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  5. "Wir haben den dritten Oktobe…

"Wir haben den dritten Oktober."

Translation:It is the third of October.

December 22, 2012



Before one gives sentence like this, one should give a short explanation about the way they express dates in German. Or else, this subject just might slip away, and leave you with a "broken heart" without ever knowing why.


Good point! We are working on giving users better explanations up front. Let me bring your feedback back to the team. Thanks!


I second needing feedback like that! I translated the sentence literally to "We have the third October". It didn't even click that it referred to date; I thought that it was just that I was missing something and it referred to the third october in a row that they had something. My submission was accepted as correct, and I'd argue that it shouldn't be as it misses the concept behind the words, but then what else can be done without the kind of feedback needed to make sense of this sentence. :P


Indeed, I was completely puzzled about this sentence, until I learned that when Germans want to ask, "what day is it today?" they say "Welchen Tag haben wir heute?" (Which day do we have today.) Suddenly it all makes sense.


Or "Welches Datum haben wir heute?"


I knew that and still didn't get this sentence.


Thank you. You made it clear for me


I find it is interesting when you translate word by word and find out that your translation is not wrong, even though it is not completely right


I got it right as well but sometimes I pick up on the odd nuances of certain sentences on duo.

[deactivated user]

    Yes I translated as "We have the third October" in the same way as you. I don't mind so long as the real translation comes up underneath as it did. If I didn't check that I guess I would still have no idea and think I'd been correct.


    I hate to complain, but this explanation has yet to be added to the Tips and Phrases section and it's 5 years after your comment. I know Germans are slow to change, but it'd be nice if these kinds of things were added.


    6 years later....no change


    Please do that on each declination too, and then create more specific "bubbles" in the end of the whole course for declinations...!


    Agreed. I've noticed more hint bubbles appearing for new concepts lately, so maybe they're working on it.


    Good detective work ;) We are indeed.


    3 years later and there still isn't one for this though.


    Einverstanden! Ich habe, seit ein paar Jahre Deutsch gesprochen, und ich habe dieses Ding noch nicht richtig gelernt. (das ist was ist passiert, wann man sich lehrt :P)


    I don't understand the bracket part. What do you want to say? "It seems, "lehrt" doesn't fit here. Native german


    Vielleicht er meint: "wenn man sich selbst beibringt"? (bin noch lernender)

    • 2214

    So habe ihn auch verstanden.


    It was fine learning through gotchas before the user-hostile hearts and gems system, but now it's a real impediment.



    Just use the Duo web version. It has no hearts and works on mobile platforms just like on a PC. Just need to run Duo in a browser instead of the app. (Chrome if you want the speaking/microphone exercises. If you don't care about the microphone/speaking part any browser will do.)

    Personally, I tend to use web versions of things anyway since I don't like cluttering up mobile memory with apps unless there is no choice. So it works out just fine for me.


    Sorry if this is a repeat question. But is this the way to say the date in german? Or just another way to say it?


    Just another way, "Es ist der dritte Oktober" is the more logical way to say it.


    I see your "Mean Girls" reference, and I raise you with AWESOME.


    Why is 'wir haben' used here instead of 'es ist'?


    Think of it like the English construct of "what time do you have?" Same sort of flowery sentence.


    I see, some phrases are not logically constructed... In what context would you say "what time do you have?". Do you mean "do you have the time?".


    Some phrases are not logically constructed to you, as a non-native :) They're perfectly logical in German. Also, where I'm from, I'd say "what time do you have" or "what time have you got" and be grammatical. Depending on where you're from, your mileage may vary.


    Yes, I'm sure there are English sentences that are not logically constructed but I don't realise as a native speaker :) It's just a case of having to learn the idioms of a new language, which can be confusing and frustrating!


    And in some cases you might be speaking to someone who is in a different time zone or who is dealing with potentially different data than you (which I suspect is a further possible use for this sentence.) Who knows, maybe you're out in the wilderness and someone's watch got set wrong somehow.

    ...I once read a story about an elusive computer error caused by an American-written program running in France in which I believe the program tried to set the date in the wrong format, thereby changing the French system to the wrong date if that part of the program ran an odd number of times. (I didn't remember it exactly accurately, but: http://thedailywtf.com/articles/TransAtlantic-Time-Trap )

    Me, I just didn't think about "den dritten Oktober" referring to a specific day within the month. X) I think German interferes with my parsing of British English.


    "What time do you have" would be used to ask what someone thinks the time is when there are several people giving different times. "Do you have the time" would be used to ask what the time is when you don't know it at all.


    Actually, "what time do you have?" "do you have the time?" and "what time is it" are synonymous in context. "Do you have the time?" however, can also be used to ask someone whether they have enough time to do something.


    Oooooooooh, so it's sort of like saying "We are on the third of October", or better yet "Today we have the third of October"


    Just out of curiosity, let's suppose this very specific context: say, we're having heavy rains in October year after year. Then, at the third year, some meteorologist remarks "so much rain... we have the third October of it/it's the third October this way/[anything in this way]". How to say the third month of October in this way in German? Sorry if it is too picky, but, well... for learners, I think you might also like it, hehe...


    It has to be figured out from the context. Der dritte Oktober can mean both October 3rd and the 3rd October from many.


    I agree. However, you could try to be more specific: "Es ist der dritte Oktober in Folge mit so viel Regen."


    You mean how would you convey that they are looking at their records? I like this question. :)


    Something like that! How to count Octobers, haha... and incidentally, we have to remark the third one.


    I literally translated this as "we have the third October". Would this ever be used for anything? It was correct.


    "Third October" is actually how some people say "third of October" or "October third" or even "October three". To me the sentence about sounds like you have booked a hotel room. "We have the room on the third of October"


    "October three" - Maybe a regional thing? That would be a quite unusual sentence in Canada. I don't think I've ever heard it.

    [deactivated user]

      "october three" code-word much? :D

      October three! October three, come in! October three, we are taking heavy fire! lol


      Du kannst gerne dafür ein Lingot haben. :P

      [deactivated user]


        It's all regional ;) I've never heard October third said here in Britain, but the North Americans seem to prefer that phrasing.


        I'm Canadian, and I sometimes use the "October three" format of expressing a date. Not all the time, but I do sometimes. I use "October third" more often, but I will still sometimes say "October three". And yes, English is my native language, and I did not immigrate here; I've spent my whole life here and was born here.


        Yes, I said "we have the third October", too. I was wondering if it meant an unusually warm December or something. How else would you have three Octobers?


        I thought it meant three consecutive Octobers across three years. Something like "This is the third October now that someone has smashed up all my pumpkins."


        Is this a mean girls reference


        On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was.


        it's october 3rd


        Why is this "dritten" instead of "dritte"?


        Any consecutive adjectives in the accusative case with masculine nouns have the end -n to them. For example: Ich habe einen größen Hund. You could keep going with this and say "Ich habe einen größen lauten schwarzen hässlichen Hund". Lol


        Now I am confused because in an ealier answer I declined 'dritten' and was marked incorrect. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6613154 In the comments it said that apart from 'Ein' adjectives describing number are invariable. I have tried a google search on this without success so far could someone please clarify the rule on this for me


        It's adjectival cardinal numbers except »eine« “one” that are invariable in German: »zwei«, »drei«, »vier«, usw.

        All adjectival ordinal numbers decline regularly in German: »erste« “first”, »zweite« “second”, »dritte« “third”, »vierte« “fourth”, usw.


        For all those wondering if the 3rd october is something special or if this sentence would be used in real life: Yes and yes.

        The 3rd october is "Der Tag der deutschen Einheit". This is the anniversary of the unification of Germany and therefore an important holiday. Many people are on the streets, there are concerts, shows and politicians making speeches ect.

        So if people who don't know anything about this holiday visit Germany and ask what is going on, the interviewee could start the explanation with the sentence given here.


        I don't think ''We have October third'' is ok here...


        The only time I can see that being used is if someone asked a restaurant hostess "What dates do you have available for a seating of 12?" and the reply was "Well, we have October third and fifth at 8pm and 9pm respectively." Or something like that.


        Sure. Or a dentist--"Let's see, you're due back in six months. We have . . . ."


        Why is this in this case? I'm confused? Is it just accusative and months are masculine?


        very similar to 'nous sommes' + date or season, in french


        Aaron samuels: what day is it?


        I'm going to motion toward someone addressing Thaigoleal's question. How would we say something like, "This is the third October..." I interpreted immediately this sentence as indicating three octobers....not the 3rd of October....But, I could see how we might say, "We have the 3rd October..." open for an appointment, for instance


        "This is the third of October" was rejected. Why?


        Because even if it gives you the same information, that is not what it's saying.


        Where I live, we can say; we are the third of October.


        Thanks for your answer :) Where are you from then ?


        'It is the third of October' and 'We have the third October' are both right. But they are obviously different meanings.


        And why is "we are the third of October" rejected ? Also when I learnt English, the teacher would say "October the third" (it has always sounded like a king's name to me :-P )... What is really used in the UK and the US to say that ?

        Thanks for your answer :-)


        "We are the third of October" makes no sense in English; nor is it a literal translation. In English, we might say "It is October third" or "October the third." Both are pretty common in my experience. [Native US English speaker.]


        Side note:
        "We are the third of October" is very common in Quebec/Montreal English due to heavy influence from the French.

        • What are we today?
        • We're the 17th.

        Apparently, from what I've been told (repeatedly by Mrs. Hohenems), this is a unique Quebec/Montreal thing.


        Fascinating. I had a feeling we'd turn up a difference like that. Just as soon as anybody says "makes no sense in English," it turns out there are regional variations. Duolingo: a place where you can learn your own language, for free. ;-)


        Did anyone noticed that October 3 is German Unification Day?


        There are 95 comments (about to be, 96) and not a single one with a clear explanation why this sentence makes sense in German. It would be nice if moderators cleaned this up a bit. In fact, there are more references to English, people's birthdays and other non-related matter, than German. Some native speakers have chimed in and stated, to paraphrase, "Well, it makes sense in German." Ok, thats wonderful! I'm so happy it does! But, this answer does nothing to actually explain why it makes sense in German. Without further ado, if someone can explain the logic behind it? And please, don't tell me something along the lines of how it just makes sense. More often than not, when I heard professors say this, it meant they didn't fully understand why, either. Vielen dank! :)


        How can a native speaker explain why it makes sense in his own language? It just does! In Polish it's exactly the same - we always "have" the 1st/2nd/3rd etc. (day of the) month. There's no way of explaining the way it works other than just remembering this construction.


        If tomorrow is the third of October, would I say, "Wir haben morgen den dritten Oktober"?


        If this means the third day of October, then how can we say the third October? Like "The third October since the incident."


        How do we distinguish "October 3 or 3rd of October" from "the 3rd October" (e.g. This is already the 3rd October since we went from Berlin) ?


        Just like you did in your example.

        "This is already the 3rd October since we went from Berlin." = "Dies ist schon der dritte Oktober, seit wir von Berlin weggegangen sind."

        So the context is crucial in sentences like this.

        We also often use the word "Mal" to better differentiate temporal differences:

        • "Wir haben schon zum dritten Mal Oktober." -> the third time
        • "Es ist zum dritten Mal der dritte Oktober." -> october 3rd for the third time


        "On October third he asked me what day it was."


        Or: It is October the third. - This is perfectly acceptable in English and means exactly the same. Please add it to accepted answers.


        I answered October the third, which is standard English, and was marked wrong.


        i translated it as: we have the third October. which i know is awful English and it was accepted. I'm glad to see a better translation here: it is the third of October.


        why is the translation underneath say "It is the third of October." and not "he have the..." why is it not "Es ist den dritten Oktober"


        I usually hear "Es ist der dritte Oktober" to say "it is the third of October'. So, can I just say "Es ist der dritte Oktober"? Since we are learning here, I hope DL will use more common sentences than sentences that only people with already high level of German will know.


        What means "third of October" ??


        I believe it is short for "It is the third [day of the month/] of October".


        Yeah I know, but what I'm trying to say is that if October 3rd is a German Celebration?

        • 2863

        @ldcm.92 : Yes, it is a German holiday, see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Unity_Day


        I think it would be less confusing if there's a footnote saying "October 3rd is a holiday in germany", because you cannot tell from the sentence itself whether it is " It is October 3rd" or "We are having the 3rd October (in a context, for example, that we start our relationship in October 2011 and now it is October 2013)" . Well at least the latter was my first thought when I saw the sentence.


        Versteht man, wer eine Deutsche Muttersprache hat, diese Englische Übersetzung??


        Why not saying "Es ist den dritten Oktober"? Sounds more logical


        Is it ok to say "We are the third of october" in english or it's only correct to say "it is" ?


        I would think you were saying you were the member of a group or a Rock Band called the "Third of October" :)


        Apparently, according to another comment here in this thread, saying "we are the third of October" is acceptable if you're in the province of Québec in Canada, but not anywhere else (including anywhere else in Canada).


        I'm sure most people would understand what you meant if it you said that, but I've never heard anyone say it that way. We'd say, "It's October third," or "It's the third of October" and you might say, "What? We're already on the third of October?" but not "We are the third of October." (I'm in Canada. Others may differ.)


        When you ask a few people "What day is it?" or in business "When were we going to deliver that?" They could reply "We have the third of October."


        If "it is the third of October" accepted, why isn't "we are the third of October" not accepted?


        Because that's improper English... unless you live in Québec, apparently. lol.


        If it's true,and I'm not sure whether it is or not, it's because English-speakers are affected by French-speakers and vice versa. My Anglo aunt would order from a menu saying she'd like crevettes, and so on. Some Anglophones in Montreal will speak English with a French accent, even though they speak little or no French. And québécois French is also full of anglicisms, Pi c'est ben l'fun.


        how can Wir haven turn into "it is"? make no sense at all...


        Like in English when we say, "We are hungry," but in German it is said, "We have hunger," the English "It is October" becomes the German "We have October."


        What does mean this sentence


        Es bedeutet: Es ist 3 Oktober. (Auf US Englisch: It is October 3.


        I don't know if it's the app or if they've recently changed it but I noticed people were saying that it wasn't accepting "We have the third October", however that was the translation it gave me when I accidentally put " Wet have to the third of October". .-.


        Sometimes I find the German phrase like a puzzle that we have to figure it out not to understand it as a normal phrase .


        Why is it that "We are on the third of October." an acceptable answer, yet "We are in the third of October." is not?


        Just like we say we will do something "on Monday" but not "in" it. Perhaps it has to do with writing the appointment on a calendar. We also do things "during" the week, month or year. "In the time" it took me to answer this, I haven't found another reason to use "in" except to say "in the day" or "in the night", "in an hour", "in a minute" or "in a second", "in a week", "in a month" or "in a year". "In the day" would mean "during the day", while "in a day" would more likely mean "after one day". I will be back in a year. I work in the day. Actually I would more likely say "I work at night." then "in the night".

        Otherwise, "We are in October." is correct, but "on" is used for a specific day so it is "We are on the third of October." or "It is October third."


        This is so confusing, I just don't get it.


        Actually, it's the 20th.


        I,ve got confused after reading alot.so l'll agree with Du in the end


        I write the same form and don't acept


        He asked me what date it was....its october 3rd


        'We have the third October' should be accepted surely?


        I would have to say no. It should be '3rd OF October'. If you take out the 'of', it makes it sound like you are counting Octobers, as in "Who is hosting the next few Halloweens?" "Johnny has the first October (say in 2018). Sally has the second October (as in 2019) and we have the third October (2020)." I realize that conversation most likely wouldn't happen that way, but I hope the explanation of the missing 'of' makes sense.


        what a coincidence, we have the 3rd of October in the US as well (this sounds so bizarre to a native English speaker)


        We have the third of October was accepted. Is it a correct english?


        Can't we use "es gibt" instead of "wir haben"?


        No, that's not combinable with a date.


        Is "den dritten Oktober" accusative or dative?


        It's accusative.

        • "den" -> accusative
        • "dem" -> dative


        Fullmetal alchemist


        when I saw this and translated it literally, I thought it meant something like: we only have a third of the month of October to do or finish something, it never would have occurred that it was simply the third day, is this structure of using "we have..." always used like this?


        why is "Wir haben den dritten October." correct (October / Oktober), please stop letting me make mistakes, especially as Oktober is the word that is being taught in this question!


        Perhaps we should be more acceptive of the fact that this is how dates are expressed by Germans. Im sure there must be a lot confusion for people learing English.


        In English English one would normally say 'it's October the third'


        So how would one express, We have the third of October free? If here wir haben is translated as It is.


        @ Robyn440377

        According to Google translate as: "Wir haben den dritten Oktober frei".

        Google translate can give some odd results with longer sentences and paragraphs but short ones tend to be more reliable. And I also seem to remember it this way from when I lived in Germany as well.


        Why do we have to use "den" here?


        "Der Oktober" is subject to "wir haben", so it is in the accusative case.


        'We have the third of October', Should be accepted, surely?


        No. While that's a direct translation, it's very unusual in English, and means something other than "it's the third of October" - but "it's the third of October" is all the German phrase means. We need to preserve the meaning of the original, not just the wording.


        Couldn't you also say this as "Heute ist den dritte Oktober," or "Es ist den dritte Oktober"?


        Yes, but it is "der" not "den".


        Am Mittwoch trägen wir pink



        but it is "tragen" not "trägen"


        Crazy sentence? Make no sense.


        Your comment makeS no sense. The sentence is very basic. I wonder how you reached level 22 in German without understanding the sense of dates.


        I'm happy you are so skilled at learning languages. Maybe some aren't, and a seemingly simple phrase can hang them up. As this did me. I see my mistake and now understand it better. Relax with the negativity.


        There was nothing negative about my comment, maybe you should relax? :)


        "It is October the third" is perfect English and should have been accepted.


        Shouldn't the date be expressed by the dative.....why is den used?


        I agree that guidance is needed here.


        I wrote: it is October the third and got it wrong, why?

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