"I have had a hat since you have had a hat."
Translation:Ich habe einen Hut, seit du einen Hut hast.
It is. The problem is that English uses the perfect tense to express a present meaning: “I have had a hat [since…]” means “I have a hat now [which I got…]”. This use of the English perfect has to be translated as present tense in German. More examples:
- I have lived here for a couple of months. -> Ich wohne hier seit ein paar Monaten.
- He has known this for three years. -> Er weiß das seit drei Jahren.
If you translated it as past tense, it would mean that the state you’re talking of is no longer valid. Or that you’re telling a story maybe.
But why are simple present and past tenses the only option? Why not "Ich habe einen Hut gehabt seit du einen Hut gehabt hast"? That seems like the most literal translation of the English sentence, no?
EDIT: I've just read your answer to this below. Apparently Germans decided that the best way of dealing with different tenses it to make them mean exactly the same thing. You start with two different sharp knifes, so let's dull them until any fine difference goes away... Makes perfect sense, why all these complications? That what happens when you let humans mess with the language ;-)
No, haben wants an accusative object. I’m not entirely sure why you got this sentence in the Dative Prepositions lesson. I can only assume it’s because of seit which can indeed be a preposition used with dative case, for example seit einem Jahr “for one year/since one year ago”. But in this case it’s a conjunction introducing a subordinate clause, so it shouldn’t be in a dative prepositions lesson if you ask me – unless its intentionally used to throw people off.
Beware of the ❤❤❤❤❤ traps!
Seit roughly means "since". However, it works a bit differently. First, it always denotes something that is still going on. Second, it has three different ways of usage. Consider these examples: Ich lerne seit sechs Jahren Englisch. (I'm learning English for six years now.) Ich lerne seit 2012 Englisch (I've been learning English since 2012.) Ich lerne Englisch, seit ich denken kann. (I've been learning English since I can think.) In the first example, seit defines a stretch of time, which reaches into the present. In the second example, it also defines a stretch of time, reaching into the present. But it defines this stretch of time by its starting point. Seit can also be a subordinating conjunction (check the lesson "Conjunctions"). In these, the verb leaves the second position of the sentence, and ends up at the end. This is why in the last example, ich kann denken (I can think) turns into seit ich denken kann.
And by the way, what's wrong with the translation "Ich habe einen Hut seit ihr einen Hut habt"? Is this a no-go? Reported.
As of Feb. 2019 the following German translations are still not accepted (but have both been reported):
"Ich habe einen Hut, seit ihr einen Hut habt." (edited/corrected)
"Ich habe einen Hut, seit Sie einen Hut haben."
Both Sie (formal "you") and ihr (plural "you") should be applicable to this sentence. Is there any reason these two sentences should not be accepted by Duolingo?
I think the reason the english translation of this sentence sounds so wrong to those of us who are native english speakers, is the way since is being used in this sentence. At least for me, if you are using since as a time reference, it would make more sense to say - I have had a hat for as long as you have had a hat - I would never use since here. If using since as a sense of -because- then it would be I have a hat since (because) you have a hat without throwing the word -had- in. The sentence as is seems to be combining and mixing the two.
Sort of. English likes to use present perfect for verb actions which started in the past and are still ongoing in the present (actually present perfect progressive is more common with normal verbs, but it sounds odd with “to have” in most situations). Usually you see a clause with “since” or “for”:
- I have been living here for 5 years.
German regards this as present tense since it’s still ongoing:
- Ich wohne hier seit 5 Jahren.
Is it possible that you entered an incorrect verb form? With formal Sie it should be: “Ich habe einen Hut, seit Sie einen Hut haben.”
If that wasn’t the problem then they probably just forgot to add that as a possible answer. Feel free to use the report function to report the mistake directly to the contributors if it comes up again.
No, hätte (as well as hättest, hätten etc.) are the past subjunctive forms. They basically indicate a hypothetical/non-real situation, much like English “would have” (although English uses the past for this in some situations – most notably conditionals like “if I had a hat” – because the past subjunctive merged with the simple past in English).
The simple past form of haben is hatte, without the Umlaut.
Would you say that though (I’m assuming you’re an English native speaker)? I learnt that for cases like this one, you use the present perfect in English: Subject has been in state x since point y/for y amount of time --> ”I have had a hat since…”
English seems to focus on the “this state was valid in the past” aspect while in German we focus on the “this state is valid now” aspect: “Ich habe einen Hut seit…” It sound quite awkward to use perfect tense here (at least in Standard German).
I am not a native English speaker, nonetheless I think it would make much more sense that the English Translation for the sentence: 'Ich habe einen Hut, seit du einen Hut hast' would be: I have a hat, since you have a hat.
My question is, since the sentence is: 'I have had a hat, since you have had a hat' Wouldn't the German Translation would be: 'Ich habe einen Hut gehabt, seit du einen Hut gehabt hast' ?
Yes, that sentence would sound rather weird in German.
For two reasons:
- since is not a German word. Use seit for giving a point in time where something started.
- The word order is incorrect. Clauses which are introduced by seit are subordinate clauses. Therefore, the conjugated part of the verb has to be at the very end: “seit du einen Hut hast”.
That would be using past perfect: “I had had a hat since you had had a hat.” So you would be talking about a point in the past. At that point you had a hat which you acquired some time earlier, at the same time the addressee got their own one. Whereas in the original sentence the point of reference (when you have a hat) is the present.
The comma is obligatory. Apart from a small number of exceptions (the biggest ones being clauses introduced with und or oder), main and/or subordinate clauses are obligatorily separated with a comma. The conjunction seit introduces a subordinate clause and therefore always has the conjugated verb at the very end.
Apart from a small number of exceptions (the biggest ones being clauses introduced with und or oder), main and/or subordinate clauses are obligatorily separated with a comma.
I do not believe clauses introduced by und or oder are classified as main and subordinate. These are examples of coordinate clauses, i.e. clauses coming on equal footing with one another.
If I’m not mistaken, the theoretical difference between coordinate and main clauses is that a main clause is always at the outermost nesting level, whereas a coordinate clause is simply at the same nesting level as the one it is attached to (so if it’s attached to a nested clause, then the coordinate one is nested too). This is indeed relevant when we’re talking about und, oder and aber which can indeed introduce a Nebensatz if attached to another Nebensatz:
- Als er nach Hause kam und sein Hund ihn mit wildem Schwanzwedeln begrüßte, war der Tag gleich nur noch halb so grau. (When he came home and his dog greeted him wildly wagging its tail, the day immediately seemed only half as gloomy.)
- Könntest du mir bescheid sagen, wenn es Post für mich gibt oder ein Anruf kommt? (Could you notify me if there is mail for me or somebody calls?)
- Wenn jemand eines Verbrechens beschuldigt wird, aber es keinen Beweis für seine Schuld gibt, dann gilt die Unschuldsvermutung. (If somebody is accused of committing a crime but there is no proof for their guilt, then the presumption of innocence applies.)
But these three seem to be the only conjunctions that can do this, at least I can’t think of a way to form such sentences with other coordinating conjunctions like denn or daher.
In any case, what I meant in my earlier comment was Hauptsatz, but that concept isn’t necessary for the comma rule: Any two clauses with a conjugated verb – whether coordinated or subordinated – are separated with commas (unless the second clause is introduced by und or oder).
(Of course this is not the only thing which can require you to use a comma, but it’s one of – if not the – most common one.)
The English sentence would have been clearer as; "I have had a hat for as long as you have had one" or/ I've had a hat as long as you've had one" Using the word since introduces ambiguity. The word since, in the example could mean either; "because" or "for the period of time that"