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  5. "Er ist der bessere Mann."

"Er ist der bessere Mann."

Translation:He is the better man.

March 29, 2013



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?


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

Der gute Mann. Ein guter Mann.


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.


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?


der gute Mann, die gute Frau, das gute Mädchen

die guten Männer, die guten Frauen, die guten Mädchen


Ja, alles klar, vielen Dank~


Why is ist nominative though?


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


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.


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.


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


Mann can only be used as husband when there's a possessive before it mein Mann (my man/husband). In this sentence it would have to be "der Ehemann" for husband.


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


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


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.


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".
If it doesn't help...well...just enjoy the music. ;)


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".


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


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


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

Thanks for your help!


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!


You've got it wrong my friend.... In English you cannot use "better" jointly with "the".... in that case it MUST be said * "THE BEST MAN" ...... if you persevere in saying "better", then you definitely have to use the undetermined article "A/AN" and then your sentence would be as follows: "A BETTER MAN"*.... I hope this helps to the many that are not native literate speakers... this again it is a perfect example that as far as the German-English course is concerned, the teachers at Duo have a very low command of the English language.


"ich kann nicht einen besseren Mann findennnn"


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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?


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".


Duo giving relationship advice.

[deactivated user]

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


    The verb sich bessern means 'to become better'.


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


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


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


    That really sounded like "Ihr".


    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:


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

    [deactivated user]

      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


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

      One of the comments above has a few examples.


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


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


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


      That would be "Er ist der beste Mann".


      Er ist der bessere Mann für das Geschäft.


      He is the alpha male puts on fedora


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


      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.


      "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).


      This sentence written by Eddie Vedder :)


      Shouldn't it be best the answer?


      "He is the best man", that's the correct translation no better


      Please read the comment by JackBond, that is how your translation is written.

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