certainly stimulates debate. However, I also agree with most of what territech says and I believe it (translation of ich und du) would be better placed in a high level of a language course because it does expose differences between the languages and also the use of English in the spoken word v the written word.
Does German normally use the first person pronoun in the first position, or, like English, should the first person pronoun follow the other pronouns ("ich und du" oder "du und ich")? Also, is there a rule on capitalizing pronouns? Ich vs ich, Euch vs euch. It would be confusing with formal you (Sie) and she (sie oder Sie).
In German, it's considered more polite not to put ich first in a list -- you may hear Der Esel nennt sich immer selbst zuerst if you do so. So du und ich is more polite than ich und du.
The polite/formal pronoun Sie is always capitalised.
The pronouns du and ihr are optionally capitalised in letters and the like.
ich is never capitalised (except at the beginning of a sentence).
I put "I and you" (which was accepted) because I know how literal Duo can be; however, it went against the grain to do so. For politeness' sake I would always write "You and I" in English (although I'd probably say "Me and you"). I was pleased to see that German prefers the politeness of putting "I" last also. Good manners cost nothing but make the world run more smoothly.
This is misleading as you've stated it (and "ich und du" appears to be quite a common word order in German), but in any event we've all heard it a hundred times by now. The concept is unclear in exactly no one's mind. No one is going to go around completely unaware of this idea. Why all the panic?
PJP, I find it amusing that you keep calling other people unflexable and unable to move on when half the posts on this way over posted topic are yours, and they are all telling people that yours is the only acceptable POV. One random bible verse and one bad scholarly reference does not equal the whole history of the English language. (Especially as the bible verse is a translation!) BTW this will be my last post on this. Cheers.
You don't even seem to have read the posts containing those references in their entirety, or for some reason you're leaving out major parts of them, in order to be able to suggest that I meant those references to "equal the whole history of the English language". In fact I doubt, based on this last comment of yours, that you really even know what my point of view is.
And for my part, I'm amused that you feel you're in a position to judge the book I cited as "bad", though its Oxford editors presumably thought it was good enough. Perhaps you could drop them a line and tell them you don't like their grammar or the book itself. And as for the bible verse translations, there are apparently some other editorial committees that need to hear from you as well. And how could any translation shed any actual light on the exercise of translation, right?
I get that you think putting the first-person pronoun first is wrong in all cases, as a number of your comments here say. But as for whether or not I'm open-minded, let me point out that I've actually read around on the topic, and provided usage evidence as well as grammar explanations, whereas you haven't made a single grammatical argument, or provided a single reference supporting your assertion. Nor has anyone, yet. Please feel free to do so, as I'm happy to consider them.
I've heard your view on courtesy. As for the grammar, perhaps you could start off by explaining why the first- and second-person pronouns should be seen as grammatically different, so that one should necessarily come before the "and", and the other should necessarily come after it. I know you've said you've already made your last post, but I'll still read and consider any others that you care to make.
Indeed, I'm all ears.
Syntax is grammar! However, I agree that the order is a social convention. In German and English it is impolite to put yourself first. Mizinamo quotes "Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst". So "me and you" is both grammatically incorrect and impolite. So should translate the social faux pas or correct it?
Wow. When I learned German, I was taught that “me” is “mich” not “ich”. “Me” is the objective of “i”. “mich” is the objective of “ich”. Edit: there is a comment below that I don’t know how to use the “reply” function,so I’ll reply here. There is no need for context. The German is perfectly clear. Both “Ich” and “Du” are the subjective declension. The accusative version would be “mich und dich”. English doesn’t distinguish between subject and object for most nouns except some pronouns. Even “you” is the same for subject and object. However, for the first person singular pronoun there is a clear rule on the difference between “I” and “me”.
Why the fuss? This is put in an early lesson in German. New users will be annoyed and more likely to give up, thinking, “if they are wrong about this, why should I trust the app?”
[You should be able to reply simply by clicking/tapping "reply" at the bottom of my comment instead of "edit" at the bottom of yours.]
Maybe it depends on the context, in which case it would be helpful for someone to provide some contextualized examples of "ich und du" being appropriately translated to "me and you".
Without any context, I think you're generally correct, except that "objective" is perhaps not nuanced enough to describe the German, which has a more robust case system than English. "Mich" is typically called the "accusative" form.
Response to your edit:
Distinctions can be made between the English subjective and the German nominative, so be careful not to equate them too readily.
But the issue that I was getting at is that where English uses a disjunctive "me" as subject complement (e.g. "it's me"), which is the same as the objective form, German may very well still use the nominative, or, if you like, the "subjective" (e.g. "das bin ich").
So in answer, for example, to the question of "who's in this picture", while in English it would be perfectly correct to say "that's me and you", in German perhaps we might say that "das sind ich und du". (I welcome corrections.)
In other words, your view may be overly simplistic. This is why it would be helpful to hear from mizinamo or another native speaker of German, not to mention a good idea not to take it for granted that one language has the same rules as the other.
I've already stated my view elsewhere on this page that in the absence of context "I" is a better translation here, but I would suggest again that context really does matter.
I do understand the principle, but in practice, no one says that without tongue firmly planted in cheek, and contemporary linguists/grammarians tend to deprecate it, though one place where it lives with less turbulence is before a relative clause: "It was I who took care of Dad in the year before he died." But the vast majority of people would still use "me", I'd aver.
Because English and German grammar is not identical.
German keeps subjects and objects pretty strongly separated, while in modern English, many speakers only use the form "I" when that is the single subject of a verb and is directly in front of the verb, and "me" in all other cases -- not only as the object of a verb but also as the stand-alone form ("Who wants a cookie? Me!") or when it is part of the subject but not the entire subject ("Me and Tom went to a party").
Which is arguably immaterial here. This is just an exercise.
But you can in fact listen to it being sung here:
And perhaps you can ponder whether there's any discernible poetic basis for the writer switching the regular order as you follow along with the lyrics:
Or instead you can opt to lose yourself in an old German comedy:
Or, if Shakespeare's more your cup of tea, you might delve into Julius Caesar and come upon the words of Antony in Act 3, Scene 2:
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
Sometimes the line is written without commas, e.g. here:
Then I and you and all of us fell down, [...]
This question is more nuanced than it seems at first blush, and the potential learning is deeper.
You have a couple of options. One is that you can go on at your current level of understanding, which is good enough – you'll get by – and another is that you can look further into the matter, perhaps starting by reading some of the comments on this page.
No, I disagree. I came here to learn German not English. Learning or practicing English is a perquisite. That's great. Nobody likes perquisites more than me. (That's read more than me.) I learn Portuguese from Spanish. Killing two birds with one stone. In which case the Portuguese should held to a higher standard. The Spanish is a bonus. At most we need a good German teacher and a good exemplar of English. I don't need no English teacher telling me how to English!
There's actually something to learn here about both grammar and linguistics, and Duolingo's conception of this question promotes that learning for those who want it, even if it does bear some explanation.
That some people are intellectually or psychologically incapable of grasping the concept, or at least accepting it and moving on, isn't really Duolingo's fault. However, I suppose removing the question would make it easier on the moderators, and maybe it's something better suited to advanced learners who are more interested in linguistic nuances.
Some of us do appreciate the puzzle, but I can understand why not everyone does.
It's not bad grammar, even if it would be considered by many to be bad style (though given its apparent commonness in German, surely this wouldn't apply to all circumstances).
But I suppose you don't think much of Martin Buber:
Or German comedy:
Or this German song, sweetly sung:
That's just how I feel when it tries to make me to say "he and I". Ever think somebody might actually say "I and you"? I used to think that nobody would ever say "That is he." But since I have been paying attention I've noticed people saying it. I caught June Brown saying it. Maybe there are people somewhere saying "I and you". Seems your true beef is duo's word order inflexibility. But look at me telling you how to rant!
Sorry— when I was talking about the “illiterate horde”, I was referring to the people, like some of my students, who routinely say “Me and Jim went to the store.” This is not correct, and never can be— yet to have Duolingo accept objective “me” as a translation for the subject pronoun ich is essentially the same, and not permissible in any sort of standard English usage.
I did read your comments. Thank you.
My apologies. With that expression, I was attempting to be somewhat facetious, and clearly I muffed it. However, that being said, “me” cannot be a subject, even as part of a compound subject. To quote Benedick, “that is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me—I will die in it at the stake.” Yet, in a fixed expression such as “That’s me”, or ‘it’s me,” it’s not quite so egregious.
No it is not, read all the comments on any of the “Me and you” threads. I don’t like it, but have to accept it is now part of the English language (unfortunately, as it sounds horrible and I still don’t think it is good grammar). I even heard a news reporter saying “Him and Mr x were.....” on the radio yesterday and I nearly crashed the car in shock. Think I might send an email to the radio station about their poor standards of English! Fighting a losing battle it appears.
"Ich und du" is the first line of a counting rhyme for children when they play hide and seek. That's the reason for the word order. Normally we say: "Du und ich" There is a German proverb told to children when they begin a sentence with "Ich und..." "Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst." Literally translated: "The donkey always calls itself first."
- Ich und du,
- Müllers Kuh,
- Müllers Esel
- der bist du!
The children stand in a circle and one of them says the text. It points with a finger at itself and says "Ich" and with every syllable it points to the next one. With "du" the finger points on the child which is the seeker. There are certainly other rhymes and different rules depending on the region.
Grammatically correct, yes, as in English it is grammatically correct to say either "I and you" or "you and I".
"I and you" may be bad style, but any problem there might be is not in the grammar.
Similarly, in German it's considered more polite not to put the word ich first -- if you do put it first as a child, you might be admonished with Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst "Donkeys always say their name first".
So putting ich second is better style there as well, but grammatically, either is possible.
"you and I" is still not accepted after the new changes today
"Me and you" is not only incorrect grammar in a nominative construction. but it is also considered impolite to mention yourself first.
"Between you and I" is wrong
"Between I and you" is even wronger - if that is possible!
"Between you and me" is correct
"Between me and you" is correct, but perhaps a bit less polite
You are correct, Bruere. Don't be discouraged by those who just like to argue. I am sure you know that "wronger" is not a real word; nonetheless, your examples of when to use "you and I" versus "you and me" are correct. In those examples the German would be "Du und ich" or either "dich und mich" or "dir und mir".
That is not only wrong and ignorant but also insulting. I suggest you go and learn English grammar before you embarrass yourself again on a website that is dedicated to philology. "WRONGER"??? Oh my goodness. You need to go to school. You and I is the only correct English here, ask any English language professor, or 5 year old.
I'll start by repeating that I think "I" is better for this Duolingo exercise, as a matter of simple, direct translation without context, so hopefully no one misunderstands me.
However, I challenge you to put the question of whether only "you and I" is ever correct to an actual live English language professor, and come back here with the answer you get.
Until then, we can start with this post from Oxford, which points out that "between you and me" is the correct form:
Digging a little deeper in relation to this Duolingo example, ask yourself, do you say "it's me" or do you say "it is I"?
If you say "it's me", you might have to concede that there are places where English uses the disjunctive objective form of the first-person pronoun ("me") where German uses the nominative ("ich"). In other words, there's a contextual argument to be made.
As for "you and I" versus "I and you", if you think the order is a grammatical problem (as opposed to a problem of style, politeness, or formality), you're probably mistaking familiarity with grammaticality. The function of "and" as a cumulative coordinating conjunction is to link two equivalent things. What's on one side of "and" should have the same grammatical and syntactical role as what's on the other, regardless of their order, particularly in a simple pairing of two words of equivalent syntactical status. If you change their order, the sentence shouldn't lose grammaticality, even if it does sound unfamiliar.
Sometimes grammar isn't intuitive, even to native speakers, no matter their lifelong speech habits. It's not about mere feeling or familiarity, and it can require some actual analysis. And it's most certainly not simply what our elementary school teachers told us.
But this isn't about whether it is EVER correct to say "you and me" or "me and you." It is about whether it is a correct translation of this short German phrase. The beginner needs to learn that "ich" is used in the subject part of a sentence and USUALLY in English "I" is used as the subject. Just because there might be some advanced circumstance where English might use "me" instead of "I" doesn't make it an appropriate translation when we have no information that such a circumstance exists.
"me and you" is grammatically fine in English, but it is considered bad style by many to put yourself first.
ich und du is grammatically fine in German, but not as polite as if you would put yourself last.
The feelings that putting yourself first seems to evoke in people seem to be a lot stronger among English speakers than in German, though. (For example, this flat-out saying that it's "wrong" or "grammatically incorrect" when the "problem", if any, is not one of grammar but rather of style or usage.)
Could you provide a context where the more obvious "ich" = "I" translation would be wrong? I've made my own suggestion elsewhere on this page, but maybe something more official, from someone with your proficiency in both languages, would help.
Notwithstanding the lack of specificity of Cam562569's comment, my sense is that people have much less of an issue with the order of "me and you" in English than with:
- the fact that it uses "me" instead of "I", which they think is wrong in a coordinated pairing with "you", in any context;
- the fact that "ich" is translated as "me", which they also think is plainly wrong; and
- the fact that even if "I and you" is accepted, the order for that expression (as opposed to for "me and you", which, in my sense of the matter, is pretty much as palatable as "you and me" to native speakers) is almost unheard in English (even if it's not grammatically wrong).
It's weird that the order should matter more to people's sensibilities when "you" is paired with "I" than when it's paired with "me", but it seems to.
It's interesting, though, that "thou" (along with "thee", "thy", etc.) was the singular/familiar/intimate second-person pronoun in English, now dropped in favor of the plural/formal "you", so Buber's "Ich und Du" was arguably properly translated to "I and Thou", though the archaic sound of "thou" gives it a pseudo-formality these days.
I came here this last time to give Lingots to people who took the time to find references that support their comments, including those with whom I disagree, and to delete several of my own postings, which express opinions stated by others. (The discussion doesn't benefit from redundancy.) I have given an "up vote" to comments containing useful information (including those that state an opinion different from mine) and "down votes" for comments that do not pertain to the translation of these two basic German words.
If Duolingo had said 'mich und du' I would have written 'me and you'. However, it didn't. Rather, it wrote 'ich und du', which in English is 'I and you'. This is a compound subject. 'me and you' is the object. Therefore, 'ich und du ... trinken Kaffee' might have been a logical sentence. In English, this is only 'me and you drink a coffee' or "more politely" 'you and me drink a coffee' if you lacking in English ability. This is Duolingo, where people come to learn languages, and if they're native English speakers, I pretty much guarantee they won't say "me and her are going to the shops". You might, but we recognise that as, dare I say it, ignorant. This answer to Duolingo's question is wrong. It should be amended. And no, I'm not "hating on" you. I just completely disagree with you.
Duo could easily stop this debate and help everyone learn by simply changing the German phrase to "Du und ich". This would make it a more useful phrase for German students (because the phrase as given is impolite and we shouldn't use it) and would eliminate the confusion over the correct translation. Since they have chosen to use what some consider an impolite phrase in German, then it is appropriate to use a correlating impolite phrase in English. I don't understand why Duo won't change it to make it more helpful. It makes me wonder if their priority is teaching the language or generating useless discussion.
What's a reasonable expectation of understanding for beginning language learners?
Even with years of experience I get "ta" in French ("your") mixed up with "ta" in Chinese ("he", "she", or "it"), if I'm switching back and forth between the languages in a short amount of time, and I've seen similar confusion with other words and other languages expressed many times in the comments.
I'm sure that I'm one of many such folk here, but I'm an ESL teacher. I will not accept this. "I and you" IS correct English and is what the translation should be. If someone says to me "Me and you are going out", I would cringe as would most people of even moderate education. I is the subject pronoun; me is the object pronoun. I demand that this be changed.
The problem is "you and me" is a compound subject. You can't take it separately. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunctive_pronoun
Let's remember we came here to learn German not to listen to somebody else tell us how to speak English. This isn't your Electronic Sports League. Dr McWhorter has a special message for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0un4TcKPppY In any event cringing won't hurt you none! I think this is about all help I have for you this session.
I came here to improve my German, not be corrected by a website with incorrect knowledge. "Du und ich" is "You and I". "Dich und mich" is "you and me". One is a compound subject, the other a compound object in English and accusative in German. This is an error, and it should be fixed. If you didn't com e here to listen to someone else tell you how to speak English, why are you responding to my comment on the message board? This is the ONLY reason why anyone would be on THIS board.
For a start, "hating on" is an appallingly negative concoction of modern American English. I don't "hate" "you and me". "hate on" there's a phrasal verb that I hope dies a death very soon and doesn't survive its slot in the zeitgeist. There is a very real distinction between I and You—or You and I for flow—and Me and You. This is about teaching correct language. If someone were to translate 'du und ich' into English, they would naturally translate it into the subject of the sentence, which in English is 'I and you' or more easily 'you and I'. It is not 'you and me'. To say that 'you and me' is acceptable is the same as saying not to worry about using the indicators when changing lanes just because many people are too lazy or too ignorant to do so. Then again, you said 'hate on', so I suppose that anything goes with you.
No -- "You and i" is not the correct answer (implying that there is exactly one correct answer).
It's not even a correct answer.
"I and you" (with capital I) is a correct answer.
"me and you" is another correct answer.
Both are accepted here.
"you and I" has "I" capitalised correctly but with the words in a different order from the German sentence. That may be considered less polite, but it's not grammatically wrong.
I am American and I can confirm that Americans don't say "I and you", but they do say "me and you" without regard for whether it is the subject or the object of the sentence/clause. And they do so with great regularity, not limited to the appropriate use of the "disjunctive" as has been suggested in this discussion. I guess in a few more decades we will completely eliminate the concept of subject/object and just use the same pronoun for both. This goes well with our growing use of pictures instead of words, learning to use a calculator instead of learning basic arithmetic, and not learning how to write with pen and paper because we always have our phones. It's an evolution of our culture as well as our language.
Miz. Stop defending the me and you brigade and start defending the English language. We need you on our side. It is not easy with the Americans trying to attack from every side. Not least the bastardisation of the English language. You and me need to get in the trenches with hud and start to retrench and shove them all off.
I'm just amused that you're talking about "defending the English language" and then use "you and me" as a subject.
Which would be perfectly fine on this course but which would make conservative speakers shudder in horror.
(For what it's worth, I think that adding "I and you" to this course in this order is likely to cause more trouble than it's worth, and I wouldn't have added it myself. If that makes you happier.)
i'm happier, thanx. i've noticed that it's decidedly hard to get good video of people using "me and you", but it's also hard to catch 'em using double negatives. my theory is that these media types get it drilled out of 'em. i mean i KNOW people use double negatives on a daily basis. that is to say i don't guess a person (in the anglosphere!) could go through their day without hearing a double negative used at least once. that's my assertion. don't like it? get your own assertion!
Eh? "you" in "you and I" is nominative case.
"you" in "you and me" would be objective case.
We use the same form for both cases in modern English -- "You will eat a fish" and "A fish will eat you".
(And this causes English speakers learning other languages many problems.)
Me is not a "subject". It is incorrectly used by people as a subject, but it is not. For example, we do not say, "me is going to the store". We can only say, "I am going to the store". The word "me" is used as an object such at "She gives me the ball" or "She hit me". I can't find another place to have this correction inserted to the software.
Hud214, I don't get what you're saying here. Is your contention that "myself" as part a compound subject is okay, but not "me", because "me am" doesn't go together, even though the verb for the compound subject is "are" in either case?
(People say both, of course, but "Sarah and myself are..." grates on me more, because it seems to be another example of people deliberately trying to speak formally or correctly and not really understanding pronouns – or trying to sound educated by inadvertently demonstrating their lack of education, as it were.)
my observation is people use "myself" in compound subjects, but you wouldn't say "myself going to the store." yeah, i wouldn't say "me going to the store." either. so, what? my contention is english idiomatic. if i wanted to know how to say "you are me" in german i would see how a german said it. (if i wasn't being lazy.) i wouldn't construct it theoretically, else i might come up with "du bist mich" or "du bin ich" instead of "du bist ich". anyway you and me needn't agree on this.
I see. I was just trying to follow the argument, and to figure out whether you were saying that different principles, or the same ones, apply to the uses of "me" and "myself" in compound subjects.
I think we can probably agree that both languages are idiomatic and unruly, as is language in general.
I imagine that similar problems are inherent in asking Germans about German as in asking English speakers about English. ;-)
The German language has stricter grammar rules and far fewer exceptions to the rules than English and the German people are more inclined to follow the rules than are Americans. There is pride in speaking properly. I can’t imagine educated native Germans discussing whether it’s “correct” to use dir or dich in the nominative case!
I disagree. It is grammatically incorrect. It is one thing to use "myself" as a means to emphasize the pronoun "I", it is another to replace it. "I, myself, am happy to hear about the subject." The problem is, we are so used to people using incorrect expressions that we believe them to be correct. I can't it say how often I have heard English teachers using "me and my friend..." as an example.
It can also be an object, or so I tell myself.
Of course when someone else tries to tell myself something we have a grammatical problem because there's no reflexivity.
As an aside, I would contend that "I myself" is the subject in that formulation, jointly, and that "myself" itself should not be described alone as such.
The reflexive pronoun, "myself" never can be the subject of a sentence. When coupled with the word "I", the pair are written as "I, myself, ... ". The use of "myself" indicates a personal opinion, a personal action, or something possibly at variance with common behavior. The use of "myself" is to show emphasis or to indicate one's personal opinion or behavior.
"You and I"
Becuase it wanted a translation of
"Ich and du"
But wouldn't that have been the translation for
"Mich und du" ?
No - that's not grammatical. You can't join words in different cases with "and" or "or".
"me and you" could translate to ich und du or to mich und dich or to mir und dir -- but never to mich und du.
Tony, “ich” is always the subject of the verb in German. No exceptions. In Proper English (formal written, etc) the subject of the verb is always “I”. However, in the vernacular, we use “me” sometimes for the subject. Phrases like “me too” and “It’s me” are common in most English-speaking regions, so some people argue that “ich” can be translated to “me” in English. But don’t let this ambiguity in English destroy your German. Just remember to use ich as the subject of the verb and then choose I or me for the translation depending on how the phrase would normally be said in English. I hope this helps.
I was not talking about "me" in this comment thread.
I was referring to the distinction between "you and I" and "I and you", both of which are grammatically correct. The recommendation to use "you and I" in preference to "I and you" is for reasons of style (not putting yourself first), not for reasons of grammar.
I'll repost this link to a Stanford honors thesis in linguistics (linguistics being the scientific study of language, mind you) that may be of interest:
It's an example of an analysis by someone actually and formally educated (and highly so) in this area.
Implicit in the paper's discussion of the advice-literature appeals to politeness for the ordering of "you and I" is the notion that putting the first-person pronoun last in a coordinated subject is not an actual grammatical necessity, and the paper proffers as "prinicipled" a couple of counterexamples where the nominative "I" comes first.
And of course the paper doesn't support the canard that "me and you" is never correct. Rather, it supports the opposite conclusion, which calls into question the whole politeness argument, and in particular the idea that politeness should be a foundation for grammaticality. My own view is that politeness as a stand-in for grammar is a convenient fallback position for authors who fail to discern any grammatical reason for the typical order of "you and I", or "X and I" in general, but want to say something about it, and that this faulty line of reasoning peters out when extended into the objective/disjunctive territory of "me and X" or "X and me" (which is why the same authors don't bother to mention the "me" version), but unfortunately still affects it.
Some better suggestions (to my mind) noted in the paper for the reasons for the common ordering and case of coordinated pronouns in English usage (per the author's references and his own independent observations) are pragmatism and phonology, as well as the unfortunate prescriptivism that has permeated the territory and that seems to compete to some extent with natural usage tendencies and with objective assessments of what really is natural, or would be in the prescription's absence. (As for pragmatism and phonology, I'll note that phonology itself can be a sort of pragmatisim, particularly if we really mean it as an indirect reference to ease of pronunciation.)
The paper was written under the supervision of Arnold Zwicky, who's well-known in the field of linguistics.
Why is Ich have two different translations of "me and I"?
Because many English speakers use "I" only when it is directly before a verb as the (entire) subject, but "me" in other situations, i.e. when it is not followed by a verb or when it is part of the subject but not the entire subject.
"Who saw him? Not me."
"Him and me went to the store."
In German, you would need to use ich in this situation; the case usage in German is still very traditional in this respect, while English has shifted (for many speakers) from a subject/object distinction to a subject/disjunctive distinction, where "me" is disjunctive and is used not only for a direct object or the complement of a preposition but also in general for all cases where it is not the subject.
A reader or listener of both forms would understand the intention of the writer or the speaker, but for PROPER English, only "You and I" is correct as the subjects of a sentence. Other languages have different structures and grammar. This is why at times interpretation is required in addition to translation.
Earle, let me know you think of the following comment:
Do you agree that German uses the nominative form of the pronoun in the complement after a copular verb?
And do you agree that English uses the objective form? Or do you go around saying "It is I, Earle"?
I doubt he actually says it in his usual speech, if ever. Rather, his answer suggests he's trolling, deliberately or otherwise, and not worth engaging with any further, which is why I'm no longer bothering.
(Unless he means that he uses it before a relative clause, but I don't think he's likely to have thought of that scenario. So either he's lying or he's incapable of assessing his own usage. Or his grammar is so idiosyncratic that it has no value as an example of common usage or as a tool to assess any of the questions being discussed on this page.)
The grammars of German and English are not the same. For example, in German, nouns are capitalized; in English, they are not. English lacks neuter nouns; German has them. There are other differences. This is why first there is translation and then there is interpretation. During interpretation, word order may change. The software for Duolingo apparently cannot accommodate this nuance.
Germans speakers say "ich und du" quite often, and sometimes it does indeed mean "me and you", effectively, given the differences between German and English.
If you want to go beyond your grasp of "basic grammar", and move onwards to "real-life usage", "practical translation", and "understanding", you might find some of the comments on this page interesting.
In any case, good luck.
Mizinamo is a native German speaker and German course contributor, and I don't see any disagreement between us.
But Bernard, ask your German wife if the following translations are correct and report back to us.
- It's me. / Ich bin's.
- That's her. / Das ist sie.
- Is it them at the door? / Sind sie's an der Tür?
- Is this me and you in this picture? / Sind das ich und du auf diesem Bild?
(The last example is quoted from a donkey.)
Pancakes, the opinions or feelings of the ignorant are of no importance. If my manner of speaking causes them psychological pain, then consider it a method for educating them. That common people speak poorly does not sway my behavior. The hoi polloi exist, but that does not mean that they lead or guide.
You seem to argue for the sake of argument, not illumination. You claim to admire logic even though you do not seem to understand it or how to use it, and clearly you have at least one admirer in you support of error and ignorance. There may be others. Adam826977 can help you to organize a parade of the ignorant and the erroneous. A fact is equivalent to a premise, so while you might reject the fact as a fact, a fact is not subjected to logic.
Your error in logic begins with believing that a culture’s customs and standards are logical. Typically they are historical though some logic may apply. The English language developed from several languages including Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Norman French, Latin and possible Celtic. The standards for English were established centuries ago. The standards for German began to consolidate about 1870 under the aegis of Otto von Bismarck. The languages are related, but different, so the standards are different. A statement concerning the correct use of personal pronouns is either language is a statement of fact. A statement of fact is a premise, so it cannot be emotional; hence, your reference is inapplicable.
Every student of German should have the goal of learning Hochdeutsch. Most native speakers of German will recognize whether or not someone else is or is not speaking Hochdeutsch. Many Germans have a hobby of evaluating a speaker by how well the speaker is fluent in Hochdeutsch. A language of a culture can be a window into a culture if one wishes to use it.
Elsewhere in this thread, others have stated that the self-referencing pronouns in English always appear last in a list, yet you have ignored their comments. Now that IS illogical. If you continue to insist that improper English somehow is acceptable, then you should do your own research on the subject. The Internet can assist you. If you want to be helpful, find an explanation that meets your standards, and then share the reference with others.
Unfortunately, this discussion has continued without the intervention of a German-qualified monitor. This deficiency is one of the shortcomings of Duolingo. Good luck in your self-education, but please cease supporting error.
I can't seem to comment on Duck of Earl's tedious dissertation above, so allow me to reply here. I'm starting to think that Duck of Earl is actually an energy vampire, meaning that he psychically feeds on the boredom and "psychological pain" he causes. He admits as much. (Think of Colin Robinson from the FX series "What We Do in the Shadows.")
Why do I think Duck of Earl is an energy vampire? I made the mistake of reading his entire screed above. As my eyes glazed over and I began to question the value of human existence, I could feel my life essence slowly draining away. I had a vision in my delirium of Duck of Earl's eyes glowing and a wicked smile spreading on his face as he gained energy from my boredom. He has fed himself today; I expect he will soon post another exhausting rant to get his daily quota of psychic energy from an unwitting victim.
Energy vampire. The only possible explanation for Duck of Earl's comments. Otherwise, he's just a huge pedantic dork.
Is it them at the door? / Sind's sie an der Tür?
Better: Sind sie's an der Tür?
Similar, Peace, bist du's? "Peace, is it you?"
Is this me and you in this picture? / Sind das ich und du in diesem Bild?
And like in English, it's considered politer to mention yourself last, so some might "correct" you to Sind das du und ich auf diesem Bild? -- but that's a matter of style, not grammar, so your order is not (grammatically) wrong. (But auf diesem Bild sounds better to me than in diesem Bild.)
Giving you a lingot, hud214. You make a good point. And kudos to you for your progress in learning English. I think you meant to say “they are trying to teach you...”. When someone acquires new knowledge they learn. When someone gives information or instruction to another, they teach.
By now I and everyone else who's been following the comments on this page should easily be able to identify at least one sort of scenario where it sounds awkward for the speaker to list him- or herself last, such as in the first part of this sentence.
Probably the best we can say is that "you and I" seems to flow better, and it's very unusual (but not grammatically wrong) for it to be said the other way around. This doesn't apply to "you and me", which can just as easily be said as "me and you" and quite often is.
Are you relying on a linguistics argument to suggest, for example, that the role of the conjunction "and" should be analyzed differently in this simple pairing from its analysis in other, similar pairings (if so, feel free to articulate your argument), or are you merely using a logical fallacy and an appeal to emotion to try to shame readers into accepting your position?
If you read my comments on this page, you'll see that I've given this question a lot of thought and am unfazed by the latter, but I'm more than happy to engage with the former. I'll gladly take a look at any references you'd like to provide as well.