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"There is a cat under the table."

Translation:Es ist eine Katze unter dem Tisch.

April 15, 2018



Why is 'Es gibt eine Katze unter dem Tisch' not accepted?


Good question. :)

'Es gibt eine Katze unter dem Tisch' sounds like the cat is always under the table, not just sitting or standing there, but rather existing there.

(There are images of a cat affixed to the lower part of a chair or the lower side of the table board on my mind now...

Subtle differences in meaning are great, but poor kitty. :D )

'Es ist eine Katze unter dem Tisch' on the other hand sounds more like the cat is there now, but maybe just for the moment.

(As a native speaker and in a casual conversation I'd probably use 'Da ist eine Katze unter dem Tisch.' with the local indication 'da' ('there'), seems more natural to me than 'es ist'.)


So, "Es gibt eine Katze unter dem Tisch" may sound strange, but there is nothing wrong with the sentence itself, right? Moreover, the cat might indeed be always there, in a photo or picture for example.


I think the English would have to say "there is always a cat under the table" or "A cat stays under the table" in that case.


This comment is very helpful, however numerous translations on Duolingo seem to favor "gibt" in scenarios where the object doesn't seem to always be in the location. Is that just an oversight?, or does this rule only apply to living things like a cat?


It need not be in the location forever. But "es gibt" gives a description of a complete situation, rather than hinting at some particular item.


Useful to know. Vielen Dank.


Thank you so much for this detailed explanation :)


I agree with that Es gibt, frustrating


Da ist eine Katze unter dem Tisch. Was ist unter dem Tisch? Es ist eine Katze unter dem Tisch!


Is unter a dative preposition?


its a "both way" preposition if the action involves movement then its akkusativ . "Er geht unter die Brücke" if there is no movement action then it is dativ "Er schläft unter der Brücke"


Is there any reason why "es gibt" is not acceptable?


Ja. The reason being that it suggests that the cat will never ever move from under the table. A wooden cat Zum beispiel!


Is the order of the tenses important here? Why is "Es ist unter dem Tisch eine Katze" considered wrong? I thought the dative came before the accusative....


This rule only applies to "naked" accusative and dative objects. But "unter dem Tisch" is not a dative object, but an adverbial determination (of place), introduced by a preposition ("unter"). And those usually go to either the end or the beginning of the sentence.


I get it. Interesting, this is new to me. There is also an order to the adverbial clauses, correct? Time : Manner: Place... which is not the same as in English....


You are right. It is different from English. The full rule is "TeKaMoLo", which means "temporal (time), causal (cause/reason), modal (manner), local (place).
But note that this holds only for those adverbial determinations which directly follow one another.

The most prominent case is that -- different from English -- time precedes place:
"Wir gehen heute ins Kino" vs. "We go to the cinema today".


Im still not fully convinced.


The "Es ist" seems very unnatural to me here.


It is not unnatural in any way. That's one of the most common expressions in Gewrman in such a context.

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