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  5. "Meine Frau kennt alle Antwor…

"Meine Frau kennt alle Antworten."

Translation:My wife knows all the answers.

March 18, 2013

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Is there a grammatical rule that excludes the word "die" in front of "Antworten"? Or was it excluded because this is the casual way German speakers would say this sentence?


I think in this case it means more like "My wife knows everything," in the rhetorical sense, instead of say, looking at a test and saying "My wife knows all the answers." This is more like a husband saying "My old lady has all the answers." Make more sense?


Okay, which part is confusing? There's a difference between knowing specific answers and being a know-it-all, and the way I read this sentence, the speaker is saying his wife is a know-it-all. She knows everything, all the answers, regardless of whether she's right or wrong. Does that make it more clear?


I disagree. I don't think 8689219's answer was particularly helpful in explaining why though (!) so I'll expand:

"Meine Frau weiß alles" is how I would say "my wife knows everything".

"Meine Frau hat alle Antworten" is how I would say "my wife has all the answers".

Duo's sentence here: "Meine Frau kennt alle Antworten" sounds more like "My wife knows every answer" and in my opinion, Germans use "kennt/knows" when talking about "specific" answers as opposed to general ones. It's the same in English: if you say "I know the answers", you are likely talking about answers to specific questions but when referring to general answers to 'all' questions, you would say "I HAVE all the answers".

This is my opinion and how I read Duo's example. I'd be grateful if a native German speaker could clarify.


Okay, so to muddy the waters a bunch....I asked another German, and she said that if she intended for the meaning to be sarcastic she would have used wissen, and she's reading this sentence as literal. So she asked her friends in Germany, and it split them down the middle, half viewing it as sarcastic, and the other half not. But the interesting thing is that it was all men who read it as sarcastic, and the women read it as literal. So...yeah...


Speaking with my mom, a native speaker, she had this to say this morning:

"Here is the answer. Wissen means I know the answer. Knowledge! Kennen is more used as in being acquainted with (as in people, friends and neighbors). With things, kennen is used as running across a thing. Ich kenne das Spiel means I have come across that game before. So in "my wife is acquainted with the answers" one must note the sarcasm because it would not be the word used to indicate factual knowledge that much. hence number two (oy, my wife thinks she has all the answers) applies."


Except wissen relates to facts, and kennen relates to familiarity. So "Ich weiß wie spät es ist" because I know what time it is, and "Ja, ich kenne ihn" because I'm familiar with who he is. Kenne seems the more nebulous version here.

My mom's actually German, so I'm going to ask her what her thoughts are and relay her response.



Very helpful explanation. But sorry, whom do you mean with 8689219?


MauriceReeves: Yeah I might get around to asking my family one day too! Haha! Even though this seems debatable, I've decided that your mum's version makes sense. I'm still totally confused about which word to use if you know the original questions (rather than just specific answers: wissen) but if I ever want to sarcastically say that someone knows everything, I'll just use "kennen". Until someone in my family corrects me anyway!


lukman.A: the user has now changed their username (I think it's 121swagon) or maybe there was a glitch and the name wasn't showing properly!

MauriceReeves: yes, exactly - although both kennen and wissen can be used in Duo's sentence (I think!) to express knowing 'information' as opposed to a person, it's my opinion that 'kennen' was used here to express familiarity with the questions meaning the translation would be something like "my wife knows all the answers... to specific 'known' questions". I'd be very interested to get the opinions of a few native speakers actually just to see if it's open to interpretation.


This has me completely stumped. I will give 5 lingots to anyone who can answer this question!


If you take him at his word, this man's wife should be able to help you out.


I don't know a specific rule (so don't give me lingots ;) ) but If you said "Meine Frau kennt all ('alle' sounds wrong once you add the 'die' - which might just be convention for ease of speaking) die Antworten" you would mean specific answers (e.g. to a set of exam questions you are just talking about). However, I think as you cannot know the context in Duo it is one of those sentences that might be considered correct. Either they simply do not that answer yet, or the idea is that in 90% of cases you would translate the sentence as Duo suggests right now. Sorry I cannot give a better answer, but maybe it helps a little bit


Thanks Franky.:)


Duo is married? D: my world is crushed!


my lady knows all the answers should be accepted D:


When "Frau" is used with possessive pronoun such as "meine" it means "wife". (Not a native speaker nor I know German outside of Duolingo, saying from my experience from previous lessons and some comments I read here.)


No, it means wife. 'Dame' is probably what Germans would use to mean 'lady'. Any natives who can comment?


That's not accepted?


I think as you do. "My Lady" ought to be correct. But if it were it would be a very old fashioned way of speaking. As if a personal maid was referring to her employer, "My lady will be home soon". Or was speaking quite politely to her, "Yes, my lady, your invitation to Downton Abbey has arrived."


Shouldn't it be "weiß?"


As in my other answer above, I think the speaker in this sentence is speaking broadly, almost like you'd say "God knows all the answers." You wouldn't use wissen in that case because you're not speaking about a specific case but instead speaking rhetorically. This sentence sounds like a guy sitting at the bar griping about his wife being a know-it-all. Not that that's something we ever do. Ever. Especially not if my wife's reading this.


In German, "to know" can be both "kennen" and "wissen". In this sentence they are pretty interchangeable, however, sometimes they have to be distinguished. This will help understanding: http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang16.htm


Isn't kennen to "know someone or some place" whereas "wissen" is to "know a fact"? At least that's how they teach it in college and high school.


That's how I was taught.


I remember being told that by a friend who was in Germany for a few yrs. I never learned it in school... that I remember


I mentioned this debate to my mom this morning because she's from Germany and she said that in this case, the way the sentence is phrased, it's a sarcastic "Jesus, my wife thinks she's got all the answers" kind of phrase, instead of a "My wife took that test, and she aced it." In that second case, you'd use wissen.

[deactivated user]

    Both are fine.


    Please excuse me, Christian. Either is fine.


    Why "Frau" is better placed as "Wife in the context of this phrase? Is it because of the usage of "meine"?.

    I ask this simply because I have a confusion about "Freund". What's the difference between "Sie ist meine Freundin" and "Sie ist eine Freundin", is the first one referring to a girlfriend?.

    Thanks in advance.


    With Frau, "meine Frau" implies "wife" because of the "meine." I suppose that if we were translating the English phrase "my woman," into German it would also be "meine Frau," but it seems like a less likely situation. I'm not so sure about "meine/eine Freundin."


    As kalukuhan said, he is right. Same thing with Meine... Fruendin: your friend that is a girl; however in German, that's interpreted as girlfriend. There's another way of saying "my friend" (that is a girl) that clarifies the relationship. Useful if you don't want to make things awkward. I don't remember it though.


    I looked it up: you say eine Freundin von mir... A friend (girl) of mine.


    How do you know whether to use 'alle' or 'alles', what's the difference?


    If I'm not mistaken, "Alles" could be used here a noun meaning "everything," and would be used alone (Meine Frau kennt Alles), while here it is an adjective modifying the plural noun "Antworten" and doesn't take the "s" ending.


    oh so your wife is a computer;);P;);P;);P

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