"Das Kind spielt mit seiner Tasse."

Translation:The child is playing with his cup.

March 17, 2013

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Xadeck

English is not my native language (but there is not "learn German from French ;-))

What is it "with its cup"? I thought it should be "with his cup".

March 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Antron

I think because 'Child' has no specific gender, you can't say 'his' or 'her' so you use the neutral 'its'. Not 100% sure though, can someone else explain it better?

April 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/philster043

You're right. I didn't realize it until later that Kind was going to be referred as "its" no matter what, kind of like Mark Twain's joke about "Mädchen."
http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html#x2

Gretchen: "Wilhelm, where is the turnip?" Wilhelm: "She has gone to the kitchen." Gretchen: "Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?" Wilhelm: "It has gone to the opera."

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

thanks for the site. i read it long before i dreamt i'd ever study german must read it now who knows it might help. and humor never hurts.

June 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sagher

It is because of "das kind" but "his" is also accepted

May 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Abygael

I think it should allow "The child is playing with their cup" as a gender-neutral alternative to "its". Since its is seen as a bit dehumanising and they and their are accepted as a gender neutral alternative to he/she and his/her, respectively.

(Yes, this does introduce singular/plural uncertainty into English which does not exist in German, but that doesn't make it wrong.)

September 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/galifreydan

"Its" to refer to a child is awkward

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BLPK

In English you really don't hear a child called "it". You're importing a confusion from the German gender of "Kind".

July 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

Whether you use "its" or only "his" or "her" when referring to a small child depends on where you come from in the English speaking world, I think. "Its" is used in Australia when you aren't concerned with specifying gender. If I heard someone say "The child is playing with his cup." out of context I would probably think that the cup belonged to another man or boy, not necessarily the child.

July 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.Dillinger

I'm pretty sure it's referring to the word's gender. Kind is neuter so it translates to "its cup".

April 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

Is it "seiner" because of the gender of "Tasse" or the gender of "Kind"?

April 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/philster043

"Seine-" implies that the child is a boy, "-er" is due to the gender of "Tasse."

April 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bleurabbit7

With 'Tasse' being masculine and in dative form, why is it 'seineR Tasse' and not 'seineM Tasse'?

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/niceliz

"Tasse" is feminine, see Duden.

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bleurabbit7

I stand corrected. Makes more sense now. Thank you, I really thought Tasse was masculine.

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleDino

Can it be The child is playing with his cup?

August 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ibuco

Die Mädchen spielen mit ihrer Tasse. :'(

September 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/philster043

The two correct "translations" for "Das Kind spielt mit seiner Tasse" given here is "The child is playing with its cup" and "The child is playing with her cup". If it was "her" shouldn't it be "ihrer" not "seiner"?

March 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/cathzu

Yes, I think it has been modified.

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/philster043

That's good, thanks for letting me know.

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/FatihEmreCan

Why did we use 'ihm'?

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GAZ-3937

If you are still curious, the genitive form of "es" is "seiner", which is used to designate possession in a way. In spoken German, I have been told that this case doesn't exist as it is usually replaced by "von(may change) + (dative here)", so in this case, "an ihm" if it was spoken.

To help remember this, think of it as "of (base word)".

So the phrase "Wir gedachten seiner." (We thought of him) can also be...

Wir dachten an ihn. (We thought of him)

Either way is correct, really. Still, in spoken German, the genitive form just isn't used according to a grammar site. "von" or "in" or "an", or whatever is used.

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HenryBatten

It is not really an acceptable thing to call a child socially in English. As previously stated it should be the child is playing with their cup. No civilized English person would call a child it as it can cause severe psychological harm to the child. I do not know about the rest of Britain though as i lived in southwest Scotland for a time during my childhood and their culture meant that they didn't count or treat children as people which caused me to have multiple suicide attempts and a nervous breakdown.

October 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dct13

We never refer in a possessive case "its" to a person.... it is only for animals or things.

January 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GAZ-3937

In what language, may I ask? Because it appears this is how it is done in German.

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/John40955

Kid has to be followed by his or her. Its is for inanimate objects only.

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lestergg

The audio with a normal pace does not sound "seiner" at all. Played it multiple times, no "s". It sounded more like "eine".

November 6, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.