"Er hat seit gestern frei."

Translation:He has been free since yesterday.

June 22, 2013

54 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

"He is free since yesterday" does not make sense in English. Can DuoLingo please rework its all too frequent syntactical mistakes in English that keep people from understanding the German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jfs54

Agreed, from an English speaking standpoint, "He has been free since yesterday" makes far more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/H.A.H.

"...has been..." makes much more sense than the translation. much is agreed


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

Just for the record, I had to enter the English and this was accepted. 9/2021


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

Exactly, that's my biggest issue right now, I can't grasp these statements when the translation looks awkward in English.


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

Exactly, Duolingo has been causing me emotional pain!


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

I agree. You can't use the present tense with "since" in English.


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

I have to disagree—I think "He is free since yesterday" is acceptable, it's simply a matter of emphasis. If you are working in the present tense, you might want to maintain that voice. Consider this as the beginning of a short story: "He sits at the table. He looks at the breakfast laid out before him. He realizes he is free. He is free since yesterday." That would be an acceptable stylistic choice.


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

Yes, but it would be translated to "er ist seit gestern frei" in German. frei haben means to be off work.


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

So, does that mean the word "frei" is used as a noun here, or is it idiomatic?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheryl742408

So maybe the best translation would be "he's been off work since yesterday" ?


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

The question is whether or not the German sentence is emphasizing the moments leading up to, but not necessarily including the present state of being. To say "he has been free since yesterday" implies that he is currently still free, but it doesn't emphasize that explicitly.


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

How about "He has been available since yesterday"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/royalt213

That's a lot to expect learners to intuit from that statement. A more coherent revision is certainly possible.


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

I disagree. As an American speaker, I would say, "He has been free since yesterday", not "He is free since yesterday."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will709432

As others have pointed out right at the top, 'He IS free since' is incorrect English. Can't use since that way with simple present.


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

Or: "Is he still in jail?" -"No, he is free since yesterday".


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

Again, that would be "er ist frei", not "er hat frei".


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

Yes, however, Duo does not allow for the stylistic, colloquial contexts, let alone " voice" issues. All these things directly and indirectly affect the everyday working and understanding of English. There is no indication from Duo, about the phrase having anything to do with " the beginning ..." of anything! What you are discussing has everything to do with what the reader/listener is interpreting themselves, from an otherwise ... empty phrase.


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

Absolutely right!


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

The present perfect is needed here, "He has been free since yesterday". The given sentence doesn't make sense. I'm assuming the use of 'hat' in here indicates a similar tense in German.


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

No he has been free = "Er war frei"

There is a difference between frei sein (to be free) and frei haben (to have a day off/ to have a holiday)


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

Ok, good to know. But both would translate as "He has been free since yesterday" in English. "He is free since yesterday" is not correct English, as soon as you use the word 'since' you have to use the present perfect.


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

In French what you've said works really like that. Idk if it works the same way in German but it really has to be "has been ~ since", Even in other language i know it would never be only "is" or you have to add already even so it'd make it into a past tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cunningham3

It should be "He's been free since yesterday" because the past tense is used for 'since' in English


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

Why is "He is on vacation since yesterday" wrong?


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

There's no mention of vacation in either translation. It is simply stating that the person has free time. (Or perhaps that they are free from captivity of somesort. Though, I'm not certain if the German translates to that use.)


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

This sentence just doesn't work without the present perfect - "He is free since..." Is grammatically illogical in English, because the "since" means that the state occurred in the past and continues to (or at least affects) the present. The action is past tense because him becoming free happened in the past, but he continues to be so in the present. The haben frei/sein frei distinction is immaterial.


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

He has been available since yesterday? That was marked wrong. Should that be accepted?


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

I have the same question. Is there a reason that the line may not be translated as "He has been available since yesterday." The hints list available as a possible translation as well as free.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexG38

What is wrong with "He is in holidays since yesterday"? (Not a native English speaker...)


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

No one would know what you were talking about if you said "in holidays" in the USA (not sure about the UK). If he is taking time off from work, the most usual way of saying it in English in the USA would be: "He has been on vacation since yesterday."

I'm not aware of any parts of the USA where "holiday" is used interchangeably with "vacation." "Vacation" is time off from your job. A "holiday" is a specific day on the calendar - like Christmas or Easter. We may get time off from work on a holiday, or we may take a vacation that coincides with a holiday, but no one over here that I know takes a holiday.


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

What about "holidays"? Summer holidays, school holidays....


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

Those phrases are used, but they aren't normally used (in my experience) interchangeably with vacation. I might "take a vacation over the Christmas holiday(s)." Christmas holiday(s) and school holidays are periods of time on a calendar. Vacation is an extended break from your job that may or may not coincide with a holiday on the calendar. If someone has a counter-example that I'm forgetting, please be my guest. :-)


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

Certainly :-) Of course, I'm referring to American English. I don't know if the terms are used in the same way in the UK. What is your first language, BTW? Looks like it's English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indie-lemon

I cannot see "holiday" in the sentence, and Frei is "free".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexG38

But "frei haben" can mean "to have a holiday" according to dict.leo.org...


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

Weekends isnt like a holiday


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

Your statement mixes present tense with past. It should be, 'He has been on holiday since yesterday' or 'He has been on his holidays since yesterday'. The 1st part (has been) tells us it (the holiday) has already begun and the 2nd part (since yesterday) tells when it begun. Also you are on holiday, not in holiday. Though to confuse matters you can talk about what you plan to do, or did, in your holiday. In this case, in means during.


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

Is 'Er ist frei seit gestern' wrong?


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

Wrong, Dont directly translate sentence all the time.


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

He has day-off since yesterday - wrong ?


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

Why doesn't gestern start with a capital letter? It's a noun! Come ouuun!


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

Know this is old, but for anyone else curious I always thought they weren't capitalized because they were Adverbs in this case, not nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoMan2

Can I use: he was free since y...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crystal9

I hold on to saying this translation is faulty - should be "He was free since yesterday." for consistency


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

Does this have to mean holiday? That translation came out of nowhere. Could this also mean the opposite, wherein he is now available because he is maybe back from vacation?


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

I believe 'Ich habe frei' means 'I have the time off' - much like the English 'I am free' in response to 'Are you free tomorrow?'. So it doesn't necessarily mean 'holiday', it could just be that you have the afternoon off.

It doesn't mean 'I am free' in the 'I am no longer in prison' sense, that would be 'Ich bin frei'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drdodds4

Going back over my tree and have encountered this lesson again. While the discussion below is interesting and I enjoy reading it, we are clearly into the realm of idiomatic differences. If a bilingual German/English speaker could tell me when you would say this in German, and what the corresponding English would be - that would be great.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve41315

I don't think "He has been free since yesterday" is an accurate translation of the German "Er hat seit gestern frei."

Freihaben is a verb with a separable prefix that means "to have time off." https://www.wordreference.com/deen/freihaben https://en.langenscheidt.com/german-english/freihaben

Thus "Er hat seit gestern frei" literally means (after adjusting the word order) "He has time off since yesterday."

As noted elsewhere in the discussion, however, in English we generally use the present perfect with "since." So a better English translation would be "He has had time off since yesterday."

Of course, as discussed above, there are numerous other possibilities, such has "He has been on holiday (or vacation) since yesterday." But I don't think "He has been free since yesterday" is one of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Binnie576493

NO idea what this sentence meant - so guessed wrong to find out. This method of learning seems very inefficient.


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

Why isnt this Er hat seit gestern frei geworden?

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