"Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch."

Translation:The cat drinks its milk.

December 19, 2012



Remember that "Ihre" can also mean HER... So, the sentence is completely fine. It's "The cat drinks her milk."

December 20, 2012


I used "The cat drinks its milk" which sounded more logical.

February 3, 2013


Logical to English speakers. In German it is only "its" if the noun is in the neuter and would be used with "das". The worst is that although many languages consider milk to be feminine. Some languages think of it as masculine. So, the best way to memorize the word is with its determiner: "Die Milch"

Oh, I get what you mean. In English, if the cat is drinking her milk, then the cat is possibly not drinking out of the cat's bowl but out of someone else's bowl. Naughty cat! Some people do refer to their female cats as she and her though. When you are referring to a cat out of context though, it would be it and its, because you just don't know what gender it is and that is safe.

December 6, 2013

  • 418

Slavic languages consider milk to be neuter (Latin and Greek too)

March 14, 2016


How then, do you refer to a male cat?

September 26, 2014


If we know the cat is a tomcat or male, we may use "he" and "his milk", but if we don't know the gender we would say "its milk". Some people use "its" for animals even when they know the gender, just because they consider animals to be things or because the gender is just not important to the conversation. If we want to specify that the cat is not drinking some stolen milk, we could say "his own milk" or "her own milk" (or "its own milk" if we had multiple cats with gender unknown.)

September 26, 2014


But die Katze refers to queen cats (female). A tomcat (male) is der Kater

November 3, 2015


The general word for cat in German is feminine. We cannot be sure that the cat is actually feminine, because the gender of the word does not always correspond with the gender of the animal. The general word for each animal can be masculine, neuter or feminine. If the cat is known to be masculine then you could say "der Kater". If the gender is unknown or feminine or just to talk generally about this animal, it would be "die Katze". http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/anglais-allemand/cat http://germanlanguageguide.com/german/vocabulary/animals.asp https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauskatze

March 15, 2016


It's like in English "a dog" can be a male dog or a dog of unspecified sex, but "a ❤❤❤❤❤" specifically means a female.

February 17, 2019


I took the lowercase 'ihre' to mean 3rd person singular...like "My girlfriend left a glass of milk on the table and the cat drank it. The cat drank her milk". Duolingo doesn't seem to allow for this interpretation, though. >:-|

March 25, 2013


I believe that your translation is not correct because you said the drank her milk rather than drinks her milk. I wrote that and it was marked correct.

May 7, 2013


But the English use of the possessive 'its' is the correct one here as the cat is not human.

November 29, 2017


All the explanation is confusing me.

I think this particular sentence is for ihre means her. So they are trying to explain, for Nominative case ihr = her and Accusative case ihre = her. Am I right?

August 2, 2014


Sounds as if you are confused. First of all, in this sentence "ihr" is a possessive and does not have case. It is modifying the noun "Milch". Milch has case; in this sentence, "Milch" is in the accusative case. Therefor "ihr" acts like an adjective and requires adjective endings to indicate case and gender of the noun it is modifying.

August 2, 2014


So Milch is faminine as in Die Milch. So do we have to use ihre? What about Masculine and neuter gender. For example

'Die Katze trinkt ??? Wasser' or 'Die Katze isst ??? Esse'

August 2, 2014


One uses the appropriate adjective ending to show case and gender. Die Katze trinkt ihr Wasser. Accusative case endings: masculine -en, feminine -e, neuter (none), plural -e. Hope this helps.

August 2, 2014


Die Katze isst ihren Apfel is correct. Richtig!

Just checked with someone in D-land. It would be better to say "das ist nicht meine Suppe". In this sentence, "die Suppe" is in the nominative case because it is a predicate nominative - it is NOT a direct object.

August 3, 2014


'Die Katze isst ihren Apfel'. I hope this is correct.

August 3, 2014


What about this sentance 'Die Suppe ist nicht meine.' Can't it be 'Die Suppe ist nicht meinen/mein.'?

August 3, 2014


Coming back after a year,

According to this site, https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/pronouns/possessive-pronouns , The word 'it' for feminine accusative is translated to 'seine'. How come 'ihre' is translate to 'its'? Isn't it should be 'her' or 'Your'?

Ahhh.. The answer is given down below.

June 15, 2016


I see two words Meiner and Meinen. When one should use Meiner?

August 4, 2014


I got the answer. That comes under Dative case.

October 6, 2014


Are you ( sweilan1) a German teacher, or just a natice speaker?

April 20, 2015


Or just really good with German?

April 20, 2015


I thought that only capital "Ihre" was your and the other was "its" and "hers." Is this true?

February 11, 2013


You are right. "ihre" can also mean their

Careful with "its".
If the English "its" refers to a previous noun that is feminine in German (die Katze) than it would be "ihr" in nominative case for a following possessed masculine noun or in nominative or accusative case for a following possessed neuter noun (das Wasser) and "ihre" in nominative or accusative case for a following possessed feminine noun (die Milch) or plural noun . Now a previous feminine noun that owned a following masculine noun in accusative case would use "ihren" (der Saft).

"Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch."

"Die Katze trinkt ihr Wasser."

"Die Katze trinkt ihren Saft."

Although I don't think it is wise for someone to give a cat its own juice, is that healthy for it?

If the English "its" refers to a previous noun that is masculine or neuter in German than it would be "sein" for a following possessed masculine or neuter noun in nominative case and seinen for masculine noun following in accusative case and sein for neuter noun following in accusative case and yes (to hechap below) seine for a following possessed feminine or plural noun in nominative or accusative case.

Here is a website that has helped me. http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/det_04.html http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/det_05.html

December 6, 2013


So, would it be proper to say: "Der Hund trinkt seine Milch."?

July 9, 2016


And this could be translated to "The dog drinks its/his milk."

July 9, 2016


True so far, but "ihre Milch" could also be "their milk".

February 26, 2013


Ok, so "the cat is drinking its milk" should be correct because when we think of "Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch" as meaning "the cat drinks her milk", the "her" could refer to either another person (like the owner) or to the cat itself; remember the cat is feminine in German. But when we translate the latter interpretation into English it will be "the cat is drinking its milk", because "the cat" is neutral in English.

August 7, 2013


We commonly say that, unless the cat has jumped on the table and is drinking the milk out of someone's cereal bowl. Naughty cat! Then, we could be telling someone that the cat is drinking "her milk", "your milk" or as the cat continues on to the other bowls left on the table from breakfast "their milk". Of course, I would have grabbed the cat way before that and asked the kids why they did not empty and put their bowl in the dishwasher when they were done. Most of the time, no matter who paid for the milk or poured it for the cat, if it is in the cat's bowl it is the cat's milk and would be "its milk".

December 6, 2013


That's exactly what I thought. Since the last sentence was "we are eating his bananas", I jumped to the conclusion that the cat was drinking somebody else's milk.

June 10, 2018


After getting this wrong I think I understand it so to clarify for those that come after me: We shouldn't put "her milk" because the translation is too literal in English we wouldn't refer to a cat (of unknown gender) as her so we must translate it as "its"

Then my problems with the question begin "their" is accepted because (i assume) it could be the owners' milk so if "their" is accepted and it is understood that the cat is drinking someone else's milk by that logic why is "her" not accepted the woman in question could be the cats owner and the speaker is saying "her milk" deliberately just as the speaker would say about "their milk" when discussing two or more people not featured in the sentence, moreover if we know the gender of a cat (or any animal) we refer to it as s/he and use him and her making these translations completely acceptable in English

January 10, 2013


I think you're misunderstanding the sentence: "Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch." The fact that it uses "ihre" (which is a possessive article) means that the belongingness of the milk is already shown in the sentence, i.e. the question "who does the milk belong to? does it belong to the cat or to some other person, like perhaps its owner?" has already been answered. The use of "ihre" in this sentence shows that the milk belongs to some other person (and not the cat); since, "ihre" can translate as "her" and "their", it further means that the milk belongs to some feminine person or to many people. So, the inflection and case of the article here is important to note.

August 7, 2013


No, the use of "ihre" in the sentence could also simply be because the word for cat "die Katze" is feminine and would require a form of ihr: ihre in this case because the following noun is also feminine "die Milch". "ihre" can also be translated as "its" for a noun that is feminine in German but neuter in English. So, this "ihre" could be "her" , " their" or "its". You could clarify by saying "The cat drinks its own milk.", then it would be "Die Katze trinkt ihre eigene Milch."

July 9, 2016


So confusing!

September 26, 2013


Also, even if we knew the gender of the cat we'd still call it "die Katze" ;)

August 7, 2013


Yes good grammar means sentences should start with capital letter, but its not enforced anywhere else in duolingo

December 19, 2012


Why "The cat drinks your milk" is also a right answer? If "ihre" means "your", it should be capitalized as "Ihre", doesn't it? It confused me.

March 7, 2013


Correct, "your" would be "Ihre" with capital i.

August 7, 2013


The multiple choice said I missed "the cat drinks your milk" as an answer, but surely that can only be an answer if ihre had a capital 'i' couldn't it?

May 10, 2013


I think this sentence is set up to go to many versions, multiple choice, listen and type in German, translate from German to English and from English to German. A set of answers for the whole thing could be the problem. They should split out the listening version from the rest as a separate question. People were complaining that when they hear ihre it sounds just like Ihre so both should be accepted. So they fixed that and now it is causing havoc for the rest of the versions. I will report my suggestion and see what happens

December 6, 2013


So 'her milk' could be the cat's or a woman's depending on the context? You would say the same sentence in both situations?

April 11, 2014


I assumed "their" was someone else, not the the cat. I got it wrong because i thought it said Die Katzen.

February 24, 2013


the cat drinks your milk the cat drinks her milk the cat drinks their milk the cat drinks its milk are all correct?

May 19, 2013


"Your milk" would be "Ihre Milch" - capital I Keep that in mind. DuoLingo is having trouble because there are so many versions of the same question. When people complained in the section in which you hear the sentence that ihre and Ihre sound the same and both should be accepted, they tried to fix that and this is what happened. Their fix did not work for the other sections, especially the multiple choice. I have reported the problem. It might not be an easy fix.

December 6, 2013


Major blunder here. Please fix, admins! "Die Katzen trinken ihre Milch" with lowercase ' i ' in ' ihre ' can only mean "The cats drink her / its milk." They indicated the correct answer to be both "The cats drink its milk." and "The cats drink YOUR milk." Incorrect. The letter ' i ' in the possessive pronoun "your" Ihr / Ihre (second person singular or plural) must be capitalized in German. Unless there's another new spelling reform that I'm not aware of. Allowing both meanings to use lowercase ' i ' would makes things ambiguous and confusing as hell. Imagine if they also allowed the use of lowercase ' s ' in Sie (formal)?

August 29, 2013


That is what I said. The cat drinks her milk. The program said it's...

October 29, 2013


what's the difference between Ihr and Ihre?

January 7, 2014


Within this sentence, the word "ihre" is a possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns "act" and "have the rights" of an adjective. This means these pronouns are modified to show gender, case, or number of the nouns they are modifying. In this sentence, it is modifying the word "die Katze" which is feminine and in the accusative case; the possessive in this case would require the -e adjective ending which makes it "ihre" instead of "ihr". Remember, these possessives DO NOT have gender, but show the gender of the nouns they are modifying.

The word "ihr" serves many functions in German.

ihr - 2nd personal informal plural - ihr seid froh - you are happy. Ihr geht nach Hause - you are going home.

ihr - 3rd person dative - ich gebe ihr eine Jacke - I am giving her a jacket.

ihr - 3rd person possessive - ich sehe ihre Katze - I see her cat. Ich sehe ihren Hund - I see her dog. Ich sehe ihre Hunde - I see her dogs. Notice the possessive have adjective endings denotating the noun's case and gender.

August 8, 2014


First of all, I appreciate the posts you've been putting up, sweilan1. They have been very helpful. One line in your post above particularly caught my attention. You wrote (bolding and italics added):

ihr - 3rd person possessive - ich sehe ihre Katze - I see her cat. Ich sehe ihren Hund - I see her dog. Ich sehe ihre Hunde - I see her dogs. Notice the possessive have adjective endings denotating the noun's case and gender.

Previously, I had known "ihr" (and other possessive pronouns) needed to decline for gender, but how it was declining for case wasn't fully registering as an undeniable fact in my mind. Since you wrote it, though, and you seem to really know what you're talking about, I decided to examine it a bit more and finally realized why I didn't recognize that the phrase "ihre" in "ihre Milch" was also declining for case. It is because the nominative and accusative case endings are the same for feminine nouns. If I were to say something like, "The cat added a mouse to her milk," I would need to write "ihrer Milch" not "ihre Milch."

I think part of the problem is that some still aren't solid with case endings, which is understandable if one is just beginning their study of German. So to help out with this particular example, I've added a chart to help visualize what is going on with this structure.

Note 1: If you see "ihr" and its various forms with a capital "I," "ihr" can also mean "your." If "ihr" starts a sentence you won't be able to know whether "ihr" means "her," "their," or "your" without additional contextual clues.

Note 2: I purposely left off the genitive because, after reading through the posts in this thread, I didn't want to further confuse that line of discussion and also because the genitive is so rarely used in German. FWIW, I thought you did a good job of explaining why "ihre" was not in the genitive case earlier.

Hope this helps!

March 13, 2016


How do I know if it's:

The [female] cat drinks her milk


The cat drinks her [my sister's] milk?

January 27, 2014


Only by the rest of the conversation.

July 9, 2016


Haha it reminds me of an old French song called "Brave Margot", the girl would breastfeed her cat in public, and all the village folks would gather around to watch, the poor girl thought it was to see her cat.

September 3, 2015


so if it was das Pferd instead of die Katze , would i use ihr either ?

May 10, 2016


No, "Das Pferd trinkt seine Milch." http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum2.htm

July 9, 2016


thank you very much , i guess that page is helpful too http://longua.org/possessivartikel-ubersicht.php

July 9, 2016


I really like your resource!

Full information for each possessive form can also be found here, but you might want to click on the British flag to have the explanation in English: http://www.canoo.net/inflection/ihr:Pron:Poss:3rd:F:SG http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/InflectionRules/FRegeln-P/Pron-Poss3.html

This includes the charts for the possessives when used in place of a noun with or without a definite article.

You can type in any word and search for it and then click on Wortformen to see the full declension of the word - all its forms. They have several possibilities for ihr as 3rd person singular, 3rd person plural and 2nd person plural (formal form which has capital Ihr).

July 10, 2016


"Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch. "

If we were to reference the cat in a following sentence, which personal pronoun should we use, "Es" or "Sie", like in "und SIE/ES isst ihr Futter"?

This specific point in gendered nouns in German is confusing me.

September 7, 2016


im confused...ihre in this case is in the nominative ? or dative ? i just don't know

April 15, 2017


can someone explain to me when do i need to put "ihre" and "ihr" etc. ? I don't understand :(

July 2, 2017


Although i'm enjoying trying to learn German with Duolingo, I have to say again that German seems unnecessarily complex. You only have to look at the amount of comments here about one simple sentence. Mark Twain was right.

November 10, 2017


And native Germans would agree with you.

May 7, 2018


when do we use ihr or ihre ihren?

December 5, 2017


What's the difference between ihr (you guys) and ihr (her)??

March 11, 2018


Earlier in this section, the word "ihren" replaced "ihre", if I am recall correctly.

May 7, 2018


What was the gender of the noun it was modifying and in which case?

May 7, 2018


i've found that "its" means seine, "ihre" refers to female person

November 11, 2018


Hi. What's the case here for "Milch"?

November 18, 2018


Accusative. Like 'Ich esse einen Apfel'. The cat does something to the object milk.

November 18, 2018


Why "ihre"? In previous sentence it was "ihr". How should I know which one is correct?

February 25, 2019


Sorry guys but maybe I miss something, how it is possible to have The cat drinks its milk (Die Katze trinkt ihre Milch)

and in a previous sentence The dog drinks its water (Der Hund trinkt sein Wasser)

its, akkusativ (feminin) ---> ihre or seine ?

thank you

April 7, 2019


For die Katze, the possessive pronoun is ihre because the noun gender is feminine. For der Hund, the possessive pronoun is seine because the noun gender is masculine. Note that this has nothing at all to do with the live animal’s actual biological sex. German and many other European languages use grammatical gender.

See the tips and notes for Unit 1, Basics.

April 8, 2019


I put. The cat is drinking its milk. What's wrong with that?

April 8, 2019


The pronoun ihre doesn’t mean “its”. It means “her”.

April 8, 2019


So I put "the cat is drinking it's milk" and it was marked as wrong.Told it should be" drinks". Why? Is doing something has been accepted on many previous occasions and must surely be right.

May 12, 2019


Why would you say the cat is drinking it is milk? Try 'its' instead of 'it's'.....

May 12, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.