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  5. "Mein kleiner Bruder ist zwöl…

"Mein kleiner Bruder ist zwölf."

Translation:My little brother is twelve.

June 27, 2013



Doesn't kleiner mean smaller as well?


Yes, but not when it is before a noun.

Before a noun, an adjective has to take an ending to show gender/number/case -- so "my small brother" is mein klein·er Bruder while "my small·er brother" would be mein klein·er·er Bruder with one er for the comparative and another er for the masculine nominative singular ending.

However, mein Bruder ist kleiner for "my brother is smaller" would just have the comparative -er ending, since in that case it is not before a noun.


i thought the same thing : /


Yes, kleiner can mean: little, small, short,etc

and the declensions are here: http://www.canoo.net/inflection/klein:A


Not sure if this is what you were talking about, but: My small/little brother = Mein kleiner Bruder. My smaller/littler brother = Mein kleinerer Bruder.

After ein, kein, mein, etc., comparative adjectives take the mixed declension ending on top of the comparative suffix.


Further to the point made by lesgle, something has to show the gender of Bruder if adjectives are present.

Had there been an article such as der to match Bruder, the adjective could have followed its own rules. But because the article replacement is an ein word (mein) in this example, it doesn't show the masculine gender.

nominative indefinite article

ein, eine, ein, = m.f.n.

The duty of showing the masculine gender then falls to the adjective. Instead of its normal kleine spelling that would apply, it must now show the masculine nominative er ending that would have been displayed by the definite article which does show the gender.

der, die, das = m.f.n.

Thus .....kleiner. Since kleiner already has the er ending, if you decide want to make it plural you have to add another er ending


It is a dirty job but someone has to do it if adjectives are present. Because ein words don't display the masculine er ending the adjective has to.


I swear I hear her saying 'smov' instead of zwolf.


I always have http://www.dict.cc/ or http://www.forvo.com/ open to check pronunciations. Won't help if you don't know the word or it's too garbled, but it helps a great deal to hear natives. Though it'd be pretty funny to hear someone speak who only ever listened to the owl.


zwölf = smurf, that's how I recognize the pronunciation.

[deactivated user]

    Yes. My little brother is a smurf.


    If we put instead of mein an article"der" what would be?


    In German, is "kleiner" in this sentence interpreted as age, rather than the more literal meaning of height or size? i.e. My big sister is smaller than me.


    Can this be used in the same sense as "younger brother" ?


    Is this the correct phrase to use when discussing ages? eg. "Ich bin zwanzig" or "Bist du vierzig?"


    I think it is better:

    Ich bin zwanzig Jahre alt - I'm twenty years old



    I was told by a native speaker that not adding the "Jahre alt" at the end sounds abrupt and almost rude. So . . . "Mein kleiner Bruder ist zwölfe Jahre alt." should be best, yes?


    How old am I then?


    How would you say: My younger brother is twelve?

    • 2707

    Mein jüngerer Bruder ist zwölf.
    See http://canoo.net/inflection/jung:A for the inflection of jung.
    Corrected to 'jüngerer' as mizinamo helped out below. 2017.07.04

    [deactivated user]

      "Mein kleiner Bruder ist zwölf" also works. It's what I entered and was correct.


      Does "my little brother" mean the same thing as it does in English (i.e. "my younger brother")?


      I'd say yes.


      You cant say klein as small .. You must say" junge " that mean small in this case. :)


      Not if his small brother is older than he is. What if he is 11 and his brother is 12 but his friends who are his same age think his brother is younger than he is and he is straightening them out by telling them "My little brother is twelve."


      how do I know if i'm saying small or smaller?


      Ich habe keinen kleinen Bruder :'(


      Warum nicht 'Meiner'?


      Possessive adjectives such as mein take the same endings as ein or kein -- which is no ending for masculine nominative.

      (As for why that is, no idea. Historical reasons, presumably.)


      How would you say "my youngest brother is 12"?


      Mein jüngster Bruder ist zwölf.


      Then is it meine kleine Schwester? And mein kleines Pfierd?


      That's right. (Well, Pferd without -i-.)


      Why not kleinen?


      Why do you think it could be kleinen?

      It's the subject of the sentence, so it's in the nominative case.

      It's after mein, a possessive adjective, so the adjective takes mixed inflection.

      Mixed inflection for masculine nominative is the same as strong inflection, i.e. -er -- the word before it has no ending (mein rather than meiner, meinem etc.) and so the adjective has to show the gender, number, and case.


      I think i know, but shouldn't "My little bro is twelve" work


      No; "bro" is too colloquial/informal.


      Why it is "kleiner" but not "kleinen"?


      Masculine nominative case, not masculine accusative.


      Why does it not accept ...zwölf Jahre alt"?


      Well this show me "Mein Junge, mein kleiner Junge" not Mein kleiner Junge ist Zwölf


      My wee brother has to be accepted


      Because that's how this native English speaker would translate mein kleiner Bruder. And I'm using this to learn German, not English, so I don't need Duolingo telling me it's wrong!

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