1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Ich trinke ihr Wasser."

"Ich trinke ihr Wasser."

Translation:I am drinking her water.

March 2, 2015



Ihr - Her Ihr = Their ??? How to know when to use Ihr for her and when to yous for their?


It depends on the context. But in this "lonely" sentence it could mean both.


(someone correct me if I'm wrong) but I'm fairly certain this is cleared up with the inflection in the verb?


Doesn't help here: "Ich trinke ihr Wasser." can mean both "I drink her water." and "I drink their water.".
The conjugation of the verb depends on the subject (in this sentence: "ich"), not on the object (here "ihr Wasser").


What about Ihr = Sie (polite)


How can you tell whether ihr means her, your, or their?


In speech, you can't.

In writing, "your" is capitalised (Ihr Wasser) while "her" and "their" are not (ihr Wasser).

  • 2422

I encountered, "Ihre Mutter und Ihr Vater," and translated it as, "Your mother and your father." It was marked incorrect with the statement: You used the wrong word, followed by, Your mother and her father. I'm guessing it's an error but, if not, would you be so kind as to explain it? Many thanks. :-) (It was on my mobile, so I was unable to report it as a potential error.)



It's one of those "lovely" sentences that seem to have been added by the Pearson cooperation and that "leak" over into the public course: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24066422

The quality of those seems to be variable, unfortunately, and this is one of the many bad ones I've seen so far.

Capitalised Ihr Vater cannot be "her father":

And the sentence belongs to "Family 1", where formal you hasn't even been taught yet, so there shouldn't be a capitalised Ihr in the middle of the sentence anyway.

I'll try to remove the sentence, but it's possible that it might return.

(For other course maintainers: Tree 4, Family 1, Mutter)


"Wasser" is a neuter noun and in accusative case, so it must be "ihr". "ihre" would be correct for a feminine noun, e.g. "Ich trinke ihre Apfelschorle" or for plural, e.g. "Ich trinke ihre Tees.".


I wrote " I drink your water" and got correct!


That should not have been accepted.

Apparently, the Pearson editors think differently.


when do we use ihr and when do we use ihre?


The "ihr/e/n" must comply with the noun in number and gender:
Ich trinke ihr Wasser. (Wasser is neuter sing.)
Ich trinke ihren Kaffee. (Kaffee is masculine sing.)
Ich trinke ihre Limonade. (Limonade is feminine sing.)
Ich trinke ihre Getränke/Kaffees/Limonaden (plural neuter/masc./fem.)


How can you tell if ihr means your or her?


ihr is lowercase when it means "her" or "their"; Ihr is uppercase when it means "your".

So distinguishing "your" is easy; but telling "her" and "their" apart is essentially impossible without context.


So ihr can mean you all are (ihr seid), your (Ihr - formal), her (ihr) and their (ihr)?


Yes. And "her" not only in the possessive sense (her book) but also as an indirect object pronoun (I give her my book).

I tried to make a list of the meanings of ihr here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/21721534$comment_id=23831061


Why is it "I drink your water" instead of "I drank your water"


"I drink your water" is present tense.

"I drank your water" is past tense.

The German sentence uses the verb ich trinke which is present tense. Thus it should be translated with a present-tense verb in English.


wth why is ihr her cause ihr is you I DON'T GET IT...HELP ME


The German word ihr unfortunately has a lot of meanings -- depending partly on whether it's before a noun (e.g. ihr Buch = her book) or not (e.g. ihr esst = you are eating).


I wrote" i drink your water"...when Ihr its your but this is "ihr"then how can it be your?


It's a mistake.

ihr Wasser cannot mean "your water", and the Pearson editors who included that option were wrong to do so.


I hope it wasn't after it broke.... Get it?


A German probably wouldn’t, because while we amniotic fluid is called “Fruchtwasser” (literally “fruit water”; not sure whether Frucht is related to the baby being the fruit of your womb or due to any fruity smell it might have), we don’t say “her waters broke” but instead ihre Fruchtblase ist geplatzt (her “fruit bubble” = amniotic sac burst).


I didn't read what is written above, believe me. Closes his eyes.


So can I use seid for Ihr,ihr,Ihre and all Ihr family?


So can I use seid for Ihr,ihr,Ihre and all Ihr family?

No. Only when the subject is the personal pronoun ihr (= you -- several people).

Not when the subject involves the possessive determiner ihr (her, their) or Ihr (your), in which case, you must use ist or sind, as appropriate (e.g. ihr Buch ist blau "her/their book is blue", ihre Bücher sind blau "her/their books are blue). The verb matches the subject ihr Buch (third person singular) or ihre Bücher (third person plural).


could be their or her water


could be their or her water

That's right. Therefore both are accepted.

(Only one at a time, of course.)


Why here the pronoun is ihr for her


Why here the pronoun is ihr for her

Because the possessive determiner for sie is ihr.

(Which word did you expect here?)

his water - sein Wasser

her water - ihr Wasser


Ihre should not be hers? I am confused.


I don’t understand your question.

There is no ihre in the German sentence, and “hers water” would not be correct English.


I drink = I am drinking


I wrote "I drink her water." why was this wrong? I assumed "ich trinke" means I am drinking AND I drink, did I miss something?


I wrote "I drink her water." why was this wrong?

Looks correct to me.

If it was rejected for you, I can't tell why from the information you've provided.

Did you have a listening exercise rather than a translation exercise, perhaps?

Do you have a screenshot of that sentence being rejected? If so, please upload it to a website somewhere and tell me the URL.

I assumed "ich trinke" means I am drinking AND I drink

That is correct.


Incredibly hard to hear "ihr" from the voice. Sounds like "ye"


For some reason, the word am did not load up


How do you differentiate between "her" and "their" when "Ihr" is in the beginning of the sentence?


How do you differentiate between "her" and "their" when "Ihr" is in the beginning of the sentence?

In real life? Context. Personal pronouns refer back to something you had been talking about before, so think back: did you just discuss one woman, or several people?

Without context, as on Duolingo? There's no way to tell; it's completely ambiguous. Thus both translations will be accepted.


why is "I am drikning your water" not accepted?


why is "I am drikning your water" not accepted?

Because that's not what the German sentence means.

It talks about ihr Wasser, which can be either "her water" or "their water" but not "your water" (= dein / euer / Ihr Wasser).

Note the significant difference between ihr Wasser and Ihr Wasser. The capitalisation is not just for decoration.


why is 'ihr Wasser' not in the accusative?


why is 'ihr Wasser' not in the accusative?

Eh? It is in the accusative case.

Wasser is neuter, so the accusative case looks the same as the nominative case: ihr Wasser is used for both.

That doesn't mean it's not accusative.


Why not I drink her water? It should work too


That does work, too.

Do you have a screenshot of that sentence being rejected for a translation exercise?


Is ihr pronounced like eeya or like yer?


Thought it was “ihre? Deutsch sprache.


Thought it was “ihre?

Only before feminine or plural nouns.

Wasser is neuter.

Deutsch sprache.

Sprache is feminine, so here you do need the -e: deutsche Sprache.

(And the S of Sprache has to be capitalised, since it's a noun.)


Can trinkt mean "is drinking"? Big danke in advance


It can, e.g. sie trinkt Wasser = she is drinking water


Ihr means "y'all" (a pronoun) and "her" (a possesive pronoun). You can tell from context that this is a possesive pronoun because it comes before a noun, not a verb or adverb. ("I am drinking y'all water" doesn't make any sense).


Why can't is be i drank her water?


Because the German sentence has "trinke", present tense. Past would be "ich trank" or "ich habe ... getrunken".


It is gradually sinking in for me that ihr with the small i is she and Ihr with a capital I is your for neuter nouns. Sometimes I instinctively assume that Ihre means her but of course it means your for femine nouns!


ihr means her, not she
Ihr can be your (formal) or your (plural) (works for masculine nouns, too)


Not always... "Ich habe sie gefragt" = I (have) asked her. Accusative and all that...


Still ihr doesn't mean she here. Here her is translated as sie. Different story.


Oh and of course ihr also means their with neuter nouns!


Ihre = her Ihr = their.



ihre Messer could be "her knives" or "their knives", and ihr Messer could be "her knife" or "their knife".

The difference is not in the owner but in the gender of the thing which is owned.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.