1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sie setzt sich."

"Sie setzt sich."

Translation:She sits down.

December 18, 2014

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonMurray29

Why is 'she sits' not accepted? It isn't like she is about to sit up or sit sideways :/

February 6, 2018

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

"sit" by itself refers to the state. "Every Wednesday, she sits on the balcony and writes poetry." It means that she is in a seating position.

However, Duo's sentence refers not to being in a seating position but to the beginning of that state: assuming a seating position. That's usually "to sit down" rather than "to sit".

February 7, 2018

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

@mizinamo - First time I've disagreed with one of your helpful answers/comments.

In English "sits" is an action verb as well as being used to convey the condition of being seated. You can choose to include the word "down" or not, since "down" is always implied by "sits".

To sit up of course is a totally different thing and done starting from a seated position, one then straightens the torso upwards - I don't know what the German equivalent is. Setz dich auf?

Then there's the emphatic use of "sit!" or "sit down!" but you almost never say "sit up!" (unless you're telling a dog to sit on it's hind legs and beg for food) , for a human it's generally something like "sit up straight!" or using double emphasis "sit UP!!".

December 4, 2018

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

To sit up of course is a totally different thing and done starting from a seated position, one then straightens the torso upwards - I don't know what the German equivalent is. Setz dich auf?

I'd probably say Sitz ordentlich! "Sit properly!".

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenNew3

That's not correct. They mean the same.

February 16, 2018

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

I'm not sure I follow why they are the same in German. I get that English could mean the same thing. In English one could say "she sits" as a verb in the action of placing herself in a chair or "she sits" as as in "she IS sitting" having already placed herself in the chair. I "think" the idea here is that in German, the action of moving to a seated position is "sie setzt sich" and can't be used to represent someone already seated. I think Duo should require "she seats herself" or "she sits down" to clarify that there is a difference. IMHO

June 9, 2018

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

@mizinamo In English, "Sit" by itself can refer to the state. But it can also refer to the action.

Rather than eat her vegetables, Maria attempts to leave the table in protest. "Sit down," orders Maria's mother in a menacing tone. Reluctantly, Maria sits.

Of course you could also say "Maria sits down." Both are acceptable.

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenNew3

"she sits" is the same as "she sits down" in English but was given as incorrect. Reported.

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesworks75503

Yes, I agree. In English, she is sitting means implies that, though she was standing earlier, she is now sitting. If one says, she is sitting down, that means she is currently in the act of seating herself. Without context, we don't know which meaning is appropriate, so she sits, she sits down, she is sitting, and she is sitting down should all be acceptable, it seems to me.

July 11, 2018

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

I think you do not agree with BenNew3 that "she sits" is the same as "she sits down".

I think I agree with you, though -- "she is sitting" indicates a current state while "she is sitting down" indicates that she is in the middle of an action, transitioning from a standing state to a sitting state.

This is the same distinction between German sie sitzt (= she is sitting) and sie setzt sich (= she is sitting down).

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesworks75503

Well, yes, I do agree with BenNew3 that she sits is the same as she sits down, because without context, both have the same meaning in English and the "down" is superfluous. English varies so much from region to region, but where I live one would normally say "she sits down" rather than "she sits," but would use "she is sitting" and "she is sitting down" interchangeably, unless context required a distinction between the two. I had never thought, though, about the distinction between "sitzen" and "setzen" in German--sort of like "lay" and "lie" in English. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

July 11, 2018

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

Yes -- or like "sit" and "set" in English, which are the relatives of setzen and setzen (to set something down is literally/originally to cause it to sit, much as to lay something is to cause it to lie, to fell a tree is to cause it to fall, and so on).

July 11, 2018

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

I like how we're getting very specific here. There is a difference between "to sit" and "to sit down". "To sit down" is less inclusive, whereas "to sit" is quite broad, which is why there can be some overlap. "To sit" can mean "to sit down" or "to be sitting". An example of the latter would be, "Look at him, he just sits there as if nothing's happening." "To sit down" couldn't be substituted into that sentence. Whereas, anytime you use "to sit down" you could substitute "to sit" without losing any meaning. For those who are philosophically inclined, it's a material conditional situation, but not a material biconditional.

To mizinamo's last thought...and for clarity for anyone who's not fluent in English...one sets an object down, and a living being sits (in the sense of "to sit down"). That said, in the sense of an action that is ongoing, objects may "sit". Example: "The keys are sitting on the table." Humans will never really "set". Maybe in certain dialects, or poetically, but it'd be slightly abnormal. In archaic writing one might read, "He set himself down," or something, but it's not used contemporarily as far as I know.

January 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1122

The audio is very misleading here, because it says "Sie setzte sich" (past tense), whereas the written text is present tense.

September 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maestro2603

Except when played slowly, then it miraculously morphs into Sie setzt sich.

February 19, 2019

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

i got it right, but in theory is "she seats herself" a valid construction?

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josephk27

Definitely! The translations in this whole lesson are annoying, because in this construction, English parallels German so well.

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nova46
  • 1774

On occasion, restaurant staff will tell you to seat yourself. A follow-on comment could easily be: "She's seating herself." Are "setzen" and "sitzen" equivalent? Looks like "set" versus "sit."

December 20, 2014

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

"She sits herself down" is a valid construction, but DL doesn't like it.

February 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5clothilde7

Was gesagt wurde ist: Sie setzte sich."

April 11, 2018

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

The audio sounds odd - at normal speed I am sure he is saying "Sie setzte sich"

May 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nova46
  • 1774

Why is "She sits herself" wrong?

December 18, 2014

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

The German verb needs to be reflexive, the English one doesn't.

December 18, 2014

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

i might be wrong, but think the verb "sit" does not need an object, therefore "herself" is ungrammatical in this sentence. In contrast, the verb seat is used as " to seat something", so it is valid to use the object "herself". :)

February 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harald917684

The male voice says "setzte".

August 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1122

Yes, that's true. Unfortunately there is no way for the course contributors to change the (computer generated) audios.

August 31, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.