"Bessere Häuser haben Fenster."

Translation:Better houses have windows.

July 13, 2013

This discussion is locked.


So i have a better house. I cant imagine the worse houses


No walls, maybe…


It was a house to us!


Cardboard?! Luxury! Ours were a paper bag, in t'MIDDLE o'road!


At least you had a bag!


At least you had a road..


This sounds like it's leading up to Stein um Stein by Rammstein.


Keine Fenster keine Tür, I listened to that song like three hours ago by the way hahaha


I thought the same


Well, then you don't need neither doors nor windows!


No roof too


I once went to a house viewing and 4 of the 5 bedrooms didn't have windows. We didn't take it and went for a besseres Haus :)


Duolingo Forums are soooooo funny! LOL :D


If there were men in orange uniforms living inside those ''bedrooms'' it was a prison...!!


So that's why they're not letting me out! I thought they liked me :(


I'd probably be fine with a windowless house, but no doorless houses. :/


Without walls is even worse... so much for privacy. At least you can climb in through the windows without doors.


Totally, wie die Sims! Schrecklich!


I don't know. I think that without walls would be much better than with padded ones!


Go to a poor country, favelas or something similar.


TIL - favela is more than just a map I used to play on Modern Warfare.


Some depressing basements don't have windows


i guess i have a worse house


I'm guessing that they have bars instead of windows.


Ich habe die besten Haus. Neun groß fenster und drei Glaß tür.


I hope you don't mind if I correct your sentences ;)

Ich habe das beste Haus. Neun große Fenster und drei Glastüren.


Obviously no windows


Better houses have Windows, not Mac...


The best houses have Linux...


No, guys. The best houses have everything.


Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants.


Part of the fun of Duolingo is trying and imagine a proper context to the sentences.


"Hey, how do you like it? It's our first."

"Better houses have windows."


"I`m starting my house constructor carreer with this house! Looking at it, what do you think could improve it?"

"Better houses have windows."


"I just bought a bunch of Macbooks for my new house."

"Cool, but that OS sucks. Better houses have Windows"


Wow! Just been introduced to this word "bessere" click on it and my choices are "(I) mend one's ways/am..." "mend one's ways" and "(I) reform/am reforming"!!! Then I go to google translate and find out it means "better" Thanks Duo!


It probably interpreted the "bessere" as a conjugation of "besseren" (the verb that has those meanings) instead of an inflection of "besser" (the adjective that means "better").


it is "bessern" (without the e)


Right you are.


I can't cover it yet

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The dictionary hints often give translations which are technically possible in isolation, but completely wrong for the context. You're usually better off keeping http://pons.eu/ (or similar) open in another tab.


At first, I thought I was in the idioms and this was some attempt to translate, "People who live in glass houses..." then I remembered I wasn't. One of the good things about being a native English speaker and learning German is that much of our language is based in German. "Bessere" sound similar to "better" so I managed to guess correctly.


Sadly this isn't so. It just seems that way since the words that are similar are so close. Only about 10% (or less) of English is based on Old English which has its roots in Proto-germanic languages. The rest of our words are loaned from French and Latin. While somewhat of a dry read if you aren't really into linguistics, this book is awesome: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Babel-Natural-History-Language/dp/006052085X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452140600&sr=8-1&keywords=Power+of+babel


I'm not sure what you mean by "words that are similar are so close". Anyway, it is true that English is largely dominated by "foreign" words, although they've often been in the language so long, that it's no longer reasonable to call them foreign. I don't know where you found that statistic though, since everywhere I looked, it was singificantly higher than that, here is one example:

Interestingly, although not surprisingly, the share of Germanic words is much higher when only the most common thousand words is taken into consideration; most likely because much of the Latin and Greek vocabulary belongs to technical language.

There's a society of people recreating English as "Anglish" who attempt to raise the share to 100%.


What this perhaps doesn't take into account though is that many "French" words in English ultimately have Germanic roots, such as "garden"

Hence, "garden" and "Garten" are similar, even though "garden" counts as "coming from French" and "Garten" doesn't.

(Interestingly, the word "yard" is actually the cognate of "garden", but that isn't half as recognisable.)


I also find it astounding that a whole 4% of our words are from proper names...


By "words that are similar are so close" I meant to indicate that we should be able to clearly identify words that found their way from German such as swim, and begin, etc. Clearly no one is going to look at jetzt and know that it means now or Leute means people. And yes if you narrow the vocabulary down to very frequent words (1-2K), there will be a higher percentage of German, but by and large we rely on a much larger collection of words. The statistic comes from the book I mentioned. Goes into great depth about word origins. For a taste of what language would look like if we only ever used 1000 words, take a look at this: http://www.amazon.com/Thing-Explainer-Complicated-Stuff-Simple/dp/0544668251/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8qid=sr= which interestingly enough he just translated into German.


Of course, it should be acknowledged that German, French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English plus several other European languages all came from Indo European.


It could mean better oneself, like trying to improve


Best houses have roofs


And floors! Can you imagine??


Wish someone had told me that before I bought my house.


But who'll buy it?


A hobo, HE would buy it


why can't you write in "window" in sigular? isn't Fenster both for sg. and pl.?


In English, you need an article with the singular. "Better houses have window" doesn't work.

It also seems unlikely - A better house has only one window?

The mix of singular and plural - houses (plural) and window (singular) is also awkward, because it implies that there are several houses but only one window, but it's occasionally done.


Sounds very logical! ;)


Unless you live in one of the houses.


You are saver for non-native english speaker


Germans have some low standards for their houses


Why is it "Bessere" and not just "Besser"?


Because it is describing "Häuser", which is a plural noun in the nominative case with no article.

Most adjectives take an ending depending on a) the gender of the noun (masculine, feminine, neuter or plural), b) the case of the noun and c) whether the noun has an article.

See http://www.learn-german-smarter.com/learn-german-adjective-endings/


Mac getting trolled xD


I used to rent a small apartment in my 1st year which was in a basement, and it had really tiny windows just above the ground. No natural light whatsoever. Awful experience. Believe me when I say this sentence might make some sense. xD


I prefer Linux.


Wow, I totally overanalyzed this one. "Better houses" seemed like a weird thing to say, so I went with "reformatories". My next guesses would've been "prisons", "rehabilitation centres", and "healing centres".

Though to be fair, the hint was "mend one's ways".


It probably interpreted the "bessere" as a conjugation of "besseren" (the verb that has that meaning) instead of an inflection of "besser" (the adjective that means "better").

Also, as a general rule, it'd have to be a compound word if was meant to all be one noun.


Wow, that's an interesting take on that one… Perhaps the "better houses" you were thinking of might have bars across the windows as well. :)


The best houses have linux


There's no arguing with that.


How do I know that "Fenster" is a plural noun here? there is no article and it seems that the form does not change in Plural!


Nouns without articles are always either plural (such as Fenster) or uncountable (such as Wasser). Nouns that don't change form are also always either Masculine or Neuter, meaning the definite article will be different.

Hope this helps :)


"Bessere Häuser" - is it not nominative and there shouldn't it be "Besseren Häuser" ??


Yes, it's nominative. You would use "besseren" with an article like "die" ("Die besseren Häuser haben Fenster"), but with no article the correct ending is just "-e."


Could it be homes instead of houses?


Why it's not "Fenstern"?


The plural of "Fenster" is "Fenster" (i.e., itself). Don't add the "-n" except in the dative plural.


Would this sentence mean that there are houses with no windows, and the houses with windows are better. Or would it be used in a situation where one person would say "this house has windows" and someone else would tell him, "yeah, but better houses have windows"


I just wanted to add a related fact.

At one stage the city of Edinburgh had a tax on sunlight, designed to tax big houses with large windows. To get around the tax, a number of houses were built without windows.

So there are some very nice old expensive houses in Edinburgh without windows.


Gute - Bessere - Beste.


Good houses have doors, better houses have windows!


Die besten Häuser haben Vorhänge.


Could it be "the best houses"?


No, that would be "Die besten Häuser haben Fenster."



Good thing my house has windows.


the common sense of some sentenses here never gonna stop suprising me...


why is bessere Hauser and not besseren Hauser .It is plural doch?


Apparently when there's no article, the noun's case is placed on the adjective. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Strong_inflection

eg: Der kleine Hund. Ein kleiner Hund. (to distinguish from neuter eg ein kleines Haus) Kleiner Hund


The strong plural adjectives take -e in the nominative/accusative; the weak ones take -en.



Can I write the word "besser" with the umlate ß like "beßer"? What about the word "Wasser"? Also, waht is the different in pronounciation between the double s (ss) and the umlate (ß)?


"Besser" is always double-ss. ss - short vocal in front; ß, long vocal in front. Example: Spaß (fun) Switzerland has no " ß" anymore. They write "Spass".


The ß is the old way but the new way only has szet after the long vowels i.e. groooße


Just a little note:

Beßer has never been a correct way to write besser. I can't remember the traditional rules but I think one would use ß instead of ss at the end of a word (Schloß/Schloss) or word segment (Eßtisch/Esstisch) or before a t (ißt/isst), on top of long vowels and diphthongs (like today). There may be more rules but it's not important nowadays.


The double letters often shorten the preceding vowel i.e. "das Wetter" you pronounce the "e" quickly before the "tt"


ß has nothing to do with umlauts. "Umlaut" is a type of ablaut that happens in German, and is represented by the diacritic called an "umlaut" that developed from e. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umlaut_(linguistics)

ß on the other hand is a ligature that developed from ſs and ſz, (ſ is "long s". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ß


Got it wrong... What I said: The best houses have windows corrected: The best houses have got windows. Don't see the problem.


I agree--this does mean the same thing. On the other hand, this is kind of colloquial and idiomatic. Literally, "have got windows" means that, at some point in the past, the houses "got" (i.e., received) windows, which of course isn't what the sentence is going for.

I do agree with you, though. Your sentence does mean exactly the same thing as the original (even if idiomatically). But I see where Duo is coming from. Bottom line: I'd say report it.

EDIT: Never mind, looks like I completely misunderstood you. Strange that it would correct to "have got." I would have expected it to change "the best" to "better." Weird.


Why is it 'haben' and not 'hat'?

  • ich habe
  • du hast
  • er/sie/es hat
  • wir haben
  • ihr habt
  • sie;Sie haben

The subject "Bessere Häuser" fits into the third person plural, as in "they have windows".

Saying "Bessere Häuser hat Fenster" would be like saying "Better houses has windows", which is grammatically wrong.


Interessant… is "Fenster" where the English word "defenestration" comes from?


Well, not exactly. They do, however, both derive from the same Latin root fenestra.


Thanks, that's effectively what I was asking. Do you know how frequent it is for German words to have Latin origins? I didn't think there would be many – except, of course, words that have made their way into German from English or the Romance languages. But I really don't know. :)


There are a good many that are so deeply engraved into the language that most people have no idea that they have Latin roots, for example Teppich meaning carpet (tapis in French). More examples include Brief, Mauer, Käse, Uhr, Pferd, Schule, etc.

There are however, far more that are clearly Latin in origin, but are nevertheless completely German, like Auto, which is probably one of the most well known German words thanks to Volkswagen ads, on top of that there is of course, Intelligenz, Elektrizität (Blitzfeuererregung!!!), Grammatik, Sofa, Musik, Information, aktiv, direkt, etc.

There are also plenty of words that come straight from French, some retaining French Pronunciation, for example, Mode, Chance, salopp, Restaurant, Cousin, Dusche, Niveau, Portemonnaie, Zigarette, Soße, etc.

There are also some Latin words that German gets via English, for example, Computer, Party, Internet, Foto, etc.


Dankeschön, sehr nützlich.


Said an estate agent who rents caves.


Must be a rubbish estate agent. They won't be able to sell their properties if they actually say anything true :)


I would like to take this opportunity to clarify something in english, which is not my native language.

How could something be "Better houses", why is not "The best houses"? I am not talking about the translation, but about the meaning of the word "better", which seams to be the same in german. I thought that better was always used in comparison with something. I would understand it in a sentence like «The houses that have windows are better than...». But what is its signification here?

Thank you very much!


It is correct, but it's somewhat abstract without context. It is basically implying what your last sentence is saying. If you said, "This house isn't very good. Better houses have windows," then it would make more sense, but it's still odd to think about because even primitive makeshift shelters often have windows. A more feasible example would be something like "Good books are worth reading. Better books are worth reading again." "Better" is comparative, but since Duo is giving us mostly short fragments to teach grammar rather than full sentences in context, it's not meant to make perfect sense on its own. "Best" is superlative, meaning nothing is better, whereas better is just relative to something else which may be good or bad, so they're not interchangeable. The same goes for the German.


Why is it not besseren Häuse? Since Häuse is plural


Because it's nominative and isn't accompanied by die or meine/deine/keine. See the "Comparative forms of gut" chart here.


Can anyone explain me when we have to use besser, bessere, beste, besten etc? Does it depend on genre or number?


It depends on gender (masculine, feminine, neuter or plural), case and the presence of the articles. This is a good explanation: http://www.learn-german-smarter.com/learn-german-adjective-endings/


The worst houses are called jails


Nobody thought about the hobbits? :)


So... this implies snails have worse houses?


Great discussion, this. In England we had a window tax in medieval times. Do the Germans still have one?



And as far as I know only parts of the germany we know today have had this tax.


I translated it as: "better houses have window" and it didn't accept it while telling me I should have used the plural form (windows). the question is how do I deffierentiate windows plural form from singular?


This is easy: singular words that don't denote an uncountable entity (such as "water" or "wood") must have an article with them, in German as well as in English. A sentence like "better houses have window" is grammatically wrong and doesn't exist. It needs to be "better houses have a window", and "bessere Häuser haben ein Fenster" in German, if you want to talk about single windows.


This is different from Persian, where "yek" is not mandatory in these situations.


Insert "I guess" meme


Ha ha! I don't think I'll ever need to say that!


Why häuser and not es


In principle, there are five ways to form the plural in German (sometimes they are accompanied by changing a vowel to an umlaut):
- -er ending e.g. das Haus - die Häuser
- -(e)n ending e.g. die Suppe - die Suppen
- no change in the ending e.g. der Vater - die Väter, das Fenster - die Fenster
- -e ending e.g. der Baum - die Bäume, der Teich - die Teiche
- (e)s ending.

As already said by Copernicus, the latter appears only in words loaned from foreign languages (mostly English or French). And there are some words taken from mostly Latin or Greek that preserve the Latin resp. greek plural endings.

There are some rules of thumb, but in principle you have to learn the way to form the plural together with the word (that's why you can find it in dictionaries). You can't derive that.


The plural of "Haus" is "Häuser", if that's your question.


There's often not clear logic as to which ending a plural noun should get. German has a number of ways to form plurals, and you often can't tell which one a word will take just by looking at the word.

With that said, "-s" is one of the less common plural endings, usually used for loanwords. So if you have to guess a plural ending, "-s" should probably not be your first choice.


Why is "Häuser " used in this instance?


because "Häuser" is the translation og "houses".


The best houses have Linux!


Fortunately, this ambiguity does not exist in German, because we do not translate the OS "Windows".

(Please delete the other two identical posts from you here.)


I have deleted the duplicate comments. It was a bug, maybe because I was using Windows... :)


Why would the translation of "The better houses have windows" be incorrect?


Because the German sentence has just "bessere Häuser," not "die besseren Häuser."


I thought when it was plural besser would have an en ending and e when it was single. I am confused


That depends. There are three infection tables, "strong", "weak" and "mixed". Which one to use depends on whether there is no article (-> strong), an indefinite article or possessive (-> mixed) or a definite article (-> weak).

Here you have no article, so you need to use the strong inflection table, which yields "bessere".
It would be "die besseren Häuser", however, if there were a definite article.



Is it logicallly andd grammatically possible to translate it as ' windows have better houses'...


Sort of. The grammar technically allows it, but because it's grammatically ambiguous, convention dictates that the first part of the sentence is the subject. So that is how people would understand the sentence.


Is this an idiom or another offbeat sentence?


no idiom. Could be a sentence from a description of a town in the middle ages.


Well that rules out the underground bunker then.


Why is it 'bessere'? Haus is das and plural, so wouldnt it be 'en'


No. As you said, it is plural. And according to the strong inflection table (which you use when there is no article or possessive in front) the correct ending for nominative plural is "-e".


Haben nicht alle Häuser Fenster?


I really don't think I have ever seen an actual house with no windows...maybe because I live in the States,...come to think of it even in foreign countries I don't recall ever seeing a house without windows...this is a weird sentence


Think of the Medieval.


Yes, the upper 99,999999999%.


The world population is approximately 7.7 billion. Even if every one of these people had a house, applying your percentage would mean that the whole world still only had 1/13 windowless houses. You need to look at your figures and get back to us.


That is a low bar.


What a useful tip for those considering remodeling. Kara


Die besten Häuser haben keine Wände oder Türen, sondern nur Fenster


Why not The better houses have windows. I‘ve Heard- sentences like this always. For example: The better schools have small teacher to student ratios. The better houses have air conditioning.


The German sentence has no article "die" in front, so including "the" is incorrect.


I was under the impression that we were to translate as it would be spoken in English, That’s why I added the article The


There's nothing wrong with "Better houses have windows"; it's a reasonable sentence without "the." Adding "the" changes the meaning and so is not valid-- more or less changing to talking about particular houses with windows being better, rather than windowed houses being better in general.



Stick with the translation unless a direct translation is so unusual sounding that it interferes with understanding. Bear in mind, unnatural doesn't mean... it is not how you personally would put it.

If nothing else, remember that it is computer. It tells you not to include the and you do. It is not a surprise if it marks you wrong. It has no way of knowing that you chose to make the sentence more to your liking. It just concludes you are not too clear about how German uses the.


I just came here to learn German and not be judged by my choice of living arrangements. :(


It reminds me of an Italian song thats goes something like "there was a very nice house/without ceiling without kitchen/ you couldn't go in/ because it had no floor/ but it was beautiful/ really beautiful/in Mentals Street, number 0 kids clapping


This is Microsoft propagation. Linux is the way.


When would I ever need to say that????


Which word do you find strange? Better, houses, the plural form of have or windows?


Could someone kindly explain why it isn't "Besseren Häuser haben Fenster", since it's plural?

Like "Wir haben die besseren freunde"?


It is nominative plural, right.
But without an article you need the strong inflection table, which shows "bessere".
With a definite article you have to use the weak inflection table, which shows "besseren".
(And with an indefinite article or a possessive it would be "besseren" as well, according to the mixed inflection table).



Why not " The best houses have windows " ?


Because that's not what the Grman sentence says.
"bessere Häuser" = "better houses" (comparative).
"the best houses" is superlative and would be "die besten Häuser" in German.


Because that's not the correct ending according to the tables.

If there is no article, you have to use the strong inflection table, which gives "-e" as the correct ending for nominative plural.
With a definite article it would be "-en", using the weak inflection table, and with a possessive, using the mixed inflection table, it is also "-en".


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