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  5. "Ich kann in dem Bett nicht s…

"Ich kann in dem Bett nicht schlafen."

Translation:I cannot sleep in this bed.

April 12, 2013



Couldn't this also be "Ich kann im Bett nicht schlafen."?


I'm not 100% sure, but I think that is correct too. Keeping in and dem separate emphasises that it's this bed he can't sleep in.


Tricky one: some examples

"Ich kann im Bett nicht schlafen." Means, I cannot sleep in a bed, I should better sleep on a floor mattress for instance.

Well, even if "im" is basically the same like "in dem!" , if the German speaker chooses "in dem" it equals more or less: "in diesem" at this means: "in this particular bed" and changes the meaning dramatically to: "I cannot sleep in this bed."

Another example where a context would have helped.

I would go here with the translation suggested by the green OWL.


I write I cannot sleep in bed and it was marked incorrect although I think that it's fine. Sometimes Duo insist on using der/die/das as this and sometimes it's a no-go.


Why do we need "the" in "I can not sleep in the bed"?


How come the definite article can be the demonstrative "this" as well? Shouldn't be something like "diesem"?


I'd translate "dem" as "that". But Duo says "dem" is "this" when hovering over "dem". Weird.


der/die/das can also be demonstrative pronouns. check this: http://goo.gl/eXu7XY


Using diesem would put emphasis on THIS. As in, I can not sleep in this bed, I should sleep on another bed, etc. This way just seems like a more descriptive way of saying "I can't sleep." It's like "I can't go." and "I can't go to the party." Same thing, just more descriptive.


kann and nicht are so far from each other!! confusing ;(


I've come across other excercises like this with a preposition that takes the dative case, and the explanation given for why the article is in the dative case reads:

"When a word is the indirect receiver of an action it gets a special article. For example The girl gives the child the book is Das Mädchen gibt dem Kind das Buch."

This isn't the rule that applies here, is it? This might be confusing for learners who aren't aware of the different instances where the dative case of articles should be used.

I think explanations like this are helpful, but they have to be correct. And preferably provide a more thorough explanation, e.g. with "article in the dative case" rather than the mystifying "special article". Or at least a link to a page that explains the grammatical rules thoroughly.


In is a two-way preposition. It takes the dative when there is no movement (or there is movement in the same place) and takes the accusative when there is movement. Here it is explained now: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Accusative-Prepositions


Thanks to those who have explained the difference between 'im' and 'in dem'. And DL for the examples & discussion, especially nuances such as these. More like the way children acquire language naturally.


Is there a different way to say "I can not-sleep in the bed" as in i am capable of being in the bed while not sleeping?


relianxi, if, perhaps you meant something like: I'm unable to sleep in bed, (because of my wife's snoring, say), then I think you'd say: 'Ich kann im Bett nicht schlafen'. Note that 'in bed' / 'im Bett' actually means 'in a bed'.


That's cool. That's not what I was asking, but thanks.


I think you may be looking it slightly wrong. The nicht is with the kann rather than the schlafen. So it's more like I can not in the bed sleep or I can not sleep in the bed, the word order is just different. I may be wrong though.


Yeah, I'm asking how to put the negation with the sleep. There's not a good way to do it in English, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same in German.


You may be looking for "Ich muss in den Bett nicht schlafen", which translates to the next best way to say what youre describing in English, "I dont have to sleep in the bed." Although i am curious if you can do like in English, and simply emphasize the "nicht" in the original sentence.


Is it wrong if i say: "Ich kann nicht in dem Bett Schlafen"?


No, it is not! ;-)

Because nobody can see that you have a capital S in schlafen.

When you write it like this: "Ich kann nicht in dem Bett schlafen" your are perfectly fine.

Alternatively: "Ich kann in dem Bett nicht schlafen"

If you want to stress/emphasize a particular Bett it sounds like:

"Ich kann in diesem Bett nicht schlafen"


Thanks you! its clear now


Got it right, but took we a bit to understand what word went where

  • 1608

why not "in THE bad "?


Why is it "in" not "auf"?


"auf dem Bett" Sleeping on top of the covers because it is too hot to cover up.


The thought is absolutely correct. I have never heard it expressed this way, but I can well imagine it being used (especially for emphasizing).

Some additional information: You say "auf einer/der Couch schlafen" (and not "in") if you are sleeping on a/the couch, although the friend you are staying with gave you something to cover up.


Since you are usually covered with some kind of sheet it is considered to be "im Bett" and not "auf dem Bett". You say "auf dem Bett" if you are just sitting on it like on a couch or a chair to watch a movie or read a book ect..


Why is it "DEM" not "DER"?


Can it be "Ich kann nicht im Bett schlafen."?

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