1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Entweder ich oder sie"

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

"Entweder ich oder sie"

December 18, 2012

19 Comments


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

In English, it's considered proper to always place the first person referent last in a pair or series--"either she or I," "either her or me," "Bozo, James, Grumpy, and me." Does German have a similar practice, or is this order considered acceptable?


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

Yes, it's the same in German. There's even a proverb about that: "Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst." (Only an ass (the animal) mentions himself first.).


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

That's good to know. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

That's a good question. I'd like to know as well, I'll ask my German friends.


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

That is interesting, I have been speaking English for 35 yrs (native) and have never heard of putting first person last. I love the German proverb about it! :)


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

Is it just me, or the proposed English sentence is wrong? first person singular and third person singular need to be in the same case, and here that would be nominative...


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

I do agree. I mean there is no context which suggests that they should be in the accusative case.


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

However there's no context that suggest it should be in a nominative case either:). So both should work.


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

Except it proposes "either I or her," which mixes accusative and nominative and is clearly incorrect in any context.


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

Yup. I think the OP is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philster043

"Either me or them" wasn't accepted. Should it be?


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

It should be just as accepted as "either me or her" (which itself isn't strictly correct). Since Duolingo accepts "either me or her," your answer should also be accepted. I submitted a correction some time after you posted your comments and they accepted it, so your answer may or may not be accepted now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sk8rMom

Why not "Either me or you?" Actually "Sie" is the polite address for "you," not "sie," but that distinction hasn't been made here, at least not yet.


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

If it was the polite You, it would be Sie not sie.


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

I said "Either myself or her" how is this wrong?


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

"myself" is reflexive, and nothing in the German sentence is reflexive. One can often encounter an "incorrect" reflexive in English, but AFAIK it doesn't really happen in German.


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

yea, I will admit I never really learned English grammar so I'll take your word for it! thanks


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

If it were meant to translate to "me," why isn't the sentence: "Entweder mich oder sie"?

Is this sentence also correct?

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