1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Das ist ein kleiner Mann."

"Das ist ein kleiner Mann."

Translation:That is a small man.

June 12, 2013

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikef454

Why is "smaller" not acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

ein kleiner Mann = a small man

ein kleinerer Mann = a smaller man


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wicken666

several sites state kleiner as the comparative form. I am getting confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

klein = positive form, kleiner = comparative form. So, "Der Mann ist kleiner" means "The man is smaller".

However, in this case, the adjective needs inflecting, as it is in front of the noun. So "Das ist ein kleinER Mann" = "That is a small man", as klein must be inflected by adding -er in this case (mixed inflection, masc. nominative). If you want the comparative form, kleiner also needs inflecting, so "Das ist ein kleinerER Mann" = "That is a smaller man".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenryBatten

Have ten lingots from me for explaining this and christian can have five.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Korolyeva

Omg thank you. I was getting frustrated!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marchinram

Why is this nominative and not accusative, isn't 'ist' a verb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's not a transitive verb that takes a direct object.

It's a copula (a rather special kind of verb) which connects a subject to a predicate -- and predicates like that are in the nominative case in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

It's more complex than you think.

http://goo.gl/reugh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandeepa2

danke schön


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hiccup

So here "das" translates to "this" and "that" as well. This is not the case all over duolingo. Just in a previous lesson, I translated "das" into "that" and it told me it was wrong. How so?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

Not every possible translation is in their system. Use the report button if you think your translation should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hiccup

Ok, perhaps next time. This time, I'm already past it and can not access the same case again, can I?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

You can always use the "Support" button on the left of your screen. It's not as convenient, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joshubaldi

Hey Moderator! Some very basic grammar point need inserting. Like previously in color too. We are all struggling with these...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

You have to go to other sites for that. That's just how Duolingo works. You're welcome to read mine, if you want.

http://gregreflects.blogspot.com/2015/02/how-to-memorize-german-cases.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisa4duolingo

I highly recommend reading GregHullender's blog post "How to Memorize German Cases," which he has pasted a link to above. It is very good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manelon

shouldn't be "das ist ein klein Mann"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

No, you need to decline the adjective.

indefinite article -> mixed inflection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Weak_and_strong_inflection


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mstoyn

Is this nominative? "Ein kleiner Mann ist das"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasT11

Yes, it is. It isn't the subject of the sentence, but te predicate noun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_case


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt92HUN

It doesn't pronounce the r at the end of kleiner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

The "er" in "kleiner" is supposed to be pronounced as a vowel. It would be wrong to pronounce it as a consonant.

http://www.pauljoycegerman.co.uk/pronounce/consonr3.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt92HUN

I see, thanks. Then why is it there in the first place, if it's not pronounced?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

It is pronounced, just not as a consonant. British English (Received Pronunciation) follows a similar pattern.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt92HUN

I see, thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marioescobarh

I was confused, I heard ein kleine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanLeee

Two things you should pay attention to are both, the "ein-words" and the actual noun itself.

Firstly, "ein" was said, "kleine" should not follow (it would have been "eine" instead).

Next, "Mann" is a masculine noun, so an -e ending is only ever used if "der" proceeds the adjective for masculine nouns. An Example: "Der kleine Mann ist klein."

So when you hear: "...ein....adjective.....masculine noun", you should instantly know that that adjective needs an 'er' ending. Eventually you will hear a difference! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dxrsam

Only if the noun is in the accusative case. If it's not, use "kleinen" instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

"kleine" and "kleiner" sound almost identical. It is very hard for beginners to distinguish them in speech. But you will start hearing the difference after a while.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nerrons

Does this sentence refer to some, size things? Or just saying the man is not a tall, strong guy? Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yadec12345

Can "kleiner" not refer to "young" in this context? Like a kleiner Bruder?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelSnow1

Starting to learn artlcles for cases and have found: der kleine Mann, die kleine Frau, das kleine Kind. Why do we not use das klein Mann, die kleine Frau, das klein Kind in the nominative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

das is the article for words of neuter gender.

The word Mann has masculine gender, so das Mann is wrong -- it has to be der Mann.

klein is wrong here because attributive adjectives (basically, ones used before a noun) need an ending that depends on gender, number, and case as well as on what sort of word (if anything) is in front of the adjective.

After a definite article, adjectives take weak inflection, which is -e in the nominative singular for all three genders, so it is der kleine Mann, die kleine Frau, das kleine Kind.

Perhaps you were led astray by the fact that it's ein Mann, eine Frau, ein Kind, but the indefinite article ein, eine, ein does not inflect quite like an adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janethsan

Then : Das ist eine kleine Frau? And Das ist ein kleines Pfierd?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Those are both fine (except for the typo in Pferd).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/megcasmith

Would Duo accept "shorter" man here? Far be it from me to speak of a "small" man, whether or not I think it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoubleLingot

you can choose: short, little or small


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/extnull

How to know when to use kleiner, kleine, or kleine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skyler2Rash

Why would our normal adjectives all of a sudden be changed with the new positive form? Why wouldn't is just be 'Das ist ein klein Mann'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why wouldn't is just be 'Das ist ein klein Mann'?

Attributive adjectives (before a noun) always need an ending.

The indefinite article ein causes mixed inflection, so you have kleiner for masculine nominative, mixed inflection.

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