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  5. "Seine Gedanken sind bei den …

"Seine Gedanken sind bei den Eltern."

Translation:His thoughts are with the parents.

June 10, 2013



I find the preposition bei troublesome. Whenever I see it in a sentence, it means that I am definitely going to lose one heart.


One of the usage of "bei" is when something is with a person or something is with you. I assume you have encountered: Unsere Pässe sind bei mir ==> Our passports are with me. The rule applies there.


His thoughts are "with" his parents has a slightly different meaning to his thoughts are "of" his parents, the former suggesting a greater empathy and the latter a more cerebral, intellectual mindset. Are both translations appropriate here?


you are assuming the parents are his!

[deactivated user]

    @ ksrawls

    I also assumed that these are his parents. (in my other comments) To be precise, doesn't need to be. Could be anybody's parents.

    It is always good to read thoroughly. Thanks for posting. ;-)


    Can this phrased be used, for example, when the parents' son has just died, or does it only describe some male thinking about some parents?


    That was my wonder too. This is where the translation would work best but I'm not sure this is the intended meaning in German. Let's hope for an answer


    I'm curious as well.


    Usually they will have suffered a loss or something tragic may have occurred within the family.In the North East of England it can also mean their pain is a pain you also feel.


    So is there a more clear English translation?


    hmm, I think it might be a fairly good translation. I think I would say this to mean that he is thinking of his parents. Though, I'd like to hear from a German what the german sentance means to them.

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, you are right. It means, he generally is absorbed in thoughts and particularly thinks of his parents. Another way to say that in German. "Er denkt an seine Eltern."


      Why isn't Seine Gedanken genitive, thus "Seiner"?


      In this particular sentence, the thoughts are the subject of the sentence (the 'doer' of the verb) and is thus in the Nominativ case.

      In addition to that, genetiv articles don't work that way. To use the genitiv articles you have to have either two nouns, one belonging to the other (The thoughts of the boy/ the boy's thoughts) or a genitiv preposition. In that first case, the genitiv would only affect the owner, the boy in this case. The thoughts would remain in the nominative i.e. Die Gedanken des Junges


      Ah, so "his thoughts" are different from "the thoughts of his" -- constructed this way it's easy for me to see that he possessive pronoun doesn't translate properly. So, it it had been "his son's thoughts are with the parents," would I have used the genitive?


      Yes. "Die Gedanken seines Sohnes sind bei den Eltern". Gedanken is still nominative, but son is in the genitiv now


      ok. do we have here someone who is fluent in German? cause I am not sure what this sentence suppose to mean? do Germans really say that?


      Why is "He thinks of the parents" not correct? I allow that "His thoughts are with the parents" is a more literal translation, but the two sentences are expressing the same idea.


      OH, so he was thinking of the parents. For a moment there, I thought his brain cells went to the parents XD!


      Why not "He is thinking of the parents"?


      Close in meaning but different construction. Here the German uses the noun for thoughts (Gedanken), so the English should do the same.


      why is it the accusative 'den' in this sentence? aren't parents in the feminine gender here?


      Parents is plural, so the 'den' is for plural in dative case.


      The dictionary says 'Gedanke' is masculine, but Duo says it's feminine? Anyone? I have already done a drawing relating Catwoman to thoughts/ideas so I hope Duo is right!


      Duo says that "Gedanke" is masculine.


      Maybe when it was plural, i.e. using die, it got confused and said feminine? I dunno, but it said feminine when I hovered over Gedanken. But now I am assured it's masculine so grand, thanks


      Plurals always start with the article 'die' in German. They then change in Dative and Genitive.


      Does this indicate that his parents have passed away?


      No. The sentence, by itself, does not have enough information in it to infer that his parents have died. What's more, in English if the sentence concerned his own parents it would be 'He thinks of his parents'; 'He thinks of the parents' implies that it is someone else's parents that he is thinking about.


      Now I know what Einstein's gedanken experiments mean!!!


      Why wouldn't "His ideas are on the parents" be correct?


      Because bei means with in this context. Also, ideas being on someone doesn't make much sense. Thoughts being on someone is possible, meaning to think about them or contemplate them, but it's more objective and detached. Google is telling me that to think on something is "nachdenken". Thoughts being with somebody implies a sympathetic mindset towards them.


      Why use bei den Eltern? Would it also be appropriate to say 'mit der Eltern?''


      In my searches, I've only seen the prepositions 'bei' or 'über' with Gedanken. Prepositions are always difficult and it's important to remember that your new language doesn't worry about your actual language, you need to try and get into how the new language uses its prepositions, regardless of how it might be in your own.


      To ace Duolingo, think of the context before your start translating


      is there anything wrong? just a question. i am not a mother tongue English user


      why den ILO seine?


      Is this an Anakin reference

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