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

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

11 months ago

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Matt42866

Why is it DIE frau but DAS madchen?

11 months ago

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

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CAtreides

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

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

7 months ago

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

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elfarhan

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

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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No, it's not Neuter/Neutral. Junge is a Masculine Noun, so it uses der.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy453129

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

9 months ago

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

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanlLochne

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

10 months ago

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

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AryanVyas3

What's the reason for DER for man and boy but DAS for child.... Also is there any explanation for using DAS with child as well as non living things like bread and water????

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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No reason. Grammatical gender is basically arbitrary.

Trying to find a reason behind grammatical gender in German is a bit like trying to find a reason why in English we have "one mouse, two mice" but not "one house, two hice" -- or why we say "you lived" for the past of "you live" but not "you gived" for the past of "you give".

There is no "reason", because the language wasn't designed.

It's just something that has to be learned.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tony570519

I am not getting voice or text, please advise

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chloe_crosby

Is die der and das the same thing?

2 weeks ago

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

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shamiha3

How does it wrong?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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What was your complete answer?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wolf80066

why can I say no to the listening

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nico311902

Is there supposed to be a coma before and

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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A comma before "and" is optional in English; some people use it and some people don't.

In German, there may not be a comma before the und.

5 days ago
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