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  5. "Det var katten der spiste fi…

"Det var katten der spiste fisken."

Translation:It was the cat which ate the fish.

January 2, 2015



I would say "It was the cat THAT ate the fish". "WHO" is normally reserved for humans. In childrens stories, animals are often personified and "who" would often be used. Anyway ".....the cat that ate....", was marked wrong.


At least, now its marked correct


Just tried it now, still marked incorrect on the mobile version.


Why is "That was the cat..." marked incorrect?


I would consider which wrong too.


Which is incorrect. That or who is correct but there is a subtle difference in the meaning, which can only be discerned by a native English speaker.


Well not really that subtle - 'who' is not correct unless it is in a children's story. 'Who' is reserved for humans


I tried to use 'that' and was marked incorrect as well. In English, you use 'that' in a restrictive way when the proceeding clause is crucial information, such as in this sentence. Which, however, is used when the proceeding clause is optional information which isn't crucial to the meaning of the sentence.


I think you have the correct explication for why using which is wrong in this case. Very simply, "Which" is used in non-restictive clauses while "that" is used in restrictive clauses.


*Explanation :)


Explication: the process of analyzing a literary work in order to reveal its meaning.

  • 1553

why is der used for subject here? another sentence in this lesson also uses der for the subject


I was wondering the same thing. I imagine the error is in how the tips and notes were written, where they said that "der can only be used for objects", so perhaps they actually meant 'subjects'.

  • 1553

yeah they made a mistake, it should be "subjects only" according to my grammar book


Shouldn't be which!


This question rejects far too many correct English translations. Please fix it or remove it from the course.

"That was the cat... " should be accepted. "...the cat that ate..." should also be accepted.

It is especially frustrating because "that was the cat that ate the fish" is almost poetic, yet is consistently marked incorrect even though it is a perfectly legitimate English.


Yes yes, it was the cat. (HMS Pinafore)


'Which' and 'that' are not interchangeable in English! They give different meanings to the sentence. 'The cat that' implies that there is some doubt about what creature or person ate it and gives the answer - 'the cat'. 'The cat which' implies that there are several cats but this the one that ate the fish., in other words identifies the cat from amongst several.

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