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  5. "Dich kann ich ersetzen."

"Dich kann ich ersetzen."

Translation:I can replace you.

December 20, 2012



The sentence means "I can replace you.", stressing "you". "Ich kann Dich ersetzen." would be the default word order.


Thank you, that is what I thought. The Solution given by Duolingo was "you I can replace" I guess if they had used a comma it kind of makes sense 'you, I can replace'


TY. I thought it was a question at first and they just got the punctuation wrong...


Funnily enough, my last name, Setzer, comes from the verb, setzen. Somewhere in my lineage was a man who placed things well enough to be named by it.


Maybe a stonemason/bricklayer? Dat boi sets a mean brick. Anyways, what last name should we give him?


Is that a threat?


...sagte der Roboter.


Just wanted to note on a downvoted comment about the validity of "You I can replace"--this is correct but only in specific circumstances where you want to emphasize that I can replace you, but not other people. It's also pretty specific and idiosyncratic usage--I want to say uses of of it in American English probably have their roots in Yiddish. Most people would use it for deliberate comic effect.

Look up "topic-fronting" or "OSV" word order in Wikipedia. This Language Log post on left dislocation is also relevant, although it doesn't describe an identical phenomenon: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=629

(In comments on the LL piece people do bring up "Yiddish fronting," so my thoughts above may not be entirely incorrect.)

  • 2873

The English translation is "I can replace you." so it seems it's fixed now.


Hooray! Progress.


Dich kann ich ersetzen ist gleich Ich kann dich ersetzen... So why is this wrong, German gives you the ability to move words around as long as you follow the order. Ich is the subject in this sentence which means I can place it first or third.


It is not exactly the same. If the object is sentence initial, it is stressed. "I can replace YOU (but not someone else)."


In most German sentences wordorder does not change the meaning of the sentence, but the case does. Den mann beißt der hund.


Does this imply that I am the one taking your place, or could it also be that I choose someone else to replace you?


It could mean either of those -- either "I will be your replacement" or "I will find a replacement for you".


Can it mean *I can substitute for you"? If not how would you say that?


What would be the negative of this sentence? Dich kann ich nicht ersetzen ????


That's right.


Is this word order emphatic or optional in German?


Here the word order is definitely emphatic.


Thanks! This information is very important, I think...


So why is the word order odd here, and yet other times German won't accept accented word orders?


Shouldn't this be: "Ich kann dich ersetzen" ?


It can be. In this case, the sentence is placing an emphasis on "dich". It makes the sentence read like "I can replace YOU (specifically)".


Which case would this be ? Accusative ?


This is accusative.


Which case would this be ? Accusative ?

dich is accusative

ich is nominative


'You can replace me`Please translate.


"Du kannst / Sie können mich ersetzen."


I think I need new ears - I keep hearing ich kann es ersetzen


Mit einem kleinen Shell-Skript!


Why is "Ich kann dich ersetzen" marked wrong?


I assume this was a listening exercise. There, you have to type what the voice says, not a similar sentence.

If that wasn’t it, a link to a screenshot would be helpful.


It wasn't, and it's just a bit too late for a screenshot...


why is the English translation not "You can replace me"?


why is the English translation not "You can replace me"?

Because the German sentence is not Du kannst mich ersetzen but Dich kann ich ersetzen.

In English you can tell who is getting replaced and who is doing the replacing not only by the word order (which is essentially always "subject – verb – object") but also by the form of the pronouns -- "me" is an object pronoun in your sentence.

In German, you can also tell the difference: the subject (the person doing the replacing) will be in the nominative (e.g. ich, du) and the object (the person being replaced) will be in the accusative (e.g. mich, dich).

Duo's German sentence Dich kann ich ersetzen has dich in the accusative case ("you" is the person being replaced) and ich in the nominative case ("I" am the person doing the replacing).

In natural English, that's "I can replace you." (We wouldn't ordinarily say "You can I replace" or even "You I can replace" in today's English.)


Thanks, I missed the "dich" part. So then why does the sentence put Dich at the beginning of the sentence? If you normally says "I can replace you" should that be "Ich kann dich ersetzen"? Any reason the sentence switch ich and dich? Or it doesn't matter where you put them in German?


why does the sentence put Dich at the beginning of the sentence?

To mark it as the topic and give it emphasis.

Kind of like "As for you -- I can replace you." (But it doesn't sound that heavy in German.)

If you normally says "I can replace you" should that be "Ich kann dich ersetzen"?

Yes -- that is the neutral word order, which doesn't emphasise, mark, or topicalise any part of the sentence.

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