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"Whose jacket is it?"

Translation:Wessen Jacke ist es?

January 28, 2018

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ibrahim.ozgul

Shouldn't duo first show some examples before each new sentence type?


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

Same here. "gehören" = "to belong" came totally out of left field. Luckily "Wessen Jacke ist es" was accepted, but when I looked at the other correct solution according to Duo I was mystified. I could not understand what "to hear" had to do with jackets! At least now I have learned a new word, but it was a weird process! (I never use word blocks, so I cannot say whether "Wessen" was in there.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carla744071

I, too, thought gehört was like gegessen somehow. No one had heard the jacket!


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

It explains about the verb Gehören in the "tips" section!


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

Duo also accepted my "Wem gehört diese Jacke?" Exactly the same? Which would be more common?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

The genitive version ("wessen Jacke") is a higher level of speech. In everyday conversation you will probably hear "wem gehört" more often. But both are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.Bellah

In which case is "wessen". Nominative?, Accusative?, or Dative?


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

wessen is the genitive case of the pronoun wer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charliebailey03

When do i use genitive case,or any of the cases exactly? I'm having trouble comprehending the rules of which case for what. Is there an easier way of explaining the direct object, etc thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenKremer2

Generally, nominative for the subject, accusative for the direct object, dative for a direct object that is receiving something, and genative for showing possession. Thats how im remembering it currently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

No, there is no easiwer way. This is already a simplified version of the facts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarrenBrow3

It accepted "Wem gehört die Jacke" (to whom does the jacket belong) also.

The sentence didn't specify a particular jacket so I didn't use "diese", although in context, as opposed to an isolated sentence, it would be clear that they were talking about a specific jacket.

I found an online source that says that although the "Wessen" construction (whose) is correct, the "Wem" (to whom) construction is more commonly used.


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

The "it" in the sentence refers to "jacket" and therefore, in German, is surely feminine. Why is "it" translated as "es" rather than "sie"?


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

It's hard to explain properly, but ‘es’ isn't quite referring to ‘Jacke’ just yet. Think of how you can say ‘who is it?’, for example on the phone, when whoever's calling is definitely not going to be an ‘it’. Better yet, think of how you would express this as a statement: ‘that is Jenny's coat’ = ‘das/es ist Jennys Jacke’. The ‘that’ at the beginning is referring to a general thing that you haven't identified as a ‘Jacke’ yet, which is why you would use a neuter pronoun in German too. In the question the order changes because of grammar, but the subject (‘es’) is still fundamentally the same and still doesn't have a noun as a referent to take the gender from.


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

A very helpful reply. Thank you.


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

Why did I get "Wessen Jacke ist es?" as the correct answer, but as I had words to choose from, but all the words were not there so how could I choose them??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

Usually there are many possible translations for a sentence. "Wessen Jacke ist es?" is definitely one of them. But maybe not the one that could be built using the words you were given. The "main solution" (see top of the page) uses even very different words: "Wem gehört die Jacke?".
So maybe you gave a wrong answer that started with "wessen"? Then Duolingo would have suggested the correct answer closest to yours, which might have been "Wessen Jacke ist es?", even though you couldn't have built this sentence using the word blocks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RathinBisw1

Ich finde es sehr hilfreich. Danke an alle.


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

Is this an error? I typed off the top of my head 'von wem ist die Jacke' and it marked it wrong, saying I needed to type 'von wem ist die die Jacke'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoAnna8765

Me too. I think it's an error.


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

can we also write " Wem Jacke ist es "


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

No, but you can write "Wessen Jacke ist es?". You need the genitive case in this construction, which is "wessen" ("wem" is dative, so "Wem Jacke ist es" would be something nonsensical like saying "To whom jacket is it?").


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

I've reported this question because, except for jacket (Jacke), none of the drop-down options for each word matched any of the buttons available. It's literally not possible to even cheat by looking up the answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

The hints are not intended to be used for cheating. They only give a hint about what you would find in a dictionary, not taking into account the concrete sentence at hand, whose translation might have a completely different structure using different words.


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

Why not "Wessen Jacke es ist?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

The word order is wrong. The verb must take the second position (not counting single words, but phrases). So it has to be "Wessen Jacke ist es?". (predicative complement: "wessen Jacke", verb "ist", subject "es")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annaduck81

I put "Wer gehört diese Jacke?" I understand (I think!) that this is wrong because it should be "Wem gehört". And I understand that "Wem" is dative. But I can't work out why I need to use the dative here. Can anyone help me out?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annaduck81

I think I've worked it out. Is it because the jacket belongs to someone? If we knew who it was we would use the dative pronoun for them, so even though we don't know we have to use the dative for 'who'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

Exactly. "die Jacke" is the subject of the sentence. So the construction is like "The jacket belongs to whom?" in English. And "to whom" is exactly the equivalent of dative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annaduck81

Thank you! It's only when learning another language that I wish I'd been specifically taught about my own language's grammar!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristineB376316

I had " Wem gehört dieser Jacke?" and it was marked wrong- saying I used the wrong work. Their "correct" version was "Wem gehört dieser Mantel?"with "Mantel" underlined. Am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

Your mistake was using "dieser". "Jacke" is feminine, so it should be "diese Jacke".
Since Duo tries to find an acceptable sentence as close as possible to your answer, and works from left to right, a possible completion of the sentence was suggesting "Mantel", which is masculine and means "coat".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieJey1

Why not "Wessen ist es Jacke" Second word should be Verb in German. Right? Please help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

The verb should be in second position. That does not mean it is the second word, but the second grammatical element of the sentence. The first element is "whose jacket", these words belong together.

Besides: the "verb second"-rule holds for affirmative sentences, not for questions and orders, so it doesn't apply here, because it is a question. And questions have different rules. Often the verb comes first in questions, but in questions headed by a question word, it goes second again. This is what we have here, because "wessen" is a question word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieJey1

Got it. Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WSG627525

Not fair to introduce a genitive case without teaching us it yet.


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

Why wessEN when Jacke is deminine? I thought questions follow -der endings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 216

"wessen" is the translation of "whose". It is not an adjective that qualifies "Jacke". So it doesn't matter what gender "Jacke" is.
Btw., the relative pronoun "der" indeed has similar endings. Its genitive is "dessen" for masculine and neuter persons. For feminines it would be "deren". But of course "dessen" and "deren" does not follow the gender of the thing possessed, bit of the owner. And the question word is not gendered at all. It's always "wer" resp. "wessen" (because you are asking. You son't know what gender the person you ask is).

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