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  5. "Er ist der bessere Mann."

"Er ist der bessere Mann."

Translation:He is the better man.

March 29, 2013

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DTipps

Can anyone explain the endings of these adjectives? Why is this "bessere" instead of "besser"? Normally an E is added when a noun is feminine or plural (in nominative at least), what are the rules for adjectives?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arrowgun99

adjectives following der/die/das have -e endings. (Atleast in the nominative case)

Der gute Mann. Ein guter Mann.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chetlin

Except in plural where it would be "die besseren Männer".
What's nice is that after a definite article, the only endings possible, in all cases, are either -e or -en. So that makes it a little easier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adler_Deng

Whether all the adjectives following der/die/das are attached -e only? Like der gute Man, die gute Frau, das gute Mädchen? And what about the plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arrowgun99

der gute Mann, die gute Frau, das gute Mädchen

die guten Männer, die guten Frauen, die guten Mädchen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adler_Deng

Ja, alles klar, vielen Dank~


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UliMolina

check it out http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html in special the last flow diagram. Very useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

Some people work better using the flow chart to determine the rules. Personally, I work better remembering the actual flat charts for each case and making mnemonics to remember them. At the very least it doesn't hurt to visualize where differences come into play.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives

For instance, once I identify weak or mixed inflections, it's makes it really easy to know that everything plural, genitive, or dative ends in -en.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lishushan

why can‘t it be "He is the better husband"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pohakontash

Maybe due to bad experience


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arisplus

"ich kann nicht einen besseren Mann findennnn"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shareida

Duo giving relationship advice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alvpinero

It's an odd translation, isn't it? "The best man" is not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

The translation is fine. "besser" = better, not best.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alvpinero

Thank you for answering Hohenems. Yes I got the translation of besser, what I meant is "the better man" sounds a bit strange... I am not a native English speaker, so maybe I am wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

It isn't strange. To try to put it into a scenario for you, after a boxing match, the loser might say in a post-fight interview "Today, Rocky was the better man, but I demand a rematch!". If one man is of higher quality than the other, he is the better man of the two. It's okay in English to assign "better" to a human. "Better man" is also a well known line from a famous poem "Gunga Din" by Kipling:

"Tho' I've belted you and flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

If it helps, here's a Pearl Jam song called "Better Man".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4BObpNQqNo
If it doesn't help...well...just enjoy the music. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreRhineDavis

It's actually rather simple. When you're comparing just two things, you use the comparative. ("My apple is bigger than yours"). When you're comparing more than two things, you use the superlative ("My apple is the biggest in the world").

With the comparative, when you're comparing an arbitrary thing against a standard, you use the indefinite article ("This is a bigger apple than yours"), whereas when you're comparing and contrasting two specific things against each other, you use the definite article ("Mine is the bigger apple, yours is the smaller apple").

With the superlative though, it always takes the definite article. Sentences like "This is a biggest apple" are just ungrammatical.

So if you're comparing two specific men against each other, it makes total sense to point one out and say "He is the better man".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nadgerz

Boxing, Kipling and Pearl Jam in one explanation! This is probably not only a first, but also deserves a prize. Well played Sir!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RhysJohnson92

The explanation is thorough but you deserve lingots just for the Pearl Jam reference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alvpinero

Now I see it. You can get a totally different perspective putting things into his context :D

Thanks for your help!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Have been hoping I'd come across this again to give you a well deserved lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yvonne Enter

Thank you for the music!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beaker606

Ok, why is it "der"? In the accusative case, doesn't "der" switch to "den"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreRhineDavis

The verb "sein" (to be) is special, in that both the subject and the "object" stay in the nominative case. It used to be the same in English: He is I, I am he.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Technically it still is in English. But it's being misused so often it will one day be standard. That's normal for languages they evolve.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

It already is standard. "It is I!" is archaic. The exact same change happened in French. C'est moi (not "C'est je).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaux016

I am french and i never heard the expression "c'est je". If ever it existed (and i really doubt it) then it comes from the most remote Middle-Age, when the french language was still being built.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeOcher

the sentence is nominative (ask Who or what ...? for nominative, "who or what is better?" answer "the man")

this link should help: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/246046


[deactivated user]

    one of the dictionary hints for "bessere" is "mends one's ways". What does this mean? or is it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

    The verb sich bessern means 'to become better'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larkspire

    Endings occasionally make Duo's dictionary think that adjectives and adverbs are verbs.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

    There, as a verb: "to better." "I'm learning German to better myself."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luka034

    Question: Why is this sentence translated as "He is the better man", instead of "He is better man"? Superlative form is "the best", and the comparative form is "better", without the article, right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

    While superlative adjectives do generally require "the", comparative adjectives do not have any rules about articles.

    "He is the better man"
    "This is a better sandwich"
    "These are better hammers"

    In this case, the sentence is short for "He is the better man, out of these two." The last part is understood by context and the use of "better".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoSchribs

    Er ist der bessere Mann für das Geschäft.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoadsOfToa

    He is the alpha male puts on fedora


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/codeholic

    That really sounded like "Ihr".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

    It has recently been discovered that some (unfortunate) users are getting different sounding audio once in a while depending on some unknown factor(s). I seem to be one of the unfortunate users, but I hear "er" here. See the three links at the end of this post if you're interested...

    If it is just a question of not picking up the differences between the two words, fear not, a lot of people seem to have issues with "er" v.s. "ihr". Until you get the hang of it, try to remember to look at the rest of the sentence, especially the verbs. In this case, if it had been "ihr" and not "er", the verb that followed would have had to have been "seid" and not "ist". Also, you probably wouldn't say to multiple people that they are "der bessere Mann", but "die besseren Männer" (although sometimes Duo accepts and expects some weird stuff).

    Links for those interested:

    http://www.duolingo.com/comment/821339
    http://www.duolingo.com/event/294563354
    http://www.duolingo.com/comment/499592

    The post by backtoschool in the last link hopefully provides the proof to those that have no audio issues.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gottesanbeterin

    wie ist es im Vergleich zu?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hogthehedge

    He is the better man, but not the best man at the wedding..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/udayanbose

    Pearl Jam - Better man


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poole2

    Du bist ein besser Mann als ich, Gunga Din.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

    ein besserer Mann*


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ubeeric

    Is deciding between der, die, das mostly a matter of memorization except for the obvious male & female cases. I keep messing up


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zane38724

    No way. He is "a" better man. Or, He is "the" best man. "The better"? Nope!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SharnaPax

    No, if you're comparing two men, it's perfectly good English to say "He is the better man." "Of the two" is implied.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fatma119077

    Why “the better man “not “the best man“, Warum“ der bessere Mann“ nicht “Dieser Mann ist der Beste“?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fercastillodiaz

    Could anyone english-native speaker explain to me this phrase? Shouldn't be He is the best man?. I think translation here doesn't make any sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SharnaPax

    "Better" is comparative. "Best" is superlative. You use "best" when you're talking about more than two people, but "better" when you are comparing two people.

    For example:

    Talking about one person: He is a good man.

    Talking about two people: He is the better man (of the two).

    Talking about three or more people: He is the best man (of all).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GraceShalhoub

    This sentence written by Eddie Vedder :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alikhashar

    I am sorry I really have a problem with that sentence. Can a native Speaker in English confirm that one can say you are the better man. Thx


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ethan.murdoch

    Native English speaker here, confirming you can say you are the better man.

    One of the comments above has a few examples.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talitamahfuz

    is "he is the better man" english???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    Read the comments on this page and you'll find your answer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    It was meant as advice which will help you on Duo. Here is some more:

    https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talitamahfuz

    Honestly, I do not agree with the answers I read (i had read them indeed). "Better" is a comparative. So, something is better than another thing. But a man is not the better, he is the best. He can be better THAN another man. I never heard or read "he is the better" but only "he is the best" or "he is better THAN". Jaye, are you the moderator? Could you post a grammar explanation for this?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    No, I'm not the moderator just and EFL teacher. And I owe you an apology. I read all 34 comments and none are a clear explanation. So, here goes:

    Usually when there are only two people (things etc) we can say:

    "She is the better swimmer of the two."

    Hope that helps. And again sorry I was so harsh.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    Thanks for the lingot; you're very kind.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lamosca.24

    Is "the best man" wrong here? Because i got corrected..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

    That would be "Er ist der beste Mann".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doukitsa1

    You should say the best man we say better than.......


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/farhadandy

    i think its grammatically wrong to say "he is the better man "


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

    This has been discussed exhaustively on this thread. You will find much wisdom in the discussions, and it will save you the time of waiting for a response to read through the comments before you post.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    Very wise advice.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nevesneto

    It should be "he is THE BEST man" or "he is A BETTER man". This "correct" translation does not sound natural!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    This has been explained on this page right above your post. Duo is correct.

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