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  5. "Ich verstehe Sie nicht."

"Ich verstehe Sie nicht."

Translation:I do not understand you.

December 19, 2014



I got this sentence on the "Flirting" module


Cause that's what she says when you say you love her


I am still wondering if I would ever be able to speak German after end of this course!!!


I have felt the same! I doubt that I will speak (or write) it well without having a real human being for feedback, but I will probably be able to muddle through reading and getting the gist of it.

LOL — If I ever visit Germany, I can pretend I am a deaf-mute and signal for people to write it out for me!


i use this, to understand what i dont know, research based on these things, and expand what i learn from this, through more research.


Same. I find this is a good launchpad for exploring the language in depth and learning little or even large bits along the way with the help of google, these comments, and youtube.


I do not understand this, how is Sie = They and now is Sie = You??


    German has several words for "you". Annoyingly, one of them is the same as the word for "they": Sie. This is used for polite/formal situations instead of using du. To make things worse, the word for "she" is also sie, but it's easier to identify as it changes verbs in a different way.

    When it's written, you can tell them apart because the one meaning "you" always has a capital letter, even in the middle of the sentence. But yes, sometimes it can still be ambiguous without context.

    Duolingo covers it more in later lessons, but it appears 'out of sequence' in this bonus lesson.


    Awesome, I studied German many years in school and never understood that until now.


    I got this sentence in the flirting module. If this is a flirtatious sentence, someone should explain it to me. I can only see this used for rejection.


    I know this module is about formal 'you' but how would you write i don't understand them? Could you use the same?


    "sie" would not be capitalized to mean "them". "Ich verstehe sie nicht." Only in the beginning of a sentence (as a subject) would "Sie" be used as either formal form of "you" or "they". "Sie verstehen mich nicht." is either "You do not understand me." or "They do not understand me." and you would know which by previous conversation. ("She understands..." would be "Sie versteht..." and again "sie" would not be capitalized to mean "her".)


    Another way to work this out is to look at how the verb is conjugated to match the noun.

    She - Sie versteht You (formal) - Sie verstehe You (collective) - Sie verstehen

    I hope I did that properly lol but as a general tool, this can be a useful way to figure it out


    Excepting the capitalization, yes. I believe that is correct.


    Wait, so it means in literal translation, I understand you not? But in English is I do not understand you?


    Yes... sort of. German doesn't use "helper verbs" when negating in the way that English does. In English, "I understand you not" sounds unnatural, because our language uses the phrase "do not" to negate. But in German (and every other Germanic language I can think of, excluding English) you simply negate the verb: "I understand you not."

    As for why this is the case, it has to do with the large number of languages that have influenced English over the years. This particular construction, if I recall correctly, can be blamed on Gaelic.


    Is it right to also say "ich kann nicht dich verstehe"?


    It would be "Ich kann dich nicht verstehen." Verstehen must be in the infinitive form because of kann, and nicht goes in the position directly before it.


    almost correct, where there are two verbs in a sentence, one must be in the second position and the other in last position; unless you are asking a yes/no question. The modal verb 'kann' is in the 2nd position after the subject 'ich'. The second verb is ALWAYS in the stem form, also know as the basic form. The stem form of this verb is verstehen.

    Verbs are conjugated, in this case: ich: verstehe, du: verstehst, er: versteht, wir: verstehen, Sie/sie: verstehen. However, like I said above, the verb at the end of a sentence does not get conjugated and only takes the stem form.

    I hope I explained that clear enough.


      (To be consistent with Duolingo's terminology, verstehen is in the infinitive form. The stem, as Duolingo describes it, is versteh-.)


      I do not understand her. (Isn't this also right?)


      Not in this case. Verbally, it would be more ambiguous, but since it is written, "you" is the only correct answer. "Sie" meaning "she" will not be capitalized in the middle of a sentence.


        Verstehen is also used to mean "get along with". Maybe it's an opening to a conversation about breaking up?


        I'm pretty sure that would be "Ich verstehe mich nicht mit Ihr".


        Isn't it "i do not understand HER?"


          Sie = "you" (formal)
          sie = "her"
          sie = "them"

          When you see this sentence written, you can tell because it uses capital Sie in the middle of a sentence that it must mean "you" (in the formal way).

          If you heard someone say this sentence, you would have to use context to determine which of those three meanings it should be.


          they need to put the words in order. i wrote: i understand, you do not thats how the definition said it was but i got it wrong


          That is the order, though. This is German word order. "Nicht" comes at the end in a sentence like this. To get what you wrote, there would need to be a comma and another verb.


          Didn't the other sentences use "du"? When did we get on formal terms?


          why does "sie" mean "you"? I thought it meant "she".


          Sie can be the formal "you," and when Sie is capitalized in the middle of a sentence (as here) you know it for a fact. An uncapitalized sie can also be "they;" be sure to keep an eye on your verb conjugations to help you figure it out.


          Thanks, that kind of helped


          can you say "Ich verstehe du nicht." if it's your friend?


            No, it's grammatically incorrect. You need dich (accusative case) instead of du (nominative case).


            Can I translate it to " I don't get you" as well?


            In some sentences nicht goes in the end and in sone others it just go after verb. Can anyone explain this to me??


            You're from a whole 'nother world (Germany) a different dimension (Europe) You open my eyes (Augen) And I'm ready to go lead me into the Third Reich


            verstehe is in the wrong place


            Why did I get this in flirting...?


            I imagine it would be hard to understand a German woman I was flirting with succesfully. Breathiness, rambling, you know.


            "I understand you not" should be a correct answer. Modern English allows one to say this sarcastically and it still be easilly understood due to sylistic convention.

            So for example, if I were to make to my father the strange utterance "Dem pickles're on the winder sill, Pop," I might expect to hear back, "I understand you not!" Which can be read as "I understand you naught!"

            The antiquated nature of the phrase should not prevent it from being a correct answer. I would contend that it is a true friend as far as analogues between languages go.


            That actually makes a lot of sense.


            That is so romantic


            Why would anyone ever say "I do not understand you" when attempting to flirt? I guess if you were saying "I do not understand you, but I want too" it would actually make sense. My point is, I believe most would relate to the sentence: "I understand you" more for flirting because one says that when they are trying to express comfort and understanding.


            I can't flirt this, Duo.

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