"Wir haben eine Katze wegen unseren Eltern."

Translation:We have a cat because of our parents.

December 22, 2012

84 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ehs

My German wife says it should be unserer

January 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mrcmnstr

From: http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/DualPrepositions.htm

"The genitive prepositions are often used with the dative in spoken German, particularly in certain regions. If you want to "blend in" and not sound too stuffy, you can use them in the dative also, but purists will want to learn the genitive forms."

December 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/HannoBansch

While it is true that it is used in everyday language I suggest not to learn it. I find it confusing that Duolingo teaches it as being correct, it simply isn't. When you master German and have frequent conversations with people you will start adapting appropriate ways of talking for each group of people anyway, just like everyone does when learning English. So best to learn the correct way to speak first. Just my two cents on the topic.

August 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Skydancer3

On the one hand you are absolutely right, but on the other hand most Germans use the wrong case here. There is even a book about that and other uncertainties with the German language: http://www.amazon.de/Der-Dativ-ist-Genitiv-sein/dp/3462034480

February 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MaurDL

I have a feeling this is a problem endemic to all languages. I have a relatively high mastery of English and I can confirm for you most Americans don't have a proficient grasp of English either, especially on the internet. :p

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HannoBansch

Well, I never denied that Germans use it in the wrong way. But in official writings or mails you would avoid doing that because it makes you look as if you would not have mastered German. So usually Germans know how to correctly use it and just don't do it because they are lazy. That is clearly not a good excuse for someone learning the language.

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Skydancer3

Unfortunately a lot of Germans don't master the German language and I have the feeling it is getting worse. Many German texts on the Internet are written in horrible grammar and orthography. Even many people in the marketing seem not to master the German grammar. A lot of people can't differentiate between den/dem, seinen/seinem, ihren/ihrem, in/ihn, den/denn, etc.

Nevertheless (or because of that even more), Duolingo should teach correct German and no common mistakes.

February 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Skydancer3

I notice my German dialect does not even know a genitive.

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman

I totally agree with you. I'm actually surprised that at this stage we're taught colloquial language. It puzzles me to still struggle with basic grammar and instead of having sentences aimed at mastering those basics, I'm faced with some formally wrong sentences. The fact that most people speak this way doesn't make it correct.

September 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/chrcro

I one hundred percent agree with you. The discussion should not be whether or not it is correct, but instead why are we learning this at this point of our instruction, especially when it is showing up on a test of previous knowledge. The things that are showing up on this quiz to test to the next level has been my biggest complaint so far of Duolingo.

February 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi

"The fact that most people speak this way doesn't make it correct." I disagree with this. At least in decriptive linguistic, a language is defined by how the native speakers speak it.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman

@Skydancer3, I know that very well but if there were no institutions establishing standards, there would be no way of learning one single language as it would be split into countless dialects that with time would no longer be easily understood by even neighbouring communities where the language evolved differently. We're living in a globalised society where communication is vital so as important as it is to keep local and regional varieties for the sake of culture and heritage (accents, dialects, slang etc.), we are in need of a unique code that sets the linguistic boundaries for official purposes.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman

At the same time, if the language is not properly safeguarded and subject to some basic rules, every native speaker will be creating more and more ways of expression and shortcuts to the point of losing it. Every language needs structure and while it will always naturally evolve, we can't let it lose its academic basics.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Skydancer3

@chartsman (Sorry, I can't reply to your post.): Languages have always been developing and will always be. People can try to squeeze them into rules, but they can't stop them from developing. The language was there, before anybody laid down the rules. Especially Standard German was artificially created out of dialects to create a common language.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaurDL

This will all be moot once we embrace our glorious future robot overlords and the chips in our heads read our thoughts and do all the translating for us anyway.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarief.liv

Language is not made by purist - it's made by people who use it. If everyone around says it's "unserer" then it is correct, because the language works like that. Rules of lnaguages are defined by uses, not the other way around.

that's also why there are so many exception to rules in languages.

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman

"Everyone around" is vague enough to have a board that decides what is acceptable and what is not. If we allow all incorrect forms automatically just because they are common, languages will become a mess.

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Akudznam_Nafri

We truly hate the genitiv case :D

January 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk

Wird aber nicht akzeptiert.

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hikenneth

Is "because of our parents" dative or genitive because I've seen both unserer and unseren with this sentence..

December 22, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

Hopefully a native German speaker chimes in on why, but according to this link, wegen can be genitive or dative.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_grammar#Prepositions_and_cases

January 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/retepkilvap

According what I have learned so far, wegen should be followed by genitive so it should be unserer. Please correct me, if there is some other rule... Also according to the chart in the link you post, wegen is followed by genitive forms

February 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jklawnicki

In some cases DUO requires GEN - unserer, and in other DAT - unseren. It's not consequent!

August 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

ok what have we learned: 'wegen' is followed by genitive but in colloquial dative. So after a dozen or so tries I might catch on. WEGEN + genitive or dative oh and preps.

July 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sfratina

according to the above wiki, " with dative colloquially AND* with pronouns.", and in this case we have a pronoun, hence dative

July 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/anbrsi

Look what I've found on this link: http://german.about.com/library/blcase_dat2.htm "The genitive prepositions statt (instead of), trotz (in spite of), während (during) and wegen (because of) are often used with the dative in spoken German, particularly in certain regions. If you want to "blend in" and not sound too stuffy, you can use them in the dative also."

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/dennispouka

both "unseren" and "unserer" ought be correct answers

March 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nitishch

"We have a cat for the sake of our parents" is not accepted. Any valid reasons?

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hechap

Und ich habe einen Hund wegen meiner Tochter! And I have a dog because of my daughter . . . correct?

January 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hedi76
  • 1230

☺☺☺, perfekt!

January 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CaioFranca2

What case does "wegen" require?

April 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hedi76
  • 1230

To be correct German: Genitive

April 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CaioFranca2

What do you mean by correct German? is there a "slangish" way of using "wegen"?

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hedi76
  • 1230

Depending on regions and age of the speaker also dative is used. Young people often prefer the dative in order to avoid the genitive, but it is not standart German. Not yet, maybe it will be in 100 years?!

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/aldittli

My German grammar book (German in Review) says "gegen" takes the genitive case but that in colloquial German the dative case in increasingly used.

July 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Flannery65

You have German in Review too!!!!! But that book is ancient! I used in at university in 1983!

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tomerisrael

I have a German Grammar book which clearly says that after Wegen comes Genetiv. It should be unserer.

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

As mentioned several times on this page, in colloquial speech the dative is completely fine here. Both genitive and dative should be accepted.

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tomerisrael

They don't accept genetiv

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BettinaKa

Then you should report it! I prefer the dative, too, I find it more fluent, BUT ... a lot of Germans (who consider themselves experts, like my teacher colleagues ;-) ) HATE it when people use the dative here. They wouldn't say that the dative is colloquial or "fine" but would say it's completely wrong and / or a sign of poor education. I would even suggest that the dative MUST be marked with (colloq.) or so ...

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tomerisrael

If the German grammar books says that this word comes with Genetiv, so it's wrong to use Dativ.

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BettinaKa

Actually a lot of Germans use the Dativ (me too, but never in front of my students :-/ ), especially in informal situations, so I would go for both ... but if it's not possible to add markers, I would prefer the Genitive because it's definitely the "standard". Couldn't this Genitive/Dative-thing be mentioned in "Tipps & Notes"?

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

Actually, they don't say that: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/wegen

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tomerisrael

"Grammatik Präposition mit Genitiv: wegen eines Diebstahls wegen der hohen Preise wegen des Vaters oder des Vaters wegen wegen der Leute oder der Leute wegen wegen meiner (noch landschaftlich) Umgangssprachlich auch mit Dativ: wegen dem Kind wegen mir (meinetwegen)"

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tomerisrael

Bettina, thanks for the explanation, but Duolingo had a mistake there

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

they would say it's completely wrong and/or a sign of poor education

… and be completely wrong about that. I agree that it would be nice to have some usage markers (and context in general) but the system doesn't allow for them to be added.

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BettinaKa

Ah, ok, it's also possible because of the adjective. But still the genitive would be correct, too, as I understand it.

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

@BettinaKa: Sure, the genitive is correct and preferable in formal speech or writing. No question about that.

November 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anerman

Is 'wegen' related to 'weg'?

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MaurDL

Hint says another translation for "wegen" is "for the sake of". So then why is that not accepted? When would "wegen" be used as "for the sake of"?

October 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/keltic07

Wir haben eine Katze nicht wegen unseren Eltern :(

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

Wir haben keine Katze wegen unseren Eltern :(

:-)

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MaurDL

Isn't that "We have no cat because of our parents"?

What if he means to say "We have a cat, but not because of our parents"?

Is it that he is missing an "aber"?

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/keltic07

Danke!

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aalibash

We "are having" a cat because of our parents is not accepted. Warum?

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

In English "we are having a cat" implies that "we are eating a cat".

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/aalibash

Funny I read this sentence right after my colleague mentioned that he was "having a baby" :D

August 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Katzenschlafs

Or giving birth to a cat! Like in the English idiom "Don't have a cow."

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Pamelan77

That's definitely US English though, I doubt you'd hear it often in the UK.

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Katpple

Hey actually what is the singular form of "Eltern"?

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HannoBansch

While "das/der Elter" is a real word, noone ever uses it. What you would rather hear is "das Elternteil", meaning something like "part of the parents", awkward in english, normal in German. But you only ever use that if it is necessary to have a gender-neutral word, e.g. when refering to father or mother as in "As long as one parent is at home the child is not forced to go to day care." Otherwise you'd always use "Mutter" or "Vater".

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Katpple

THANKS!

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GermanGirl428042

Weird sentence

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/langwithduo

Shouldn't "We have a cat by way of our parents." also be accepted, it's also closer to more literal translation while still making sense in English?

Definition: "by way of":

a.by the route of; through; via.

b.as a method or means of: example:to number articles by way of distinguishing them.

c.(British). in the state or position of (being, doing, etc.); ostensibly: example:He is by way of being an authority on the subject]

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MaurDL

Seeing as how "weg" means "way" I think this makes sense.

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Skydancer3

This "wegen" has nothing to do with "Weg" = "way". "Weg" can transform to "Wegen" (plural) in some cases, but "wegen" means "because of".

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/langwithduo

That's incorrect: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wegen#German

Etymology section on Wiktionary says it does in fact come from "Weg":

"Shortened from "von X Wegen"(by way of); ultimately the dative plural of Weg."

And it's used in pretty much exactly the same way as English as another method of saying "because" but not as quite as strongly as weil(because)

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Flannery65

Etymology is not the same as current correct usage. There's a far bit of Middle English we can all understand, but that doen't make it correct for modern english.

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/langwithduo

Yeah, that's what I was trying to imply when I said "it's closer to more literal translation."

Surprised no one picked up on it earlier, seems pretty obvious

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Flannery65

As an English speaker, I regret your sentence doesn't seem to make sense. what's wrong with "because of"?

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacob665939

You are thinking too hardly.

April 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexiorsay

Why is there no comma between Katze and wegen? I thought dependent clauses needed to be separated by commas- am I misinterpreting this sentence structure?

July 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ZoranMudronja

Why? To keep them away from the house?

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gurnik

What is the difference of 'denn' and 'wegen' ?

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Toryalai

We have a cat, because of our parents.

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas516141

The answer 'We have a cat due to our parents.' is WRONG. Sorry, but this would be a good line from a Sci-Fi movie. One of our parents would have to be a cat. So here are possible answers: 'We have a cat, thanks to our parents.' 'We have a cat, by way of our parents.' The sense being that it is 'by way of', or 'thanks to' our parents that we have acquired a cat. Perhaps it was a stray that ended up on their doorstep.

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas328056

What if you want to say, "We have a cat for the sake of our parents".

April 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sencez

Is it like wegen is because of something? and weil is because in general? like 'weil ich kann' vs 'wegen ich kann' to me weil ich kann sounds right but Im not native so.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod

    weil + subordinate clause ("because"):

    Ich bin glücklich, weil ich einen Bruder habe = "I am happy because I have a brother"

    wegen + noun in genitive case ("because of"):

    Ich bin glücklich wegen meines Bruders = "I am happy because of my brother"

    May 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Elardus

    Thanks az_p, finally a sensible comment that explains a lot!

    Glad to find out the subtle difference between 'weil' and 'wegen' and also understand why there's no comma before the latter.

    October 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/The-German-Hit

    Shouldn't it be 'unser' or 'unserer'?

    August 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Anya_Dubinkina

    I read "wegen unseren Enten" and was lika WHAAAAAAAAAAA

    Always get confused becouse af that

    November 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jeff487229

    I think there is a bug in the android app. Once in a while, when entering the text for the answer the text field collapses to one line making it very difficult to to review the answer for correctness or edit it.

    March 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Puett

    After all the discussion, Duo still has not corrected the mistake! It must be translated as "wegen unserer (genitive case) Eltern". By the way, are the parents mice?

    June 1, 2019
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