"Er ist aus der Schweiz."

Translation:He is from Switzerland.

July 18, 2013

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An English equivalent would be "THE Netherlands"


Or the Ukraine or the Philippines


Except "the Ukraine" is a common error. Since its split from the former Soviet Union, it is now called Ukraine.


There's a difference between an error and not accepting a recent trend.


I have never heard anyone say "the ukraine" not from americans or any of my Ukrainien friends. It just sounds weird.lol the only countries that come to mind for me are the UK, The USA, the united arsb emerates . . . im seeing a oattern here, they are all countries that are "united"


Many people I know refer to it as the Ukraine. So much so that it is hard for me to correct myself now that it is a separate country with its own naming convention.

For people who are young enough that it has been a separate country ever since they started paying attention to such things, it might seem strange to them and their circle to to use the customary name.


Hello from the Philippines!


Also "The United States of America"


In German, some countries have a 'die' in front of them: die Schweiz - Switzerland; die Türkei - Turkey


Oh, like Arabic language too.. some countries and cities take "the" before them


true, just like arabic, some there are 'al-' some dont :)


Like English too! The Hague. :P


And the Netherlands ( correct me if I'm wrong ).


Don't forget Portuguese: o Brasil - the Brazil; os Estados Unidos - the United States; a Argentina - the Argentina, to name a few examples


I think (almost?) all country names have to be used with a definite article in Portuguese...


Yeah, all of them do


I think "Angola" doesn't need a definite article (at least in their dialect) - "Eu não moro em Angola" :)


Ok, I probably oversimplified. You seem to know Portuguese better than I do


why does turkey need a the before it. Switzerland needs a the before it because it stands for the Swiss confederation so is there a reason turkey needs a the? Source:A person from Switzerland that discussed this on a duelingo discussion.


Yes, Switzerland needs a the because it is called officially 'the Swiss confederation', this is the same reason Turkey gets a the, the official name of Turkey is 'the Republic of Turkey'.


I tried typing "He is from the Swiss confederation" and that didn't work. Should that answer be accepted? Or would that only work with "der Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft."


It is as if you were told to translate ...America.....and you replaced it with United States of America because that is the full name and therefore more accurate. You are including information that is not included in the original.

Nothing wrong with including such information when you want to in your preferred manner of speech. Maybe even a good idea if you are interpreting someones remarks. But translating is trying to stay as close to the original as is reasonable.

But replacing a speaker's informal, common name for something with a formal, less common name (in conversation) is not sticking with the original.


I don't think that is a correct answer because in case of Poland (for example) there's no "the" but the whole name is Republic of Poland as well...


This is one of those dumb things about other languages - la before countries, and a lot of other things. I feel like you pick up the habit as you go, because Spanish is like that and now I use the articles before certain things, but English wins as far as practicality because we just omit them all. I don´t need to say I am going to the school... it´s just school. But Spanish voy a la escuela maybe keeps the la because they omit the subjects? Then their sentences would all be like two words voy escuela. jajaja Ok it´s late, no more thinking for me.


Same in English, though "the USA" is the only one that comes to mind at the moment.


All the "multiple words" country names come with "the" in front of it in English. The Czech Republic. :)


The Netherlands is another.


Except for "the theater"/"the hospital"/"the nightclub"/"the dance"/"the doctor's"/"the movie" - actually there are a lot in (American) English that take an article when you think about it. Oddly, British English tends to phrase most of them without articles, example: go to hospital.


Yes, but Iran takes der, anyone knows why?


What I do to remember this is I imagine a MALE from Iran, and for feminine countries I imagine a FEMALE from that country. And, for Tee and Kaffee, I imagine a man drinking tea & coffee, but I imagine a WOMAN eating eine Zitrone (lemon). Just helps that way :D



The problem with your approach is that while it can work for you, it reinforces the notion of gendered words actually being attached to a gender in some way. It also doesn't help with anything other than gender.

For reasons that mystify me, people have downvoted my description of popular, successful alternatives. I don't care about being downvoted in the slightest but I do care about the fact that now those alternatives are hidden from the view of students.


This method looks really good! I will try it! Vielen Dank!


There's no reason, just like asking why Tee and Kaffee are masculine as well.


The islamic republic of Iran


it was necessary the "der" in german? xD can't you just say "Er ist aus Schweiz."?


A question regarding this tip when doin' the discussion's sentence:

"When a word is the indirect receiver of an action it gets a special article. The daughter gives the mother the flower = Die Tochter gibt der Mutter die Blume."

Here the indirect receiver of the action is Switzerland? But what action? I find it confusing. Or is it some word in the sentence that implies the dative case?.

Jemand hilft mir, bitte!


There are seven prepositions that are always followed by a phrase in the dative case no matter what. Aus is one of them, and the other six are bei, mit, nach, seit, von and zu.


Actually there are eight - aus/ausser/nach/zeit/mit/bei/von/zu - I learned that as a sort of quasi mantra 30 years ago and it still helps with dative preps.


Thanks for this, I keep forgetting that rule about some prepositions!


something can be the object of either a verb (an action) or a preposition. Here it is the object of a preposition (aus) so its not a receiver of an action at all. It must take the appropriate inflection for that preposition in these circumstances (dative). Different prepositions require the inflections for different cases and you just have to learn which to use in each case.

  • 2522

Is there a logical reason for why it is "the Switzerland" in German? For instance, it's "the USA" because you're referring to specific states. "The Netherlands" also seems to be plural, although honestly I'm not sure if there's a reason for that. Is there a smaller unit contained by "Schweiz?"

[deactivated user]

    Probably because the full name is "die Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft" (the Swiss Confederation). Switzerland is a confederation of 26 cantons (states).

    • 2522

    Thank you!


    The British Isles or The United Kingdom rather than Great Britain? "Er is aus der Ooo-Kaa (UK)" or "Er is aus der Britische Inseln".


    The sentence I see reads "Er ist aus der Schweiz". Is this an error? Switzerland is feminine, no?

    • 3030

    @cspsyntech : aus der Schweiz - as does the dative case which this sentence uses - expresses location. In the dative case the die changes to der. See http://german.about.com/library/blcase_dat.htm


    In german, couldnt you say " Er kommt aus der Schweiz." Which one is more natural or common in german?


    why is it ''der'' Schweiz and not ''die'' Schweiz


    Because of the preposition "aus" meaning "from" in this case, and makes the noun "die Schweiz" Dative. Dative is used for location (in/inside, aus/from, auf/on etc), Der, Die, Das => Dem, Der, Dem.


    Thanks , now i see


    Question about the English translation: why it isn't correct when I say "he is from THE Switzerland"? I just translated "die Schweiz", but it's not correct..

    [deactivated user]

      In English, "Switzerland" doesn't take an article.


      Thank you very much! :)


      SO does that always takes article in GERMAN? DER SCHWEIZ


      die Schweiz yes. Aus is a dative preposition however, so in this sentence die Schweiz is in the dative case and so becomes der Schweiz


      "Der schweiz " must be translated "the switzerland" the went wrong why???


      You must not translate word for word. In English "Switzerland " does not have a definite article "the", but in German there must be a definite article.


      Because it's a short form: The Swiss Confederation - hence CH - Confederation Helvetica. The English is lazy and we have missed a lot of what is a correct term - just look at all of the far away areas like India and what not, Bombay is now returned to the more correct Mumbai. The ruling English at the time must have messed up the translation and just used their 'superiority' to determine what a place should actually be called - a bit wrong is an understatement.

      So Die Schweiz = The Swiss Confederation. "Die Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft"

      Be sure to watch for the case changes as well, as in the Nominative just saying "Die Schweiz" means the Swiss confederation. But if you were to say "he comes from Switzerland" - "Er kommt aus der Schweiz" as it's now Dative. It'll either be Der or Die depending on case.


      So why is Austria not "Die/der Österreich" if in Austria it is


      Österreich = Eastern 'Realm' if you like. A bit like how Frankreich is the 'Realm' of the Franks. It's not explicitly stated as a group of parts in the same way that the Netherlands or The Swiss Confederation, The British Isles or The United States of America are. Although Austria is a republic I suppose, comprised of 'states' no one calls it "Der Österreichisch Republik". I guess Germany is much the same in that respect, Bayern appears to act like it control it's own area, but some rules and laws of central government filter down. Many of Germany's institutions like education are not so Federal, or weren't until recently, so each area governs and acts differently. See @Christian's reply below for a correction, and better explanation.

      [deactivated user]

        I'm sure you knew this already, but just to clarify, Bavaria is not actually autonomous, at least not more than any of the other 15 federated states. Bavaria's official name is "Freistaat Bayern", but that's just a name. There's no special constitutional status that comes with it. The same goes for Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen). Power is shared between the federal government and the state governments. In that respect, Germany is pretty similar to the United States.

        As far as education is concerned, it falls almost entirely within the remit of the states.



        Thanks...it's just that these states seem to behave so massively different and have a strong sense of pride in their own area identity - zum beispiel die Blau und Weiß fahne. I'll edit my original post as to not mislead :)


        Kind of like "The Weimar Republic", never a political state but a sort of ambiguous term for the crazy decadent period in Germany between WW1 and WW2.


        Why the switzerland is not being accepted though der is used..


        [aus] der Schweiz = [of/from] THE Swiss Confederation (Dative of 'die Schweiz')

        Switzerland = Typical English inaccurate naming (I am English, it's OK, I can say this :D )

        the Switzerland = Nonsense.

        the Swiss Confederation = better English, and should be what we use in English, but we don't.

        This has all been answered in the other replies here :)


        Is it 'die Schweiz' because Switzerland is a feminine word or is it because it's plural? On that note, is the above sentence dative?


        What about, he is from the country of switzerland?


        That would not work because you are paraphrasing. "Er ist aus der Schweiz" means "he is from Switzerland"; nothing more, nothing less.


        Ok, my great grandpa is from Switzerland... Any native speakers could help? I've always been curious about what my last name means--"Capeder"??


        Irish Sasana (England) , Éire Ireland but an Fhrainc France, an Ghearmáin (Germany). Funny old world...


        Duolingo just put a comment up to help me with this one, explaining that the der Schweiz was a special article because it is an indirect recipient of the action of the verb. I´m confused here though, because Die Totter gift der Mutter die Blume = ok the mom received the flower so cool, she got an article change. But how is Switzerland indirectly receiving action here? Because he´s from there? That´s confusing...?


        I've seen it referred to "die Schweiz" and "der Schweiz" when referring to the country. Is there a reason for why it switches?

        Also, wouldn't it make more sense for it to be "das Schweiz" since it's "das Land"?


        It switches because of the cases. "Die Schweiz" is Nominative and Accusative, whereas "der Schweiz" is Dative. Since "aus" requires Dative, it changes to "der Schweiz".

        "Schweiz" is not a neuter noun, but rather feminine. "Das Schweiz" doesn't exist.


        How are we supposed to know which countries take an article :I

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