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  5. "Das kleine Mädchen spielt au…

"Das kleine Mädchen spielt auf der großen Trommel."

Translation:The little girl plays on the big drum.

March 28, 2018



Does she play the drum or play over the drum?


If you say it as a hobby or regular activity, you can also say "Das Mädchen spielt (die) Trommel" but for a momentary activity and also together with what is played, I'd use auf: "Das Mädchen spielt ein Lied auf der Trommel" (with a further object like ein Lied, auf is mandatory).


    The German phrasing is (etw.) auf einem Instrument spielen, meaning "to play (something) (on) an instrument". As you can see from the inflection of the article, it requires auf in the dative sense, here. This doesn't have anything to do with location, though - prepositions have many other abstract uses besides describing location.

    To play something physically located over the drum would be über/oberhalb der Trommel spielen.

    Danke quis_lib_duo ;)


    In the last paragraph, ITYM über der Trommel spielen or oberhalb der Trommel spielen.


    I'm confused about der "großen" Trommel. If it were in the subject, it would be die große Trommel. The die to der shift is easy, but the große to großen shift is confusing.

    • 216

    you should have a look at the topic "adjective inflection". There are three different tables, depending of whether the phrase is introduced by a definite qualifier, an indefinite qualifier or no qualifier at all. http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/adjectives/adjective-declensions/


    'Little' v 'small'. What on earth is the difference?


    Why grossen and not grosse?

    • 216

    This is in correspondence to the inflection table, "weak declension" (dative singular) here because of the definite article:



    I thought 'the little girl' was 'das kleines Mädchen', because the adjective takes on the ending of the article. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    • 216

    It's not that easy. The ending of the adjective is determined by case, number and gender of the following noun, as well as by the fact if there is no article, a definite article or an indefinite article or possessive in front.
    The endings are not always the same as those for the articles.
    See the full tables here:


    So e.g. it is "ein kleines Mädchen", but "das kleine Mädchen".
    As a rule of thumb: if the article already unambiguously denotes the case, the adjective doesn't have the respective ending. "In the given example "das" is unambiguous (can only be neuter), but "ein" is not (could as well be masculine).


    I don't think the sentence in English is correct. It sounds like the girl's standing on a drum. Shouldn't it be "the little girl plays the big drum"?


    "the small girl plays a large drum" WRONG. In USA English Duo's correct sentence means- the girl is standing or sitting ON the drum and playing


    And if dhe were jumping up and down or skipping on top of the big drum?

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