1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  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

24 Comments


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

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'.


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

I tried

Meiner Mutter Schwestern essen kein Hähnchen

Is it wrong???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

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.


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

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


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

no it doesn't, tried that :(


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bmwx11

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andres.roaro

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

Is it not missing the "von" to specify?


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

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.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nah03

why "meine schwester der mutter" is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

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'


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

"Die Schwestern meiner Mutter essen nicht Hähnchen"

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


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

Should be "...essen kein Hähnchen"


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

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronron23

Is it okay to use Mutti for Mutter?


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoM.O

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

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