Okay, so I put the wife has a son. Why is that incorrect? I mean i get that it would mean the woman has a son,and that makes more sense now that i think about it, but why can it not mean the wife?
The same word can mean "woman" or "wife" depending on the context.
It's not always completely interchangeable when words do this: Consider in English that "difficult" can also mean "hard". But when I say "the stone floor is hard", you would be wrong to translate it as "the stone floor is difficult". Can you imagine the confusion of people learning English on Duolingo if this happened to them? :)
In German, if it is "the woman" ("die Frau") it likely means woman. If it is something with grammatical 'ownership' it means wife, like "meine Frau" ("my wife") or "seine/ihre Frau" (his/her wife).
Yeah, app is not consistent. In previous lessons it refers to Frau as wife, but here it forces woman instead. It just doesn't make sense.
Hopefully, someone can clarify better than I can, but einen is used with masculine nouns in the accusative case.
I guess you're right. Just remembering that the accusative object is the thing or the person that is directly receiving the action...
Am I the only one around here who listen "HATS" instead of "HAT" ? I just had a typo error but I heard the Audio again and I clearly hear "HatS" not "Hat"... Should sound a bit different or is a problem that should be reported?
There are four cases in German. Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive. Depending on the sentence, one of these cases is always used. Accusative is when one noun acts on another noun. Also, the accusative only changes in the masculine gender, you don't need to worry about the feminine, neuter or plural.
Since I didn't have any idea what "cases" were, let alone an 'accusative' one, I found this link to be helpful: http://yourdailygerman.com/2012/06/04/function-of-cases/
Yeah, using "receiving" to explain the accusative case isn't always obvious. In this sentence, the woman is doing the action of "having" and the son is receiving the action - he is "being had" by the woman, somehow. But I agree that sounds awkward.
If you're new to the idea of the German "cases", and "accusative" doesn't make sense to you yet, read the links that others have posted and do some internet searching of your own - everyone has their own learning styles and will find different things helpful. Here's another link: http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/function-of-cases/
Is there a way in German to distinguish "the woman has a son" and "the woman has one son"? In the first case, she has at least one son. In the second case, she has only one son.
I've been wondering this for a long time, and the only answer I can think of is that you need extra words or emphasis to do it (like how you need extra words to distinguish between "I eat carrots" and "I am eating carrots" in German because there's no progressive tense).
Die Frau hat einen Sohn = If you said this neutrally or wrote it, it could mean either "The woman has a son" or "The woman has one son". If you really stressed einen when speaking, then the meaning comes closer to "one son".
You could also say Die Frau hat einen einzigen Sohn ("The woman has a single son" Note: This does not mean single as in "unmarried"); or Die Frau hat nur einen Sohn ("The woman has only one son"). But these sentences really emphasise that it's only one son, so they might be received differently ("Yeah, so I've only got one son? What about it? Who are you to say I should have more sons?")
So, if it doesn't matter whether it's "one son" or "a son", then just use the sentence Duo uses.
I wrote "ein Sonhn" because Sohn is a masculine word. Is that right? So puzzled...
Hat (haben = to have) is accusative and ein goes to einen for accusative masculine. Just remember if it is sein (to be / ist, bist, bin, etc) it is always nominative.