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  5. "Mein kleiner Bruder glaubt, …

"Mein kleiner Bruder glaubt, Pinguine sind Säugetiere!"

Translation:My little brother thinks penguins are mammals!

March 21, 2018



The English translation of this sentence does not contain a comma. Can someone explain why it is supposed to be there in German?


It's a secondary clause, a secondary main clause, to be precise, so it has to be separated by a comma. Both clauses could exist independently, but the second serves as an object here. The comma is also nice because it tells you where to insert a little break.

See also here http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Komplex/Form/uneingeleitet.html


Not entirely sure but its due to how German handles causes, basically you know when in english its like X123... That Y456

(Dass follows the same rules)


Saeuge=suckle, tiere=animal


Could you also write "Mein kleiner Bruder glaubt, dass Pinguine Säugetiere sind" or does 'glauben' already include 'with/dass'? i.e. is 'glauben' like 'suchen', which includes the 'for' that one uses in English w/ "to search for"?

[Sorry, this sounds very confusing...]


With dass and sind in the end it's equally correct.


Therefore I infer that the sentence becomes subordinate when you add "dass"?


Yes, "dass" is a subordinating conjunction.


A question related to the comparative and to atributive adjectives: "my smaller brother" would also translate to "mein kleiner Bruder" in this sentence? If so, there is no way to differentiate both meanings ?


Literally "my smaller brother" would be "mein kleinerer Bruder"


  • My brother is small = Mein Bruder ist klein (positive)
  • My brother is smaller = Mein Bruder ist kleiner (comparative)
  • My brother is (the) smallest = Mein Bruder ist der kleinste/Mein Bruder ist am kleinsten (superlative)


  • My small brother = Mein kleiner Bruder
  • My smaller brother = Mein kleinerer Bruder
  • My smallest brother = Mein kleinster Bruder

You can see if "kleiner" is predicative comparative or attributive positive by looking at its position (in front of a noun or connected with a verb like sein/werden).


You say (correctly I believe) that My small brother = Mein Kleiner Bruder

But Duo rejects my translation viz :

"My small brother believes that penguins are mammals"


Since it's only a belief, and not necessarily true, shouldn't this be some form of Konjunktiv? Mein kleiner Bruder glaubt, Pinguine seien Säugetiere! ??

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