"The high mountain reaches into the sky."

Translation:Der hohe Berg reicht in den Himmel.

March 30, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why isn't it "im Himmel"? doesn't "in" trigger the dative?


"in" is two-way, and could be either dative or accusative as far as I remember.


I thought accusative was used when an action is described, while dative is used for static or stationary situations? Does this count as an action?


That's sort of right. A better way to think of it is that you use dative for a location and accusative for a destination. (Which is slightly different from what you said; for instance, "The plane is flying in the sky" would be "Das Flugzeug fliegt im Himmel"-- the plane is moving (action), but since it's already in the sky, the sky isn't a destination, so dative is used.)

It's the same as the difference between "in" and "into" in English: if you use "into," that's a destination, so accusative; if "into" doesn't make sense and you have to use "in," it's a location, so dative.

So the mountain is (metaphorically) reaching upward into the sky, hence a destination, so accusative. (It's not actually moving obviously, but that's what the metaphorical image is here.)


Thanks for your very helpful explanation


Thanks for the explanation, though I doubt I can keep it all in my head at once, haha. There are lots of cases where people in English would use "in" where "into" would also work, so that's not such a great test. It's just one of those things you have to memorize. Never would have thought of the airplane case. I think that is idiomatic.


There are lots of cases where people in English would use "in" where "into" would also work

That's certainly true. Come to think of it, you can also try replacing "in" with something like "within." One or the other of "within" or "into" should work for pretty much any sentence with "in," so if "within" works, use dative, and if "into" works, use accusative. For sentences where both work, you just have to keep track of which meaning you mean.

  • "I am in my house"-- "within" works and "into" doesn't, so dative
  • "I went in my house"-- "into" works and "within" doesn't, so accusative
  • "I ran in my house" (where I'm inside the house running)-- "within" is what we mean here, so dative
  • "I ran in my house" (entered the house running)-- now we mean "into," so accusative

And this works for the mountain sentence, too, since English uses the same metaphor. "Reaches into the sky" sounds fine, but "reaches within the sky" is odd, so we use accusative.

(Amended my above comment to make my airplane example a specific sentence. This is certainly idiomatic usage.)


Thanks for the very clear explanation


I wish there was a way to save comments on duolingo so I could keep track of this


@ Chonky_Cat29

There is. Well, not through Duo directly (at least not that I know of).

But if you want to save something interesting or particularly helpful you just need to select the particular area/section, cut and then paste in whatever word processor you use.

I do it myself if I want to save a particular section or comment/post instead of just "following" a certain discussion. Then I just save it in a "Language" folder in my Duo German subfolder. And try to name the file with something that will remind me of what's in it. Obviously, you can arrange it any way you want. That way you even save any links/sites any posts contain and they remain clickable in the saved text file.


perfect, thanks.


why is it "hohe" and not "hoher?"


If an adjective is after an article, it conjugates differently than it does when it's alone. The logic here is that "der" already marks the noun as masculine, so "hohe" doesn't also need to, and so it drops the "-r." You can find some tables here.


Warum nicht "Der hohe Berg erreicht in den Himmel."


"Erriechen" means to reach, to achieve, as in the end of the process. It is transitive, so there has to be a direct object - something that is reached, like a goal or a person or a train. "Reichen" means to reach or extend, particularly of fields, forests, etc. It is intransitive.


Nice explanation, thanks.


Watch out though. "reichen" can also be transitive. zum Beispiel:

Reich mir dein Glas

As in "Hand/Reach me your glass".

Just look for direct or indirect objects in that context to know which shade of meaning it is.


Why is the c removed when declining "hoch" to "hohe"?


why is here the acusative ,,den himmel'' since we know that ,,himmel'' is the location. In my humble opinion it could be dative.


Here it is accusative, because the action of "reaching into" breaks through the imaginary box around the sky (I guess).


I have been learning German for years, I've passed an A level, can converse quite well, though have never lived in Germany. I am still making wild guesses as to what word endings to do. I can do some things learning by repetition... Das rote Auto, mein rotes Auto... Auf dem Tisch for when things are there, den Tisch when being put... But these exercises, I just cannot work out what I'm putting where in these exercises here. I always have been a dimwit with grammar.


Have you checked out the Tips section under the "Colors" skill? it's all about adjective endings. It has three tables, one for each case, and you can see the patterns. I printed them out and had to constantly refer back to them for a couple of months, but finally, they sank in. Once you have that, a few skills down is prepositions, which tell you when and why you change cases when adjectives and determiners come after a preposition. Again, it took time and lots of practice, but you do eventually internalize them. If you look above "Colors", some rows up, you'll find seperate circles to practice accusative and dative prepositions separately, too. Google the "german prepositions song" - it's a handy way of remembering the dative ones, anyway, and there's a mnemonic for remembering the accusative ones.


https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/636212 There are some 'rules' in this discussion that I've adopted and they are the only way I have been able to cope with adjective endings. Be sure to read the discussion mentioned in the link.


"reichen" seems to be a very versatile verb. According to my dictionary, it's meaning include "to reach, to be enough, to pass, to serve." So you can use it to say "Eine Tasse Kaffee reicht nicht." (One cup of coffee isn't enough - or doesn't suffice), and also to ask someone to pass you something (Kannst du mir bitte den Wein reichen? - can you pass me the wine, please?) At least, this is what my resources seem to indicate.


Wieso nicht: Der hohe Berg erstreckt sich bis zum Himmel?


Why den Himmel, not dem? Isnt it weak inflected dativ masculine? Dativ because of 'In'


No, it's in + accusative here -- verbs such as reichen (reach) and passen (fit) use the accusative after two-way prepositions as if there is movement into the space that they occupy in the end.


So that is a rule? Always use AKK after reichen and passen with a 2-way prep?

It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that reichen is used metaphorically (figuratively)?


Is "in" necessary here? I.e. why "Der Berg reicht den Himmel" is incorrect?


When to use hohe and hoher? :/


Why is it not "Der hoher Berg"


Growing mountains?


Der hohe Berg reicht in den Himmel h i n e i n..... hinein in missing in the Duo sentence.


Mhwah....und "reicht bis zum Himmel", oder?


how would i know this -_- ?!!!!!!!!!


What is wrong with "Der hohe Berg ragt bis an den Himmel hinein?"


It is interesting as in the sky meaning situated with no motion is AM Himmel


Could someone please tell me why "der hohe berg erreicht in den Himmel" is incorrect


Somebody already did. See the very topmost comment.

Plus "berg" needs to be "Berg".


Why doesnt the use of the dative preposition 'in' mean that den -> dem and then contract to 'im'. I reckon this is just wrong.


"In" is not a "dative preposition." Like several other pronouns, it uses either dative or accusative depending on whether it's referring to, respectively, a location or a destination. (Essentially, you use dative when it's referring to being "inside" something and accusative when it's referring to going "into" something.)

The idea here is that the mountain is (somewhat metaphorically) reaching upward into the sky, so the sky is a destination and therefore accusative. "In den Himmel" is correct.


Considering this came up in a Nominative Adjectives lesson, it is strange that the only differences in the choices concerned der/dem/den Himmel.


Thought you used -en after a definite article

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