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  5. "That is not ours."

"That is not ours."

Translation:Das ist nicht unserer.

March 22, 2013



This one confuses me.

"Unser-" here is neutrum nominativ, right? "Das" suggests that it's neutrum (unless being used like "that" makes a difference) and "ist" doesn't change the case so at first I would think it should be "unser".

But I read on Wikipedia that when possessive pronouns are used alone without a noun (as "unser-" is here) then they decline like definite articles (like "dies-") rather than indefinite articles. Has Duolingo ever taught this?

So I tried, "Das ist nicht unseres," and it was accepted. Then I see that the official translation is, "Das ist nicht unserer."

See my confusion?


It also accepted "unsere." So all forms work? Can someone explain why?


"Unser-" here is an independent possessive pronoun. These are declined like definite articles. However, since this sentence is out of context, we don't know the gender or the number of the noun it's referring to so both 'unser' and 'unsere' are correct.


Forgot to say that 'unseres' is correct too. Also, the only thing we know is that the speaker is pointing to a singular thing in the nominative case (based on 'that').


Actually, we know it is speaking about a singular object because of the "ist", because it could have been also "Das sind unsere".


Well, it looks like I'm the only one who put unserem. I thought that das counted as neutral, and the accusative neutral definite article is dem, so... where am I going wrong? It looks like my thinking was the same as mizzoth's above, but I still don't understand the answers.



In this case, "das" is a demonstrative pronoun". So, for example, it could be used both in "Das ist..." and "Das sind..."

"Dem" is not accusative, but dative of "der" and "das" (definite articles).

"Ist" (or, in general, the verb "sein" and some others) requires a nominative complement, not accusative or dative.

I think that unserer, unseres and unsere would all be valid here, since in English "that" is not specific to any gender and we don't know about "what" we are talking about - which could then be any gender in German.


I thought that the object is Das which to me seems obviously neuter. Therefore I used the only word that didn't work. "Unserem" as I took the sentence as Dative (I'm in [Dat: Pronouns]) I see nothing to indicate that "Das" would be feminine, or Masculine, unless it's both... then In this case "Ours" would have to be plural if the case is Genitive... (then what about ist singular?) Dafür, Ich verstehe es nicht. I'm just going to have to parrot Duo. Where did I go wrong? I've read all the responses here; and, I'm still perplexed.


you wrote that possessive pronouns are declined like DEFINITE articles. I thought that possessive pronouns were declined like INDEFINITE articles. So the dative ("indefinite article-like") versions would be unserem (M), unserer (F), unserem (N), unseren (Pl). Please correct me if need be- I am an American just learning German.


My guess would be that the gender is not specified in this sentence, so all forms are accepted.


Right just like in English “that” could refer to pretty much any noun


No, not all forms, that seems wrong. I used unserem, which is not accepted; and, for me this example was in the [Dative Pronoun] section. I'm confused because 'Das', if I had to choose seems neuter; and as far as being ours, we only know it as a "Das" whatever that would be.

If nominative, Das would have to be masculine, to have an er ending. Right? If possessive because of "ours", then genitive plural, which would work for the given answer of unserer. So, is Das here then a Genitive plural?!?

But that brings me back to ist singular; but I've seen some German sentences use ist on plural things, like Kleidung. Die Kleidung ist schmutzig for example. So, if we're talking about clothes, then does that show Genitive (origin or possession [both in this case]) and plural. Therefore the correct answer is "unserer". (Whew, I'm sweating! lol) But, it does beg the question of why were other posts, said accepted.

unser- (-), (es), (e), (er indicated corect by Duo). I wish someone from Duo would step in and help on this one. Or a native speaker! :-)

So what I feel I'm hearing is that since the gender is unstated, any gendered ending is acceptable. If so, then what is the case? For me, if not [Dative Pronoun] then this is one of those perfect examples of something that is anything but Dative. lol Again, another exception that proves the rule. Unless of course, 'Das' in dative is feminine. So? A case of several women who share the same dress? :-/


I don't know if you still need an answer but I'll try. "Das" here is a demonstrative pronoun; it has no gender and isn't declined. It just means "that." "Das ist ein Haus. Das ist eine Frau. Das ist ein Mann."

The verb "sein" is in the 3rd person singular, "ist," which is the grammatical equivalent of an equal sign. "Das ist mein Hut" ... "Das = mein Hut" ... "That = my hat."

This means that whatever follows "sein" is going to be in the nominative case, in this case "unserer, unsere, unseres." These are, as ZeiDs pointed out, independent possessive pronouns which stand in for nouns and get declined as such. "Das Stein? Das ist unserer." But when you actually include the noun, it becomes "Das ist unser Stein," because the noun itself is telling you the gender, (or at least whether or not it's feminine).

You can't have "unserem" with "ist" because ist triggers the nominative. You'd need an intransitive verb like "helfen." "Wir helfen unserem Pferd."

Hopes this helps.


It was to trick, or show you that it was not dative. So if you picked dative ending 'em' then you still don't understand dative verbs


'Das' here is not an article but a demonstrative pronoun that could refer to literally anything, so it's not necessarily neutral.


Exactly, so what is the proper gender. Not all of them work.


Usually I try and think around the confusing things like what you mentioned, so instead I answered with "Das gehört uns nicht."


But I had the bubble example for this... (sigh) not an option.


"unser" is accepted too. :/


That's a bit weird - it shouldn't be, as its not a complete sentence. Kind of like saying in English "that's not our" instead of "that's not ours".


The gender of das is dependent on context in this case, therefore all forms are accepted.


Why is "unserem" incorrect?


That would be in the dative case. This is nominative case.


But nominative case would be "unser" or "unsere". "unserer" is genitive/dative Feminine or genitive Plural. Or is it one of those without article cases there? (Oder isnt taught for another few rows compared to the materials here)


I think that it is an independent possessive pronoun. For this, the nominative case is unserer/unseres/unsere


Duden: "Steht das Possessivpronomen [hier, UNSER] stellvertretend für ein Substantiv, hat die männliche Form im Nominativ Singular die Endung -er [i.e., UNSERER], die sächliche im Nominativ und Akkusativ Singular die Endung -(e)s [i.e., UNSERES]."

Not mentioned here, but I think that the feminin form of the independent possessive pronoun UNSER in Nominative is UNSERE.



That is very helpful. I have just been using my understanding of English to determine the case of a German sentence, thinking that the same kind of rules follow for English. German verbs, like English define the case, like the presence of a preposition, or a pronoun. So nominative takes a finite verb because "It is", presuming "It" is a contextually subject available from a previous sentence, and therefore "That is." can stand alone in a sentence. At least that's the (an?) English accepted grammer equivalent. Nominative is naming, and so here "That" = "Ours"

So, in German, the modification needed would be to know the gender of the subject; so, for this example, in English gender doesn't matter (exception being genitive cases), and in German gender does matter; but here it is not given context by Duo, and so all genders are accepted. Since "That", is singular or plural, we can accept with "That" as the subject, both are acceptable, so this would mean for German and Duo, using three gender forms including plural is good. But, nominative, the plural is also the (f) form, so whether plural, or not, it's moot here. So we have (unserer(m), unsere(f,p), unseres(n))

The next question I had was regarding the genitive case. I was thrown off by "ours" but it looks like from your previous posts; this can be genitive also, and Duo accepts the genitive form too, perhaps. In this case "ours" is an independent personal pronoun, and for genitive (unseres(m,n), unserer(f,p)) and I believe other posts say these are also accepted.

Regarding Dative: I don't have much to say on this, as I got it wrong. (In fact it seems to be the only incorrect form) I presumed since it was the [Dat: Pronoun] section that this was a dative sentence. But, as one pointed out for Latin: to give, or suitable for giving, and no one is giving anything away here, in fact the exact opposite; it must not be Dative. Plus, dative requires an indirect object, and if this sentence has any indirect objects, we don't know what they are... so I can presume if it (whatever it is) had been stated, it could have been Dative, but probably more likely Genitive.

That leaves Accusative: For which this is definitely not that.

Does this seem right?


I like this answer; do you have a reference link? Why is it nominative and not Dative or Accusative?
I found this lesson online: And, this sentence seems to be more than one case. Duo claims apparently it is one: Nominative, and Masculine. OTOH, several have pointed out that Duo also accepts other answers, which in this example, would be a case/gender difference.

While I agree that it IS an Independent Possessive Pronoun, it doesn't seem clear to me what case it is, and then there's the question of gender. Although your answer worked, and it was marked right by Duo; how confident are you; and what source could you site?


It's the nominative case because of the verb, "sein". "Sein" and some other verbs require the nominative case. Just as "gehören" and "helfen" (and some others) always require the dative case.

In general, one has to look at the verb in question, and possibly (frequently, in fact) also at the preposition(s) used, to know which case is the case.

Regarding the possessive pronoun, they can in general be used just like an article, before a noun ("Begleiter"), or as complement ("Ersatz"). (See here.) Because in our case here it is not clear what the genre of the thing we are talking about is, all genres are acceptable. Just as ryandiaz3290 wrote above.

You may also look at az_p's post with the gramatically correct answers.


Because not all forms are correct. And no, I don't know which are, as I'm having the same problem. But, a post below state's it's the nominative case. Even though I got this example in the Dative case lessons.


I think Duo is intending us to answer, "Das gehört uns nicht." I think this is the most appropriate response considering that dative case is what's being taught. "Gehören" (to belong to), I believe, is a dative case verb, therefore "uns" in this translation.


I Agree!

I'm going to try, "Das gehört uns nicht.", and "Das gehört nicht uns." to see if they are accepted. There is a reason we should be using 'uns', and not 'unserer' (unlearned genitive I think) in this lesson.

WRONG: unser, unsere, unseren
CORRECT: unseres, unserer, (unserem), (uns)
(I haven't tried yet.)


If that's the case, then their bubble answer version doesn't allow us to do that. So, given that information, what is it they want us to respond? Unserer! Because they give it as the answer. How is this to be known because as a Dative example, none of the bubble answers work. So, how do we know which case it is? I think I'll just have to remember that: Das gehört uns nicht. is the right answer, click off bubble answers.... get it right, and report it as the answer is not given.


is it okay to say:"das ist unser nicht"?


No. That doesn't make sense. It's kind of like "That is our not".

Other grammatically correct possibilities include:
das ist nicht unserer/unsere/unseres = "that is not ours"
das gehört uns nicht = "that doesn't belong to us"


Why not "das ist kein unser"?


Kein functions similar to an adjective auf deutsch. Ich werde das zu keiner Person geben ( I would give it to noone). Whereas nicht functions in a similar way that not does in English. Das gefaellt mir nicht (I do not like that).


I would argue that, like many of the phrases this app teaches, "das ist nicht unser(e,er,-)" is rather unsound grammar. I think a more proper phrasing would be the following: "das gehoert uns nicht" (that does not belong to us). To my knowledge, "sein" does not function in this way auf deutsch.


There's nothing wrong with this sentence, although I also remember having difficulty understanding it at first.

It's important to understand the difference between a possessive determiner and a possessive pronoun. Determiners need a noun, but pronouns replace the noun completely. A possessive determiner is "our" in "that is our boat". A possessive pronoun is "ours" in "that is ours". You see they're deceptively similar, but there's an important difference for this sentence.

In German, possessive determiners for masculine and neuter nouns in nominative case (and neuter nouns in accusative case) don't need an ending. You can say das ist unser Hund or ich verkaufe mein Buch, where unser and mein don't have any 'ending'.

However, possessive pronouns always need an ending. This is a bit annoying, because it means you need to know the gender of the thing you're not mentioning... In the real world, outside Duolingo, context will make it clear: Ist das euer Hund? - Ja, das ist unserer. Or: Verkaufst du dein Buch? - Ja, ich verkaufe meines. Here the possessive pronouns get an ending to match the noun that's being talked about, in the appropriate case: -er for the dog in nominative case, -es for the book in accusative case.

The problem with this translation on Duolingo is we don't know what's being talked about - but as other comments mention, any gendered pronoun in nominative case (i.e. unserer/unsere/unseres) should be accepted.


How about Those dogs/cats/books are not ours. Das sind nicht unsere. ?


Why is "unserer" accepted but "unserem" is not? Why can it be neuter or feminine but under no circumstance not masculine?


you are completely off. unserer is masculine. Unserem is in Dativ case and does not fit. Best fit for translation is "unseres" period. Also the sentence is complete bogus and does not really help to learn German.


Reading "Ours" I am more to use thé suggested "Unsers" but it is not accepted :/


Exactly. I'm a German native and my exact solution would be "Das ist nicht unsers" or more formally correct: "Das ist nicht unseres"


Das ist unserer, nicht was marked incorrect. Can anyone help explain where I erred?


The nicht cannot go in that position.


I have listened many times the dativobjekt as the first element of the sentence, e.g. "Mir ist es egal". I have written in the exercise "Uns gehört das nicht", following the same idea, and it was marked wrong. Can somebody explain me why is wrong, or is it simply a mistake of Duolingo?


This is a mistake of duolingo. While "Das gehört uns nicht" is the "normal" way to say "that does not belong to us" your answer is correct too.


Ok thanks. In which case is common to use the dativobjekt as the first element? I live in Germany, and I hear constantly "mir ist egal" (even without the "es", I guess that's not correct), "mir passt das", "mir gefällt das", etc. Is there any rule, it's just in some common expressions with no reason, or maybe I'm hearing dialekt (I live in the badisch-speaking area of Baden-Württemberg)?


Das gehören uns nicht????????


I have read all the explanations/guesses and think as a result eeny meeny miny mo would be an equally good way to proceed. Why do we not get an official explanation from Duo, rather than this endless list of worthy but muddled and possibly wrong answers?


I simply do not follow all those arguments. For me Akiestu's answer "Das gehört uns nicht." is the best, but in the bubbles these words do not appear....shame.


but wouldn't it be the "nicht attributiv, ohne Artikel" case? There is an 'unserem' in the presented table


It is indeed non-attributive, without article. However, it is also nominative case. Unserem only exists in dative case.


Is this called an Absolute pronoun when it stands alone? It is ours ?


Could you please tell me where you find the table you mention? As I use DuoLingo, there is no kind of lesson presented; it is all exercises that I must guess at as I go along (and in the discussions, read the comments and references to which others provide links.)

  • 1327

He must mean the one on the website when you click on the translated word link.

If you are using the app it is one of those things mobile doesn't have access to (for whatever crazy reason).


How does unser / unsere / uns work here? I used "uns" and was incorrect. Any suggestions are helpful (I struggle often with the cases!).


you can use "uns" in a sentence in dative like: Das gehört nicht uns. It worked for me.


Well done! You are the first person to explain why this is in the dative section, and why it seems to ask for a form we haven't studied yet (unser-whatever). Got it! Thanks, A :)


Uns is ‘us’ not ‘our’.


Correct; this version says "That doesn't belong to us."


Das ist keinen Unsres is not the same?


Right, kein would mean no, or none. You want nicht, meaning not, here.


What case IS "unserer", in this sentence? This shows up as a review question for dative case, but I'm not sure it even is dative.


It's nominative case.


"That is not ours" might be the answer to either question: 1) Whose xy is that or 2) To whom does xy belong? 1 would imlpy "Wessen xy ist das?" That is the Genitiv case, and "wessen" usualy implies that you would use the Genitiv in the answer. 2 would imply "Wem gehört xy?", which is the Dativ singalling question word. Or is it? It is still asking for the owner, for the possession. It is a little bit tricky. Anyway I would still default to Genitiv in the answer. Yet you can still use the Dativ.. lost me yet?

Here is an example for 1: For each genus (e.g. Wessen Mann/Frau/Kind ist das?) the answer would be: "Das ist nicht unserer/unsere/unseres" - in every day use you'd shorten to "unseres" to "unsers"

example for 2: Wem gehört dieser Mann/ diese Frau/ dieses Kind? You could use the same answers as in 1. Or you could say: Er/Sie/Es gehört nicht uns. And that would be Dativ.

Interestingly even most German native speakers are getting confused with the correct usage of Dativ and Genitiv. As for myself, I feel pretty winded already trying to explain it properly without confusing myself.


In germany it get's more and more common to use the Dativ instead of the Genitiv, even though this often leads to some questionable grammar.

Some guy even wrote a book about this called "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" ( The dativ is the death of the genitiv). The title of the book itself is an example of this, as it is written using the dativ case instead of the correct genitiv ("Der Dativ ist der Tod des Genitivs" or "Der Dativ ist des Genitivs Tod").

It is very confusing.


I keep getting the answers, marked, incorrect, due to where I place the Nicht, in the sentence. what's the rule on where the word Nicht goes in the sentence. This was my answer, which was marked incorrect. Das ist unserer nicht.

[deactivated user]

    Thanks. That's very comprehensive.


    would "das gehört nicht unserem" be possible?


    i tried and it was marked wrong but why?? it should be dativ right??


    Your answer is a correct german sentence, but it does not translate to "That is not ours". Instead it translates to sth like "That does not belong to ours" (not sure whether this is a correct english sentence or not). If you want to say "Thas does not belong to us", you have to say "Das gehört uns nicht".


    Why is "das ist nicht unseren" incorrect and using "unserer" correct; when is it acceptable to use unseren in a sentence


    The articles for nominative case are der/die/das/die for masc/fem/neut/pl respectively. The endings of these articles correspond to the endings that you see turning up all over the place - including on the ends of these words (called possessive pronouns).

    Just as the articles are modified in the other cases (den/die/das/die for accusative, dem/der/dem/den for dative, etc.), the possible endings for the possessive pronouns follow the same pattern.

    This sentence, Das ist nicht _____ is in nominative case, because the verb ist ('standard'/infinitive form: sein) always uses nominative case. If you had a different example, with a different verb (most other verbs, actually), you would have accusative case and could use unseren for a masculine object.


    is " das ist nicht für uns" correct?


    No, that doesn't work. See the other comments for possible phrasings.


    Why this dont accept unserem?


    Because that's in dative case, whereas this sentence requires nominative case.

    If you're wondering what this sentence has to do with dative case, an alternative answer is Das gehört uns nicht.


    But isn't unserer also dative?


    I entered {Das ist nicht unseren}, as "ours" made me believe this is a plural dative.


    I was a little confused about this one. But this is where these comment sections are so useful. Big thanks to all the helpful and knowledgeable people who've helped me understand this particular question.


    Why is unserem not OK please?


    There has been no explanation as to why -er- is added to the end of unser.

    I am getting tired of memorizing sentences. Memorization is not understanding. I wish the lessons were more exhaustive. These discussion groups are just not cutting it. Many of the comments are poorly written and many times the writer has no idea what they are talking about.

    Sorry. Just venting. I know it's free and I shouldn't complain because of that. However, it's not free if this has just been a waste of time.


    What is wrong with 'das gehört mir nicht'?


    What makes it use the feminine ending?


    unserer - tell me case of this word, please. It looks like genitiv. If it is nominativ, give me please link of table where unserer is nominativ.


    Check Possessive Pronouns > Independent Possessive Pronouns in https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/pronouns/possessive-pronouns


    Why there was no option similar to "Das gehört uns" , because generslly speaking, I was able to conclude that the possessive pronouns in English, like mine, yours, ours, are replaced in German by belongs to me, or to you or to us. I thought that the direct use of possessive pronouns alone is not wide spread in German. Furthermore, regarding the declension of unser, why the feminine declension was used? Why not unseren, for example or why not unserem? Etwas, for example is always used as a singular masculine, and Manche is always used as plural. So, why unser will be considered as singular feminine, rather than considering it either singular masculine or plural?


    Would "es gehört uns nicht" be correct?


    Should "Das gehörst uns nicht" be accepted?


    I used "Dass" for that. It's obviously incorrect, but would someone please tell me when "dass" is used. Thanks.


    "Das" is a demonstrative pronoun, meaning a pronoun that demonstrates what something is. I imagine it like an arrow pointing at something: "Das → ein Hund," or an equal sign: "Das = ein Hund."

    "Dass" is a conjunction, or a word that introduces a new clause: "Ich denke, dass wir ein Problem haben." It acts just like the demonstrative pronoun except that [dass] it's pointing to a clause instead of a word, and as you may have noticed, it sends the verb to the end: "Ich denke → wir ein Problem haben."

    You can drop "dass" in some cases, but if you do, the verb no longer goes to the end but remains in 2nd place: "Ich denke, wir haben ein Problem." I believe this is more colloquial though (and common), but not strictly "good" German. But someone correct me if it's more or less accepted these days.


    is das gehören uns nicht correct


    Would "Das gehören uns nicht" be an acceptable translation?


    It has the same meaning as the original sentence, but a different literal translation – "That doesn't belong to us" – so while I wouldn't accept this on a quiz, in reality it's probably fine.


    explain why it's unserer


    Why unserer ?! Can someone please explain it to me?


    On the same page here


    Duo tells me the answer is "Das ist nicht unsere.", which is not one of the options offerfed!


    Why not unserem? Both unserem and unserer are dative anyway.


    Das gehört uns nicht. CORRECT


    Das gehört uns nicht. CORRECT


    "Das gehört uns nicht" is accepted


    I didn't get/understand this one or even the logic behind it.. I would have went logically with "unseres". German, my God!!!


    Do not still get the logic behind 'unserer'....


    Do not still get/understand the ligic behind using "unserer" instead of "unseres"


    Why can one not use 'gehört uns nicht'

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