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"Your sisters are washing their hands."

Translation:Eure Schwestern waschen ihre Hände.

February 2, 2018

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWolfe4

I answered, "Deine Schwestern waschen sich die Hände." It was marked wrong. I flagged it.


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

Yes, that should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali4040e

What is "sich"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suchitras1

In this context, something along the lines of 'their own' hands. The word sich is usually used to imply x-self: like himself, herself or themselves. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


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

"Deine Schwestern waschen sich ihre Hände" was accepted. I put the "sich" in because it is part of the phrase "wash themselves" but when their hands have been specified, I understand the "sich" can be left out (as in the preferred answer above) because, unless stated otherwise, it is assumed that their hands belong to themselves!


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

Why isn't "deine" accepted? I have two sisters and someone could tell me "your sisters are washing their hands" .. Duo is asking too much if they think we can tell which "your" they're talking about.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S851648

"Deine Schwestern waschen ihre Hände" is an accepted translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/X-Lydia

Not on 24 April 2021, it wasn't.


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

It was accepted on July 25, 2021


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

I dont get why Duo often can't let you off with this. It's a problem I come across almost every time I have a session on here. Short of using "youse" which isn't universally used in English we dont really have a plural for "you"


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

I put "Deine Schwestern waschen ihre Hände." Why is it Eure and not deine? I always learned that deine was your and Ihre was yours. When should I use deine, ihre, and eure correctly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nmjones14

"Ihre" would be "their", "her", or formal "your". "Eure" is the plural "your". "Deine" is the singular "your". Remember, though, that all of these are for feminine nouns!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Disha_1313

Idk..it was marked right for me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Velvetcat08

what is wrong with "deine"?


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

Wouldn't this be better as Ihre/eure/deine Schwestern waschen sich die Hände?


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

I agree. To me, "Eure Schwestern waschen ihre Hände" sounds like the sisters wash other people's hands.


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

Well, do you think the same about the English sentence? I think the implication is clear enough that their/ihre refers to their own hands, not other ones.


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

I'm not a native English speaker, but the way I see it, the English sentence is the standard phrasing you'd use to express that the sisters are washing their own hands, so that's what I read into it.

The standard phrasing in German, however, is "sie waschen sich die Hände", not "sie waschen ihre Hände", which sounds a bit like an anglicism (if that's the right word) - although it doesn't sound unusual anymore if you add e.g. "Sie waschen ihre Hände mit Seife" ("...with soap"), and for the idiom "Sie waschen ihre Hände in Unschuld" ("...in innocence") it's even the standard phrasing.


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

Im not an english native either, yet my second thought was "Which hands get washed". But for sure, the first thought was they was their own hands (because thats what usually happens).


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

@az_p:

Yes. The sentence »Eure Schwestern waschen ihre Hände.« is unidiomatic if they're washing their own hands, and would likely be interpreted by a native speaker of German (such as myself) as washing someone else's hands.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

Haven't come across sich yet but thinking it's like the Swedish sin/sina


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Shouldn't it rather be "sig"? I have no idea of Swedish, but it seems fairly similar to Danish, where sin/sit/sine are kind of reflexive possessive pronouns, that don't exist in this way in German, while sich is a reflexive (object) pronoun (3rd person sg. & pl.). It's rather like himself/herself/themselves, but used much more often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

Yeah I think you're right sig for this sentence but what I mean is I'm learning Swedish and as far as I know sin/sina/sitt/sig is reflexive, han gillar sina barn, he likes his children, as opposed to someone else's. I think :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Yes, exactly what I thought. In German that would be "Er mag seine Kinder", but we can't certainly know if they are his own children (sina/sine) or the children of sb. else (hans/hans). Even worse for the female version: "Sie mag ihre Kinder", where "ihre" can refer to her own (sina/sine), those of another woman (hennes/hendes) or another group of people (deras/deres). All of them would be "ihre". If you admit even "Ihre" (only a written difference), it would be "your children" (formally speaking). That's why I say German is lacking "sin/sit/sine"-style pronouns. I just came across them in learning Danish....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sky17343

why wasnt it 'ihren handen' since its plural? confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Ihren Händen is dative, but it has to be accusative here. Sie arbeiten mit ihren Händen <-> Sie waschen sich ihre Hände.


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

It isn't “ihren” because accusative plural of possessive pronouns ends in -e, not -en and it isn't “Handen” because there's no regularity in plural formation (there is a limited number of ways to form the plural but you can't predict which one any given word is going to use) and you will just have to remember that the plural of “Hand” is “Hände”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/metaway1

How the ❤❤❤❤ should I know when to use uere and when to use deine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beverly651193

"Deine Schwestern waschen ihre Hände" was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMinecra99597

Well one of the other options was 'My sisters eat their hands'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k3EzAMT7

Why wasn't it .....waschen sich die Hände" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhKYGk9T

I am not a native speaker obviously, but in our coronavid 19 we babysitters HAVE to wash their hands and their butts. Very interesting. Also I learn first the Lesson ie .Body and memorize the strange words ie. Zahn in plural is Zahne not Zahnen , Language is arbitrary


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

why isn't it ihren if its plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c3trash

Does it have to be reflexive to use die Hände?

Can you say Eure Schwestern waschen die Hände. Or is sich mandatory in this sentence?


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

for people living in 2020, that is how you should act. just a PSA


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Picardo67

Duo is wrong here. "waschen" is reflexive in German - in this particular usage, at least, so "sie waschen sich die Hände" is the correct translation.


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

I believe that and "Deine Schwestern ...." is correct. One person can have two sisters and they are washing their hands.

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