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  5. "Sie ist ein Mädchen."

"Sie ist ein Mädchen."

Translation:She is a girl.

December 19, 2012

117 Comments


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

You would expect the word girl to be feminine...that was a little confusing. :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smalltime0

in german the term 'chen' (meaning little, small, cute etc.) is neuter, hence the word is neuter.


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

What is the Mad then?


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

The word is “die Magd” and it means “maid”. The -chen makes in diminutive, so the original meaning was “little maid”. But today it means just “girl”. But beause all -chen diminutives are neuter, Mädchen is neuter too, even though the original word (Magd) was appropriately feminine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andy.houser

So, Mädchen is neuter, even though it means "girl"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David995042

German Grammar. It makes sense to the Germans. LOL


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

That's correct.


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

wow that was good, just lit a light here in my head... thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shanelle.b

This helps out with the explanation that's a lil below this one: translating it to be little maiden.... Thank you so much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avijan15

what is the difference between ein and eine? shouldnt there be 3, one for feminine, masculine, and neutral?


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

There technically are 3, but the masculine and neuter form happen to be the same. It's admittedly a little confusing; you just have to accept it and get used to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.ChEcHeN

No ..ein -you use for masculine and neutral to ..there is any difference for masc. and neutral ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.ChEcHeN

*Isn't any difference * sry my mistake


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaryaDubey1

Ein and Eine mean A/An both. They both means same


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

But in Tinycard Ein -> one ?


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

ein can mean "a" or "one".

German is not a code for English, so you can't map a single German word to a single English word nor vice versa.

Words can have several meanings.


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

OK this is confusing. I typed in a Sie ist eine Mädchen, and it says I'm wrong. Aren't feminine forms supposed to be expressed with an extra "e" at the end? Like "eine"?


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

Yes, feminine forms are supposed to be expressed with "eine", but "Mädchen" is gender-neutral, not feminine. If it were something like "Frau", "eine" would be correct.


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

Wow, man... not kidding that just cleared up everything


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

If you just had a baby, and you were on the phone, and they asked the sex of the baby, would you say "Es ist ein Mädchen" or "Sie ist ein Mädchen"? I feel like the "Sie" would give it away before you even got to say the rest of the sentence. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dexter0340

It's your baby, say it however you want!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie.Bay

is ein used also in neuter


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

That's right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fishlove69

Why is the sentence using a feminine pronoun if girl is considered neuter in German? This somewhat confuses me.


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

Personal pronouns such as er, sie, es refer back to something earlier in the conversation.

In this case, sie might refer to (say) "Julia", who is female and is thus referred to by the feminine pronoun sie. Now you are saying something about her, and the thing you are saying it: she is a girl.

The fact that the new information involves a neuter word is not related to the fact that the older information involves someone female.


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

I translated this as "She is a young woman." Is this incorrect?


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

"Ein Mädchen" is a young woman, technically yes. But the description "a young woman" does not imply that said subject is "ein Mädchen". Being that so, translating this sentence as "She is a young woman." turns out to be ambigous.


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

I think ein Mädchen isn't a young girl, it's rather a little girl let's say up to age of 15.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imnuts7

Sie ist eine junge Frau.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckel2005

Take off the E in JUNGE. What you said translates to "she is a boy woman."


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

No -- Sie ist eine junge Frau is exactly correct for "She is a young woman".

Sie ist eine jung Frau is not correct. If you said it, it would probably be misunderstood for Sie ist eine Jungfrau (She is a virgin).


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

girl is neuter so ein is correct for unbestimmt article. but is sie correct? shouldnt it be es? since its a neuter word?


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

The sie at the beginning refers not forwards to ein Mädchen, but backwards to somebody who had been mentioned before -- perhaps Julia.

So the natural gender is used, feminine sie.

If the previous sentence had used a neuter noun such as ein Kind or ein Mädchen, then es would have been appropriate to refer back to it.


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

I typed "you are a girl" , why got wrong? its also correct i think..


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

"You(formal) are a girl" would have to be "Sie sind ein Mädchen".


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

I thought accusative masculine case of "ein" is "einen". But "einen" is not present in the answer? How do you explain this?


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

Firstly, the word Mädchen is neuter, not masculine, so even if it was in accusative, it would be ein and not einen. Secondly, the verb sein (ist, to be) is not transitive: It is a special verb (you can understand it for example as a connection of two subjects) which takes both nouns in nominative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dpatt711

Any one have any tips for remembering Sie as girl, I keep thinking "They"


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

"Sie" is only an "h" away from "she?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Shell-

Mädchen = Maid?? o.0 "Mädchen" not only means girl, it can also mean maid?


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

Technically yes, but nowadays it is almost 100% used in the meaning “girl”.


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

Can i say "Es" ist ein Madchen. Because "das" Mädchen someone help please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Es ist ein Maedchen means It is a girl, whereas das means that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaliaMahmoud4

You said that girl is neuter so why we used the word sie, supposed to be "es" am i right because im confused now


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Mädchen means girl, in this context they are answering a question, such as is that a girl? Yes. She is a girl. You wouldn't refer to a girl as it.


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

Mädchen, in general, is considered as neuter. so it takes ein not eine. Also, in German, the term, chen, means little, small, cute. Therefore it refers to a girl and not to a woman. The chen ending here does not refer as being a child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Ask me any questions you have :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mohammadre676249

I have a problem with pronunciation of ist when using it in sentence. Is it like "iiist" or "ayyyst"?


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

Neither. It pretty much rhymes with the English words "missed" or "mist".


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

In Tiny card I read "sie" as "they" please can anyone help


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

sie can mean "she" or "her" or "they" or "them".

You can tell the difference between "she" and "they" (as a subject) because the verb form will be different -- for example, sie ist for "she is" versus sie sind for "they are".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex350547

It said that 'sie ist ein madchen' was correct but shouldn't have been 'es ist ein madchen' like in 'es ist ein kind'? Now i am confused...


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

You can also say "Sie ist ein Kind" if the child is a girl, or "Er ist ein Kind," if the child is a boy. They're a little loosey-goosey about making the person's gender match the grammatic gender all the time, that's all.


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

I wrote: "It's a girl" which was marked incorrect as I'd missed a word. Doesn't recognise "It's" as equiv to "It is"


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

That would be "Es ist ein Mädchen", so I suspect it wouldn't accept "It is a girl", either. Duolingo is pretty strict about translating articles exactly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emma835405

I cannot figure out how to type an umlaut


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dexter0340

There should be buttons under where you type your answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imnuts7

Which OS are you on?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stmaro182

How come when translating English to German you sometimes take out is despite that there is a a German translation (Ist) ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Many verbs can replace the word is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plodder1

How do I get an umlaut on my English keyboard?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imnuts7

Which OS are you on?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/44651265

I don't understand this.can you help me to understand this?I'm just 10 years old


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

For this I put: She is a little girl. Is that right???


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

No, it is not. There is nothing in this sentence that says "little". Mädchen applies to any girl, whether she is two years old or fifteen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ana814027

Why Sie ist ein Madchen isn't correct as She is a girl?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Should be correct, but put in umlaut on Mädchen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prerana791

I thought is was a neuter word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

Mädchen is neuter.


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

Can somone explain to me what words are suppose to be capitalized in german and why?


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

All nouns are supposed to be capitalised in German, because that's a rule of German spelling.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia436774

as I see most of the people say that Madchen (girl) is neuter but on a previous excercise it was used as feminine too. Is it possible to be both neuter and feminine?


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

Sie isst ein Mädchen *<|:- >


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikhil642865

I was given "incorrect" simply for omitting a period "." at the end of "She is a girl"- a bit unnecessary?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oscar118338

Could someone please tell me why is "Mädchen" capitalized?


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

Because it's a noun, and nouns in German are capitalised.

Have another look at the tips and notes for the first lesson: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oscar118338

I see, thanks :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hamzasami80

What mean the word " neuter " ?


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

All nouns in German belong to one of three groups/categories/classes called "genders" -- those genders are masculine, feminine, and neuter.

So neuter is one of the genders that a German noun can have.

The word Mädchen belongs to this neuter gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adrian616629

How can you tell if Mädchen is a girl or woman


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

Mädchen means girl.

woman would be Frau.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LakshyaKum10

Sie is she and they also??


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

That's right.

The verb endings are different, though.

sie ist = she is

sie sind = they are


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

why for a women its eine and for a girl, man its ein?


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

Because the words Frau, Mann, Mädchen belong to different grammatical genders (categories).

Frau "woman" is a feminine word and takes eine

Mann "man" is a masculine word and takes ein

Mädchen "girl" is a neuter word and takes ein as well. (Note that the grammatical gender is not related to the real-life gender here.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leti945732

My keyboard has no accents.


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

i thought 'ein' for masculine and 'eine' for feminine. but here says ein madchen. what difference between 'ein ' and eine?


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

ein is used before nouns that are grammatically masculine and before nouns that are grammatically feminine.

eine is used before nouns that are grammatically feminine.

The noun Mädchen is grammatically neuter -- as you can see, its grammatical gender has nothing to do with the natural gender of girls.

Much as a spoon -- der Löffel -- is grammatically masculine even though spoons are not male or masculine.

Grammatical gender is mostly arbitrary: just something to memorise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FATOUMATAB750414

I was confused when I started to do this I thought that the word man is going to be menn


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enrique465433

What i find odd is that someone has to be told that"she" is a "girl". In what strange context would this sentence actually exist?


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

"I just met someone called Kim". "Oh, boy or girl?" "She's a girl."

Also, it's worth pointing out that English can use "It is" in some situations.

Hospital nurse: "It's a girl!"

"Dad, there is someone at the door" Child opens door. Dad: "Who is it?" Child: "Oh, it's just a bunch of politicians canvassing for your vote." Dad: Slam!


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

Is there ever a possibility or word that -che wont make neutral?


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

There are words that happen to end in the letters -chen that do not have -chen as a suffix, e.g. der Kuchen.

But when -chen is a diminutive suffix, I believe that the result is always neutral.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David995042

It would be logical to say, since "Mädchen" is neutral, "Es ist ein Mädchen".


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

Pronouns usually refer back to things discussed previously, not forwards to things that come later.

So sie would not usually refer to Mädchen but instead to, say, Julia or meine Schwester or something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YunusEmre333489

Not putting a dot at the end of the sentece. WRONG!... Come on, it's not a grammar exam. If I write "She is a girl" it should be accepted.


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

If I write "She is a girl" it should be accepted.

Yes.

Was it not accepted for you? Do you have a screenshot showing the question, your answer, and the error message? That would help us understand what might have happened.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YunusEmre333489

Sorry I don't have a screenshot. I wrote "She is a girl" and it said WRONG! Correct : "She is a girl."


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

Duolingo ignores punctuation in your answer, so you probably had a typo somewhere that you didn't notice. Particularly likely to happen on the phone, when the phone decides to pick a word for you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Run1cVisio

Bruh my phone is so old i can't have the a with the two dots over it


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

Dont we use es for mädschen ???


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

Personal pronouns refer back to something, not forwards. So sie here might refer to, say, “Julia” whom you had been talking about. It doesn’t refer forwards to the word Mädchen which comes later in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wisdom119261

Wait a sec...is "sie" being pronounced as "zie"? Am pretty confused over here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladimirTk7

Answer is correct. Why it shows it's wrong?


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

Why it shows it's wrong?

I don't know, because I can't see what you wrote.

If you have a screenshot: please upload it to a website (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL. Then someone can have a look and tell you what went wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hadia332027

What the heck did it mean ofcourse a 'SHE" will always be a girl


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

What the heck did it mean ofcourse a 'SHE" will always be a girl

I think most people would consider it impolite to call (say) Queen Elizabeth a "girl".

The usual term for an adult who is female is "woman".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alisse951026

Earlier in the lesson Sie ein Mädchen was translated to you are a girl. In one of the cases the only option was Sie not Du bist. This needs to get fixed.


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

Earlier in the lesson Sie ein Mädchen was translated to you are a girl.

Sie ein Mädchen is not a correct sentence -- there is no verb.

"You are a girl" could be Sie sind ein Mädchen (if you are addressing the girl formally -- perhaps she is 17 and nearly an adult, for example).

But sie ist can never mean "you are".

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