https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

"Das kostet ihm zuletzt den Kopf."

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4/18/2013, 1:14:41 PM

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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I looked up "den Kopf kosten" and it was listed several times as "jdn den Kopf kosten" = "to cost somebody their job" (as well as "their head"). My translation was "That costs him his job in the end", which was marked wrong, but with no explanation. Should I flag this to add as a solution, or am I wrong? Is this expression not really used much so best not to add it?
Also, the given solution is "That will finally cost him his head". Shouldn't "That will cost..." be written as "Das wird ihm zuletzt den Kopf kosten"? The German given sentence seems to be present and the English answer seems to be future.
Many thanks!

4/18/2013, 1:14:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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yes, it is used figuratively in the sense of 'lose your job/position/career/...'. But I guess you can use 'That will finally cost him his head' in that sense as well. So, I'm not sure whether it makes sense to add this as an additional solution. The present tense/future tense correspondance is fine IMHO. In German you can use the present more freely than in English to refer to future events.

4/18/2013, 2:37:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Thanks!

4/18/2013, 8:07:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Krueckauer

I've never seen this used to mean "to cost somebody their job".

As for the tenses, in German the present is often used to talk about the future.

4/18/2013, 1:38:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Thanks! I really have to remember the present > future thing.

4/18/2013, 8:08:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

How come it's in present tense?

5/1/2013, 4:38:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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In German you can use present tense more freely than in English to refer to future events.

5/1/2013, 9:15:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

Then why is the future tense in English marked wrong?

5/24/2013, 8:37:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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The recommended English answer above is in the future tense: That will finally cost him his head. So it should be accepted - report if otherwise!

5/24/2013, 2:46:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dror.Schafer

Why is the English translation of the word 'den' is 'his'?! Shouldn't it have been 'seinen'?!

5/18/2013, 5:30:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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English uses 'his', 'her', 'my' etc. more often than many other languages, including German.

5/22/2013, 12:45:03 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

For Body parts "my head" translates as "der Kopf" (and for some other nouns too). It is assumed that we know whose body part is being talked about

5/24/2013, 8:39:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

So what do you say when you are talking about some other head? It would be much easier to signify it was his head by saying seinen.

5/24/2013, 10:38:24 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

eg He cut her face. Yes you would use "er hat ihre Gesicht" but the DEFAULT is that the body part belongs to the speaker or the subject of the sentence.

Unfortunately the "easier" option has no place in learning languages.

5/24/2013, 10:47:19 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

Indeed duoderSie- I realised that at Der, Die & Das!

5/24/2013, 11:20:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Krueckauer

It says "kostet ihm den Kopf". If you were talking about another head you would use another pronoun (or none).

5/24/2013, 10:50:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

So how do you say 'cost him the head'? "kostet ihm Kopf"?

5/24/2013, 11:18:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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I disagree, I think you only believe this because your native language (or some other language) makes you think this way. I think the simplest thing is to assume that the most obvious situation is at hand, and state that this is not so if otherwise. Which is what they do in German. And anyway it's not clear at all in English when you say "he lost his head" whether it's his own or some other male person's head. To be quite sure you'd have to add "own", which is awkward. More practical in this case are languages like Russian with a reflexive possessive pronoun that makes it easy to be very clear about whose head it is!

5/24/2013, 2:58:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

One would have to first establish the existence of another party and/or the situation to know that 'he lost his head' meant anything other than his own head and in that sense it is as clear as one makes it. So how do you say 'it cost him the head' in German?

5/24/2013, 5:23:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jmilanezi

the verb "kosen", in the 3rd person singular is conjugated as "kost". However, the phrase above contains "kostet". Wouldn't it be the simple past tense? Or the context modifies the past to the present?

5/27/2013, 1:28:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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No, it's the verb "kosten" and it is conjugated "kostet" in the 3rd person.

5/27/2013, 1:31:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/jmilanezi

Thanks. However, in the conjugation window, it appears "er/sie/es kost". I'll try to report it.

5/27/2013, 1:58:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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Good! there are lots of errors in the hints.

5/27/2013, 2:00:03 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hans_Allein

How do you say 'it cost him the head' in German?

5/28/2013, 9:42:55 AM
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