Bären vs Bär
Guten tag Duolingers! What's the difference between Bären and Bär, fellow Duolingers, because both of the words are different but still they have a same meaning (bears) and I am confused of when to use them. So please help me friends, and pull me out of this pit. If they really share the same translation of 'bears', are they interchangeable? Thanks in advance!
It would be helpful to know your specific sentence.
Bären can not only be plural (all cases), but also accusative, dative and genitive singular:
Accusative (direct object) - ich sehe den Bären (I see the bear) Plural: Ich sehe die Bären
Dative (indirect object) - er hilft dem Bären (he helps the bear). Plural: Er hilft den Bären
Genitive - die Höhle des Bären (the cave of the bear). Plural: Die Höhle der Bären
That means, the uninflected form Bär is only nominative singular, every other form in singular and plural is Bären.
Nominative (subject) - Der Bär lebt im Wald (the bear lives in the forest). Plural: Die Bären leben im Wald.
I expected aufbinden to mean tie up, but when i looked, it seemed to mean both untie and tie something on... practically opposites. So the question is: when you use this phrase, are you imagining a bear being let loose, or something being tied to a bear? (I'm hoping it's the latter because of the accusative jemanden, and also because it's such a nice image.)
because of the accusative jemanden
There’s a typo in Birgit’s post. It should be “jemandem einen Bären aufbinden”.
There are a few exceptions (e.g. with time expressions), but generally a sentence cannot have 2 accusative objects. If you have two objects, one generally is the direct accusative, the other the indircet dative object. The dative object is the recipient of the action, on our case, the person, who gets the bear tied to him.
I imagine a person with a bear tied to his back as a burden he has to carry (there are etymylogic links to the verb to bear (to carry a burden, to bring as in bearer of good news) also in German: gebären (give birth).
Bär is a weak noun. Weak nouns always receive an -(e)n ending if they're not the subject of the sentence (nominative case) and singular in number. All weak nouns are masculine and can normally be spotted by ending in -ant, -ast, -ent, -et, -ist, etc. But there are a handful of other masculine nouns like Herr, Mensch, Bär, Prinz, Bauer, Christ, etc. that just have to be memorized.