The only examples I've seen where "ab" means "off", would be if it's "off in a direction" or "off to bed" or the like.
Not exactly used as a preposition, but the prefix "ab" also means "off" in the construction of some separable verbs such as "abnehmen", which could be translated as "take OFF, remove" =)
Thanks for the comment. "Das" can be used for "The","This/That". You might seen many examples in Due itself. While Dieses can be used for "This & These" !
I did, but Duo isn't 100% on German grammatical oddities. "this" in English is used for something really specific while "that" seems to be a more general term. German uses the same structure with diese and das.
If a German native comes this way maybe they can sort the question out for us.
I'm not German, but I have spoken/learned it for 4 years or so. I have to agree with you on this one, BadGuy. Dieses would definitely be "this" in this case, and "das" is just a more general, less-specified way of saying "That/the light". True, though, that "das" can be different things, but I suppose it's contextual or dependent on case or something. We have plenty of idiosyncrasies in English, too. :P Just what I've learned/read/heard, so don't quote me on this. :P
I am not 100% certain, but I think ein/schalten means 'to switch on'. Ich schalte das Licht ein = I switch on the light. I am assuming that the verb needs an accusative object: Emphasis on the word 'assuming'.
Before I learned "einschalten" I learned on my own the word "anmachen" which as I understand it, means the same thing, but less formally.
So "an" is basically the equivalent to English "on" in respect to its versatility, right? For instance, could you "an" instances such as "I'm on the table" "You're on the Internet" "My life is on hold," etc?
Can you say "Das Licht ist auf"? I just remember hearing my German teacher saying "Mach das Licht auf!" what is the differentiation between "an" and "auf"? (Or did I just mis-hear my teacher?)
I think "auf" is a different kind of on-ness. As has been mentioned, you would use "an" and "aus" for the operating states. I found this out when learning the words "aufmachen" and "zumachen" (Open and close), because they also have counterparts "anmachen" and "ausmachen" (Turn on and turn off).
You must have misheard. ‘On’ and ‘off’ in the sense of ‘being in an operating state’ is ‘an’ and ‘aus’ in German.
I can't imagine a context where that would be used, but I believe your sentence would be "Das Licht ist um".
"an" and "aus" are the words for on and off when referring to electrical devices.
How do Germans feel about prepositions being at the end of sentences? It's wrong to do so in English, but everyone does it. Is it the same in Germany?
There is no English grammar rule that bans prepositions at the end of sentences. The myth got started because Lindley Murray thought that it was more elegant not to do so and that therefore prepositions should be banned from appearing at the end of a sentence. But there are many, many cases where a sentence would become very inelegant, even clumsy, if you were to try to avoid this. In some cases other grammar rules may even rule out alternatives. In this case Lindley Murray was wrong.
As for German, sentences often appear to end in prepositions, but that's mostly because of three reasons:
1) It's actually a postposition.
2) It's an adverb.
3) It's part of a compound verb.
I don't know if it's strictly illegal to end a German sentence in a preposition, but I do know that German tends to keep its prepositions close to their preposition-objects and that the most common situations that necessitate ending an English sentence in a preposition are solved differently in German. I cannot think of a German sentence ending in a preposition off the top of my head.
English sentences are allowed to leave prepositions dangling (despite what some silly prescriptivists claim) and frequently do, but in German you can't. We say in English, "The book that I write in", but in German you cannot say "Das Buch, dem ich schreibe in". That is totally not right. Instead, you'd say "Das Buch, darin ich schreibe", i.e. "The book, therein I write" = "The book, in which I write".
Having said that, in both English and German you're certainly allowed to have adjectives or adverbial particles at the end of sentences, many of which are indentical in form to prepositions: The light is on / Das Licht ist an Turn the light on / Mach das Licht an etc. That's not a preposition at all. It's not saying anything about being "on" something. It's not saying "The light is on the book". It's saying "The light is on". "on" is effectively just an adjective here describing the light.
How would you say "The appliance is on 5", meaning it's on and the power setting is 5? (E.g., I left the heater on 5.) Would "an" still be used in this context?
That light is on - wrong
This light is on - wrong
The light is on - correct
So I check google translate to see how you would say "That light is on" and get "Das Licht ist an" What.
Are you seriously relying on Google Translate? It is not exactly known for its accuraccy.
You seem to be saying "Google translate is wrong". Well, how is google translate wrong? Or have you equated "Google translate is sometimes inaccurate" with "Google translate is always inaccurate"?
More to the point: Present evidence and an explanation. Sorry for being a dick, but I'm not interested in your opinion on the service.
Light is a neutral pronoun. Thus, it will use 'Das' as the definite article instead of 'Die' or 'Der'. I think 'Dieses Licht ist an' would mean 'This light is on'.
Google translate just doesn't give a f--- about context, syntax or semantics. I'm just giving you some advice; I would only use it for words one by one, but for sentences it is just terrible.
David, I don't think you understand that we got the sentence "Das Licht ist an", and we translated it to english. I am sure that Wintermote, as well as myself, know the difference between 'Die', 'Der' and 'Das', and between a definite articles vs. an demonstrative pronouns... but it is kind of hard (impossible) to tell the difference between 'Das' (that) and 'Das' (the), without any context. If both translations: "The light" and "That light" are perfectly correct, then... I don't see why anyone would disagree that both should be accepted.
So the only misunderstanding is from your part assuming we translated from english to german, instead of the other way around. OR maybe you did, and just decided to focus on "dieses" would be used to say "this" and ignored how you would say 'that'.
Yes, I realized it's a new thread, so?
and FYI, I am not really learning much german right now. I am mostly reviewing things I learned years ago. whenever duolingo "quits me", it is because of typos or other silly/careless mistakes, like this one.
You do realize that duolingo isn't giving much context anyways, right? how would you say "that light is on"? Google Translate is not perfect by any means, but with short phrases it can still be pretty good. the real point is that Duolingo isn't perfect either and IFF the sentence is grammatically correct, it should be more flexible given the limited context it is giving us.
It is not giving much (as in 'enough') context?
"The light is on" is enough to know that one should use a definite article (das) for a neutral pronoun (Licht). And when you have to respond with "Das Licht ist an", you should be familiar with male, female and neutral pronouns, if not, write it in a notebook.
If something I have seen in this site is that when you can't complete a lesson because duolingo quits you is most probably because you aren't ready for the incoming lessons. And I'm not refering to then, when they had REAL problems on translations, as you can see in many threads, I'm refering to just misunderstandings like this one (If you have not noticed, it has just three days).
Good day, sir.
David, Wintermote and the unfortunately deactivated user have got a perfectly valid point. It is clear from your rant that you haven't actually read their posts with due care and you should be ashamed of exploding like that for no reason at all.
Type in "This light is on" and it comes out as "Dieses Licht ist auf"
‘That’ and ‘the’ are both correct here, but ‘this’ would have been ‘dieses’.
And while I agree that Google Translate isn't the perfect tool to use for stuff like this, in this particular case it happened to give the correct answer.
When Duo says something is wrong you just need to report it if you have good reason to think it is correct. As this lesson is on prepositions it is quite likely that they have just not bothered/thought to list "THAT light is on" as a correct answer (which it is)