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  5. "Ich habe seine Nummer."

"Ich habe seine Nummer."

Translation:I have his number.

December 19, 2012



Sein/seine is always his (or its) - hers would be ihr/ihre.


But I've seen ihr used for his.


As a native german who is just taking this test for fun (xD) well... You do not use it for his. You use it for "your"

Is that you daughter? Ist das ihre Tochter? Gender does not matter at all when asking that though

Is that your car? It das ihr Auto?

Is that your dog? Ist das ihr Hund? Der Hund → ihr Hund Die Tochter→ ihre Tochter Das Auto → ihr Auto

Der→ ihr Das→ihr Die →ihre

Otherwise you don't use "ihr/ihre" when talking to a guy

If you were to ask someone else if that is HIS daughter, dog or car then you do not use "ihr/ihre" anymore as that's sex related

What is your job? (Sex not specified) Was ist ihr Beruf?

What is her job (sex specified: female) Was ist ihr Beruf

What is his job (sex specified: male) Was ist sein Beruf?


See how "Was ist ihr Beruf?" Can mean to different things? "What is her job" and "what is your job"

Ihr can man your and her... And you only use it on dudes when you mean "your"


Well, you're right in a way. But the one single thing that makes this comment mostly wrong is the very tiny detail that, in properly written German, "ihr" should always be capitalised when it means "your"

Was ist ihr Beruf? = What is her job?

Was ist Ihr Beruf? = What is your job?


Sorry for my grammar errors. Should have checked. *Is that your daughter (not you daughter)


When do you use dein(e) then?


Dein[e/er/em/es/en] is the familiar second-person possessive pronoun. It means "your" in a less-formal setting/interaction.


I believe thing is that the expresion of ihr is used to mark the possesion not only of sie (meaning her) but also the possesion of Sie (meaning you, either directed to one or more persons, with a respectfull intention). Dein(e) should be used in the same way but when you are in an enviroment where you don't need to be respectfull, like family or friends, or something like that.


Why would you say that you don't need to be respectful of family or friends? One should always be respectful of--at the very least--one's parents, the people who took care of you as an infant and child when you were incapable of taking care of yourself.

The distinction between du vs. Sie is familiarity. (It's actually a bit more complex. See this article.)


If so, it was by someone who was wrong.


Sein(e/en) always means his, ALWAYS. The confusion with "its" may be that whe you talk about an animal in english you dont refer to it as a he or she, and also you don't give this personified character in its possesion forms. So when you translate "die katze hat ihre wasser sauber" you say "the cat has its water clean, and viceversa.

Now the thing with ihr(e/en) is a bit more complex than sein(e/en), but not complicated at all... the thing is that ihr(e/en) is the possesive form of sie and Sie. In the first case it could either mean she or they, and in the second case it could mean either she, they or you, and let me talk about this "you" specifically, this is an educated "you", a "you" that you would use talking to strangers or in a work enviroment, or even with not-so-close-friends. And yup the capital letter does make the difference. And I said Sie could mean also she or they, but that's only in the case its capitalized because of it starting the sentence.

Now having said that, it's easy to see why can ihr(e/en) mean either her, their, your (directed to a "you of one or more persons).


It could be "her" if "seine" refers to "Mädchen".


I thought that in this instance even though not strictly correct Germans always used ihr because they are referring to a female even though the noun is neuter. Since you are German it would seem I thought wrong


I asked a native speaker about this too, whether gender can be implied or 'cast' to a noun and apparently not.


Can this translate both uses of the english phrase? i.e. the literal "I have his (telephone) number" and the idiom for "I know his weakness in a competition"


It's only used in the literal sense.


does it mean telephone number (because i thought telefonnummer is the only way to say it) or just a number, like a participant in a race?


good question!


It means telephone number. I'm a native speaker and never heard anyone say "Telefonnummer" in a normal conversation.


She is 100% saying "sein" and not "seine"


Yeah, the female's pronunciation is truncated. It sounds perfectly normal (though incorrect) at full speed. On the slow speed she actually pronounces both syllables.


I'm inclined to think that it might be worthwhile to double-check the audio for this exercise because to me it sounds like sein rather than seine. I realize from the grammar I should know which spelling to use but the pronunciation was confusing for me.


Nothing wrong with the audio.


Is it supposed to sound like "sein?" Because that's what it sounds like to several of us.


I hear "seine".


I wonder whether it is the mean by which we are accessing this lesson that might be a factor which explains our different experiences of the sound. I listened to the line repeatedly before making my initial post and heard sein, not seine, and I know the difference. I was doing my lesson on an Android pixel cell phone. How, or with what technology, were you accessing the lesson zengator? I believe your account. My firsthand experience differs from it however.


Laptop. Chrome browser. Decent speakers and little ambient noise.


I listened to the 'woman's voice' on a laptop, opera browser, decent speakers. I clearly heard "sein Nummer". I even deliberately listened to the slow version, where 'she' did add a very faint 'e'.


Sometimes I hear the male and female audio slighly differently. In this case I hear the female voice say "sein" and the male voice say "seine"


Is 'Nummer' in this sentence also used as phone number? So: I have his number, I'll call him tonight..?


Yes, from what i understood from a comment on a different thread. Nummer is for a collection or a sequence of numbers, eg. a phone number, and Zahl is for an integer or what we call "numeral" in english.


When I saw this for the first time, It made no sense to me. Now it does. Just wanted to say that BTW German, why is Seine his? Really?


The form of the word sein/seine is depending on the gender of the word of the following object. Examples of the basic nominative form:

  • Seine Nummer ist unbekannt ("die Nummer" is feminine);
  • Sein Buch ist da ("das Buch" is neutral);
  • Sein Wagen ist kaputt ("der Wagen" is masculine).

The verb "haben" triggers accusative form. The accusative form of sein is seinen/sein/seine

  • Ich habe seine Nummer ("die Nummer" is feminine);
  • Ich habe sein Buch ("das Buch" is neutral);
  • Ich habe seinen Wagen ("der Wagen" is masculine).


Quick question - in English this could mean i have his phone number or I'm aware of what kind of person he is/I'm onto him. Is that second meaning slso applicable to german?


I don't get it - why is this not in accusative?


"seine Nummer" is accusative.

[deactivated user]

    Seine = his... but it says: (Feminine/nueter) If anything, it isn't nueter... right? His is masculine so why does it say fem/nueter?


    I would guess that it says that because "Seine" means both his and its for feminine things ie. "Eine Nummer" a number --> "Seine Nummer" His/ Its number

    It is the masculine or neuter possessive pronoun for feminine things

    [deactivated user]


      I don't know if this has the same meaning in German, or the US even...

      "Having someone's number" is another way of saying "you understand a person's real motives or character and thereby gain some advantage."

      It can literally mean that you have their phone number, or whatever, but it's most usually said to refer to knowing more than you let on.

      A quick Google of the phrase "I have his number" shows it quoted by a boxer in reference to his opponent in a forthcoming fight.


      Idioms generally don't translate.


      Asked & answered above.


      In the age of telecommunication, it is more likely to refer to telephone numbers than to knowing something about the capabilities or motives of a person.


      This may be a stupid question, but can someone remind me what "their" would be in this context?


      That would be "ihre". Careful: context and capitalisation matter.

      • Ich habe ihre Nummer = I have their/her number

      • Ich habe Ihre Nummer = I have your (formal) number


      why I can't translate here Nummer as Size?


      For the same reason you can't translate "Katze" as Lion: that's simply not what it means.


      No,Seriously i don't understand why can't it be "I have her number" because As far as i got, that (Sein\Seine) can mean either his or her or it's And Ihr\Ihre is used either for their or formal "your"


      no Sein/Seine is His or it's never her. Ihre means hers, their, or formal your


      He says 'chabe seine nummer'. Is this correct pronunciation?


      Why is it 'Seine' and not 'Sein'?


      See the comments above. Particularly margusoja's from 2 years ago.


      Why is seine pronounced leine?


      It's not. Pronounce it with a kind of cross between s and z, then eye, then nuh.


      Ich habe seine Zahl? Ist das falsch?


      Is this literal or slang? Or possibly either?


      Seine and sein both are his


      Except when sein is "to be".


      Zwei Vier Sech Null Eins?


      Why seine and not sein?


      Nummer is feminine.


      In English this is an expression, meaning "I can beat him in this/a competition". Does it mean that in German or just literally he owns a four and I took it.


      how am i supposed to know if seine is supposed to be her or his? i said her and it was wrong.


      It's ever his or its. Never her.


      Sein and Seine is only ever his or it's. If you want Her then it would be Ihr or Ihre


      I'm sorry, twiztedfate, but "Ihr (und Ihre, Ihres, Ihrem, Ihren, Ihrer)" do not mean "her/hers"; those are the formal form of "your". For "her/hers" you want "ihr, ihre, ihres, u.Ä.". Capitalization matters.

      (To be fair, if it were the first word in the sentence, "ihr" would be capitalized: "Ihr Hund ist groß." At that point, the sentence is ambiguous. It could mean either "your dog is large" or "her dog is large." But it would seem best for learners to pay careful attention to the capitalization relevant to the "formal you".)


      Is "ich" his girlfriend?


      As in English, there's no way to know.

      • The number could be that of someone handing out business cards.
      • Maybe this is a situation of someone asking at the dinner table who has great-grandpa's number, and someone who knows it, responds, "Ich habe seine Nummer".
      • Maybe a couple friends went to the bakery, taking their number from the dispenser of those little papers; one had to go to the bathroom, asking his friend to hang onto his own number. That friend who went into the bathroom's number is called (it's his turn to buy bread); the friend tells the baker that his friend is in the bathroom and he'll be out any second, and will say "Ich habe seine Nummer".
      • Maybe a parent needs to cancel their child going to a birthday party due to a change of plans, the husband asks his wife if she has the birthday girl's father's number. She does, and says, "Ich habe seine Nummer".

      There are so many possible contexts that there's no way to make assumptions. If you want, you can attach a context to each sentence you get, but with Duolingo this is sometimes going to take a lot of creativity! ;)

      Viel Erfolg!


      does "having his number" in german mean the same as it does in english, as in having his phone number

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