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  5. "Bessere Häuser haben Fenster…

"Bessere Häuser haben Fenster."

Translation:Better houses have windows.

July 13, 2013



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!


Not that one would like a restroom without windows...


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


You have a good taste of music.... That would be "Du hast ein guter Geschmack von Musik." I guess

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"... einen guten Musikgeschmack". (accusative case!)


I thought the same


You have a good taste of music


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


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.


There used to be a company in houston that LOVED worse houses XD or rather they'd buy "ugly houses"


Besser Häuse und Fenster = Better Homes and Windows!


They're saying that if you have a better house, then it has windows; not: if your house has windows, then it's a better house.


Better houses have Windows, not Mac...


The best houses have Linux...


What a 'pute-snob.



No, guys. The best houses have everything.


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


And the best houses have iPads.


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").

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it is "bessern" (without the e)


Right you are.


Gute Besserung!


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.


It could mean better oneself, like trying to improve


I did the same. Wir brauchen es bessere.


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"


"But Macbooks don't have iOS, they have OSX!" :)


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?


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! ;)


You are saver for non-native english speaker


The best ones have Linux.


Germans have some low standards for their houses


The best houses have linux


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/


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


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. :)


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 :)


Could it be homes instead of houses?


Good thing my house has windows.


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


Why it's not "Fenstern"?


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


Mac getting trolled xD


There's no arguing with that.


"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."


Die besten Häuser haben Vorhänge.


Could it be "the best houses"?


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



Are we supposed to be born with that info???


No, that's why we take these lessons.


Translation: Better houses have windows. so "window" should be in plural


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


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



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


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.


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"


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 :)


Bessere Häuser haben Äpfeln.


The nominative plural of Apfel is Äpfel, you'd only use Äpfeln in the dative plural, for example: "zwischen Äpfeln und Menschen besteht ein Unterschied".


Just to clarify, haben takes a direct object (accusative), not nominative. However, the accusative plural of Apfel is still Äpfel, so you are essentially correct.


Sie haben ein Fehler gemacht: kein Unterschid besteht zwischen Äpfeln und Menschen; sie sind genauso gleich :)


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? :)


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.


What kind of house doesn't have windows


I prefer Linux.


So... this implies snails have worse houses?


Good houses have doors, better houses have windows!


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?

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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.

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


The real indicator here is the "haben" which infers a plural noun.


No, that only shows that "Häuser" is plural. It would be perfectly valid to say "Bessere Häuser haben ein Fenster," with singular "Fenster."


Insert "I guess" meme


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


I guess there's no need to buy a better house!


Some examples are pretty dumb


That's how it is in Soviet Russia


Why häuser and not es

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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.

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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?

  • 1116

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.)


The best houses have Linux!


The best houses have Linux!


Sadly Duo uses many useless sentences in his lessons.


And worse submarines have screen-doors.


why isn't it correct: "better houses have window"?


"Fenster" can be singular or plural. In this case, it must be plural because there's no article. One window would be "Besser Häuser haben ein Fenster." (We also need the article in English: "Better houses have a window"; just "... have window" is ungrammatical.)


there are lots of examples here on Duolingo where singular nouns have no article.


There are some nouns--uncountable nouns--that can't take an indefinite article. These are often substances like "milk" or "sugar" where we are referring to an amount of the substance instead of one individual unit (so "a sugar" doesn't make sense). Other uncountable nouns include some abstract concepts ("information," "privacy") and some other nouns that don't look at an individual unit ("furniture," "traffic").

Apart from these, you need an article if you're talking about the singular. "... haben Fenster" will be understood as multiple windows because there is no article.

EDIT: One notable exception in German is occupations: "Ich bin Lehrer" instead of "Ich bin ein Lehrer." Maybe these are what you were thinking of?


So, really, @MartinaGil6 's statement was wrong, since these are uncountablenot singular — nouns, then?


I assume that MartinaGil6 was referring to uncountable nouns (which would indeed not be singular), but I don't know for sure. But, yes, a singular, countable noun would usually need an article, whereas an uncountable noun wouldn't.


Of all the many silly sentences in deutsche Duo, this one takes the cake!


This sentence makes little sense....most houses have windows, despite being bad or good houses....


Houses in Costa Rica don't even have walls. It's not like they're poor, but that is their style.


I prefer Linux.


And others have Mac!


So as better Computers~


Is this a comment on German houses?

[deactivated user]

    Linguee is the one we were always taught to use.


    I think windowless house is good idea because you neednt clean windows. Nobody cant look into your private.


    Best houses have more


    Can "Bessere" mean like, You better do this?


    When hovered over "Bessere", the translation that appears is "mend one's ways" or "reform" etc.. It should be corrected I guess..


    I wrote down better house have fences because it sounded more logical. I can't imagine a house without windows.


    I wrote "the better houses have windows". Was marked wrong. But that is how most people around here (California) would say it, adding the article.


    How comes I can't put "better buildings have windows"?? If it's meant to be wrong, when can I put "buildings" the 2nd choice we were given on Duo?


    "Haus" can only mean "house" (or "home"), not "building".


    The word for Building is "das Gebäude" or "der Bau" (the one we've learnt).


    Sincerely, even in english I can't stand with the loss of the article before "better houses"...


    In English, you don't always need an article with the plural.


    "You don't always need" does not mean the sentence is is wrong without that. "The better houses..." should be accepted. What is the difference with or without that?


    That's a different question. I responded to raul_soler, who (if I understand correctly) thought that, in English, there had to be an article before "better houses."

    I am a native English speaker. Whether the German sentence can translate as either "The better houses . . . " or "Better houses . . . " is a question for a native German speaker.


    Your question has already been answered. See discussion above.


    This sounded dumb to me......why would there be houses in Germany with no windows......so I contacted a person in Germany who helps me understand strange things like this. He said there is a saying in Germany....."Better houses have windows".....which means......Build it right from the beginning and there will be more time to enjoy later.

    Considering how many people wrote in about this, perhaps Duo should consider explaining what this means.


    This should be the number one post. Thanks for the research.

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