No, in German you could say: "Das sind meine besten Freunde." (These are my best friends); "Er ist mein bester Freund." (He is my best friend); "Sie ist meine beste Freundin." (She is my best friend); Or "Wir sind beste Freunde." (We are best friends; considers you explaining someone that you and another person are best friends)
Yes, you may. Though "besonders" is mostly used as a positive word, it has a ironic or sarcastic tone in connection with friends, as you'd use "Dies sind meine besten Freunde" = "These are my best friends" oder "Das sind meine liebsten Freunde" = "These are my favourite friends" if you really like them.
I don't have any direct questions about this exercise, but I wanted to comment about the use of "Das" as a plural pronoun. Today is the first I have encountered it, and I have been making a lot of mistakes by not looking closely at the whole sentence, because when I see a sentence beginning with "Das" I automatically think in the singular. :p
Yes it does and that often leads to misunderstandings, e.g. when a boy says: "Das ist meine Freundin." most people assume that that is his girlfriend. The same occurs when a girl says: "Das ist mein Freund." When a girl says: "Das ist meine Freundin." most people assume that that is her friend, same is for boys telling other people: "das ist mein Freund."
To prevent misunderstandings you can say "Das ist eine Freundin von mir/ Das ist ein Freund von mir." because that does not refer to boyfriend/girlfriend.
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Thanks, Have a nice day.
Best regards Sandeep
Is the "besoderen" here ambiguous as to whether it refers to the speaker's subjective feelings about her friends (i.e. they hold a special place in her heart) or to describing the friends (i.e. my friends have special attributes/characteristics)? I think the English translation could be either of these.
As davidgintaiwan and Gluehbirneee discussed above,the ''special'' friend may have a meaning of ''someone with special attributes/characteristics'',and thus,can be used e.g. for someone with special needs,like a handicapped person or a child with Down Syndrome.Depending on the text's context it doesn't have to be an insult of any kind.
http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/besondere Did you try reporting it? I see that speziell is used more often as an adverb meaning "especially" or "specifically". In this specific context, I don't see why it couldn't work. It may be simply less popular to use it, or I wonder if it was used more before and now is less used this way?
I think it just has a slightly different meaning which doesn't really fit. "Besonder" is like "special" in the meaning of unique, different from everything else; and "speziell" is "special" in the sense of "specific, particular, exclusive", as in having a special/specific function, like special uniform for some type of work, something to do with specifications etc.
I am not sure, I'm making it up from my head now based on little experience and wannabe intuition :D
special - not ordinary, not usual, not common, having qualities the ordinary group doesn't have
The yellow rose is special (because all the rest are red).
specific - clearly defined or identified, but may not have any qualities that make it different from the rest
Pick the third flower. (All the flowers are the same but the third is specified.)
I think it is also acceptable. As for me (not a native speaker), "Das sind..." sounds more disattached, as in, when you say "Das sind meine Freunde" the emphasis is not on the "das", e.g. "Das sind meine Freunde" oder "Das sind meine Freunde" etc., but when you say "Die sind..." you emphasize that those are your friends: "Die sind meine Freunde"
To make an analogy, in English when you say "There is [something]" you don't really emphasize that [something] is there, it's just an expression. "Das" has this sort of function.
Why is exceptional not accepted as an adverb? I'm a native Afrikaans speaker and our translation for exceptional and special are 'besonders' and 'spesiale' respectively, which leads me to believe that exceptional should be an accepted answer along with special. A google translation of exceptional yields aussergewoehnlich as an adverb, but even for that Afrikaans has a direct translation buitengewoonlik (buite=ausser=outside gewoonlik=gewoehnlich=normal). My interpretation stemming from experience with the word is that besonders may mean exceptional in a good way, like, say, Mozart was. On the other hand, aussergewoehnlich may refer to something that is exceptional in a negative way, like, say, an unusually high blood sugar level. What do you guys think? Shouldn't exceptional also be accepted as a translation of besonders?