Sie mag er am meisten
"Sie mag er am meisten." is a sentence that reapers lots of times when you are learning accusatives on Duolingo. It's says that this means "He likes her the most.". I think it means "She likes him the most". So what do you think, should i message the staff about this or not?
No, I think the trick here is the word "er". That's the nominative form, indicating that "er" is the subject here. "sie" is the form used for both the nominative and accusative cases, so it can go either way. However, "er" can not. Its accusative case form is "ihn". Because "sie" can either be the subject (nominative case) OR the direct object (accusative case), it's not helping us figure out which way is which in this sentence. But "er" can ONLY be nominative case, so it MUST be the subject. Since it is the subject, "sie" must be the object. That is...
He (subject) likes her (object) the most.
But I totally understand why this is confusing. In English, we rely a lot more on word order to distinguish the subject from the object. In German, case gives us the clues we need to figure that out. For that reason, it is a lot more common in German to see the order of these two reversed (as they are here). One reason why you might want to do that is to put the emphasis on "she". Sort of like, out of all these girls, she in particular, is the one he likes the most.
Or I could be wrong. My German is not that great. But we have some really excellent native German speakers here. Hopefully one them will set me straight if I've missed this :)
You can't tear it apart like that. It's just how the superlative works.