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  5. "My mother's sisters do not e…

"My mother's sisters do not eat chicken."

Translation:Die Schwestern meiner Mutter essen kein Hähnchen.

April 8, 2013



I realise that Duolingo probably expected me to use the genitive structure but I'm not sure why my answer of "Die Schwestern meiner Mutter essen Hähnchen nicht." is not also correct.


You actually used the genitive structure correctly. A dative structure would be "Die Schwestern von meiner Mutter ...". Note that for feminine nouns like 'die Mutter', the genitive endings are identical to the dative endings anyway . Your problem is that 'essen Hähnchen nicht' is not as good a translation as 'essen kein Hähnchen'.


I tried

Meiner Mutter Schwestern essen kein Hähnchen

Is it wrong???


Yes. Every language has different ways to indicate possession. In English, we have two ways, adding 's (called the genitive marker) of by using the word 'of' (for example, 'the sisters of my mother').

In German, they can also use the 'of' form, and in fact is is more common in colloquial speech: 'Die Schwestern von meiner Mutter'. Note that 'von' takes the dative, so it is 'meiner Mutter', not 'meine Mutter'.

However, they do NOT have a 's construction. They have what is called a genitive case. This is most commonly used by putting two nouns next to each other, one in the genitive case and one in nom/acc/dative case, depending on what is required by the sentence. BOTH nouns must have an article preceding them. The noun in the genitive case is the one that 'possesses' the other noun. So here, you would say 'Die Schwestern meiner Mutter'. 'Meiner Mutter' is genitive (feminine genitive and dative are the same, but masc/neut aren't). Hence, it is 'My Mother's sisters'. Note that in German, the genitive noun is placed AFTER the other noun, which is opposite to English.


Can't I say my aunts instead? Does duolingo accept it?


no it doesn't, tried that :(

[deactivated user]

    That would be "meine Tanten". We're not letting you get away with avoiding the possessive. ;)


    Not sure why it is meiner and not meine. The way I understand this is for possesssive pronouns you take the genitive case root so "mein-" in this case and add what would be the appropriate "indefinite adjective ending" based on case,number, gender (nominative, singular, feminine)...even if I worng with the case though the only one that would result in -er is nominative masculine but Mutter is not masculine.

    [deactivated user]

      http://goo.gl/o6AUN (see attributive use, singular, genitive, feminine)


      I do not understan why is this ok : Die Schwestern meiner Mutter essen kein Hähnchen

      Is it not missing the "von" to specify?


      It is in the genitive case so it is "The sisters of my mother". The job of implying "of" (i.e. ownership or relationship) is done by genitive case.


      Interesting. So it is "kein Hähnchen" but "keine Huhn". One is neutral, the other is feminine. Confusing :)


      Hähnchen is the diminutive of Huhn, so it is neuter, like other diminutive nouns Mädchen, Fräulein, etc.

      [deactivated user]

        Right. Both "Hähnchen" and "Huhn" are neuter. Hence, It's "kein Hähnchen" and "kein Huhn".


        Any noun that ends with the diminutive -chen or -lein (Mädchen, Hundchen, Fräulein, Kindelein) is ALWAYS neuter. Any noun ending in the adverb/adjective-to-noun-maker -keit is always feminine. For example, the adjective 'friendly' can be changed to the noun 'friendliness' as 'freundlich' to 'die Freundlichkeit.'


        why "meine schwester der mutter" is wrong?


        The thing that is 'mine' is the mother. 'My' mother then 'possesses' the sisters. So it is 'The sisters of my mother' which is 'Die Schwestern meiner Mutter'


        "Die Schwestern meiner Mutter essen nicht Hähnchen"

        Why is this wrong? Should it be "...essen Hähnchen nicht?"


        Should be "...essen kein Hähnchen"


        I disagree. "eat no chicken" is equivalent to "don't eat chicken." Both are grammatically correct. "Essen keine Huhn (or kein Hänchen)" translates to "eat no chicken" -- but that's not what the sentence reads.


        Actually in German one almost never says "don't eat chicken" but always "eat no chicken".


        Is it okay to use Mutti for Mutter?


        I don't think so, but for mom or mummy I think that's ok to use.


        When can we use "kein" or "nicht". What is the difference?

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