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  5. "Owls that talk don't bite."

"Owls that talk don't bite."

Translation:Eulen, die sprechen, beißen nicht.

January 29, 2018



Total guess and I nailed it!


Congrats. Maybe you are starting to think like a German :-)


I usually guess Perfekt sentences easily


Why doesn't beissen come at the end? Why does it come directly after the direct clause?


Main clause: Eulen beißen nicht. Verb needs to be on P2. P1 is subject, P2 is the predicate and a negation at P3.

A relative clause gets interjected and is an attribute to the subject. So P1 is "Eulen, die sprechen,". P2 does not change and is still our predicate. P3 doesnt change either.


Genau das was eine sprechende Eule sagen würde!


(German native speaker) The right saying, well known in Germany, is: "Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht." = "Dogs that bark do not bite."


I propose a different translation: "Die sprechenden Eulen beißen nicht". I think it is correct even if not anymore very used.


it's mostly because this is a little play with the german idiom "Hunde die bellen, beissen nicht". so you keep it in the same structure.


Because Duo is a owl and not a dog


That would specifically refer to owls that are currently talking, whereas "Owls that talk" is just owls that in general do talk. Also, you shouldn't add "die" at the beginning; that would be "The owls that are talking / The talking owls."

Also Duo wants to teach you relative clauses, so it's disinclined to accept different phrasings. In general, Duo expects you to phrase your answer the same way that the exercise is phrased.


Das klingt, als ob sehr viele Eulen sprechen können. Da klingt das Original logischer für mich. Aber falsch ist Ihr Satz nicht.


Eulen, die sprechen können, beißen nicht. Not accepted :D


Not accepted because the meaning is slightly different.

  • Eulen, die sprechen können, beißen nicht.

  • Eulen, die sprechen, beißen nicht.

Can you tell me what is this difference? I can't see it. Help me


the sentence is a slight change of a very common german idiom. "Hunde die bellen, beisen nicht". Dogs that bark do not bite. all dogs CAN bark, but those that do are supposed to be the ones that wont bite. so in this case, it s WHETHER the owl talks that matters, not if it can talk.


"Sprechen können" means that they can talk, and just "sprechen" means that they actually do talk. The distinction may be minimal (since if they can talk, they probably do), but it's still there. I think "sprechen können" is a reasonable translation, but Duo doesn't always accept subtly different translations like this, so at least for Duolingo purposes it's usually best to translate pretty literally.

Another difference is that "Eulen, die sprechen" can also mean that they're actually talking right now ("Owls that are [currently] talking are not [currently] biting"), which is clearly different from "sprechen können."


Eulen, die sprechen, beissen nicht was not accepted.


It's "beißen", not "beissen". The double vowel "ei" forces the use of the "ß". Unless of course if you are from Switzerland. They don't have the letter "ß".


Duo always accepts "ss" as substitute for "ß," however. This would not have been the problem.


I think i got it right. Can't do the "B" in German. Unless they counted it wrong because i forgot the commas


If you can't type "ß," use "ss" instead (e.g., "beißen" -> "beissen").

If you're on mobile, you can probably type "ß" by holding the "S" key (and "ß" will pop up); if you're on the web version, there's a "ß" button below the text box that you can press (along with the umlauted vowels).

Duo wouldn't mark you wrong for commas; it mostly ignores punctuation completely, so it doesn't care if you have them there or not.


Suppose you want to say: "Owls that talk, not bite" as in, "I want owls that can talk, not owls that bite"

Would that be "Eulen, die sprechen, nicht beißen"?


"Eulen, die nicht beißen, sondern sprechen"?


Either one works, however you would need to change the word order on the second sentence: "Nicht Eulen, die beißen, sondern welche, die sprechen".


How would we say this: "Owls that don't talk, bite" .... "Eulen, die sprechen nicht, beißen"? Secondly, there is no verb at the second position, and yet the sentence is still or shall I say danach correct. Why is that so?


How would we say this: "Owls that don't talk, bite" .... "Eulen, die sprechen nicht, beißen"?

It would be "Eulen, die nicht sprechen, beißen." Since "die nicht sprechen" is a subordinate clause, its verb goes at the end.

Secondly, there is no verb at the second position

Actually, the verb is at the second position. The whole phrase "Eulen, die sprechen" forms the subject and is the first position.


There is a proverb in Germany :"Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht" Has the "owls" the same meaning in Great Britain?

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