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  5. "Das ist ein kleiner Mann."

"Das ist ein kleiner Mann."

Translation:That is a small man.

June 12, 2013



Why is "smaller" not acceptable?


ein kleiner Mann = a small man

ein kleinerer Mann = a smaller man


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


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".


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


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


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.


It's more complex than you think.



danke schön


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?


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


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


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


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


No, you need to decline the adjective.

indefinite article -> mixed inflection



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


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


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


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



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


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


I see, thanks.


I was confused, I heard ein kleine


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! :)


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


"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.


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


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


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



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.


I agree, he makes it seem so simple


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


Is "kleiner" ever used metaphorically, to mean "petty" or "small-minded"?


I don't think so, but you have the related word "kleinlich" which is someone who is overly attentive to detail, e.g. insisting that all rules be followed to a T.


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?


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.


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


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


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


you can choose: short, little or small


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


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'?


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.


Shouldn't we say "short man" instead of "small man" in English? Any native English speaker who can help us with this?


I would say you are right. to say that someone is small can be a way of insulting them as being insignificant. We say that someone is 'small-minded' or that someone is a 'little man' as insults. 'Short man' sound about right. I am a short man too!


Ok, I'm still not getting this. What's the difference between Das Mann ist klein. And Das ist ein kleiner Mann. You have two sentences that say the exact same thing. With two words saying the exact same thing. I could understand stand it if there were a change in verb tense, or going to a comparative of small, smaller, and smallest. But, no! None of that applies here. Its got nothing to do with "cases". Nom, Dat, Acc, ect... Why in the world would you change the spelling if you're not changing the meaning of the sentence? Please, can anyone explain this to me! What purpuse does this serve?????


das Mann ist klein is not grammatically correct; it has to be der Mann ist klein.

And "That man is small." does not mean the same thing as "That is a small man."


Been doing this for over a year now and enjoy Duo a lot, I can understand the ladies speech quite well but the man speaking always throws me because he does not enunciate the last part of words that need an ending. Is the speaker German? Not trying to be rude but he floats the endings makes it a little difficult.


so when will do you say Klein Mann ?


so when will do you say Klein Mann ?

Never. It's grammatically incorrect.


how do I know what the der die or das will change to in the dative form?


how do I know what the der die or das will change to in the dative form?

der (masculine) goes to dem

die (feminine) goes to der

das (neuter) goes to dem

die (plural) goes to den

Ich helfe dem Mann. Ich helfe der Frau. Ich helfe dem Kind. Ich helfe den Menschen.

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