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  5. "Er hatte mich oft seinen bes…

"Er hatte mich oft seinen besten Schüler genannt."

Translation:He had often called me his best student.

April 6, 2013



He had frequently called me his best student. Isn´t this an acceptable tanslation?


I've given the exact same answer, I think it should be accepted!


Great minds think alike. Best regards Piteco


One could think there could be an issue with translating Schüler as "student" instead of "pupil". So far I remember, DL kind of made a point of reserving "student" as a translation for Student. But I think DL doesn't take this distinction rigidly, as even they themselves used "student" in this translation.

Anyway, I have written "He had frequently called me his best pupil", but it was also not accepted.

The only remaining explanation would then be in the adverb used, but I think there is no significant difference between the meanings of "frequently" and "often" to justify it. In this discussion about this difference, someone tries to reason that "frequently" would imply some sort of regularity which would be absent from the "often", but this doesn't make sense to me. I think to imply regularity one would used "regularly" instead! But I'm neither a native speaker nor an expert. Maybe someone who is can shed some light on this topic?


Of course it is. Sometimes you really have to wonder who's minding the store at DL.


Still not accepted one year later. Wonder why.


Perhaps like us, they have two words. Although they are interchangeable, "häufig" is perhaps more directly used as "frequently" and as the adjective "frequent" as well. http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/h%C3%A4ufig


Doesn't seem to be the case, at least when looking up oft in DWDS, where the word is explained as häufig, viele Male.


Still not accepted another year later!! Irritating!


why "seinen"? isn't "his best student" a nominative form?


"seinen besten Schüler" is accusative.


Obviously, since seine conjugated to seinen. I guess I meant why is it accusative? e.g.: he called me "a man" - would it be nominative, or also, Er hat mich "einen Mann" genannt?.
Isn't "mich" the accusative part of the sentence?


Both elements need to be in the accusative.


As Christian said, ‘nennen’ takes two objects in the accusative. In general, if two things are equated by a verb, German tends to use the same case for both. So ‘nennen’ gets two accusatives and ‘sein’ gets two nominatives.


thank you for the actual explanation/rule!


Even in English what he called me would be the direct object, it is "mich" which is different from the English. In English "me" would be an indirect object, but in German certain verbs require both be accusative. I think G.P. Niers explains it well for me.


This is from Pons

"[jdm] jdn/etw nennen" = to name sb/sth [to sb]

So am I right to say that this is only used when we call someone else (other than the person we're speaking to) some names?


No, the particular "usage formula" (so to speak) of nennen that you quoted is not used in the sense you mentioned. The actual meaning is in the sense of mitteilen (to share), in particular to give one or more names to a person. One of the examples Pons gives for it:

Können Sie mir einen guten Anwalt nennen? (Can you give me the name of a good lawyer?)

The sense in which the verb nennen is used in the current exercise is "to name" (benennen). The structure is like this: jemanden/etwas (Akk) etwas (Akk) nennen. Some further examples from DWDS:

er hat mich gestern (laut, vor allen Leuten) einen Dummkopf genannt

das nenne ich Glück


I think you're confusing infinitive of the verb to be, "sein" with the male possessive, "sein."

"Ich bin sein bester Schüler" is nominative. BUT "bin" is the first person singular form of the verb "to be" -- that's where "sein" comes in. The reason it's nominative is that the subject and object are the same thing -- equivalent -- because one of them IS the same as the other.

See "conjugations of the verb to be, sein" at: http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb01.htm

Less confusingly, "Ich bin der beste Schüler" is nominative for the same reason.

"Sie hat mich ihren besten Schüler gennant." is accusative, just like "Er hatte mich seinen besten Schüler genannt." The subject, pupil, is receiving the direct action of the verb, to be called.


Should 'student' really be accepted here? I thought part of this unit was learning the big difference that in German 'Student' = university student and 'Schueler' = pupil, as in the UK. I know it's different in American English, but this was part of the notes.


DL rightly distinguishes between Schüler (pupil) and Student (student), but it should be consistent and stick with it. In this exercise, the word pupil is correct and should be accepted. By the way, same distinction in French between élève and étudiant.


Same in the UK too. If DL is trying to teach the distinction in German, it should mark 'student' wrong as a translation for [school] pupil.


Instead of "Er hatte mich oft seinen besten Schüler genannt. "
..can I say "Er hatte oft mich seinen besten Schüler genannt. " ?


German word order is different. I think a pronoun object usually comes right after the conjugated verb in a main clause or simple sentence. The time frame usually comes at the beginning of the middle section which would be right after that; then, why and then how and then where.

It does state that a short adverb of time can precede a noun object. The noun object in this case is probably considered to be a part of the ending verb


Then it does go on to say that emphasis would change with different word order, so I suppose it might be possible. Wouldn't it mean that "he had OFTEN called ME his best student. (sometimes he called other people his best student)? Often me, so other times not me? I hope a native speaker comes along to explain how this word order would be interpreted. I think in the regular word order "oft" affects the verb rather than the pronoun.


I answered 'he often called me his best pupil' and it was accepted as correct. Anyone know why my lazy use of English (leaving out the verb 'to have') is regarded as a correct translation of past perfect?


He often called me his best pupil - Er hat mich oft seinen besten Schüler genannt - regular past tense

He had often called me his best pupil - Er hatte mich oft seinen besten Schüler genannt - past perfect tense


In the previous examples the person who was named after something was dative, here it is accusative. Is the difference naming/calling that takes dative /accusative?


There are different uses for "nennen" and some use Accusative/Accusative, especially calling someone something. Yes, "name your price" or "state your preference" takes Accusative. http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/nennen There is even a context for Accusative/Dative when you name a child after someone. (the preposition Nach takes jdm or Dative) http://german.about.com/od/grammar/ht/Dative-Prepositions.htm


So, does "oft" count as Time and "seinen besten Schueler" count as Manner in terms of the Time, Manner, Place thing?


I don't understand the meaning of this sentence. It does not make sense.


I see it so - a man says that when he was a student his former teacher treated him well.


What is the infinitive form of "genannt"?

EDIT: Never mind, found it. It's "nennen".


I wrote "seinem" and got it right. Then I realized it should be "seinen" (and also understood why), but I still don't get why "seinem" was marked right.


Probably as a typo.
"Seinem" is wrong here.


The voice of the narrator is female. Must be Schülerin, not Schüler .


The system isn't that smart.
All sentences get read by both/all(?) voices.


He often said I was his best student should be accepted


It's in the wrong tense (you used the imperfect instead of the past perfect) and syntactically too far away from the German sentence to likely be accepted. Duo prefers the translations to be as direct as possible.


What's wrong with : " He had often named me his best student "..?

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