"Es ist eine Zeitung."

Translation:It is a newspaper.

December 15, 2012

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

I guess I was thinking more about the following example. "Frau Schmidt ist eine Lehrer. Sie liest eine Zeitung." Obviously the feminine referent is to the lady, not to the newspaper. Thanks for your response.

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Right. "sie" works fine here. Correction: Frau Schmidt ist Lehrerin.

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

Christian-- absolutely agree with "Lehrerin", but the program insisted that "sie ist Lehrer" is correct. For me this was a broader, new usage of the word "Lehrer" and like you, I learned "Lehrerin" as well.

One last question please. Consider the sentence, "Frau Scmidt ist mein Freund;sie ist auch meine Schwester." Would you possibly write, "es ist auch meine Schwester"?

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

>For me this was a broader, new usage of the word "Lehrer"

Right. I only meant to remove the indefinite article. Personally, I'd use "Lehrerin" though. Nowadays, using the masculine form of a job title to refer to a woman is generally discouraged if a feminine form is available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutrality_in_languages_with_grammatical_gender#German

>Would you possibly write, "es ist auch meine Schwester"?

No, I wouldn't. Correction: Frau Schmidt ist meine Freundin. You definitely can't use the masculine form here.

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

Thank you! All is clear...

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

This is feminine--shouldn't that be, "Sie is eine Zeitung?

December 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Nope.

"When it is used as a predicative, es can refer to singular and plural nouns of all three genders and to adjectives. The verb agrees with the subject, not with es"

http://canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/InflectionRules/FRegeln-P/Pron-es.html?lang=en#Anchor-es-49575

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/chubbard

Excellent reference, and I totally agree with you that "es" is okay here. Would "sie" also be okay, or is "es" required? Or is it that "sie" is technically okay, but nobody would ever actually write that?

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

"Es" is pretty much required. I'm struggling to find examples where "sie" is okay. In most cases, "sie ist eine Zeitung" sounds just as odd as "she is a newspaper". Here are two examples where "sie" is used.

  • "Diese Textsammlung ist kein Buch; sie ist eine Zeitung." ("sie" refers to "Textsammlung")

  • Some surreal play where a female portrays an actual newspaper.

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Right. "sie" is correct in this case. "es" would not work. The first example I gave works the same way ("Textsammlung" is a feminine noun).

To complicate things even further, I'd most likely use "die": "Hast du diese Zeitung gesehen? Die ist aber groß!" You're probably not aware of this, but "der", "die", and "das" can be used as demonstrative pronouns. To me, "die" sounds slightly more natural than "sie".

http://canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/InflectionRules/FRegeln-P/Pron-der-die-das.html?lang=en (see "Anaphoric reference")

December 17, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/chubbard

I'm completely convinced that "es" is a-okay, and that "sie" is not. But I do have a related question on this. Is "sie" okay to refer back to an inanimate object that's already been introduced, but happens to be a female noun? I've always thought that it was, but I may be wrong, and I know you know.

As an example, say I wanted to say something like "Have you seen this newspaper? It's big!" Not really knowing what I'm doing, I might try something like "Hast du diese Zeitung gesehen? Sie ist aber groß!" where I use "sie" in the second sentence to mean "it". Or does that have to be "es"? Or would "es" even work there?

December 17, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

I think chubbard is correct here with "sie", or am I old-fashioned?

December 17, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

Oh wow! demonstrative pronouns! You're correct, I don't know/never heard of this, but I'm glad to know it. Makes translation easier. Very interesting! Thank you.

December 17, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

I note as well that "es" used this way in "Es ist eine Zeitung" is with a form of "sein" or a transitive verb form--third person singular--. My example just above is with an intransitive verb--other than all the rules shown in your link, could that be the simplest answer to my confusion?

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Not sure about that.

December 16, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/AldoSilva

i got kind of confused. I put "Es isst eine Zeintung" instead of "Es ist eine Zeitung" and my sentence was right. How? An error?

December 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/zeyfod

They sound the same. Like Mayor and mare in English (ok, not for all accents). When you don't have the context, both could be right. I guess there are things that eat newspapers after all. :)

December 28, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/We_Are_The_Meta

It means it is a newspaper, not it eats a newspaper

April 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Noodlez

Why does "Das" not work in this context instead of "Es"?

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mortsda

Of course, logically "Das" makes sense, but the original intent of the exercise was to show that "Es" could be used Masculine, feminine, or Neuter as a predicative. That's what the link that Christian provided above details--and more...

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Duomail

It seems like when saying "It's you" instead of "You are"

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/barto89

Hmmm, they really should to explain grammar a little bit more before asking anything. I never have had ''Es'' in any lesson and they've asked about that on the listening.

March 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/carolina-1985

hello.. why is "eine" i dont understand.. please help me :)

May 20, 2013
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