1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Die Treppe ist aus Holz und …

"Die Treppe ist aus Holz und braun."

Translation:The staircase is made out of wood and is brown.

September 2, 2013



I think this answer should be accepted, as it is the more elegant way to make the translation to English: "The staircase is brown and made out of wood." Anyone who can translate the sentence would be able to make the transposition.


Yes, the sentence as is is very odd. If I didn't know any better, I would think that the stairs were made out of two different materials: a material called wood, and another one called brown.


I came here just because of that m i though there was a material called braun


Agreed. As of 9/4/2018 it is still not accepted. There was a great viral quote on the order of adjectives in English, and "wooden brown" violates the order.

“Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.” -Mark Forsyth



Same here in 12sep18


Great article. Thank you kierank2.


i didn't know that "brown" was a type of material used to build stairways.


Maybe it's a colloquialism for bad quality (sh..y) ;)


That translation simply doesn't make sense.


In the typical order of adjectives in English the color usually comes before the material (a brown, wooden staircase, for example, as opposed to a wooden, brown staircase,) which is why I think this sentence sounds strange to most. I'm curious, though: is this order typically different in German? In other words, would stating the material adjective before the color adjective (like in this sentence) be the normal order in German, therefore making this a completely normal sentence in German? Perhaps a native German speaker could provide insight. (ps I do agree that Duo should accept the brown part and the wood part flipped in an English translation, as it makes more sense to most English speakers and doesn't change the meaning)


I think we would normally also flip the adjectives around. But not because there is a general typical order of different kinds of adjectives, instead I would just naturally put the simple adjectives (just a single word) first, and the more complex ones at the end. So I would indeed probably say "Die Treppe ist braun und aus Holz". But I would also say "Die Treppe ist schmal und braun angemalt." (The stairway is narrow and painted brown.) - painted brown is complex, narrow not. I do not see a difference between "Die Treppe ist schmal und braun" or "Die Treppe ist braun und schmal". Two simple adjectives are used in whatever order.

Back to the wood, if I would use "wooden", there would be no prefered order: "Die Treppe ist hölzern und braun" is the same as "Die Treppe ist braun und hölzern." Wodden, or hölzern, is also a simple adjective.

Anyway, it would also be correct to repeat the verb here, to make the sentence easier on the ears: "Die Treppe ist aus Holz, und sie ist braun." This conveys a little more importance on the fact that we are talking about two properties instead of just one. I think the same can be done in english, right? "The stairway is made from wood and it is brown." Seems to me this also puts some additional importance on the duality of properties.


Yes excellent explanation. More complex adjective has to go last.

Painted brown and narrow I would think for a while if "narrow" is some kind of color. And then come to a conclusion that it's painted "narrow" whatever painting technique that may be


Just leaving a comment to agree with everyone else, the translation ought to be 'The staircase is brown and made of wood.'

'The staircase is made out of wood and brown' is just not a sentence an English speaker would ever construct. It sounds very strange.


That's why the given translation is "The staircase is made out of wood and is brown." That's a perfectly good sentence.


Duo needs some English speaking translators!


I don't understand why someone voted that comment down. This same sentence is used in the German to English tree, so having the adjectives in the correct order is important. It's a shame that users have been pointing this out for five years, and still the correct answer is not even accepted, much less preferred. I hope those users who are bold enough to put the word "brown" first also push the report button to bring this issue to the attention of the moderators.


I put ' the staircase is made of TIMBER and brown' and I was marked wrong,yet in a previous question they accepted 'timber' for 'Holz',why is it so?


I just did the same thing on 1-11-19… also marked wrong. I thought it sounded a little odd, like I should add is before brown, but otherwise it makes sense.


The stairs are made of wood/out if wood...both are fine, right?


"The stairs are made out of wood" is fine (you made a typo here); "...made of wood" is also fine.


For some reason it won't accept my answer of, "The stairs are brown and made from wood" which sounds much more natural imo.


Agreed, this was my answer as well. That's how an English speaker would say it, even if it's not a word-for-word translation. In addition to the adjective order covered by everyone else, I don't think the difference between "the stairs" and "the staircase" is significant enough in English to justify not accepting "the stairs".

(I kind of knew Duo was going to reject my answer because I changed the adjective order to how it would be in English, but I figured it was worth trying anyway, and I also don't think it's good for my understanding to deliberately mistranslate.)


Why is the stairs are made of brown wood incorrect?


Because that would be "Die Treppe ist aus braunem Holz" in German. A different sentence.


Agree with everyone else, this was one odd translation...


Die Treppe ist = eine Treppe ist. Die Treppen sind = the stairs are Die Treppe ist = staircase I think my answer should also be accepted since Die Treppe can be both singular and plural Die Treppe ist aus Holz und braun The step is made of wood and is brown Otherwise, how do you write about a staircase that is multi-coloured


the staircase is made of brown wood is wrong?


What is wrong with "the stairs are brown and made of wood"? It sounds perfectly correct in English!


It is only that the German sentence has the two properties in another order. First "made of wood", and then "brown".


"The stairs are out of wood and are brown" is not accepted.


"out of wood" is not correct English.


Why does it accept only this one translation?


About 165 (!) different translations are accepted.


in other words, if you got this one wrong you're a real ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤...


Could "The staircase is made of brown wood" be a correct translation?


Not really. Of course the meaning is similar, but it does not reflect the German sentence. Your proposal would be "Die Treppe ist aus braunem Holz" in German.


"The steps are made of wood and brown" (though I would say made of wood and ARE brown) is not acceptable? I guess, in English, I would use steps as an equivalent to a short flight of "stairs" (I think of a "staircase" as being longer, as between floors whereas "steps" might be used between split levels). In English, we also use "steps" for flagstones or flat pavers but they can also be be like the steps/stairs up to, say, a deck or patio. If that doesn't translate into German this way, how WOULD you say the shorter series of steps up to a landing, deck or split level?


Other sentences accept "made of" for aus, this one insists on "made out of". More frustrating inconsistency from Duo.


not true. I looked it up. Even if the "main solution" (see top of page) uses "made out of", all accepted sentences have both variants.


Not for this one. ://


What exactly did you write? Best with screenshot.


Where did THIS sentence come from?


Pedantry again - relax


the translation above is a bit clumsy in current English. I agree with elenabella below


wouldn't it be braune instead of braun (for the paint material used)


No. Adjectives are not inflected when they are in predicative position.


I would just not say this in English, to me "brown wood" is correct usage if not an actual direct translation, but we have Google for that


Why not 'ist Braun'?


"braun" is an adjective ("brown"). It is nouns that are capitalized, not adjectives.


the staircase is in wood? not the way we would say this in English.


I don't know what you typed so that you got this as a proposal for correction. Duo tries to find a correct answer as close as possible to the given faulty one. This need not be the best solution.
The "main solution" is given above: "made (out) of wood"


I put "the stair is made out of wood and brown paint." Since Farbe can refer to a color as a paint or stain...I thought this would have been a particularly good compromise to an odd wording/ordering. Does anyone know if the colors (as predicates) maintain that Farbe secondary implication as a coating... in which case maybe this would be an answer to add to the accepted list (or stain if not paint).


of course, it might depend on whether Braun is capitolized or not as a noun.


you are right "elenabella"


Worst duolingo sentence ever. Apart from that duo ist excellent :)

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