Translation:We have a cat because of our parents.
"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."
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
@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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
"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.
Is "because of our parents" dative or genitive because I've seen both unserer and unseren with this sentence..
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
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
In some cases DUO requires GEN - unserer, and in other DAT - unseren. It's not consequent!
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.
according to the above wiki, " with dative colloquially AND* with pronouns.", and in this case we have a pronoun, hence dative
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."
"We have a cat for the sake of our parents" is not accepted. Any valid reasons?
Und ich habe einen Hund wegen meiner Tochter! And I have a dog because of my daughter . . . correct?
What do you mean by correct German? is there a "slangish" way of using "wegen"?
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?!
My German grammar book (German in Review) says "gegen" takes the genitive case but that in colloquial German the dative case in increasingly used.
You have German in Review too!!!!! But that book is ancient! I used in at university in 1983!
I have a German Grammar book which clearly says that after Wegen comes Genetiv. It should be unserer.
As mentioned several times on this page, in colloquial speech the dative is completely fine here. Both genitive and dative should be accepted.
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 ...
If the German grammar books says that this word comes with Genetiv, so it's wrong to use Dativ.
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"?
"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)"
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.
Ah, ok, it's also possible because of the adjective. But still the genitive would be correct, too, as I understand it.
@BettinaKa: Sure, the genitive is correct and preferable in formal speech or writing. No question about that.
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"?
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"?
Funny I read this sentence right after my colleague mentioned that he was "having a baby" :D
Or giving birth to a cat! Like in the English idiom "Don't have a cow."
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".
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?
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]
This "wegen" has nothing to do with "Weg" = "way". "Weg" can transform to "Wegen" (plural) in some cases, but "wegen" means "because of".
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)
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.
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
As an English speaker, I regret your sentence doesn't seem to make sense. what's wrong with "because of"?
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?
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.
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.
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"
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.
I read "wegen unseren Enten" and was lika WHAAAAAAAAAAA
Always get confused becouse af that
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.