1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Mein Bruder ist Türke, aber …

"Mein Bruder ist Türke, aber ich nicht."

Translation:My brother is a Turk, but not me.

April 5, 2018



shouldn't it be 'not I" - as in I am not Turkish - not me is Turkish?


Had I used 'not me' at university, I would have been penalized for incorrect grammar. I agree that 'me' is heard more often in some circles, but the slippery slope has gone too far in my opinion. It's right up there with 'I''m done', 'me and my friend' and 'he did it for myself'. It just makes me cringe!


I'm under the impression that our divergence lies in our different approach to language, and I doubt we will ever agree on this. I think the slippery slope is a fallacy rather than a sound argument and I don't think that what makes me cringe is in any way relevant to what is current, accepted language—in fact I am quite sure that the language now taught in schools would make my ancestors weep in disappointment, but such is the language we understand. I think at this point only the staunchest prescriptivist would suggest using the subjective case in disjunctive nominative position. That would be akin to suggesting that ‘it's me’ is incorrect grammar. I think at this point English has moved on. Whether Duo sides with traditionalists or not is however not for me to decide.


I think this thread has lost the original issue. It's not a huge problem that "not me" is accepted, but that the completely correct "not I" is counted wrong.


Definitely. I get easily sidetracked by linguistic debates. On this I agree: ‘not I’ should be accepted.


Agreed! "not me"'s neither good nor correct, but acceptable, but to mark as wrong something that IS correct is unacceptable.


To my mind, Duolingo would be well advised to keep abreast of current usage, well at least this century's. Their default translation would literally mean, "My brother is a Turk, but he isn't me." My answer, "My brother is Turkish but me not.", though grammatically incorrect, is common usage, but marked 'wrong'.... Keep up, Duolingo!


So, what is the correct form of "I'm done" then? I'm wracking my brain on this...


You can say "I am finished." Or you can check a dictionary, find that "done" can also be used as an adjective meaning "finished" and there's nothing wrong with it.

  • 1024

Technically you're right. That's the grammar rule I was taught growing up as well. However language is fluid. If you repeat a word or phrase enough it becomes the norm, or sometimes the standard. I happen to like this translation better as not me rather than not I because I don't know any English natives who use that version in common tongue.


On the other hand, many of us do know native English speakers who follow the rules of grammar. Regardless, there's no excuse for not accepting the correct version, even people who use "not me" (which Duolingo is still free to accept) will not complain that "not I" is wrong, and considering that German follows the same rule, it's a lot less confusing.

Claiming that you and I know different people is no justification for not accepting something that we both agrees follows the rules of grammar. And if you want to make a point of saying that you don't want to know me, I can live with that.


Aside from my previous answer, if we consider ‘not I’ as a completely separate clause (allowing the ellipsis), and maintain the the implied role of the word is relevant to grammatical considerations, wouldn't the order of the words still be incorrect? Wouldn't ‘I not’ be the only correct option?


I say definitely ish. English isn't quite as strict with the subjective case (at least not anymore); unless a pronoun is explicitly the subject of a clause, the objective case is generally ok, especially in spoken English. ‘Not I’ should definitely count as correct, but ‘not me’ is the most common phrasing.


Agreed. I answered "My brother is Turkish but not I" Which was not accepted, but should it have been?

  • 2082

definitely frustrating to have Duo insist on "improper" grammar and reject the proper form


I agree, and no matter which one you use, someone will be bothered. If you say "not me," language purists won't like it. If you say "but not I," then some people will think that it sounds pretentious. The third option it to avoid it completely and say, "but I'm not." It's two extra characters to type, and no extra syllables to pronounce.


Exactly. Please don't tell me that Duolingo is resorting to using incorrect grammar just because that's what today's kids are learning is right. It's supposed to be "I" in this case. "I" is subjective; "me" is objective.


Your brother is from another dad, dude.


"My brother's Turkish, but i am not"


I mean, technically that would be ‘mein Bruder ist türkish’ rather than ‘Türk’. My vote would be against accepting the adjective in the translation to make it clear that ‘Türk’ is only a noun in German, but you can report it.


Whats wrong with "but not I"?


Another daft sentence. Why not something more reasonable, like 'My brother likes cats, but I don't'


How can the speaker have a brother who is a Turk, but the speaker isn't a Turk also?


Turkish milkman.


Why can't I say "My brother is Turke"?

I can say I am Canadian or I am a Canadian


In ‘I am Canadian’ ‘Canadian’ is an adjective, which is why you don't use the article. On the other hand, ‘Turk’ is only a noun in English, the corresponding adjective is ‘Turkish’, so you can say ‘I am a Turk’ or ‘I am Turkish’, but not ‘I am Turk’ (unless ‘Turk’ is your name).


Correct English is "but not I"


"My brother is a Turk, but not I." is more correct as it infers I am not a Turk. Me is correctly used in accusative context such as "He hit me." Although "not me" is colloquially used. We should learn colloquialisms however i believe the correct form should be accepted as correct!


It doesn't infer anything. It doesn't even imply anything. It states it unambiguously. Of course it should accept what's correct. It should also accept common colloquial usage. But it should present answers that everyone agrees are correct. Those who use the colloquial forms aren't saying that theirs is the only correct form, and wouldn't object to the standard form. But plenty of people will object when something is being forced upon them that they were told in school is wrong and isn't how they or people they know speak.

I don't know why Duolingo has a problem using things that nobody objects to and prefers things that bother many users.


'Me' is incorrect ! It is the accusative case. The nominative case 'I' would be correct.


My brother is Turkish but not I - this should be accepted. Even if every second person speaking English says "but not me" the rest of us should be allowed the correct, "but not I". Methinks Duo should amend this!


you need to get off it, Duo!


"but not me" equals "I am not". If there were a verb here it would be from "to be" which does not take an object. Therefore "I" should be accepted as the correct answer.


"But not me" equates to saying that "my brother isn't me". "But I'm not" was marked as wrong...


My typed accepted answer was

my brother is Turkish but I'm not

Then this was the 2nd answer

My brother is a Turk, but not me

I'm guessing Duo's sentence might be in an informal and more casual setting.


This debate was fascinating. Has Duo responded?


Wow. Such empty!


there is no distonic required here


Dun, dun, duuuuuun...


To say "my brother is a Turk..." is considered racist ergo offensive in English". Can I say one/all of the following: "Mein Bruder ist türkisch". "Mein Bruder ist türkisch", aber ich bin nicht". Or, "Mein Bruder ist türkisch, aber ich bin Deutscher"?

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.