"Mein kleiner Bruder glaubt, Pinguine sind Säugetiere!"

Translation:My little brother thinks penguins are mammals!

March 21, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Saeuge=suckle, tiere=animal


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)


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! ??


Silly boy, everyone knows they're reptiles

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