"Der Gast ist oben auf dem Berg."

Translation:The guest is on top of the mountain.

September 2, 2013

60 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FisherLiz

Is this really how you would say "at the top of"? I just put "the guest is above on the mountain", which is not quite the same thing. (But Duo let me keep my hearts though!)

September 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

Above the mountain would be "über dem Berg" (hovering in the air). On top of it is simply "auf", you don't even need the "oben", it's a little redundant, like "he is up there on the mountain".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FisherLiz

Yes - I was just reading it as the guest being up there on the mountain, possibly higher up than I am - not floating though! (Lovely idea!) But you've confirmed what I guessed about using "auf dem Berg" - an idiom to learn. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

If you want to say "above me" (but still standing on solid ground ;) ), you would say "er ist über mir auf dem Berg"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FisherLiz

Got it - Thanks for that extra point!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thatguy94

Why mir and not mich?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

because "über" is one of the two-way prepositions, taking the dative in the static case (as in the expression "er ist über mir") and the accusative in the dynamic case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hippofeet

Surely 'auf dem Berg' is just 'on the mountain' (ie could be halfway up, could be up the top), while 'oben auf dem Berg' is more specifically 'on top'? Or at the very least like 'up on the mountain' vs 'on the mountain'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Necnom

If "on top" is simply "auf", how do you make the difference between "on top" and just "on" ? I mean, how do you say "he is on the mountain" (not necessarily at the top )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CraigGirdlestone

German doesn't have noun versions of 'top' and 'bottom', so it leads to what we, as English speakers, consider strange, clunky phrases. If you say "er ist auf dem Berg", it means that he is on the mountain, but to specify that he is on the top of the mountain you use 'oben auf...' I'm fairly sure that the bottom would be 'unter auf...'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

That's not true. For a hill or mountain, you could say "auf der Spitze des Berges/Hügels" and "am Fuß des Berges/Hügels" if you want to use a noun. The opposite of "oben auf" would be "unten am" here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CraigGirdlestone

Well, you could also say auf der Bergspitze which translates to on the mountain-top or peak of the mountain, or you have Baumspitze which is tree-top. How would you say "My name is on the top/bottom of the list"? What about "He is at the bottom of the picture", or "He is standing at the top of the stairs."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

You could use Spitze/ Fuß for the stairs or the list as well. For the list also Anfang/ Ende. For a picture, you would most likely say "er ist unten auf dem Bild", which is still two words shorter than the English phrase, so you can't really call it "clunky" in comparison.

Oh, and Bergspitze = der Gipfel

Baumspitze = der Wipfel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OgnjenG.

am Fuß means - at the bottom? Also, i wondered if we could use Genitive in some similar construction, so you had already answered on that question... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EpicGermanLearn

at the foot [of a mountain etc]. you might also see: am Fuße.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kawaii_Cat248

"You can come down now, dinner's ready!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AchilleasZog

I might be wrong with that, but "Berg" should be translated as "mountain", not "hill".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

you are right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qwentarie

Then why, by 6/27/2019, did nothing change? This sentence still tells us "Berg = mountain" is a mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

Changed now. May take some time to become active.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nepenti

So, "Berg" can also mean "hill"? With all the mountains in Germany, I would have expected German to have different words for "mountain" and "hill".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

There is also the word "Hügel" in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaioFranca2

Hmm... I thought oben meant upstairs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

no, it doesn't specifically mean upstairs, but rather "up there". Of course, in a house you can use it that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lerner_Zhang

Why not über which means also over as oben ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

no. "über" indeed means "over" or "above", but not "on top (of). here you must use "oben".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qwentarie

This sentence still tells me "on top of the mountain" is a wrong translation. Please fix this and allow both correct answers to be accepted!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rainbowpuke

is "the guest is over on the mountain" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

yes. The combination "over on" does not make any sense. And "over" usually either indicates movement ("he is flying over the mountain") or at least being not on the surface, but above (hovering, flying ...).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plasmasnail

The combination of "over on" is perfectly normal in English, such as "My kids are over on the swing-set" or "My dog is over on the bed". It can convey distance rather than being above something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

British English allows "He is over (there) on the cricket pitch/field, waiting for the start of play." There is multiple redundancy in this, no doubt. You could equally say: He's on the pitch, waiting; He's over on the pitch, waiting, He's there on the pitch, waiting; He's over (there) at/by/next to the pitch, waiting, or even He's over there, waiting on the pitch. The combinations are bewildering, but I have heard them all and none of them seems unacceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

I see now. But all these are no translations of "oben auf" which doesn't talk about a distance. "over (there) on the mountain" would be "da drüben auf dem Berg".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

Oops, I didn't know that. Is this really known all over in English speaking regions or is it a regional thing? Really interesting. But even then it is not a good translation for the German sentence, because this does not contain the distance aspect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

I can confirm that it's used widely in USA. You can think of it as "over on" = "over (there) on"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

Yes, ‘over’ can convey meaning of distance as well as above in British English also. He is over there playing cricket (!). He is over here to play cricket.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rlamborn

Yes, very common phrasing in the US (native speaker)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piwakitt

It's like a shortened way of saying "over there on." Native speakers understand even when you leave out the word "there."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Necnom

Regardless English speaking regions, "over on" is just grammaticaly correct since you concatenate over with other adverbs. Over on/out/between etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/historicbruno

English Wiktionary claims oben = north, is that not valid? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oben#Adverb


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

This is indeed not valid. Of course, nowaday maps are usually drawn in a way that north corresponds to "above/top", but that does not mean that the two terms are identical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/historicbruno

Thank you! Now I understand how they came up with "north". It seemed strange, but I tried it anyway :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISkpNlCv

how about "Der Gast ist oben dem Berg"? wouldn't that mean the same as "Der Gast ist oben auf dem Berg" or "Der Gast ist auf dem Berg"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

"Der Gast ist oben dem Berg" is not a valid German sentence. "oben" is not a preposition, but an adverb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtistryHM

Could someone please explain the difference between oben, über and hinter, hinten?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

"oben" is an adverb, which stands alone and gives a static position "on top". "über" is a preposition, therefore precedes a noun phrase, with the meaning "over" above". The problem for English speakers is that the word "above" can be both. But when translating you simply have to check whether there is a noun phrase following or not.
The difference between "hinten" and "hinter" is exactly the same. "hinten" is the adverb ("Ich bin hinten."), "hinter the preposition ("Ich bin hinter der Tür".).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtistryHM

Would you mind explaining a noun phrase please? I’m kinda starting to understand but I know I’ll end up confused again XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

Sure. The main part of a "noun phrase" is a noun. It could be just that, so a single noun is definitely a noun phrase. But there could be lots of things added, such as articles and adjectives.

Examples: "Peter" is a noun phrase, and so is "that distant little mountain". "Peter's Grandmother" is a noun phrase as well. here "grandmother" is the main constituent, whereas the genitive attribute ""Peter's" is an addition. In extreme cases, additions can be complete relative clauses, as in "the boy I have seen yesterday". This forms a noun phrase, whose "kernel" is "boy".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

I think ArtistryHM will still be confused after this. "oben auf dem berg" also contains a noun. But the point is that "oben" doesn't control the noun (it's a separate adverb here, describing the extend to which der gast ist auf dem berg. Meanwhile "auf" here controls "berg". So would "über".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

You spotted the point! "oben" and "auf dem Berg" can be seen as standing beneath on another. You can leave out "oben" without rendering the sentence ungrammatical. You can even put a comma between "oben" and "auf dem Berg" or switch positions "auf dem Berg oben".
But "auf" is a preposition that controls, as you say, the noun phrase. You cannot leave it out (and it even directs the case of the following noun).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tamsala

Why is dem Berg in the accusative? I thought auf would trigger dative when there is no movement...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

‘Dem’ is dative, Tamsala.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EMeierhofer

I disagree with the translation given by Duo. "Up on the mountain" rather than "on top of the mountain" is the translation that I would give. I am a native English speaker from Canada and Australia and the expression "on top of the mountain" is not used. Is "on top of the mountain" another "Americanism"? The only similar expression to "on top of the mountain" would be "at the top of the mountain" (auf dem Gipfel des Berges).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 1095

"up on" is accepted as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicklegs

The guest is on the mountain above. Is that also wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/snlzkn

Your sentence sounds like above is showing the direction of the mountain. Above on the mountain is accepted but apparently this structure is used to say on the top of the mountain


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LugoschPierre

There seems to be a problem with Duo today; there were no word choices showing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty375219

Shouldn't "the guest is on the mountain top" be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balad2

What the hell is guest doing up there :|

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