https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

It seems to me I could leave out some words

In the sentence "I had not eaten for days." Why can't I just say "Ich hatte nicht essen vor tagen." Instead it's: Ich habe seit Tagen nichts gegessen. Doesn't Seit kinda also mean no? Duolingo has put me from Elementary to high school. I haven't even learned all the colors of the rainbow. :( Help...

March 23, 2018

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN
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I think "seit" also means for. I have not eaten for days.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Yes, someone explained that to me. I just had an issue as to why it needed to be in the sentence, but another helpful person explained that. So WIN! :) THANK YOU

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/7hAu0bvY

no you can not do what! you have to put the verb in the right tense. essen is present . so you need gegessen to make clear it is past. seit means since it makes clear it is still ongoing. if you would change the habe for hatte you would set in the plusquamperfect time.. (completed past) like in a story a situation continued for some days but what is long over.

the germans would probably understand your meaning but their ears will be bleeding from what sentence.

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JackLewery

You are right 7hAu0bvY, but chill your beans. We're all learning here.

But yes seit means since. Ich habe seit Tagen nichts gegessen would mean I have eaten since days nothing.

I see what you were trying to do with your sentence. Seit Tagen, hatte ich kein Essen would mean since a few days I had no food. Remember Time, Manner, Place.

..But I think Duolingo would want a more precise translation ;)

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/7hAu0bvY

don't worry :-) wont do anything

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Wow! Thank you

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Did I thank you? Danke! :)

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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You are using the wrong English preposition and bad English grammar.

"Ich habe seit Tagen nichts gegessen" means "I have eaten nothing for days".

"Seit Tagen hatte ich kein Essen" means "I had no food for days"

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/caelumcaeruleum

> I have eaten since days nothing.

He intentionally translated that literally to point out how this sort of sentence is constructed. Seeing the literal translation is helpful for a lot of people.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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He said

Ich habe seit Tagen nichts gegessen would mean I have eaten since days nothing.

so if he translated word for word he should have said “I have since days nothing eaten”. Anyway I objected to saying that’s what it means rather that saying it was a word for word translation. And seit literally means “for” not “since” in this context.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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She said the English was “I had not eaten for days” so it should be plusquamperfect in German too.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Oh my, that is too advanced vocabulary for me right now.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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It's not too complicated. Perfect (Perfekt) and pluperfect (Plusquamperfekt) are two forms for past tense that work the same in English as they do in German. In one you use "I have" and in the other you use "I had".

  • Perfekt: I have done something. (Ich habe etwas getan.)

  • Plusquamperfekt: I had done something. (Ich hatte etwas getan.)

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Can you put those two words in a sentence for me so I can see it? :)

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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Der Satz „Ich habe etwas getan“ ist im Perfekt. Der Satz „Ich hatte etwas getan“ ist im Plusquamperfekt.

The sentence “I have done something“ is in perfect. The sentence “I had done something“ is in pluperfect.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/drvdw
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No you don‘t insert the word. It just means a particular grammatical structure.

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Okay so you don't insert the word Perfekt in the sentence? It's just implied? Thank you for your patience. I really appreciate your help

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruce104938

Penni, concerning your question about Perfekt and Plusquamperfekt, they are the names of the tenses (present perfect and past perfect in English), so they don't go in the sentence. "I have answered your question" is in the present perfect (Perfekt), and "I had already written the answer when I saw the question" is the past perfect (Plusquamperfekt).

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Me-Oh-my...hahaha This is getting very hard. Thank you for explaining this to me. Very helpful!

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

But why put "since" in there if it's not in the English sentence? Why put the extra word? I'm finding these extra words in a lot of the German sentences. I know their ears would bleed. Haha This is why I am paying for a tutor. But I do hope this discussion board can help as well.

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ally.x
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Translation doesn't always have to be one word for one word. In fact it usually isn't.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Okay. I'll need help with this one sentence if it ever pops up on my exercise

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Thank you

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/7hAu0bvY

well the part of since in the english sentence wound be for in this case. wouldn't it? guess laguage and the way how something is expresed is a cultural thing. it is best to not compare languages. if i want to learn a language i try to get to know the culture first. it makes it easier for me.

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

I don't know. In English we would say "I haven't eaten in days" not "I had since not days eaten" (German) I guess I missed class when they were teaching grammer. :( ...sigh...

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/7hAu0bvY

you can say i have not eaten for days like you did in the post or i have not eaten in days like you did now... in the first case the "for" has the same function as the seit in the german sentence ( it shows what the situation is still ongoing) in the secon version the "in" is showing the same thing. what is what i was going to say.

of course a word on word translation does not work it hardly ever does. and there is no other reason for that than the fact that it is a different language which follows different rules.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Ahhh! Danke! :)

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruce104938

It's not an extra word, Penni. It is translating the English "for". Remember that "vor" means "before", not "for", so "vor Tagen" doesn't work here at all. "Seit" can mean "since" or "for", because both of those English words are used to indicate a period of time.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/penni28893

Thanks for the help :) . But...when do we use bevor? Thank you so much for your patience...

March 24, 2018
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