1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Großvater ist nicht mein Vat…

"Großvater ist nicht mein Vater."

Translation:Grandfather is not my father.

April 14, 2013



How about "Großvater ist mein Vater nicht?"


Nope, doesn't work. Sounds like Yoda.


Isn't this the possessive pronoun case. Like in "Der Autor sucht sein Glas nicht." (the writer is not looking for his glass). I see nicht at the end in this. Can someone explain?


In your example, the nicht negates the verb. In Duo's sentence, it's negating the noun.


Like Yoda you sound.


Nicht should be put before the word you negate.

Nicht goes to the end when you negate the verb


You have to put ''nicht'' after ''ist''.


What everyone here seems to be failing at explaining is that "NICHT" comes at the end of a sentence but BEFORE an adjective. In the case given here:

Großvater = noun ist = verb mein Vater = adjective

So it should be written: Noun --> Verb --> Negation --> Adj.

Großvater ist NIGHT mein Vater.

"mein Vater" is used as the adjective to describe the noun, which is "Großvater". That means we place our negation before "mein Vater."


Note that "mein Vater" is not an adjective; it is a noun (or, more accurately, a noun phrase). Because this sentence uses a linking (copulative/copular) verb, "mein Vater" is called the "subject complement". (Wikipedia has this list of copular verbs.) An adjective can be used with a linking verb (z.B., "Großvater ist alt."), but it is still called a "subject complement".

If the verb were an action verb, then "mein Vater" would be referenced as a "direct object": z.B., "Großvater sieht mein meinen Vater nicht." ["Grandfather does not see my father."] Note how nicht moves to the end of the sentence here. With the sentence for this exercise, nicht is placed just before the element of the sentence it is negating. A very good discussion on the position of nicht can be found at YourDailyGerman.com.


It should be "Großvater sieht meinen Vater nicht."


Ja. Danke. Korrigiert.


Since "Vater" is masculine and "mein Vater" is accusative, shouldn't it be "meinen Vater"?


I just realized "mein Vater" is nominative and not accusative.. nominative does not change like accusative.


Can you explain more? I had the same reaction as you... Why would it be nominative here? Isn't it the object of «is»? Or it is different with the verb to be?


Sein (to be) is always nominative. This means: ist, bin, bist, sind are always nominative


As you said, with the verb to be you state what/who something/someone is. Therefore "mein Vater" is nominative and not accusative: it is not the object of any action occurring in the phrase.


In order to be Accusative, you need a subject AND an object. Meaning, we need TWO different entities.

Unfortunately, "mein Vater" is used as an adjective in this case. Compare it to, "Der Apfel ist nicht golden." 'nicht golden' is used to describe 'Apfel' as an adjective and the sentence is NOT accusative. If we apply the same to "Großvater ist nicht mein Vater," we see that 'nicht mein Vater' is used as the adjective to describe 'Großvater.' 'Großvater' is both the subject and object, so no accusative case is in play here.


Please see my other reply regarding how "mein Vater" is not an adjective, but rather a "subject complement".


Now, why would you not be able to say

Grosvater ist mein Vater nicht.

Apologies for the incorrect spelling of Grandpa(in German), I lack a German keyboard on this device.


Hold down the S (assuming you're on mobile" and you will get a ß


nicht means 'not' as in: he is not my father. kein means 'no/none' as in: he has no father.


Nicht means "not"

Kein(K+ein) means "not a" or "no"


It would be problematic if he was...


How do you type the letter in the Grosvater that i cant find?


I believe Duolingo provides all special characters right next to the text input area. Simply click on the special letter that you want to insert at the cursor location.

Otherwise, if you're on a Windows computer: Hold down the ''Alt'' key and type ''225'' on the number keypad. That produces a ''ß''.

On an Android device hold down the ''s'' key on the keyboard and wait until the special characters menu pops up. Select the ''ß''.


Alternatively, on Windows, use alt-0223.

With a Mac, alt-s does the trick.


It's very simple. Just press AltGr+s (AltGr is the Alt on the right) using US International Layout. To add the layout you should choose it in your keyboard language settings. It can also be used for typing Spanish and French special symbols.


On Linux (Gnome), this works with the layout "English (Macintosh)". This probably also works on macOS.


just type "grossvater", since that's the sound it makes. it always works


Many Austrians refuse to use the "ess-tset" (ß), and simply express it as "ss". This orthographic variation has no effect on the grammar.


I use Windows 8 and I added a Spanish and German keyboard to my settings/preferences. Now I can push the windows key plus the space bar to cycle between keyboards of different languages, then "-" becomes "ß". Although I couldn't type it in this box without using the alt code given by zengator, I hate remembering alt codes.


It's better to use US International Layout. No need to add new keyboards for all the languages or your Keyboard Menu would quickly become very clunky. US International Layout can be easily used for typing in German, Spanish, French and many other languages.


It can be more useful. I use 6 keyboards for 5 languages (including UK English), it's still fine.


Agreed. I use a separate keyboard layout for each language - I tend to research whichever is most common in a given country and use that to learn it, which as it turns out has proven very useful experience in the end! :P


you also can spell "Grossvater"


In the web version you can press buttons that do it for you. Alternatively, you can download a German keyboard that inputs special German characters for you.


Starting a sentence off with grandfather seems a little weird to me.


Vater is in accusative case and for this case masculine pronoun is meinen. why is here mein? I'm a bit confused


No, mein Vater is not in accusative, it's in nominative. This is a special case of nominative called Prädikatsnominativ. Some few verbs, like in this case, sein (ist being 3rd person singular), appear with it.

So, the declination mein is correct.


I did not know that. May be I'll learn it later


I've only said "Grossvater ist..." and it accepted the whole sentence. Where can I report this bug?


Submitting a report is explained fairly well here: response to Monika695048


yeah, but I had only 2 options: report bad translation and something else I can't remember but it wasn't "accepting answer too early"


Well, if DL is no longer accepting free-text entries, then making a reply to an admin or moderator is probably the next best thing.


"Grandfather's" is equivalent to "Grandfather is", just going to point that out.


In "Grandfather's here", yes. In "Grandfather's house", no.


i wanna ask.. is there a difference between grandfather and grandpa? i mean aren't they the same? großvatter und opa...


"grandfather" (Großvater) is the "proper" name for the relationship.

"grandpa" (Opa) is what you might call your own grandfather -- it's a familiar form.

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