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  5. "Es ist niemand gekommen."

"Es ist niemand gekommen."

Translation:Nobody came.

April 24, 2013



Hello. I'm a bit lost on the grammar here. Could somebody explain how "Es ist niemand gekommen." = "Nobody has come."?


You could also say "Niemand ist gekommen" which corresponds exactly to English grammar. German 'es' has more grammatical functions than "it" in English. It is often used as a syntactical placeholder. See here for more information: http://is.gd/kPuDQN


Wow, interesting link, thank you. So it works not only in perfect. tense.. Can I say "Es kommt niemand" then to mean "Niemand kommt" in present tense?



More or less fine with other verbs like "kommen", but still can't really get the difference in the feeling particularly with "sein" because it's quite special... Let's say

  • Es gibt eine Katze hier.
  • Es ist eine Katze hier.
  • Eine Katze ist hier.
  • Hier ist eine Katze.

Which feel differetly and which are totrally interchangeable?


All of them are fine and mean the same thing. The differences are minute. It's more a question of personal style and very slight shifts of emphasis and thus totally dependent on context. Without context I'd personally prefer "Hier ist eine Katze" as the default, but all of them are fine.


Note that the "es" of "Es gibt eine Katze hier" and the "es" of "Es ist eine Katze hier" are not the same.

Hier ist eine Katze (no "es") - but - Hier gibt es eine Katze ("es" is still required).


I'd say the first three mean the same thing (and also "Hier gibt es eine Katze").

But "Hier ist eine Katze" feels like you are showing something to somebody rather than just generally commenting on what can be seen. Kind of look "Look, here's a cat (for you)".


I see! Thanks very much! :) I guess yeah, it depends on which word in the sentence you're stressing...


Hello in the sentence in question, would it mean for example, you hosted a party and you looked around and said nobody came?


A rather sad but entirely possible context for the sentence :)


Is this an expression?

I thought "nobody has come" would be "niemand ist gekommen"


Both versions are fine in German.


correct or "(Es ist) niemand gekommen"


The rejoinder to: "Eleanor Rigby starb in der Kirche und wurde zusammen mit ihren Namen begraben."


Nobody showed up would be correct too :)


Aber es ist niemand gekommen . . .


That's what she said. I'm going down for this I know


Can I use Keiner instead of Niemand?


Still confused about the "es". I use the example sentence "Ihr seid alle gekommen" which is essentially the opposite of this one. Can I assume that the "es" is in the same functional position as the "ihr". "alle" is the opposite of "niemand" and the structure of the sentence is the same? Given that there is no one instead of you(all) an "es" should be inserted?


An example of this is seen in the beginning of Hitler's speech at the 1934 Reichsparteitag speech where Rudolf Hess introduces Hitler by saying "Es spricht der Fuehrer". Es stands for a syntactical place holder for "spricht". Odd example I know, but I saw this on the History Channel once and found this use of es very peculiar. This is a common video clip seen on many History Channel videos of Germany during WWII.


can i say: niemand gekommen (without es ist)


No. That would be like saying "Nobody come" in English.

You can say "Nobody came" (with the simple past) or "Nobody has come" (with the present perfect = helping verb + participle), but not "Nobody come" with just the past participle.

Similarly in German: you can have "Niemand kam" (with the simple past) or "Niemand ist gekommen" (with the present perfect = helping verb + participle), but not "Niemand gekommen" with just the past participle.

(Actually, I lied: you can say that in "telegraphese". So you might find that in a telegram or a newspaper heading or some other place where you want to save space. But that obeys different grammatical rules. So just forget I said that :D)


It is "Niemand kam" in that case. Because you have to use proper form of simple past tense for verb "kommen". cheers!


Im a bit confused. Is 'nobody came' actually present perfect? Isnt that just past? For present perfect should you say 'nobody has come' ?


English tenses don't map one-to-one to German ones.

In particular, German uses the present perfect a lot more than English, especially in the spoken language (the imperfect or simple past is mostly just used with a handful of verbs or in books).

So "Es ist niemand gekommen" could be either of "Nobody came" and "Nobody has come".

And "Ich habe gestern ein Buch gelesen" and "Ich habe jeden Tag Eier gekocht" are perfectly fine in German even though "I have read a book yesterday" or "I have cooked eggs every day" do not work in English (present perfect plus time expressions doesn't really make sense there).


"No one came." was not accepted. It is synonymous with the accepted translation.


Is there a reason "Nobody came to it" was not accepted as correct? Or is it just Duo being picky?


"to it" does not correspond to anything in the German sentence.


I should think that "It is that no one came" should be accepted.


I don't think so. Your sentence would be "Es ist so, dass niemand gekommen ist" in German.

There is nothing in Duolingo's German sentence corresponding to your "that".

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