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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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
‘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)
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".
sie in German can be three things in English:
you(formal address). (This form of
Sieis always capitalized in text.)
sie as in
she is 3rd person singular,
sie as in
you are grammatically treated identically as 3rd person plural.
Sie ist eine Frau.- She is a woman.
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:
They are women.
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:
you- 2nd person plural,
her- 3rd person singular,
their- 3rd person plural,
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.
Ihr seid Frauen.- You are women. (Informal address).
Ihre Handtasche ist schön.- Her purse is beautiful.
Ihre Handtaschen sind schön.- Their purses are beautiful.
Ihre Handtasche ist schön.- Your purse is beautiful. (Formal address).
(The different word ending of Ihr
e comes about because it has to be in harmony with the gender of the noun it refers to.
Handtasche is feminine.)
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
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."
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.
Your being the formal
It's only context that would narrow it down to one. But since context is lacking here, both translations are acceptable.
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.
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.
her. The different word endings indicate different declensions and the gender of the noun associated with
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.
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'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.
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
It actually can be both, because all sentences start with a capital letter and there is no way to disambiguate whether it's
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 would appear mid-sentence. In that case one can tell the difference whether it's the formal address your (
Ihr) or her (
Ist Ihr Haustier eine Ente? - Is your pet a duck?
Ist ihr Haustier eine Ente? - Is her pet a duck?