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  5. "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

"Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

Translation:Her pet is a duck.

April 27, 2013



Discerning audibly between "Ihr" and "Er" is a killer


''Ihr'' sounds a lot like ''ear'' in a standard English accent. ''Er'' sounds more like ''air'' in a standard English accent. Hope this helps; it does for me :)


he meant the way the robot/siri voice says it


Pretty sure many native speakers mumble more than her. Might as well be used to it as soon as possible ;).


Mumbling may be an advantage in everyday life. I am pretty sure that sound-hybrid pronouns will be in use. Not M, F, N but a stand in for 'I haven't a clue',-the 'could be either word said' mumble!


That's true, but the computerized pronunciation of "Er" sounds like "Ear".


That helps tremendously!


This helps a lot! Thank you! ;)


This isn't really a reply to your post, callanhead, but I think the numerous interpretations of what the sentence, "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente," means, may cause some confusion, so I'm adding my post here to try to prevent further confusion. I don't know how many will actually scroll to the bottom of 167 comments and I think this will help.

German allows for four possibilities to the following sentence:

Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente.

After reading so many different posts interpreting what this sentence meant, I was really starting to get confused, so I laid out what the possibilities are:

I'm fairly certain that duolingo accepts all these variations -- her, their, your.

If the numerous posts on this have confused anyone, I hope this helps.


@lisa4duolingo, what a great explanation of what the sentence could mean! The pictures will be especially helpful to those German students whose native language is not English. Please have a lingot, with my compliments. :)


Her pet is a duck - "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

Their pet is a duck - "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

Your (formal, sing.) pet is a duck - "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

Your (formal, plur.) pet is a duck - "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente."

just perfect :) Ich sehr liebe Deutsch <3


So this same sentence have this much translation and there is no way of figuring out which?


So which one is it? Or is it all of them? I keep seeing Ihr mean "her" but I also see it mean "Y'all" (you plural). = (


It wouldn't make sense if it meant ¨you all¨ (e.g. ¨you all pet is a duck¨). The lesson is ¨possesive pronouns¨, meaning that it could only be ¨her¨ or formal ¨your¨.


Makes German hands down the most ambiguous language. :P


This is great!Thank you :)


Lisa4duolingo, you are the man


Although they sound similar (but different), you can still certainly know that it must be "ihr" from the context.


While true, in this case context should make it easy. Er Haustier = He pet. Ihr Haustier = Your pet. In this context Er/He doesn't work.


Ihr and sein are used the same?


Yes, ‚Sein Haustier‘ = “His pet”, if that's what you mean.


no,ihr like personal pronoun means you( thats the clossest in english i can get), ihr like possesivepronoun means hers-her and u use ihr if noun is maskulin or neutrum gender, and ihre if noun is feminine or plural. Sein means his and thats possesive pronoun. dont confuse Ihr from personal pronouns and Ihr from possesive pronouns..... in possesive pronouns Ihr would b: euer,eure,euer,eure.


Ihr - Her, Their, Your

How do you know when to use which?


‘ihr’=“her” and ‘ihr’=“their” can only be distinguished by the context.

In the middle of a sentence, ‘Ihr’=“Your [formal]” can be distinguished by being capitalized.


Nobody asked how to distinquish "ist" and "isst" :-) It is little bit tricky , since the pronunciation is the same and, in general, both could be right.


Yes, "Ihr Haustier isst eine Ente" ("your pet eats a duck) could certainly be a valid translation as well. Whether duolingo accepts it, I don't know, I haven't tried.


I thought it was "Ihr Haustier isst eine Ente" so that is what I put. It was correct, but said the translation was "is" instead of "eats"... Maybe it thought I made a typo, though it did not say so.


It does accept it (my own Haustier certainly could isst eine Ente, so it seemed logical)


But that is incorrect for one simple reason.. Pets/animals use FRESSEN rather than essen! :)


That is generally true - Animals (other than humans) use Fressen, and humans use Essen. But, in my reading up on this, Essen can be used with animals. Animals can use either form of "eating", but like IterMercator said, using Fressen on people is an insult.

I think of the two words like this:
Essen - To eat (nicely, bringing food to your mouth).
Fressen - To eat (sloppily, glutinously, putting your face in your food).

Although, in determining the difference between "ist" and "isst" in this kind of example could be determined by "frisst" as you said. That's a very good observation!


Omg that makes sense why German has a different verb for animals eating as to humans eating. Unless it's an insult, using nouns like woman and man wouldn't be said to be an animal, therefore wouldn't need a seperate verb for "ist" and its same sounding verb "isst" since it is pretty much logical that they would be eating an animal rather being one. While animals can be animals and eat other animals, thus a new verb would be useful since "frisst" and "ist" don't sound the same exactly


Out of curiosity, what is your pet?


frisst for aninals not isst


I also wanted to put the second choice, but somehow refrained and held on to my hearts :)


I put "Your house pet is a duck" and I got it wrong because I added "house." I think it should be changed, because some grammatically, I got the question right, I just translated "Haustier" as "house pet" rather than just "pet."


The reason for these phrases is for you to learn, in this case to learn that English "pet" is "Haustier" in German. Changing "pet" to "house pet" would defeat that purpose.


Haus= house and Tier=animal Literal translation is "House animal" which English shortens to "pet" Translating "Haustier" to "house pet" would be like writing "house house pet"


I wrote "her house pet is a duck" and was also wrong...


Why is it sometimes "ihr" and other times "ihre"?


"Ihr" is used in combination with masculine and neuter nouns only. E.g. "Ihr Haus" (neuter), "ihr Mann" (masculine). "Ihre" is only used with feminine and plural nouns, e.g. "ihre Frau" (feminine) or "ihre Männer" (plural).


Thanks for this. I wish Duolingo explained these grammatical rules. I used Ihre because that's all it's been using in this lesson so far, so the one time I used it thinking I had it right, they switched it to Ihr instead :(


I was wondering about that. When I use my laptop, duolingo has complete grammatical explanations to each chapter. But on my android app there is nothing. Am I mistaken?


I'm not sure if that's the entire story. In German, possessive adjectives, i.e. mine, my, yours, his/her's/its etc., are supposed to agree with the noun in gender, number, and case. Read on for a complete description of the German sentence, "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente". First, what we need to do is determine the subject of the sentence so that we can have the possessive adjective agree in case with the noun it modifies. In a simple sentence like the one on our hands, i.e. subject = predicate sentence, we have one subject being identified in two different ways. Codified, we say that the grammar of this sentence is "X = Y". So, "Ihr Haustier" is the subject of the sentence, and therefore it is in the nominative case; likewise, "eine Ente" is the predicate of the sentence, but the sentence has no object, and so, both "subjects" turn out to be in the nominative case. In order for the possessive adjective to agree with the case of the noun it modifies, it must be in the nominative case. Moving on, in the second place, we need to determine the gender of the noun Haustier. In German, the gender of Tier is neuter, das Tier, and whenever there is a compound word, a word formed by two German words, the word always takes the gender of the second of the two words. So, for example, Brieftasche is a compound of the nouns, die Tasche and der Brief, but because die Tasche is the second part of the compound, it is die Brieftasche. So, in order for the possessive adjective in our sentence to agree with the noun it modifies, it must take the neutered case. Now, let's review. So far, the possessive adjective ihr/Ihr needs to be in the nominative case and neuter. Lastly, we need it to agree in number with the noun, and it is easy to see that das Haustier is singular, which adds a valuable piece of information to interpreting the sentence because if it was "Ihr Haustiere sind Enten", then we would be able to conclude from context that it was "Their pets are ducks" not the Formal-You. Taken together, we find out that "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente" is being said to someone that is unfamiliar/higher in authority than the speaker of the sentence, and the sentence means something like "Your pet is a duck". For any other construction in German using possessive adjectives, remember, they must agree in number, case, and gender with the nouns they modify. Oh, and one last thing, the possessive adjectives in German are declined like the indefinite article "ein". Here's a challenge. Try to translate "I hit his duck with her wallet" into English.


‘Haustiere’ is plural, so “Their pets are ducks.” would be ‘Ihre Haustiere sind Enten.’, which can also mean “Your [formal] pets are ducks.”.


Oh my god. This was epic. I learned a lot about both English and German from this post! Thanks for the clarification!


cant I also translagte it as "her pet is a duck"??


Yes, “Her pet is a duck.” is also a valid translation.


Could it not be "your (formal possessive) pet..."?


And also "their", which got faulted, grrr.


When Duolingo makes mistakes, please report them using a ‘Report a Problem’ button. The German↔︎English staff is very responsive.


German Chandler and German Joey like this.


Did anyone notice that Ente means a Citroen 2 CV?


The Germans call the Citroën 2CV ‘Ente’ because its hinged front side windows flap like duck wings, and because its soft suspension makes it corner like a waddling duck.


Indeed, these are interesting details, to be sure. I was very curious about windows that looked like duck wings, so I googled it and lo and behold, Wikipedia had an entry on it. If you're curious, too, this is what they look like:

If you'd like to read more about this car, Wikipedia has quite an extensive article on it. You can link to it here:

Citroën 2CV


New favorite German fact.


What is the difference between 'Ihr' and 'Ihre'?


In the nominative case, ‘ihr’ is used for masculine singular and neuter singular; whereas ‘ihre’ is used for feminine singular, and for the plural.

masculine feminine neuter plural

ihr                 ihre          ihr        ihre      nominative

ihres             ihrer         ihres    ihrer     genitive

ihrem           ihrer         ihrem  ihren    dative

ihren            ihre           ihr       ihre       accusative


How does one know if the speaker means "her pet is a duck" or "their pet is a duck" or "your pet is a duck"?


Context only. You just jotted down all three possible translations.


What about "Euer haustier " ?


‘Euer Haustier ist eine Ente.’ is the correct translation for informally addressing more than one person. Please report it if it's not accepted.

‘Du’: ‘Dein Haustier’ (familiar singular)

‘Ihr’: ‘Euer Haustier’ (familiar plural)

‘Sie’: ‘Ihr Haustier’ (formal singular and formal plural)


Her and their are both "ihr". I know she and they are both "sie" but you can figure out which one by the verb conjugated in the sentence but how do you tell with possessive pronouns?


Only from the context, which is insufficient here. ‘Ihr’ can also mean ‘your [formal]’, but that's always capitalized, so you can tell it apart in writing when it's not at the start of the sentence.


I almost put "Your pet is an ent."


Why is it "Ihr" instead of "Ihre" for a female?


Because the declination (word ending) of "Ihr" must match the gender and case of the noun it appears with ("Haustier") and "Haustier" is neuter ("das Haustier").

Ihr Haustier. Ihr Auto. (neuter nouns)

Ihr Mann. Ihr Computer. (masculine nouns)

Ihre Handtasche. Ihre Frisur. (feminine nouns)

Also, note this sentence and the adjustment of the declinations of "ihr(e)" and "ein(e)":

Ihre Ente ist ein Haustier.

"Ente" is feminine. "Haustier" is neuter.


Can someone clarify this for me, please? Which one is which?! I thought "Sie" is both "her" & "you all," but, upon further studying, I do not think that to be case. If I recall, Duolingo said early on that "Sie" is "her," and "they/them." So, what is "Ihr?" Is it "you all?" If so, what is the polite "you?" Thanks! Sorry, to me, these rules are a bit convoluted. At least it has taught me a lot about my own English xD


I'm not sure what you mean by "you all".

First off, sie in German can be three things in English:

  • she,
  • they and
  • you (formal address). (This form of Sie is always capitalized in text.)

sie as in she is 3rd person singular, sie as in they and you are grammatically treated identically as 3rd person plural.

For example:

  1. Sie ist eine Frau. - She is a woman.
  2. Sie sind eine Frau. - You are a woman.

So, in #1 we have 3rd person singular, #2 is 3rd person plural (the formal address ), however, the latter can't be confused with the other 3rd person plural (they), because they can't be a single person.

If, however, we take the sentence

  • Sie sind Frauen.

then this can be translated in two different ways:

  1. They are women.
  2. You are women.

The latter is the formal address, however, the speaker is addressing not one but more than one person, namely the women. So, Sie, as in the formal address, can be used to address a single person or more than one person. Grammatically, the usage (of whether the speaker is addressing one or more than one person) is identical, and cannot be discerned from one another, if only through context.

Ihr can be the following:

  1. you - 2nd person plural,
  2. her - 3rd person singular,
  3. their - 3rd person plural,
  4. your (formal address) - 3rd person plural.

Whereas #1 is the simple personal pronoun, #2, #3 and #4 are the possessive form of the personal pronoun.

For example:

  1. Ihr seid Frauen. - You are women. (Informal address).
  2. Ihre Handtasche ist schön. - Her purse is beautiful.
  3. Ihre Handtaschen sind schön. - Their purses are beautiful.
  4. Ihre Handtasche ist schön. - Your purse is beautiful. (Formal address).

(The different word ending of Ihre comes about because it has to be in harmony with the gender of the noun it refers to. Handtasche is feminine.)


I can see this line being said in a sitcom as some sort of comeback: "Your pet is a DUCK."


Duolingo does not seem to offer a more detailed lesson on personal pronouns, am one chapter left from fully learning whatever Duolingo has to offer and so far it has been using personal pronouns for formal "you". Luckily I was able to figure it out based on the Ihr (her) and Ihr (sie). They seem to share the same pronouns and changes based on noun cases. Here is a more detailed breakdown thats also condensed for ease of reading and learning too. https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/pronouns/possessive-pronouns


what about ihr houstier isst eine ente?


"House pet" was not accepted. The suggested response was "household pet" come on.


How do you know if it is his or her?


Not sure what you're asking. Can you be more specific?

Do you mean how does one know the duck's gender or are you referring to "Ihr"? "Ihr" can mean "her" (there are two other possible translations for this though; see the other threads for those translations).

"His" would be "Sein": "Sein Haustier ist eine Ente."


What's the difference between Ihr and Du?


As a nominative independent pronoun, ‘Ihr’ = “You [familiar plural]”, while ‘Du’ = “You [familiar singular]”.

But in this sentence, ‘Ihr’ is a nominative neuter possessive adjective, meaning either “Her”, “Their”, or “Your [formal]”.


Why is ihr "her" thought it was your..what makes this "her"?


Actually, it could be both. So, both

  • Her pet is a duck. and
  • Your pet is a duck.

are valid translations of the sentence Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente. Ihr=Your being the formal you.

It's only context that would narrow it down to one. But since context is lacking here, both translations are acceptable.


How would i know, when ihn means his or her???? Wtf


What are you talking about? ihn always only means him.

Ich sehe ihn. - I see him.

Ich mag ihn. - I like him.


What does Ihr mean exactly?


Are you really asking that question? You can find the answer on this page in a beautiful post of mine, six original posts above this one. Read it. Get back if you still don't understand.


whats the difference between ihr and ihre


These are possessive pronouns for "first person singular feminine" or "third person plural" OWNERS, because of the lowercase "i". If a capital I is used ("Ihr/Ihre") it can mean that the owner is of the "second person formal", especially if isn't occurring at the start of a sentence.

"ihre/Ihre" means that the OWNED THING is feminine or plural

"ihr/Ihr" means that the OWNED THING is masculine or neuter

These endings are for Nominative. When the owned thing is in another case it changes accordingly.



What is the difference between Ihr and Ihre?


Isnt it ihr = you and ihre = her ? So confusing


But we don't know if they talk about Ihr (Your, polite form) or ihr (her) because tje possessive pronoun begins the sentence so whatever it takes a capital ''I''...so how do make the difference...Thanks for your help please. Danke Shoen!!


I really enjoy reading all of these comments (well, some more than others), but one thing that is really starting to confuse me are all these references to "ihr" with capital "I" used as part of the spelling. So I hunted down a chart of the German pronouns and am including it in this post so that we can all get on the same sheet of pronouns with this one:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "ihr" is never capitalized unless it starts a sentence and it never refers to a "formal" you. It is the pronoun for "you" plural (informal) aka second person plural (informal) aka "y'all" or "you all" as some might say in English.

As you can see from the chart above, the only pronoun that gets capitalized is "Sie" in all of its cases.


It finally dawned on me why the sentence, "Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente," has caused so much confusion. So, I put together another chart that may eliminate some confusion:

Hope that helps.


I thought she said her pet eats a duck isst ist sound the same


How do you distinguish in sentence means "her" or "you/your"


It's called context.


I thought it was, "Ihr Haustier isst eine Ente". How can I distinguish them?


System enters "their" instead of "your"


How is it "their" instead? I thought "ihr" was you so I guessed it was "your" pet.. Im confused


Are they talking about Pewds?


why would you have a ducks as a pet


Im a little bit confused with the "Ihr", the sentence can also be translated as "Her", the femenine pronoun. How is that possible ?


Could this also mean "Their pet is a duck"?


I thought "ihr" meant "your" in the plural sense?


That would be

Euer Haustier ist eine Ente.


Why not his cat is FAT?


I don't get it, why Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente translates Her..... I thought ihre would be the feminine of ihr, same as mein and meine or dein and deine.


No, both ihr and ihre mean her. The different word endings indicate different declensions and the gender of the noun associated with ihr/ihre.

That noun is Haustier. So, it is Ihr Haustier, because Haustier is neuter (das Haustier). Ihr Mann (her husband) has the same ending for ihr, even though Mann is masculine (der Mann). But: Ihre Handtasche (her purse). Handtasche is feminine (die Handtasche), so the ending of ihr changes to ihre, because the associated noun (Handtasche) is feminine.

Also, the above were the declensions in nominative case, because Ihr Haustier is the subject of the sentence.

If we change the role of the noun in a different sentence:

Ich sehe ihr Haustier. (I see her pet.)

we get the same word ending, but ihr Haustier is now in accusative case, because it is the object of the sentence.

Replace the object with the other nouns of different genders and we get:

Ich sehe ihren Mann.

Ich sehe ihre Handtasche.

So, notice how the word endings of ihr change again, introducing yet another variant ihren, which is the accusative singular masculine form.

There are two more cases, genitive and dative, with yet different endings, but I won't post examples of those for brevity.


Thanks I see i need more insights on the cases...


oops i put her pets ate a duck sorry duck :(


oops i put her pets ate a duck sorry duck :(


Haustier -

Haus - House Tier - Animal

House Animal = pet = Haustier.

Easiest way to remember the word.


Ihr is your right ?? why duolingo translates it as Her ?


ihr (lowercase) is the possessive form of sie (lowercase), which can mean either "she" or "they", so ihr can mean "her" or "their".

Ihr (uppercase) is the possessive form of Sie (uppercase), which means "you".

At the beginning of a sentence, you can't tell the difference between these two words, because the first word in a sentence is always capitalised. So an Ihr at the beginning of a sentence can be any of "her, their, your".


I dunno if she realized this, but....


How would you write His pet is a duck


Sein Haustier ist eine Ente.


Its written "ihr" in the app. I got it wrong going with "his," it was "her." No context. No way to know


Well, it couldn't be his because that would be sein, so you made a grammatical error rather than one based on a phonetic similarity between ihr and er.


hahaha, ich dachte "ihr haustier isst eine ente!" like her pet was a wolf or something!


Her pet is a duck Why its not correct ?

[deactivated user]

    I've noted that her and she appear 4 times more frequently than him and hein my exercises. Duolingo needs to stop this bias against men. Someday they may regret their PC bs.


    Ihr = her and you (plural); sie = she and they. Only the masculine is distinguishable. Confusing!


    I heard "isst eine Ente" at first and thought someone's pet had just eaten a duck. O-o Although I guess it would have been "einen Ente" in that case, right?


    Should it be "ihre" for female? And ihr for male?


    And I heard 'Ihr Haustier ist deine Ente' :(


    Her pet and her pet . Do you think it is fair to mark a whole sentence wrong just because of not beginning a sentence with a capital letter .


    Is there any way from either the audible or written sentence to discern whether its "Her" or "Your"? Sie confused me until i got the hang of verb endings, but i can see no similar changes which determine Her or Your from the sentence. Am I just missing something?


    No, the word is the same both written and spoken. You can only figure out its meaning by context. Because there is no context here, all three possible meanings are valid answers.

    Though, the formal address Ihr is always capitalized. So, if it appears mid-sentence, you can tell it apart from ihr (lowercase).


    will herondale left the chat


    Ihr Haustier frisst eine Ente


    ''Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente'' means ''Her pet is a duck'' and also ''Your(plural) pet is a duck''.. how should i know which one the person mean?


    By context only.


    Das ist falsch." Sein Haustier " ist richtig.


    Just realized "Haustier" is "Haus" (house) + "tier" (animal).


    Why is it 'ihre frau' yet 'ihr haustier' when both nouns are feminine? Thank you!


    That is because Frau is a feminine noun and Haustier is a neuter noun.


    I was told that, "ihr" is S. mas. and "ihre" is S.fem. Is that true?


    I had the Same Sentence " Ihr Haustier ist eine Ente" and i wrote Her House Animal is a Duck , Why should it be Her Pet , i know This actually does make more sense to call it a pet other than calling it a house animal , but just out of curiosity


    What the duck is going on? Who has a duck as a pet???


    Im just discovering now that you can leave a comments!!!


    I am confused. So far as im aware "Ihr" has only meant you till now?


    Ihr was supposed to be you right? Now it's her also?


    I am confused. What does Ihr mean then? "Your" or "His/her". ? In an other example it meant "your"


    How to differentiate between ihr(you) and Ihr(her)


    in "Ihr' capital "i" is used so shouldn't it be "your pet is a duck"


    It actually can be both, because all sentences start with a capital letter and there is no way to disambiguate whether it's ihr or Ihr without knowing the context.

    So, the sentence can translate to both

    Your pet is a duck. or

    Her pet is a duck.

    If the sentence gets turned into a question, as a result, the word order would change and ihr/Ihr would appear mid-sentence. In that case one can tell the difference whether it's the formal address your (Ihr) or her (ihr).

    Ist Ihr Haustier eine Ente? - Is your pet a duck?

    Ist ihr Haustier eine Ente? - Is her pet a duck?


    Can some explain since ihr alot of meaning where when and in what context shiuld it be used


    Anyone else having trouble hearing the difference between Er and Ihr? Any advice?


    I think "Ihr" is the spanish "Su" of German. I dont know if that makes sense; at least it does to me.


    I think "Ihr" is the German equivalent of "Su" in Spanish.


    I always get mixed up with house and pet


    how do you know whether ihr means her or their


    When ihres is used

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