"Your sisters are washing their hands."

Translation:Eure Schwestern waschen ihre Hände.

February 2, 2018

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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Wouldn't this be better as Ihre/eure/deine Schwestern waschen sich die Hände?

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime
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I agree. To me, "Eure Schwestern waschen ihre Hände" sounds like the sisters wash other people's hands.

February 2, 2018

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

February 2, 2018

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

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Will709432
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Haven't come across sich yet but thinking it's like the Swedish sin/sina

November 20, 2018

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

November 20, 2018

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

November 20, 2018

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

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnWolfe4

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

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AbunPang
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Yes, that should be accepted.

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheMinecra99597

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

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sky17343
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why wasnt it 'ihren handen' since its plural? confused

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Max.Em
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Ihren Händen is dative, but it has to be accusative here. Sie arbeiten mit ihren Händen <-> Sie waschen sich ihre Hände.

October 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ly_Mar
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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”.

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/airvick
  1. "your" can be in german "deine" oder "eure"
  2. Plural von Schwester is "Schwester" not "Schwestern". Schwestern is genitiv
February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Max.Em
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  1. yes. 2. no. Plural of die Schwester is die Schwestern (nom.), der Schwestern (gen.), den Schwestern (dat.) or die Schwestern (acc.), see also https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Schwester
February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/quis_lib_duo
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Ad 1: your can also be Ihre (polite form).

February 2, 2018
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