1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Those are not my fingers."

"Those are not my fingers."

Translation:Das sind nicht meine Finger.

April 4, 2013

56 Comments


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

Wow, some of these sentences are pretty fantastic! I was almost rolling on the floor laughing when I saw this!


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

Then "The child eats twenty three beetles" And the best of all "That is my daughter and not my grandma"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r1CSu

I mean, both children and elderly can behave childish or need care. So I can imagine the second sentence being used while speaking about somebody's behavior.


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

Take a lingot from me for making me laugh so hard!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c0ops

I prefered one needs three fingers


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

No idea if you'll see this, but my personal favorites have been: "Die Körper sind schwer," and "Wir schwimmen nach Italien."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.croc_deka

I've had 'Jesus is walking over the sea' before!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaime836972

Keep laughing: If I translate word by word the famous idiom "give the finger to someone", would that make any sense in German? Is there any native German around?


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

If I translate word by word the famous idiom "give the finger to someone", would that make any sense in German?

No.

The usual expression is jemandem den Mittelfinger zeigen (to show someone the middle finger) or sometimes jemandem den Stinkefinger zeigen (to show someone the stink-finger).

You might be able to make yourself understood with just jemandem den Finger zeigen (to show someone the finger) but I don't think you would be understood if you used geben (give) instead of zeigen (show).


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

Very Scary, A ghost's hand, haha! I don't believe Ghosts. This is the most fantastic sentence! Take a lingot from me who believes!


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

Why do I need the "nicht" next to the verb. Why doesn't "Das sind meine Finger nicht." work?


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

The negative goes before the thing negated -- so "nicht meine". "Nicht" only goes to the end when the whole sentence is being negated. You wouldn't say "Those are my fingers not" in English.


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

Fair answer, but I would be careful about comparing English sentences with German in that way, as there are so many inconsistencies, as in any language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chen247935

I almost always knew where to put the "nicht", but didn't actually know why... Does "kein" has similar rules?


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

kein always negates the noun, so it always goes before it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a92perez

What about "Das sind keine meine Finger"?


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

"Kein/keine" means as much as "not a/not any", you could use it if you wanted to say "that is not any of my fingers" - "das sind keiner meiner finger", something like that! So the meaning changes.


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

Why not "Diese sind nicht meine Finger"?


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

Duo is accepting that answer now!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QED-hamza-QED

If it was Dies not Diese , it would be accepted


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

This sentence will come in handy


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

But why does Duo say it should be Das sind? Das is singular, sind is plural. This kind of thing is really puzzling me, and making me feel like just giving up ever trying to solve the grammar of the German language.


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

Das can mean "the", but it also can mean "this", "that", "these", and "those" in some circumstances.


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

But how to know when to use it while describing things or there is no such rule


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

There is a rule. When you are introducing something into the conversation German sees a problem if you haven't yet used a noun for whatever-it-is. If you have already used a noun you would take the number and gender from it for the pronoun "that", "those", etc. For example, someone might have said, "Schau die Finger da an! Sind diese Finger deine?"--"Nein. Diese sind nicht meine Finger."

But that can't be if whatever-it-is hasn't been named. See mizinamo's explanation.

I feel a bit queasy typing this as I have a mental picture of hacked-off fingers. Oh, Duo, how can you treat us like this? :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Student521556

Why is "Das sind meine Finger nicht " wrong?


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

Why is "Das sind meine Finger nicht " wrong?

Because of the word order. It should be Das sind nicht meine Finger.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Student521556

But why should the words be in that order? I thought "nicht" could also go at the end of the sentence? For example "Ich sehe den Stuhl nicht" is correct, right? (I lifted it from University of Michigan website examples so I'm assuming it is correct.)

What is the difference between, "Ich sehe den Stuhl nicht" being correct and "Das sind meine Finger night" being wrong?

Both are subject-verb-object-nicht, no?


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

Both are subject-verb-object-nicht, no?

No.

sein (to be) does not take a direct object. (You can't turn "these are my fingers" into "my fingers are been by these" -- "to be" is not an action.)

So you can't (necessarily) compare the grammar of a sentence with sein as the main verb to that of a sentence with a transitive verb.


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

I think it comes down to what you are trying to negate: these fingers are not mine vs these are mine, alright, they are just not fingers.


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

meine Finger / mein Finger which one is correct


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

Both: 'meine Finger' is plural ('my fingers'), and 'mein Finger' is singular ('my finger')


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

"Dies" sind nicht meiner Finger — have we done "Dies" (not "dieser")?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

Not in all the lessons I've done, and I'm almost halfway through the skill tree.


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

Is this the genetive case for fingers? Showing possesion?


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

No, meine Finger is in the nominative case.


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

I used "Fingers", and Duo said it was singlular. What a language..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4of92000

That would probably be because of the genitive case, which would get you "des Fingers" (literally "the finger's" or "of the finger"), or "der Finger" if you insist on plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glyn323150

Why is "Sie sind nicht meine Finger" wrong? Thanks in advance! :)


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

Why is "Sie sind nicht meine Finger" wrong?

sie = they

But the English sentence has "those", which is das at the beginning of a sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glyn323150

Thanks for the reply mizinamo. Just to clarify: "Those" refers to a plural set of things/group of inanimate objects. "Sie" (can) refer to a group of people = "they". In English I could also refer to a group of inanimate objects as "they". (example: A: Have you seen my drumsticks? B: Yes, they are lying on the sofa.) But is it then true that in German "Sie" cannot be used to refer to a group of inanimate objects? Thanks again, Glyn


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

example: A: Have you seen my drumsticks? B: Yes, they are lying on the sofa.

You would use sie for "they" here. sie works for anything plural, whether animate or inanimate, when you're referring back to something mentioned before ("my drumsticks" in this example).

Compare:

"These are my fingers. They are long."

Dies sind meine Finger. Sie sind lang.

The first sentence is not referring back to anything -- it's introducing a new topic. So we use the demonstrative pronoun these (or those) -- dies/das in German. (Always neuter singular in German.)

The second sentence refers back to "my fingers"/meine Finger and uses the personal pronoun "they"/sie to do so.

Duo's sentence has "Those are not my fingers" with "those" -- a demonstrative pronoun for introducing a new topic. Not "they" for talking about something you have mentioned before.

That's why sie doesn't work in Duo's sentence here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glyn323150

Hi Mizinamo. Thank you for your reply and clarifying. I can agree that my answer is not what the question was asking, and appreciate you confirming the possible use of "sie" for anything plural. A good day to you! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cherie871750

You're my hero, every time


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

The mushrooms are kicking in apparently


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

Very good sentence that will be very useful someday when your hand is cut off


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r1CSu

Not only cut off, but also mixed up with somebody else's.


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

Hello everybody, Can you help understand why "Das sind nicht meinen Finger" is incorrect? I am struggling to understand the difference between meine vs. meinen in this sentence. I thought using the akkusativ should have been correct. Thanks in advance for your help!


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

This sentence requires nominative case: something is something else, and it's plural.

So:

Das sind nicht meine Finger - these are not my fingers (nominative plural)

Das ist nicht mein Finger - this is not my finger (nominative singular)

Du siehst meine Finger - you see my fingers (accusative plural)

Du siehst meinen Finger - you see my finger (accusative singular)

Du dienst mienem Finger - you serve my finger (dative singular)

Du dienst meinen Fingern - you serve my fingers (dative plural)

Hope that helps at least a bit.


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

Thank you dmsky. I understood your explanation. Very clear. Regards, M.


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

what is the singular for fingers in german? 2021 jan


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

Finger

It has the same form in singular and plural: ein Finger, zwei Finger; das ist nicht mein Finger; das sind nicht meine Finger.


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

The memories of Russia in 1990s are coming back...

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.