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"Die Frau, der Mann, der Junge und das Mädchen"

Translation:The woman, the man, the boy and the girl

March 24, 2018

101 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt42866

Why is it DIE frau but DAS madchen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narion_k

A simple explanation is that that's just the way it is. Sometimes the gender of a German noun seems to "make sense" based on the meaning of the word, but this is rare.

A more useful explanation is that "Mädchen" has the ending -chen, and all words with -chen also have das as their article.

A more complete explanation is as follows. The -chen part of "Mädchen" is actually a diminutive ending, meaning it changes the meaning of the word into a smaller version of itself. Without going too deep into the etymology, "Mädchen" is basically "Magd" + "-chen". "Magd" means maid, so "Mädchen" is sort of like "little maid". The modern spelling and the fact that "Mädchen" just means girl nowadays are the result of changes in the language over time. More to the point, the gender of German words formed from multiple parts is usually based on the last part, and the "-chen" ending always gives a word neuter gender – which basically just means it becomes a "das" word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nileshmajm

Thanks for detailed information


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heri584515

I recommend you to read the lessons before doing the practices, there's explained how some words are gender neutral and mädchen is one of them even tho is used to describe someone not gender neutral


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadysenDav3

I noticed that to they all have different ones its just the german way i guess


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amirhussei67067

Words like ......chen almost use das.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

almost always.

Always, when it's a suffix. (e.g. das Mädchen)

Not when it's part of the word stem as in der Kuchen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeaganXox

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plazmair

I know there are soooo many gender affected words im always forgeting it dammn


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CAtreides

Why doesn't this have an oxford comma in english, whyyyy?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeremy218127

There are two types of English speakers in this world: those that use an oxford comma, and those that are wrong. It's a matter of consistency, especially in a list - a comma separates each subject and omitting the oxford comma implies the last two subjects are one. Example: I like peanut butter and jelly, ham, turkey and banana sandwiches - without an oxford comma, I stated I like a sandwich of turkey and banana, opposed to two separate sandwiches consisting of turkey and banana respectively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandon307466

There is heavy debate as to whether the Oxford Comma is grammatically correct, maybe german just doesn't use it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narion_k

I think CAtreides was specifically asking about the English sentence, not the German one. In any case, that kind of comma is not used in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HazelDragon4006

I was under the impression that "Frau" and "Mann" can also refer to "wife" and "husband," respectively, so I answered with: "The wife, the husband, the boy and the girl." However, my response was marked incorrect. Can someone please explain this? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Frau and Mann mean "wife" and "husband", respectively, only in a possessive context.

For example, meine Frau is "my wife", and Hast du einen Mann? is "Do you have a husband?"

Here, though, there is no such possessive context and so die Frau can only mean "the woman", and similarly for Mann.

If you want to refer to a husband or wife without specifying whose they are, then you have to use Ehemann, Ehefrau.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nancy453129

How do i know if "das madchen" means "the girl" or "the girls"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narion_k

You can tell from the article. The basic (nominative) plural article is always "die". Therefore, "das Mädchen" means the girl, and "die Mädchen" means the girls.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thecookielife

Is it just me or does the person reading this have serious rythym


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mid-oceanicRidge

I thought so too :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/H.R.Ekram

What's the different Between "junge" and "junga"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What's the different Between "junge" and "junga"?

junga is not a German word at all

junge is a form of the adjective jung (young), e.g. die junge Katze "the young cat".

Junge with a capital J is a noun, meaning "boy".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaReit13

Will the man, woman, boy, and girl German words (Mann, Frau, Junge, Maedchen) always be capitalized?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Will the man, woman, boy, and girl German words (Mann, Frau, Junge, Maedchen) always be capitalized?

Yes, of course. They are nouns, and all nouns are capitalized in German.

You may wish to review the tips and notes for the very first lesson unit, where this fact is mentioned: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1/tips-and-notes

Please always read the tips and notes for a new lesson unit before starting that unit.

You can find them on the website https://www.duolingo.com/ by clicking on the lightbulb icon after selecting the unit:

You may instead see a button marked "tips"; if so, click on that instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda45154

How am i soppose to learn if it is telling me i am wrong when what i typed is what it says it is


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

it is telling me i am wrong

Then you probably made a mistake -- perhaps a small typo that you didn't see even when you read through your answer again.

In cases such as this, please copy and paste your entire answer (do not re-type it!) into a comment.

Or even better: make a screenshot, upload it to a website (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL to the image.

Then we can help you find the mistake and learn from it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanlLochne

How do you know when das/der changes from 'the' to this/that??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narion_k

It's all about emphasis and context. When you say "Der Ball ist besser" (That ball is better) while vocally emphasizing der and perhaps even pointing to a specific ball with your finger, you're expressing the same meaning as that in English.

You can also interpret the meaning from context; in written language, this may be your only option. Let's say you're reading a story in which a girl has a ball and an apple and asks her sister which is better. If her sister replies, "Der Ball ist besser", the meaning of der is probably closer to the meaning of the. Now let's say the girl has a softball and a baseball but asks the same question. If her sister replies, "Der Ball ist besser", the meaning of der is probably closer to the meaning of that. You would know that because saying "The ball is better" generally wouldn't make sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elfarhan

Why Junge doesn't use das? Why der? Junge is it a neutral?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dessert-Rose

No, it's not Neuter/Neutral. Junge is a Masculine Noun, so it uses der.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony570519

I am not getting voice or text, please advise


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chloe_M_Crosby

Is die der and das the same thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes and no.

Yes, they're all forms of the definite article.

But no in the sense that you can't just choose whichever one you want.

It's a very little bit like "a" and "an" in English: there's no difference in meaning between the two, but you can't just pick whichever one you want: "a orange" and "an book" are simply wrong. You have to choose the correct one.

In German, which one to choose depends on the grammatical gender of the noun -- masculine, feminine, or neuter.

The grammatical gender is not, in general, logical and simply something you have to memorise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiveMeMyMeds

i mispell "mann" as "man" a lot and i feel like it should just be marked as a typo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

man is also a German word.

When a typo results in something that is a real word, Duo doesn't know whether you intentionally used the wrong word or whether it was a typo, so it counts it as a full error.

If a single-letter typo resulted in something that is not a real word, e.g. if you misspell Mann as Msnn, it will probably be accepted with a typo warning rather than considered an error.

Also, remember to capitalise nouns in German: man is a word in German but mann is not; the correct spelling is Mann with a capital M.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valerie_Ujunwa

Please how is ”Frau” pronounced? I keep getting it wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narion_k

"Frau" rhymes with the English word "how". You can click on the speaker button at the top of this page to hear it again. You can also listen to example pronunciations at the following sites by clicking on the speaker button or play button:

  1. https://www.duolingo.com/dictionary/German/Frau-frau-noun-feminine-singular-nominative/0cf63ffe3dda158bc3dbd55682b355ae
  2. https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Frau
  3. https://www.dict.cc/?s=Frau
  4. https://forvo.com/word/frau/#de

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saeid788524

Is it incorrect!?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Is it incorrect!?

Nobody can see what you wrote, so referring to things such as "it" or "my answer" or "what I wrote" are not helpful.

Please always quote your entire answer when you have a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Holly70768

The microphone has turned of and i don't want it to


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justine616909

I keep typing this is right and it keeps telling me im wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Then you probably made a mistake.

Do you have a screenshot showing the question, your answer, and the error message? If so, please upload it somewhere and paste the URL to the image into a comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akshay374701

Even if wrong it goes to next, have to take another chance


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karthirama

I translated properly "The women,the man, the boy and the girl" but it is given wring answer .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I translated properly "The women,the man, the boy and the girl"

That is not a correct answer.

die Frau is "the woman" with AN, not "the women" with EN.

In other words, die Frau refers to just one woman, not to several women at once.

Lingots for you for quoting your answer so that others can explain your mistake to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Mythopoeic

The translation makes english look a bit repetitive, but what's the use of genders anyway? Actually, genders probably serve several uses; any ideas as to what they might be?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas835593

The text to voice dropped some mad bars on this one ngl


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John636305

I said it right and tried to say it as clearly as I could, but it said I was wrong on most of it. It didn't seem to understand me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

That happens sometimes, especially if there is some kind of background noise or the TV is on in another room, etc. That’s why I don’t do the speaking items if I am on the bus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GreenSphinxYT

Why wasnt the audio playing for me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Micah422823

It is wired to me because it says it in German and so you should write it in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tina471710

Keep saying ive got it wrong when it isright answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2GreyCats

If you can post a screenshot, or tell us what Duo's correction says, we can help better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maizei

Ok so I almost got it right but apparently the comma is so important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

apparently the comma is so important.

No. Commas and periods are ignored.

You must have made some other mistake.

Do you have a screenshot?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What's wrong?

Nobody can tell you because nobody can see your answer or the error message, unless you tell us. Please always quote your entire sentence if you have a question about why something was not accepted.

Or even better, make a screenshot showing your answer and the error message, upload it to a website somewhere, and add the URL of the image to your comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaySantana22

i keep gettin mixed p with women and woman


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessica15807

I type this in right and it keeps marking it wrong....any one else?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

it keeps marking it wrong.

Then you probably did not type it correctly.

Do you have a screenshot showing your answer and the error message? Upload it to a website, please, and tell us the URL to the image.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caitlin528046

Why wont it except when i type in the right answer. Ive typed it in a doazen times and it refuses to say its right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why wont it except

Probably because you made a mistake.

What was your entire answer?

Even better, take a screenshot when this happens, upload it to a website such as imgur, and post the URL in your comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrancescaS221691

Why cant the hearing exeraice WORK


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AkashLaksh1

What is wrong here , i want this to be correct and i want the technical team to correct it and give me credits . I can't take it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Nobody can see what you wrote, so references such as "here" or "this" or "my answer" are not helpful. Please always quote your entire answer when you have a question about why something was not accepted.

Even better: take a screenshot, upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur, Instagram), and put the URL to the image into your comment.

give me credits

Duolingo programming staff do not read these comment forums. Volunteer course developers or moderators have no access to scoring and cannot grant points or repair streaks or anything.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avenger_Aawin

It was a speaking activity for me i always can't seem to get the second "der" right , any tips?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johnathan691693

How am i suppose to give u the write words and there 3 the to put in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grzegorz721116

Got wrong, because of "man" instead of "mann". I agree thats worng but before it was accepted in many activities. Either authors make the difficulty progress, or they are inconsistent x)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

before it was accepted in many activities.

It should not have been: man and Mann are completely different words in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xx_z_xX

I have the correct answer and spelling but it says it is wrong is anyone else having this issue


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

it says it is wrong

Then it's probably wrong -- you may have made a small typing mistake. (For example, it's very common for people to type "women" instead of "woman", or to leave out the word "and" or add one too many.)

It would be helpful if you (a) reported your sentence as "my translation should be accepted" and (b) take a screenshot showing the question, your answer, and the error message, upload the screenshot to a website (e.g. imgur), and tell us the URL to the image.

If you did report "my translation should be accepted", then this might be what you actually typed:

The women, the man, the boy, and the girl.

(It's the only report from around the time of your comment that I can see.)

That sentence would be rejected for translating Frau as "women" instead of as "woman".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cracken79

I don't want to type in English when learning German. I want to type in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I don't want to type in English when learning German. I want to type in German.

You're unfortunately in the minority.

Duolingo is heavily data-driven, and they've found that the more exercises they have that make the learner actively type in their target language, the more casual learners they lose with those "difficult" exercises.

So Duolingo leans heavily on passive recognition and has very little active production -- unfortunately for "real learners".

There's not a lot you can do, but some options include:

  • Use the website or a tablet (not a phone with a small screen); this seems to increase the chance of being able to turn word-bank exercises into real typing exercises
  • strengthening more; I think at higher crown levels, you're a little more likely to get translation exercises into your target language
  • once you have a pretty good grasp of your target language, try the reverse tree: i.e. pretend that you're German and want to learn English and then sign up for the course https://www.duolingo.com/enroll/en/de/Learn-English . Since Duo prefers translation from the target language into the teaching language, that will give you more translation exercises from English into German. (But of course the lesson notes and sentence discussions will also all be in German.)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cracken79

OK, I got your point. But at least there should be a chance to by pass the language which is not the target one. I am here to learn all but English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Duo doesn't like giving users many options.

It picks the options for them, after trying many different things with different groups (A/B tests) and seeing which version "performs" better.

So if you want a course that you can customise to your expectations, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeaganXox

If you're unsure of the gender, can you guess it or just use das/ein? Would the genders change the sentence or doesn't it matter?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If you're unsure of the gender, can you guess it or just use das/ein?

Well, sure you can guess or just always use das/ein -- it's just likely to be wrong. Like how you can just guess the past tense of a verb in English and guess that the opposite of "I didn't sing" is "I sought" (like how "I didn't bring" has the opposite "I brought").

Would the genders change the sentence

Sometimes. For example, der Leiter is "the leader" but die Leiter is "the ladder".

Most of the time, though, it's simply wrong. Like saying "I taked" instead of "I took" -- "taked" is not a word, but it can't be confused with anything than the past tense of "take". Similarly, if you said Ich lese eine Buch instead of the correct Ich lese ein Buch for "I am reading a book", it would be wrong but understandable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sepid117618

hi.I dont have the voice at all


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeelParikh19

Why das madchen and not die madchen??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why das madchen

It isn't das madchen; it's das Mädchen with capital M and with ä, not a. (If you can't type an ä, write ae: Maedchen. a and ä are not the same letter.)

And it's das Mädchen in the singular because Mädchen is a neuter word; die Mädchen would be the plural (= the girls), since it has the plural article die before it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SherryDavi15

Cool but weird at the same time and I could really say the sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tamo753096

I misspelled man instead of mann. Make sure your spelling is accurate because you might get it wrong to if your not careful! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Indeed! man and Mann are completely different words in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CadySikora1

I was doing the speaking thing though. I said it 10 times and counting but it just said it was wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoseEvange1

even if i give correct answer it is saying it is wronf


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If your answer is "wronf" then it will be marked wrong.

Please show us a screenshot where we can see exactly what you wrote (the exact answer that was rejected) -- upload it to a website somewhere and tell us the URL.

Typos are easy to make and difficult to spot sometimes, so it's possible that your answer was not as correct as you thought.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vineschool2015

I can't say any thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshwiniNay4

There was no 3 der


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

There was no 3 der

You only need 2 "der".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ich__Bin__Wasser

--Following text was taken directly off https://www.dummies.com/languages/german/identifying-a-german-words-gender/

Basically, you have three genders in German — masculine, feminine, and neuter — and although English has the same three genders, they play a very different role in German grammar. Gender in English is what’s called natural gender; for instance, boy and girl are examples of masculine and feminine gender words, while computer is an example of a neuter gender word.

In German, most gender is unnatural. So instead of referring to a word’s meaning, gender refers to the word itself. To point out the gender of nouns, you use different gender markers. The three gender markers that mean the (singular) in German are der (masculine), die (feminine), and das (neuter). The plural form of the definite article is die. English has only one gender marker for the definite article of all nouns, namely the.

Look at the words for eating utensils, where you have all three bases covered: der Löffel (the spoon), die Gabel (the fork), and das Messer (the knife). Why should a spoon be masculine, a fork feminine, and a knife neuter? Don’t worry if you don’t see any logical pattern here because there isn’t one.

So how do you know how to form/use genders correctly in German? First, remember that gender is an integral part of each noun; it’s like a piece of the noun’s identity. So when you add new German nouns to your vocab, be sure to learn the article of each noun at the same time. You won’t be able to use a noun correctly if you don’t know its article. The following table breaks down the three definite articles — der, die, and das — by gender, and shows an example for each.

Table at https://www.dummies.com/languages/german/identifying-a-german-words-gender/

Some categories of nouns are consistently masculine, feminine, or neuter. For instance, noun gender usually follows the gender of people: der Onkel (the uncle) and die Schwester (the sister). In many other cases, the noun categories have to do with the ending of the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KashmirCha2

There should be a das instead of der mann.as per the hint given


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

There should be a das instead of der mann.

No. der Mann is correct (and Mann has to be capitalised).

as per the hint given

Eh? Did the hint not contain a der?

The topmost hint is not always the correct one. As long as the correct one is in the list of hints somewhere, it's a correct hint.

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