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  5. "Duo's best friend is a duck."

"Duo's best friend is a duck."

Translation:Der beste Freund von Duo ist eine Ente.

December 27, 2017

104 Comments


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

So, after all our wonderful German times together, and those lovely motivational messages, the truth finally emerges from the shadows...

... and it is duck-shaped.


[deactivated user]

    How about "Der beste Freund Duos ist eine Ente." (i.e. using the genitive construct)


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

    Possible, though Duos bester Freund sounds better to me.


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

    Thank you! I finished the German tree ages ago and never knew you could say it this way. I would prefer saying "Duos bester Freund" than "der beste Freund Duos", but I always thought it was wrong. Thanks for sharing this info! :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnNici2

    Both ways of genetive are correct but with genitive word after you need an article for best friend which not exists in the english sentence and therefore it is not a good translation because the back translation will give another english sentence


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneMaxwel4

    Thanks. And if this was an accusative/dative phrase, would we say,e.g., Ich mag Duos besten Freund?


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

    Thanks. And if this was an accusative/dative phrase, would we say,e.g., Ich mag Duos besten Freund?

    For accusative: exactly!

    For dative: Ich helfe Duos bestem Freund.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ra7432

    If you do use the "Duos bester Freund" form, why do you need to add the s in Duo(s)? Doesn't the genitive form relay possessive meaning?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    "Bester Freund" is nominative, not genitive. (And it wouldn't make sense for it to be genitive anyway; that would make it mean "of the best friend" or "the best friend's," rather than something of Duo's.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f0xG3_PatG

    So the "bester" there got its ending from "Freund" rather than the genitive "Duos"?


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

    So the "bester" there got its ending from "Freund" rather than the genitive "Duos"?

    Exactly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewWhit512932

    I was thinking the same thing: how do you do genitive without the definite article? Is it more common to use von in this case? Only for a person (von Duo)?

    I suppose it isn't common to have a possessive for an indefinite object, and therefore it would almost always be 'the s.th. of THE object' or else a named individual 'the s.th. of Bob'. But it is grammatically possible to say, for example, 'the eye of A storm'. How would one say that in German? 'das Auge eines Sturms'? 'das Auge von einem Sturm'?


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

    das Auge eines Sturm(e)s and das Auge von einem Sturm are both possible.

    Possessives for people's names are often formed by adding an -s: Tinas Schiff, Julias Buch, Peters Heft, Jakobs Apfel.

    (Things are tricky if the name already ends in -s: Hans' Buch, Hansens Buch, Hanses Buch all sound bad to me.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d.wahl09

    Is the duck male or female? Would it change it 'die beste Freundin' If one could know the gender of the animal?

    Does 'der beste Freund' tell us the duck is male?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian851903

    Likewise, how would I convey that my dog is female (or that my cat is male) in typical German speech?


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

    If the gender is important, you can use adjectives, the way you might say "male turtle" or "female turtle" in English: männlicher Hund, weiblicher Hund or männliche Katze, weibliche Katze.

    Some animals also have specific words for the male or female, as with Kater for "tomcat (male cat)", Erpel or Enterich for "drake (male duck)", Rüde for "male dog", or Hündin for "female dog".


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

    In German, you would say 'Kater' to male cats. You can also say 'Hündin' which is the female version of 'Hund'. However, most of the time Germans just say 'Hund' for both genders and only clarify whether it's a male or female dog when asked.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DariusLee3

    Can someone explain, for the case of "Duos bester Freund ist...", why is -r needed for bester?


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

    Strong inflection, because there is no determiner in front of the adjective that shows the gender, number, and case -- therefore, the adjective has to have the -er ending for "masculine nominative singular".


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

    Die beste Freundin von Duo ist eine Ente!
    Duo's bestie can also be a lady duck, in case anyone has been neglecting the lady nouns. For some of the nouns, the female option doesnt seem to come up as often.


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

    I assumed it had to be feminine since Ente is feminine, but apparently both are accepted.


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

    Why not 'bester Freund von Duo ...."


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

    Superlatives are pretty much always definite in German, since they (at least in theory) uniquely identify a particular individual.

    So they are usually preceded by the definite article (or a possessive).

    Just as in English we wouldn't say "Tom is tallest boy in the class" or "Best friend of Duo came to visit".


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

    So, I know that in German, the verb has to be in the first, second or last position (except subordinate clauses), I also know "position" doesn't mean "word" necessarily, but how would you divide this sentence (which has no subordinate clause), so that the verb (ist) is considered to be in any of the three possible positions? To me the only possibility seems to be that the sentence is divided like so: "Der beste Freund"-"von Duo"-"ist eine Ente" and the verb is therefore in the last position. Can anyone confirm or correct me?


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

    der beste Freund von Duo is one noun phrase, and it's followed by the verb ist and that by the predicate eine Ente (another noun phrase).


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

    So is the position of the verb determined only by nouns and other verbs?


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

    No.

    Conjunctions can determine the position of the verb because a subordinating conjunction such as dass or weil requires the verb to go to the end, for example.

    And putting anything before a verb in a main clause will require the verb to come next so that it is the second thing in the sentence -- this anything can be not only a noun phrase but also, for example, an adverb: Heute esse ich Brot "I am eating bread today".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David210394

    But we have seen Denn es ist rund ...., so for me the verb is not in the second position in that case. Are you able to explain please?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    "Denn" doesn't count as a position; just think of it as separating the two sentences. When we look at just just "es ist rund," we do have "ist" in second position.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Celeste928476

    Could you use the genitive case for this sentence?

    Der beste Freund des Duo ist eine Ente?


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

    Standard German doesn't usually use the definite article with personal names.

    But you could say Der beste Freund Duos ist eine Ente. or Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente. without the article.


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

    Can we always inverse the places of genitive and nominative or is it just with personal names?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoMon365886

    The sentence does not suggest gender, so Die beste freundin von duo ist eine ente should be a valid answer as well


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    Please see the discussion above, under LICA98's comment.


    [deactivated user]

      I have not read this lesson yet :-/


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

      "You used the singular "Duo" here, instead of the plural "Duos" The error seems incorrect as here's singular form present.


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

      What was the entire sentence that you entered?

      Perhaps it was trying to tell you that instead of the nominative case Duo, you should have entered the genitive form Duos in German, e.g. if you had written Duo bester Freund instead of Duos bester Freund.

      Though I agree that the error message is misleading.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah134711

      why not "duo's beste freunde ist eine ente" ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      Possessives for names in German (usually) don't use an apostrophe; you simply add an "s": "Duos." (The exception is if the name already ends in "s," in which case you add an apostrophe and nothing else: "Hans" -> "Hans' .")

      Also, since there's not an article like "der" before it, "beste" should be "bester," with the masculine nominative ending "-er."

      Finally, "Freunde" is plural ("friends"). You need the singular, for "friend," which is just "Freund."

      So "Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente."


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

      "Duo has a best friend and he is a duck" would be too much? Trying to figure out when to use the possessive so that I can get the Duo's correctly.


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

      Duo hat einen besten Freund und er ist eine Ente.


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

      'The best friend of Duo is a duck' Should be accepted surely?


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

      what about : eine ente ist Duos beste freund


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      You would need "Duos bester Freund." Also I would say that switching the order like that changes the meaning a bit, the same as "Duo's best friend is a duck" and "A duck is Duo's best friend" aren't really making the same point.


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

      Thanks for your reply


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haki.76

      von is always dative and i didn't understand why nominative in this example.


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

      It’s not nominative.

      The name “Duo” is in the dative case after the preposition von.

      But like most nouns, you can’t tell just by looking at it, because (modern) German doesn’t put a lot of case marking on nouns.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMinecra99597

      "The best friend of Duo is a duck" sounds like the family of blood talking. I don't know how many of ypu watch David Tennant Dr Whos.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMinecra99597

      If not, go on Netflix and search up Dr who. From thete, go to series 5 (i think) and find episode saying The Family of Blood. You'll understand what I mean then.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah442746

      Duo is not available to choose twice


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      What do you mean? The translation shouldn't have "Duo" twice.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolothe2nd

      whats the s in duo's mean? we never learned it


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      You're asking about "Duo's" in the English sentence? It indicates the possessive (the fact that it's the friend of Duo). But Duo wouldn't teach you that here since it's teaching you German, not English. You're assumed to already know English.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolothe2nd

      no, actually in german

      "Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      Ah, I thought you might have meant that, but you put in an apostrophe. :)

      German forms the possessive for proper names without an apostrophe. So "Duos" in German means the same as "Duo's" in English-- i.e., "belonging to Duo" or "of Duo."

      (Though if the name happens to end in "-s" already, you use an apostrophe with no extra "-s": "Hans' " = "belonging to Hans.")


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justin981104

      Why not Duos beste Freunde ist eine Ente. The dictionary literally prompted that solution


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      Unfortunately Duo's dictionary is not quite smart enough to find the correct conjugation for a word in context; the drop-down list of translations is not specific to the particular exercise you're on. In other words, it will give you possible translations for a word, but you have to figure out the right one and conjugate it yourself.

      You can use either "Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente" or "Duos beste Freundin ist eine Ente" (as well as some other variations with other structures). "Freunde" is plural "friends," so your translation reads "Duo's best friends is a duck."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen83116

      After reading all the threads, I did not see why "Duos beste Freund ist eine Ente" is not accepted? Is it necessary in German for a sentence to begin with a definite or indefinite article?


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

      I did not see why "Duos beste Freund ist eine Ente" is not accepted?

      If there is no article or other determiner before the adjective, it needs strong inflection: Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen83116

      Yes, I agree with your findings. I am using two charts. One for attributive adjectives and the other for strong, weak, and mixed inflection. I sometimes get confused on which chart / rule applies.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanFarber1

      Why is it not "der bester Freund" rather than beste?


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

      Why is it not "der bester Freund" rather than beste?

      Take your pick of explanation:

      1) der already has the -r ending which shows masculine nominative, so the adjective doesn't have to show this fact as well and therefore can take a generic -e ending

      2) After a definite article such as der, adjectives take weak inflection, which for masculine nominative is -e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Weak,_mixed,_and_strong_inflection


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoMon365886

      "Duos beste freund ist eine Ente" should be accepted as a right answer


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      You need "Duos bester Freund."


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

      'The best friend of Duo, is a duck'. Should be accepted, surely?


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

      'The best friend of Duo, is a duck'. Should be accepted, surely?

      Eh? No, why do you think so? That is an English sentence, not a German one.

      If you came to this sentence discussion, you were probably asked to translate English into German.

      If that was not the exercise type you had, please provide the URL to a screenshot you have uploaded to a website that shows the question, your answer, and the error message.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David841210

      can anyone explain why it is 'der beste freund' without grammar lingo? I'm baffled as to how you not let grammar get in the way of learning German. My German friend says they study some grammar but not at junior year levels, proof that you shouldn't be studying grammar, especially in your native tongue, as then it becomes a translation exercise.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      can anyone explain why it is 'der beste freund' without grammar lingo?

      Probably not. Conjugation is based purely on grammar, so it can't really be explained without some discussion of grammar. You can get away with less study of grammar for your own native language mostly because years of experience have taught you how people speak. Often the grammar you learn for your native language is meant to make you more right, because everyone can already understand you but you're still making mistakes according to the language's rules; whereas the grammar you learn for a new language is to make you more understandable because you don't know how to construct a sentence in the first place.

      For a language you're learning, you don't have that intuition from years of exposure, so you either need to (1) gain that exposure by having lots and lots of conversations in German, which will probably get you mostly-but-not-entirely-right grammar that people can generally understand, or (2) learn the grammar. If you don't study the grammar, that probably just means you're going to get a fair amount of conjugation wrong, and you may still be understood fine for the most part, but there will be noticeable mistakes.

      So since you're asking about the conjugation in an individual sentence, I really have no way to explain it apart from discussing grammar. In short, "Der beste Freund" is the subject of the sentence, and the noun "Freund" is masculine gender. The correct form for a masculine subject is "der," and "beste" takes a more-or-less default ending of "-e" since we already conjugated "der."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David210394

      How can we have masculine Freund, when duck is feminine? Argh!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      German uses the masculine as sort of the "default" gender when we don't have a gender to specify. If we used feminine "Freundin" here, that would mean that Duo's best female friend was a duck, but that he might have closer male friends. We're not specifying friends of either gender, so (perhaps a bit counterintuitively) we use the "default" masculine, showing that we're counting all friends.


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

      You could even say Diese Person ist ein Mann with feminine Person, simply because that's the gender of that word.


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

      Why der? Should it be die Ente?


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

      Why der?

      Because the word Freund is masculine.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikali157

      "Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente". Or, if we're going to mess with word order, "Eine Ente ist Duos bester Freund".

      Am wondering why these German translations aren't preferred.


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

      That Der is imposed by the von right? and it isn't a definite article


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

      That Der is imposed by the von right? and it isn't a definite article

      No, and no.

      In the sentence Der beste Freund von Duo ist eine Ente., der is not "imposed" by the von, and it is a definite article.

      For example, you could say Ich bin ein guter Freund von Duo. -- a similar sentence, but without using der; it has ein instead. The von Duo doesn't force or impose any particular article on the thing that comes before it.


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

      Ok that's fair. I ask because, immediately when i saw the sentence I wrote, i felt like the Definite article was needed in the German, it made no sense to my naive ears. "Der beste Freund von Duo ist eine Ente." but then i saw that the English sentence didn't have the definite article, and so i proceeded to remove mine, or invented logic somewhere. So as English wouldn't require the definite, inversely German would?


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

      i saw that the English sentence didn't have the definite article

      Possessed nouns are definite by default, so "Duo's best friend" is definite because of "Duo's".

      Unlike (say) Italian with la mia casa "the my house", English doesn't add a definite article to something that's definite by being possessed.

      English does need a definite article if the possession is marked by "of", e.g. "the author of this book".

      You can also say Duos bester Freund, in which case you would not need a definite article.


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

      "Duos bester Freund ist eine Ente" is also accepted.


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

      Why not: Der beste Freund des Duos ist eine Ente?


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

      Why not: Der beste Freund des Duos ist eine Ente?

      We don't use the definite article with people's names in the standard language.


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

      The Donald? LOL


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

      "Duos" and "bester" are not choices.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      Maybe not, but most likely there were options for another correct answer, e.g. "Der beste Freund von Duo ist eine Ente."


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

      The best friend of Duo, is a duck. . . . . ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonSky0

      Why "Bester Freund von Duo ist eine Ente" is wrong?


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

      Why "Bester Freund von Duo ist eine Ente" is wrong?

      For the same reason that "Biggest mountain on earth is Mt Everest" is wrong -- superlatives pretty much have to be definite, i.e. "the biggest mountain" and der beste Freund.

      (In English, "Duo's best friend" is definite because of the possessive "Duo's".)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonSky0

      Thank you for answer!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RileyCranno11

      I wrote, "Duos beste Freund ist eine Ente" but apparently that's wrong.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      You need the masculine ending "bester Freund."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lerner948026

      Der beste Freund von Duo ist eine Ente.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Radu667754

      Why the verb it is not the second?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

      It is second, actually. The entire phrase "Der beste Freund von Duo" is the subject of the sentence and takes up only one position in the sentence. Longer phrases can often take up a single grammatical position if the phrase is altogether filling one role in the sentence (the subject, an object, an adverb phrase, etc.)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Radu667754

      I got it! Danke schön


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

      This is what I dislike about Duolingo... for learning purposes, please add a literal translation, it being correct or not. People try to mimic the sentence of the exercise but little do they know that's not want Duo wants. Adding a literal translation would help with understanding many words. It's also what all language learners first look for, because if you show the literal translation you start to understand the way that language works, and confusions like this wouldn't happen.

      For example, little did I know that "auf wiedersehen" actually resonates with one of my native language sentences "la revedere", having the exact literal translation. It would've helped a lot if Duo translated it literally from the start for me.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelNig9

      "Ente ist beste Freunde vod Duo" why is this answer wrong?


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

      "Ente ist beste Freunde vod Duo" why is this answer wrong?

      Um... why do you think it is correct?

      You wrote, roughly, "Duck is best friends ob Duo".

      The English sentence has "a duck" (eine Ente), not "duck" (Ente).

      It has "Duo's best friend = the best friend of Duo" (der beste Freund von Duo): singular and definite, not plural and indefinite "best friends" (beste Freunde).

      And vod is simply wrong.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/am90150

      Isn't that "The best friend for Duo is a duck" ??

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