1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "You have horses."

"You have horses."

Translation:Du hast Pferde.

January 11, 2018



To clarify, if I said, "Du habt Pferde", this is wrong because I mixed formal and informal usages?


It's wrong because the pronoun and verb form don't match (singular informal pronoun with plural informal noun). It sounds wrong in the same way that "you has horses" does, as an analogy.

singular informal: du hast
plural informal: ihr habt
formal (either singular or plural): Sie haben


How about they? What is the verb form?


How about they? What is the verb form?

sie haben

"they" verb forms (almost) always end in -en.

Sie (polite "you") acts grammatically exactly like sie ("they") except that the pronoun is capitalised.


Ich habe du hast ihr habt Sie haben Wir haben


Er/sie/es hat :)


Present Tense Conjugation

Example word: malen (to paint)

singular plural
1. person ich male wir malen
2. person du malst ihr malt
3.person er/sie/es malt sie malen
  • The formal way of adressing strangers is identical to the 3rd person plural, but when writing you capitlize the Pronouns

  • some words change their root in the 2nd and 3rd person singular: ich habe, wir / sie haben, ihr habt, but du hast, er/sie/es hat

  • some words change their root in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular. they drop their Endings in the first and thirt person: wir / sie wissen, ihr wisst, but ich/er/sie/es weiß du weißt

  • the word sein is entirely irregular:

ich bin wir sind
du bist ihr seid
er/sie/es ist sie sind


What's the difference between Pferde and Pferden?



  • nominative: (die) Pferde
  • genitive: (der) Pferde
  • dative: (den) Pferden
  • accusative: (die) Pferde

The ending -n is extremely typical for nouns in the dative plural.

I think only nouns which form their plural in -s do not have -n in the dative plural.


Were these cases adopted after contact between early Germans and the Roman Empire? If so, what happened to the ablative case? (Faint memories of school Latin still linger!) Also are all these cases for the plural (Pferde) - as my dictionary seems to give a different ending for the genitive of the singular (Pferd) as -(e)s !


Were these cases adopted after contact between early Germans and the Roman Empire?

No -- the concept of cases was inherited from Proto-Germanic, which inherited them from Proto-Indo-European (PIE): the same place that Latin (and Sanskrit, and Greek, and Slavic languages, and ...) got their cases from.

Proto-Indo-European probably had eight cases, maybe nine ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language#Noun ).

Proto-Italic (between PIE and Latin) still have seven of them ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Italic_language#Nouns ; including a separate locative case -- but no instrumental case any more). Even Old Latin had preserved the locative case ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Latin#Nouns ), but in Classical Latin, the locative case was essentially dead (partly due to sound changes: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locative_case#Latin ), leaving only six cases ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_grammar#Case ).

In Proto-Germanic (PGmc), on the other hand, six of PIE's eight (or so) cases were preserved ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Germanic_grammar#Nouns ): nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, and instrumental. A set similar to that of Classical Latin, but with an instrumental rather than an ablative. I'm not sure what happened to the ablative or locative cases on the way from PIE to PGmc.

Proto-West-Germanic (the ancestor of English and German, but not, say, Danish or Gothic) still had those six cases ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Germanic_languages#Nouns ).

Old High German had lost the vocative, giving five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and instrumental ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_High_German_declension#Grammatical_cases ).

By the time of Middle High German, the instrumental had also disappeared ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_High_German#Nouns ), giving the four-case system that has survived all the way to Modern High German.

If so, what happened to the ablative case?

You might as well ask what happened to the instrumental case in Latin :)

Also are all these cases for the plural (Pferde)

Yes: the four case forms I quoted in my answer were for the plural.


Thank you very much for your detailed answer, mizinamo! At a first glance at these links, most languages seem to have simplified the number of noun cases (perhaps with the exception of Russian) from those of the PIE, but great importance still attaches to the slightly different endings of words in the languages I have come across, even if not on your PIE chart, like Finnish and Hungarian.


Can I use "Ihr" to translate this sentence? If not, how do I know to use "Du" here?


Can I use "Ihr" to translate this sentence?

Yes, you can.

Both Du hast Pferde and Ihr habt Pferde are accepted.


I said "Ihr habt pferde" and its wrong. Why??


I said "Ihr habt pferde" and its wrong. Why??

Ihr habt Pferde is an accepted translation.

Do you have a screenshot showing that sentence being rejected?


No. I don't have a screenshot. But I remember, the true was " Du hast pferde" What is the difference about "du hast" and "ihr habt"??


But I remember, the true was " Du hast pferde"

Please pay attention to the correct spelling -- Du hast Pferde. is fine, Du hast pferde. is wrong. (But Duolingo unfortunately ignores correct capitalisation.)

What is the difference about "du hast" and "ihr habt"?

Use du when you're talking to one person, ihr when you're talking to several people at once.

Like versus vosotros/ustedes in Spanish or tu versus vous in French or εσύ versus εσείς in Greek.

(But unlike French vous or Greek εσείς, ihr isn't used as a polite singular any more; we have Sie for the polite "you", both singular and plural.)

So both Du hast Pferde. and Ihr habt Pferde. and even Sie haben Pferde. are possible translations of "You have horses.", since the English sentence doesn't specify how many people you are talking to with "you".


Appreciate that. Thank you so much


Pferd (neuter) single syllable hence just gets an 'e' at the end.


why is the verb hast ?


why is the verb hast ?

Because the subject is du.


How would I know if it was du hast or Ihr haben?


How would I know if it was du hast or Ihr haben?

Because you've hopefully been reading the tips and notes for each new lesson unit before starting it.

They're available on the website by clicking on the "tips" or "lightbulb" button after selecting a lesson unit:

And so you read in the "Accusative Case" unit notes ( https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Accusative-Case/tips-and-notes ) that du hast is correct but ihr haben is wrong; it would have to be ihr habt. Just like pretty much all ihr verb forms end in -t.

Now -- whether to translate "you have" into du hast or ihr habt is not something you can predict: and therefore both of those translations are accepted.


would 'Ihr habt Pferde' also be correct?


would 'Ihr habt Pferd' also be correct?

Of course not. It would be as wrong as "You have horse".


would 'Ihr habt Pferde' also be correct?



Must match article and noun as plural or single, and as subject or object.


Once er hat is correct and anothet time fu hast. I am lising points help


Once er hat is correct and anothet time fu hast.

No. Neither of those is correct.

"you have" can be du hast (if you're talking to one person) or ihr habt (if you're talking to several people) or Sie haben (if you're being formal/polite), but never er hat (= he has) or fu hast (fu is not a word in German).


Can't use plural "you"? Why not? Another example of a Duolingo short-coming.


Can't use plural "you"?

Yes, you can.

Another example of a Duolingo short-coming.

Please support your accusation with evidence -- post the URL of an uploaded screenshot of Duolingo wrongly rejecting a correct sentence.


Hacer esto es lo peor de lo peor


You don't specify singular or plural


You don't specify singular or plural

That's why both are accepted.

Do you have a screenshot showing your rejected answer?


OK, then maybe I made a mistake. I don't have a screenshot. Thanks for the fast response.

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