1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Die Katze ist weiß."

"Die Katze ist weiß."

Translation:The cat is white.

April 29, 2013

This discussion is locked.


And I heard it as 'Die Katze isst Reis'.. Teaches me to listen carefully!


When I heared it again I can notice that weiß is pronunced like wise, just listen carefully


The pronunciation is exactly the same for "ist" and "isst", but you can tell which one it is by looking at the context. Use common sense.


But 'the cat eats rice' could also be a sentence. Ok, it would be rare for a cat to eat rice, but it is possible.


Just to clarify, "w" and "r" do not sound the same.


Oh yes, I know. I was just saying that the context could still make sense. Cats could eat rice.


Before this I knew that "weiß" meant "know", as in "Ich weiß", What's the difference? Why the word has such different meanings?


Weiß means white. As a verb it also means to know. It is the 'Ich' form from the word 'wissen' which means 'to know'. Eg: Ich weiß. Sie wissen.

As for why it has separate meaning, each language has such things called Capitonyms where the context determines the meaning. Grave as in buried ground and grave as in serious. March is a month and also something that soldiers do.

You just have to keep a note of these peculiarities.


Please, who can tell me the difference between s and ß ?


"s" is usually pronounced as "z" in English, as in "Sie sind" = (Zee zind), unless followed by a "t", in which case it's pronounced as "sh" sound. For example: "Strasse" = Sh-trasse.

ß = ss and is pronounced the same way you would pronounce the "s" in the English words "See" or "Sorry"


S also makes an sh sound before a p, as in spielen.


ß is essentially a double s. As a general rule, ß is used after a long vowel (the ei combination of "weiß" counts as a long vowel), and ss is used after a short vowel. ß is never used at the beginning of a word.

The spelling reform of the mid 1990s changed a lot of words that used to be spelled with ß to ss in order to match the long vowel/short vowel rule. So if you are reading books printed before the spelling reform, you will see ß used in many common words with short vowels, for example isst used to be spelled ißt.


"S" is a single letter s, and ß is the symbol for 2 s in a row, such as suss=suß


Sorry, but this is not correct. "ss" and "ß" are not the same and not interchangeable. The only correct spelling of your example in German Standard German is "süß".


But after short vowels,we should use "ss" ,ain't it ?


I heard that in some countries, the inhabitants have abandoned Scharfes S and just use "ss" in its place. Where does this happen?


They have been changing it in Austria I heard. Germany seems to still use ß but I had a lecturer who would always spell with ss. I personally like the ß since it makes German just a bit more unique :)


I'm in Austria quite frequently and have not seen any disappearance of ß, or heard anything of it happening. Duden and Wikipedia don't seem to know of any such development either.

However, if your lecturer was writing in block capitals, then the substitution was correct: while there is such a thing as a capital ß, it is not widely used.


Yes, you are right. Switzerland has dropped the ß, but in Germany and Austria there are no plans whatsoever to get of rid of it.


Can "weiß" also be spelt "weiss"?


No, the only correct spelling is "weiß". It's spelt "weiss" in Switzerland, but duo uses German German.


You will, however, be completely understood if you spelled it that way. Especially if it's apparent that you cannot, for whatever reason, use Umlate. Best to get used to those keyboard shortcuts, or use a German keyboard layout, so you can get familiar with them, but if absolutely necessary, you will survive with ss, at least when chatting online. This, at least, comes from experience, with times I'm not able to use Umlate, or just can't be bothered to use those shortcuts.

The English (British) layout's shortcuts are:

ü = ALT + 0252

ö = ALT + 0246

ä = ALT + 0228

ß = ALT + 0223

Seems crazy, but it becomes second-nature, after a while. xD

If you can't use those, for whatever reason:

ü = ue

ö = oe

ä = ae

ß = ss

Those will suffice, although I personally think they look ugly and are harder to read, but that's just me. :P

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