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"Er hatte mich oft seinen besten Schüler genannt."

Translation:He had often called me his best student.

April 6, 2013

49 Comments


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

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


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

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


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

Great minds think alike. Best regards Piteco


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

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?


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

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


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

Still not accepted one year later. Wonder why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CissieT03

Still not accepted another year later!! Irritating!


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

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


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

"seinen besten Schüler" is accusative.


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

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?


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

Both elements need to be in the accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.P.Niers

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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.


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

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?


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

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


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

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/WordOrder/MainClauses.html#objects

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

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/WordOrder/MainClauses.html#mittelfeld

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siddhartha_90

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rita540340

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


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

What is the infinitive form of "genannt"?

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanineKin1

Really? A split infinitive in English?


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

What is the difference between STUDENT AND SCHÜLER????


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

A "Student(in)" is a university student; a "Schüler(in)" is a student in high school or below. "Schüler(in)" can also be translated as "pupil".


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

It's not a student at a school, it's a pupil, as the class notes say.


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

If I put "as his best student" then will it be wrong?


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

What would your complete sentence be? There is no "as" in the German sentence to be translated so. I can't see where it would go in the English sentence.


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

Yes. Why would you complicate what's a pretty straightforward sentence? Especially since "nennen" is a transitive verb and takes a direct object. Actually, if you want to criticize any element of the sentence, you should take issue with DL's translating "Schueler" as "student." In German, "schueler" is--more precisely-- "pupil." "Student" is the German equivalent of "student."


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

Thank you for your reply. My question was simple. Can we use "as" or not? It was not about pupil or student!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

No, you would not use " as", which Vaarlam did say. "as" is used to mean "like"; the person is not "like a student"; that person is a student. That would not be used in the English translation. If the teacher were saying I am like his best student, a different verb would be used. We do sometimes say "someone is voted as president" to mean "is voted for the job of president", and " I got a job as a receptionist." is also a good use of that. It is not used with the verb "call" but it is sometimes used with the verb "name" when it is used to mean "appoint". "He will be appointed as general safety inspector." I would say "He was named "Chief Engineer" and that would mean that it is done and that is what he is now, but using "as" might mean that it still needs to be approved. Scroll down past the conjunction definitions to the preposition definitions. You could say "The teacher thought of him as a good student." but that would not be a translation of this sentence. http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/as

For Vaarlam, in German "Student" is used to mean a University student, but in English "student" is used for any age and school and it is more commonly used in the US than "pupil". You could be six years old and be called a student in English.


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

all this exercise has been very silly tbh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shara111111

why seinen and not seinem i thought after oft ( or any time adjective) you are supposed to use seinem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

its seinen because it is the object of the verb "called" and is therefore accusative masculine. I am not sure what the rule you are referring to is, but "oft" is an adverb, not an adjective, and it qualifies the verb and doesn't affect the inflection of the possessive determiner "seinen"


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

Hey, can anyone explain to me why the verb nennem is with the "ge"? i've seen this on other phrases and verbs also. Danke.


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

It's the past (perfect) form. "hatte genannt" = had called. See http://www.vocabulix.com/conjugation2/nennen.html


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

"he has often called me his best pupil" not right!?!


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

No, that's present perfect, not past perfect; it would be "Er hat mich oft...," not "Er hatte mich oft..."

It means the action is relevant to the present. You're still his best pupil, and he might call you his best pupil again.

"He had often called me his best pupil," is all in the past. Maybe he's dead, maybe he no longer talks about you, maybe you're not his best pupil anymore.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukeH141670

in England no one would say "he had" it would always be "he has" they pretty much mean the same thing in english and are interchangeable


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

LukeH41670, In your dreams, maybe. See comments, this forum, from "ran-g", "calabalumba", and "PatriciaJH". Each tense (present perfect and pluperfect) have valid and definite grammatical reasons for being. They are NOT interchangeable.
Learning correct grammar and syntax of a new language is tough enough without fouling the well with information that's out-and-out wrong.

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