1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Every Sunday, Duo swims in h…

"Every Sunday, Duo swims in his gold."

Translation:Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold.

January 4, 2018



Sonntag is masculine, so why not jeder Sonntag?


"Jeder Sonntag" would be used if "every sunday" was the subject of the sentence (nominative case). In this sentence Duo is the subject because he is the one swimming, "every sunday" is just additional information which means it must be in the accusative case. If it helps, the sentence could also read: "Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold".

Additionally, as the time phrase "jeden Sonntag" is at the front of the sentence, the verb must now come second. That is why it is "jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo" and not "jeden Sonntag Duo schwimmt"


I still don't understand why that means it's accusative. Thus far, I've thought of the cases in terms of their function within a sentence: nominative is subject, accusative is direct object, dative is indirect object. "Every Sunday" is an adverb in this sentence. How do you get from that to accusative? Is that just one of the rules that determines accusative? I would have thought dative, with an understood pronoun "an" ("[on] every Sunday").


Is that just one of the rules that determines accusative?

Pretty much this. I don't think there's a useful or intuitive reason why time expressions like this one use accusative; best to just chalk it up to historical reasons.

I would have thought dative, with an understood pronoun "an" ("[on] every Sunday").

As a tangent, "an" is not usually the best choice to translate "on"; generally "on" is "auf." (But of course you can't use "auf" here either.)


Because it couldn't be nominative or dative, so it gets accusative. You eventually get the hang of it. Nom. usually follows sein verb and Dat. someone/thing is doing something to someone/thing else.


Thank for clear explaination


There is no comma after Sonntag. Is there a rule of thumb as to when a comma is used in contexts like this in German?


No comma when the first part of the sentence is an adverb or functioning like one. You'll only use a comma if the first part is an interjection ("Ja, ...") or directly addressing someone ("Hans, ..."). These types of words are also the ones that will not count as a "first position" in the sentence and put a second item before the verb. ("Ja, jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold" or "Hans, Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold.")


But what about the comma in the english sentence


What about it?


This explains when time is used with AKK and when with DAT.



I have the same question.


For whatever reason, you need to use the accusative with "every [date]": jeden Sonntag, jede Minute/Stunde, jeden Tag, jeden Morgen/Vormittag/Abend, jede Nacht/Mitternacht, jede Woche, jeden Monat, jedes Jahr, jede Saison, jedes Semester, jedes Quartal...

In the same way: "[on/in] this [date now]" = diesen Sonntag ( = next/last Sunday), diesen Monat, dieses Jahr etc.; but: in dieser Sekunde/Minute ( = now), zu dieser / zur Stunde ( = now, formal; informal: in dieser Stunde), am heutigen Tag ( = today)

...and "next [date]" as well: nächsten Sonntag, nächste Woche, nächsten Monat, nächstes Jahr etc.; but: in der nächsten Sekunde/Minute/Stunde, am nächsten Tag/Morgen/Vormittag/Abend

Side note: for some reason, holidays like Weihnachten and Ostern (Christmas, Easter), which are normally used without definite article, are singular neuter words, but act like what I guess is plural here: "jede/diese/nächste Weihnachten/Ostern", "Fröhliche Weihnachten/Ostern!" ("Merry Christmas/Easter"), "weiße Weihnachten/Ostern" ("white Christmas/Easter", i.e. with snow).

  • 1044

I would say, generally speaking, unless it is the subject, assume it’s accusative. Unless, of course, there is a clue that dative may be indicated. But I’ve found it best, assume accusative first, then look for other clues.


Good advice. I looked at that a long time and couldn't figure out what case "every Sunday" would fall into.


Wow... Duo has really lost his roots. I remember when all he had was his hole in a tree... he was nicer to people then. And happier too...


"Jeden Sonntag Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold"


"Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold"

Why is the first considered wrong?

The second (correct) answer seems like a question to me, like "Every Sunday does Dou swim in his Gold"

Can someone point me to an explanation of word order rules for this?


Declarative sentences in German put the verb second. It doesn't sound like a question to a German; this is how they say their sentences. So "Jeden Tag Duo schwimmt ..." is ungrammatical.

A question would have the verb first: "Schwimmt Duo jeden Tag in seinem Gold?"


Without the "Jeden Tag" preposition (which is modifying "schwimmen") the verb would be first (before the subject) in the correct answer. That's why I was confused. Without the modifier, it looks just like a question (without the question mark of course).

Is this rule in effect every time you start a sentence in German with a proposition? Or is it any time you don't start with the subject? Any links would be appreciated.


The verb goes second, period. "Jeden Sonntag" is first, so "schwimmen" has to come next. Doesn't matter what the first thing is doing in the sentence; the verb comes second. You simply can't put two things before the verb.

"Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo ..." may look like a question to an English speaker, but German sentence structure is different from English's; it's still a statement, and that's the only way a German speaker would read/hear it. A question would have the verb first, before everything else.

The only exception is if you have something like an interjection or you're addressing someone at the beginning. Those words aren't really involved in the structure of the sentence, so they don't use up that first slot ("Ja, jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold").

Links here and here

  • 1044

Did anybody try “Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold?”

I’m curious to see whether that was accepted.


Yes, that's the default answer.


Okay, Duo is rich confirmed.


very rich indeed


What on earth does this mean?


You know, like Scrooge McDuck? (Dagobert Duck, in German.) Apparently Duo has a huge amount of gold coins (from all the Plus subscriptions and ads, I suppose) and he likes to swim in them (like in water), enjoy their tinkling sound, throw them into the air and let them rain down on his head.


Lovely explanation.


Doesn't everyone swim in their gold on Sundays?


If you've made a lot of money over the week --yess!


Another fact,Duo ist ein bankrauber darum er schwimmt in gold.


Duo ist Bankräuber, darum/deshalb schwimmt er im Gold


"swims in" is a motion, why dative here? I just got "fuhrte...in den ort" which was accusative.


The motion needs to be into the gold-- i.e., a movement from being outside the gold to being in the gold. The best way to think about this is to use accusative for "into" and dative for "in."


  • "Duo schwimmt in sein Gold" - "Duo swims into his gold" (started outside of the gold and went into it)
  • "Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold" - "Duo swims in his gold" (started in it and stayed in it)

So it's "führte in den Ort" because someone's being led into the area. If someone was just being led around within the area, we would use "in dem Ort."


Since the English splits the sentence with a comma, can this be restated in German as "Jeden Sonntag, Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold"?


No, you need to put the verb second.


Why is "Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold jeden Sonntag" is incorrect?

  • 1044

I think I was marked wrong for this, too.

In discussion for other exercises, apparently, indications of time, such as “jeden Sonntag,” must come first in the predicate. I would think there are exceptions, but so far, Duo hasn’t given us any.


There are no exceptions for this, I can assure you.

In German, we ALWAYS follow the structure below:

  1. Temporal
  2. Kausal
  3. Modal
  4. Lokal


There are no exceptions for this, I can assure you.

That's not true at all. Adverbial phrases can certainly be reordered sometimes for emphasis or the flow of the sentence. The temporal-kausal-modal-lokal ordering is just a tendency, not a hard-and-fast rule.


This sentence makes no sense to me in German or English !


If you replace "gold" with "money" would it make more sense?


I could probably answer your question better if you said what you expected the ending to be, and perhaps why. But "Gold" is neuter gender and needs to be dative case in this sentence, and the neuter dative form is "seinem."

We need dative because "seinem Gold" is the object of "in" and is a location. "In" takes dative case when referring to a location ("inside something") and accusative for a destination ("into something"). In this sentence it's the former, hence the dative.


I was wondering why it is 'jeden' and not 'jedes'. Turns out, the adjective 'jede' must be conjugated in the accusative case, which makes it become 'jeden'. The reason for this is shown on this website, in point 4): https://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/Nouns/accusative.html

"4) To indicate specific time (when NO PREPOSITIONS ARE INVOLVED): Was machst du nächste Woche? What're you doing next week? Jeden Samstag essen wir auswärts. We eat out every Saturday. Letztes Jahr sind wir ans Meer gefahren. Last year we drove to the ocean."


In addition, "Morgen" is masculine, so if we were using the nominative here we would use "jeder," not "jedes."


Why is Sonntags wrong?


"Sonntags" is more like "on Sundays." It's a subtle difference, but "jeden Sonntag / every Sunday" puts emphasis on doing it on all Sundays rather than, e.g., every other Sunday or on random occasional Sundays. "Sonntags / on Sundays" would sound more like a contrast to doing it on a different day, e.g. Saturdays.

  • 1044

By forcing the accusative ("Jeden Sonntag"), this suggests that "Jeder" acts like a preposition.


No, it doesn't. For one thing, prepositions don't conjugate. "Jeder" is quite definitely a determiner.

Adverbial time expressions like this one simply regularly go in the accusative in German; this has nothing to do with "jeder."

[deactivated user]

    Is Duo thinking of adding mtx with a question like this lol?


    Jeden Sonntag modifies the verb schwimmt. It is an adverb phrase, telling us when he swims.


    "Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold jeden Sonntag" is correct? What is the difference with "Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold." ?


    If you want "Duo" first, the correct order is "Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold."

    The difference is about the same as English "Duo swims in his gold every Sunday" vs "Every Sunday, Duo swims in his gold."


    Can anybody explain please why Duo thinks that adding a comma after Sonntag makes it incorrect ' i.e ' Jeden Sonntag, schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold'? I'm puzzled as a comma was put into the English (although I didn't think it needed it) so I assumed you would need to do the same for the German


    English uses the comma, and German does not. (I would use the comma in English myself, though I don't think it's strictly required.) Punctuation rules just aren't the same between the two languages.

    I would be surprised if Duo marked you wrong for the extra comma though; it generally more or less ignores punctuation. So if it marked you wrong, I would have to guess you made a typo somewhere.


    what does this mean ? how do you swim in Gold ?


    It's meant as a funny little reference to the cartoon character Scrooge McDuck (in German, known as Dagobert Duck). He was ridiculously wealthy and kept a swimming pool filled with gold coins that he would play in.


    thank you DianaM


    Why is it seinem Gold? Since there's an action, i would think it would be accusative.


    Since there's an action

    The more precise criterion for dative vs. accusative is whether you're going to something as a destination, or simply being located there. Here Duo is not swimming into the gold but swimming around within the gold, being in the gold the whole time. If Duo were swimming from his swimming pool into his gold, in that case we would use the accusative "in sein Gold."

    (This goes for several other prepositions too: "Ich springe auf dem Bett" is jumping on the bed, while "Ich springe auf das Bett" is jumping onto the bed; "Ich gehe vor dem Haus" is walking around in front of the house, and "Ich gehe vor das Haus" is going to the front of the house.)


    Why isn't it seinen Gold? Isn't it dative?


    Yes, it's dative. The neuter dative form of "sein" is "seinem."


    Now we know what he does from the Duolingo Plus money.


    Why "Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold'" is wrong?


    Thanks for the explaination, zoehxll. I keep mixing up the duo/schwimmt and this explains why


    Why is here " in seinem Gold"? Swimming is a movement so shouldn't be here used acusative so the phrase would looks like "in seinen Gold"? Thanks in advance


    You don't simply use the accusative "when there's movement." You use it when there's movement to the noun. In other words, if Duo were swimming into the gold (from somewhere else), you would use "in sein Gold" (not "seinen"; "Gold" is neuter, not masculine), but since he's just swimming around in the gold, we use dative.


    When I first encountered accusative vs. dative, someone offered the misleading advice to consider Accusative = Active. It's not as catchy, but I have since found a better metric is that Accusative is for a destination, Dative is for a location.


    "Schwimmt" describes movement, so why Dativ?


    I don't know why we beginners seem to get this impression, it confused me at first, too. "Movement" is not a useful metric for determining when to use Accusative and when to use Dative.

    Better to think of it this way: if you are talking about a location (where something is, or is happening, even movement), then it's Dative. If you are talking about a destination, then it's Accusative.


    I must say i prefer sentences that have some semblence of possible meaning. It is really difficult to imagine what this could mean.

    • 1044

    It could have been a swimming pool or just water. So, Duo was trying to have a little fun with his money.


    Learning a language is different from using, say, a phrase book. A phrase book will have a limited number of sentences you can learn, to use in specific situations. "Excuse me", "Pleased to meet you", "Where is the train station?" etc. When learning a language, what we are learning is, vocabulary to some extent, but even more importantly, the structure, the grammar, so that we have the tools to construct sentences we need in any number of situations.

    This particular sentence, from a language-learning standpoint, is not about "Duo" and his gold. It is about the correct use of the dative vs. accusative case, and also, always, about putting the components of a sentence into the proper order. These are things we, as students, need to be exposed to and to practice over and over.

    The lesson is no less valuable because it's Duo - swimming - in his gold, than if it were, for example, my sister - dancing - in her room, and, in fact, is perhaps better for learning because it is a little silly, because the brain tends to better retain anything unusual.


    Jeden Sonntag Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold. Last time this was accepted, now it's not


    I would doubt that that was accepted before; it's not grammatical. The verb needs to take the second position in the sentence, so it needs to come right after "Jeden Sonntag"-- i.e., "Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold." Alternatively, you could also have "Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold."


    And isn't it possible to say "Duo schwimmt in seinem Gold jeden Sonntag"?

    Because of the nominative - dative - accusative order


    It could be 'Duo schwimmt jeden Sonntag in seinem Gold'.

    This is because of TMP (time, manner place) after the verb which means the time reference must come first after the 'schwimmt'.


    I don't believe so. Typically, time "ideas" have to come first or right after the verb. This is because predicates are usually time, then manner, then place in German. You're right that usually you put the dative object before the accusative object (unless the accusative object is a pronoun), but this is only for true objects. I believe this is considered a prepositional phrase about time, even though it takes the accusative.


    Why is this sentence structure like this


    I believe my responses to JoeSines above on this page answer your question.


    Why isn't "sonntäglich" an option?


    Is this a Statement towards how the owners of Duolingo are filthy rich off the backs of their customers?


    Why is the verb first? I thought that the verb is always second.


    What do you mean? The verb "schwimmt" is indeed second, after "jeden Sonntag." ("Jeden" is not a verb, if that's what you were thinking; it means "every.")


    If "in" is a 2-way preposition, then why would it not be "sein Geld". Doesnt the schwimmen verb make it Akkusative?


    Two-way prepositions generally take dative when they're referring to a location and accusative when they're referring to a destination. Duo isn't swimming into the gold (as a destination where he's swimming to) but simply in the gold (as a location where he's swimming at). So we use dative.


    Could someone explain to me why is it not jeden sonntag duo schwimmt in seinem gold?


    The verb always goes in second position in a declarative sentence. Since you have "jeden Sonntag" first, "schwimmt" needs to go right after, in second position.


    that word order though


    Obviously, my knowledge of German (and English - I'm a scientist not a linguist) is poor. I thought that when something went at the front for emphasis (eg jetzt), the verb was swapped. So I expected that the structure would be: Every Sunday, swims Duo in his gold. A bit like Jetzt gehen wir.


    I don't entirely understand your comment. The default translation for this exercise is "Jeden Sonntag schwimmt Duo in seinem Gold," which is exactly the word order you suggested. Do you have a question?

    I thought that when something went at the front for emphasis (eg jetzt), the verb was swapped.

    The typical way of stating this rule is that the verb goes second (in a declarative sentence, at least). So whatever you put at the beginning (subject, adverbial phrase, object, etc.), the verb needs to go next.


    Sorry, I forgot to finish the comment. I couldn't quite see how my logic (swap the order) matched the explanations above.


    Why am I being corrected with the exact and proper translation ?


    I'm not sure what you mean by that; can you elaborate? Do you mean that the correction was the same as what you wrote, or that it followed the English word order when you tried a different order, or what exactly?

    What was your answer, and what was the correction?


    It seems that Duo is a bad rich boss. I don't like that sentence


    Sometimes I really wish there were hints for grammar


    I gave a perfectly correct translation but my answer was marked as wrong anyway.


    What was your translation? No one can do anything about that if you don't provide what exactly your answer was.


    Some of the sentences on Duolingo are total rubbish.


    Some of the comments on Duolingo are total Rubbish


    Have you ever swum in money? In other words, were you ever flush with money? That's what's being implied here about Duo The Owl!


    very bad and crzy sentence for learners of German

    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.