Why isn't it "Sie mogen Wasser nicht", what's with the change in structure? I thought verb comes before subject in questions, and this isn't a question.
Because German marks (pro)nouns with cases, word order is more flexible. You can say either "Sie mögen Wasser nicht" or "Wasser mögen Sie nicht".
I assume it's the same as "They do not like water" and "Water is not liked by them"?
I don't think it is the same as that, because in your example the two sentences are different in what is subject ("they" vs "water)", because the verb is in its active form in the first case, passive in the second.
In German the two sentences "Sie mögen Wasser nicht" and "Wasser mögen Sie nicht" are just the same (I think! German-speakers please correct me if necessary), the different order does not give any different role/value to the words and "Sie" is the subject in both cases... Isn't it?
Quite so, Stefano.
"Wasser mögen sie nicht" gives some emphasis on the water, like in English "Water is the thing they do not like."
Can you remove the subject if the pronouns are obvious?
I mean, for example "You see me." being translated into "Siehst mich.", eliminating the subject "du".
This is correct, the order is technically correct. However, almost all Germans would say "Sie mögen nicht Wasser" (the nicht has to go right after the verb in this structure)
Also, wouldn't the 'sie' be capitalized to suggest third person plural, or is that only the case when differentiating between formal/informal versus third person singular. This program does not make any attempt to differentiate or start by simply conjugating verbs- i.e. ich, du, er/sie/es, wir, ihr, sie/Sie. Umlauts are not initially brought up nor 's' sets. I would have been so lost if I had not already formally studied some German.
no sie (they) is not capitalized. That is why they restructured the sentence since the capitalization of Sie at the beginning of the sentence could confuse people learning the language.
I'm afraid not man. One can be sure that the sie means 'they' here by the verb mögen, no matter the sie is at the beginning or not. If it's Sie here, the verb will be mögt.
Instead of "Sie mögen Wasser nicht" you'd more often hear "Sie mögen kein Wasser." In Germany you have the possibility to put an object in the beginning whenever you want, for emphasis or some other purpose:
"Sie mögen kein Wasser, aber ihre Kinder, die trinken gerne Wasser!"
"Wasser mögen sie nicht, aber Bier schon!"
"Der Hund hat den Knochen gefressen"
"Den Knochen hat der Hund nicht gefressen, aber das Fleisch schon!"
maybe there is two kind of structures ... anyway we still at the begining courses, there will be explanations later i guess
The verb is suppose to be in the second position in this kind of phrase. The order of the other parts is more flexible.
I'm thinking the same thing coz from what I know and learned, when using modal verbs in a sentence, the subject is in position 1, then the modal verb, direct obj. and the infinitive verb.
The structure is not that important in German, I guess.. The verb is where you look.
The first element is the theme of the sentence. "Wasser mögen sie nicht" adds information about water. "Sie mögen Wasser nicht" says something new about them (Sie).
The verb comes second. The first element is often the subject, but it can be another element. The idea is the new information comes at the end. So if you say "Wasser mögen sie nicht", it probably means that the subject of the conversation is water, and you want to put forward the information that "they" don't like it.
It's like in Italian, you can change the order. You can say "A loro l'acqua non piace", or "L'acqua non piace loro" or "L'acqua a loro non piace". By the way, "piacere" is an intransitive verb in Italian, do things are a little more complicated. It's like "gefallen" in German.
No, they don't. Don't worry about it too much for now you'll learn along the way. For now, just remember that the verb (mogen) is always in the second position.
As long as the verb comes second. An older style of English would have allowed, "She called; but answer came there none!"
Look at the verb's conjugation. If it means "they", the verb will end in -en (at least in present tense). If it means "she", the verb will end in -t. See also http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang04b.htm
Actually, in this case, if sie had meant she, then the verb would have been mag instead of mögen.
He meant for regular verbs. Irregular will change the second and third person of singular and the second of plural.
It should be like this. I have learned it like this in school. ich, du , er/sie/es, wir, ihr, Sie
So, when it's "S" it is "they" and "she" is "sie"
And duolingo does not accepting that, dunno why :/
Sorry, but you have that backwards. Capitalized S "Sie" is formal-you. Lowercase s "sie" is she or they (note that if this word is at the beginning of a sentence, it will be capitalized).
With third person plural there is the familiar versus the formal. If you knew a person well i.e. friend or family member that would be a non capitalized 'sie', whereas the formal would be addressed to someone on a professional or diplomatic sense and would get the capital 'S'.
That’s not true: For informal addressing you use either du (singular) or ihr (plural). The word sie with minuscule s means they and Sie with capital S means you (formal, both singular and plural).
I think this is the first time since the basics that Duolingo has actually used "they" during my lessons. I wish there was a way to practice, not "weakest words," but "words that have been seen the least often."
Water is stressed with this word order, so a correct translation would be 'It's water they don't like'.
yes, but this would be translation + adaptation to English. We have to translate almost literally at this stage
why is it not correct to answer "You don;t like water", when referring to the formal 'you'?
Because "sie" is not capitalized, it does not mean formal "you". (It is ambiguous in speech, though.)
thanks for that. I worked it out after I posted the comment. I realise that it is all there in the detail... you just have to look.
I believe that would be: Wasser mag ihren nicht.
Or perhaps: Ihren mag Wasser nicht.
no it's not she, you can tell by the verb conjugation, the conjugations tells that it's for a plural, therefore sie means they, since Sie =You(formal), sie = they/she
I was told that German and English are very similar. But such structural changes are not widespread in English. German language is indeed very flexible.
They used to be much more flexible in English though - just think of sentence structure in Shakespeare for example. I'm pretty sure 'water they like not' would have been acceptable then.
Err... I get the capitalised "S" and accustavie/nomative things, but what about making it a negative? Can it not be "Wasser mögen nicht sie" ? Why?
See some references on how and where to use the word “nicht”: http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/The-Position-Of-Nicht.htm http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/German-Negation.htm
This is what gets me, the order of the verbs and why. Someone above said that the verb must be in the second position in sentences like this. But why? and how do you tell when the sentence has to be structured this way?
In non-question sentences the verbs goes always to the second place. Things get complicated with modal verbs (more than one verb in the main clause) and with dependent clauses (different types of clauses need different word orders). But with basic sentences the “verb on the second position” works.
how come nicht goes at the end of the sentence? Is this a rule like the verb placement?
Thank you for the link, AgenTsi, but I still have some doubts. Regarding the example given in that page... You'd say "Ich trinke nicht meine Limonade", but "Ich trinke Limonade nicht"?
Could it be translate as "Water don't like them"? I know it's a like weird, but...
Duolingo says "Wasser mögen sie nicht" but refuses elsewhere "Wir mögen Wasser nicht". Why do you need to use 'kein' in the second sentence but not in the first ?
what if we are talking about [they-sie] and it goes at the begining and we have to capitalize it, how do we differentiate between formal you and they? for both, the verbs end in -en
Then it would be ambiguous. But I think that's why they're trying to put it in the middle of the sentence so it's clear...
though obviously it would usually be clear from the context, which we don't have here.
I still don't understand why I couldn't write, "Wasser moegen Sie nicht." meaning formal "you". Anyway, I did capitalize Sie and was still correct.
again with the lost heart due to them thinking i shouldnt have a the before "water" my answer: "they don't like the water" their answer: they dont like water
Because the conjugation of "mögen" (to like) is "mögen" (plural subjects). If the subject was "she" (third person singular), the conjugation of "mögen" would have been "mag" (third person singular).
In this sentence the "Wasser" is stressed. e.g. Sie sind durstig, aber Wasser moegen sie nicht. They are thirsty, but they do not like water. Hope this helps.
this discussion has helped me a lot. So, it's sie=they when the verb (regular of course) ends in ...en. I'm hooking that to "they+en=then". Ok, next we have sie = she with singular verb ending ...t, and finally Sie (caps) with plural verb for formal I'll remember the big S is for BIG shots. Of couse if sie/Sie is at the beginning of a sentence it's up to the verb again. Thanks to everyone for the help.
if "Wasser mögen sie nicht" is = They don't like water. then how to express the reverse "the Water does not like them"?
das Wasser mag sie nicht
"Water" is singular so you would use a different verb form.
【Word Order】I'm not joking, but who can tell me who is looking at who in this sentence: Jack sieht Rose. I've been seeing comments below and still not 100% sure about the word order rule.
'Sie' means formal plural or formal singular you, while 'sie' means they. When sie goes to the beginning of a sentence, its meaning can only be told by contexts.
No, it would be Sie moegen kein Wasser.
OMG. so every sentence in german would be a challenge for translators. or it's new for me to see flexible structures!!!?? .
My answer was "You don't like water", as a polite form. And Dou didn't validate it. Why my answer is not correct? Thank you.
Sie is not capitalized in the sentence. The formal you must be capitalized.
No, it is not. The verb mögen has to be the second thing in the sentence, and you can't put both the object Wasser and the subject sie in front of it.
Can I just have a practice that dosent have the same phrase 5 times? Theres a lot more to German than the same handfull of phrases that CONSTANTLY pop up. Need more variety so i can practice the words im not good with.
Sentences like this are why I'll never be able to understand German completely.
What about "Sie mögen kein Wasser." As in "they like no water." Or something like that. Sry if stupid question.
I understand this would be a nonsense statement, but how would one say 'Water doesn't like them'?
Vielen dank. I never thought about whether water would be singular or plural oops.
Hi, thank you for posing this wonderfully insightful question.
Since 'sie' (them) remains 'sie', when changing from the nominative to the accusative, my question is if this sentence can be understood as 'Water doesn't like them' since you can't tell the case by 'sie'? 'Wasser' lacks a pronoun so I can't tell if it is the subject or the object either. Many thanks!
The verb mögen shows that the subject is first person plural or third person plural.
So at best, it could mean "Waters don't like them" -- but as in English, "water" is rarely spoken of in the plural in German, so that would be an unlikely interpretation of Wasser mögen sie nicht.; it's much more likely for the subject of mögen to be sie.
If you want to use Sie for "you", then Wasser mag Sie nicht.
Note that the verb will change to agree with the subject Wasser.
However, with a plural subject, e.g. Möbel mögen sie nicht, it could mean either "Furniture does not like them" or "They do not like furniture".
This example convinced me that this order makes sense. >>>>> Die Pflanzen bevorzugen einen gut durchfeuchteten Boden. Doch zu viel Wasser mögen sie nicht. ;)
So when does it become an obligation to use ''kein''? I remember that in some courses we were forced to use ''kein''.
No. That would mean that "you" (Sie) don't like water rather than that "they" (sie) don't like water.
Can someone help, my app isnt playing any vocal audio but its playing all the other sound effects. Theres no way i can pass this questions without hearing them, does anyone know how to fix this?
Is it still grammatically correct if I would say "Sie mogen Wasser nicht"?
I feel your confusion...It seems like German always puts the negative at the end of the sentence, not (well, not always anyway.)
Here, take a look at these links. It might help to resolve your confusion. You will get to the point when you'll just instinctively know which one to use...but, where to use it still gets me confused sometimes. Good luck!
Is the only reason we can tell that sie is the subject is because mögen can't refer to Wasser? Does the sentence "Bären mögen sie nicht" translate to "they don't like the bears" or "the bear doesn't like her"or something else entirely
Is the only reason we can tell that sie is the subject is because mögen can't refer to Wasser?
Does the sentence "Bären mögen sie nicht" translate to "they don't like the bears" or "the bear doesn't like her"or something else entirely
It could mean either "Bears do not like her", "Bears do not like them", or "They don't like bears". (Bären cannot mean "the bear" or "the bears".)
In speech, you would be able to tell what was the subject from intonation (and context).
In writing, it's ambiguous, and would generally be understood as having Bären being the subject if there was no context, since subject–verb–object is the default word order.
To expose you to sentences that do not have the subject first -- Germans sometimes put other parts at the beginning or end to emphasise or focus them.
Here, for example, Wasser could be a topic -- a bit as if you had said: "I'll tell you something about water: they don't like it" or "As for water: they don't like it".
The emphasis is a bit different between Sie mögen kein Wasser and Wasser mögen sie nicht, even if the basis meaning is similar.
So you should expect to encounter sentences with non-default word order and be able to understand them correctly.
But in German, it sounds a lot more natural than in English; this kind of word order has more or less fallen out of favour in English and so it tends to sound archaic or poetic.
why is not sie mögen keine wasser? wasser is a noun and we use kein to dent nouns... i dont get the order and the use of nicht
wasser is a noun
Indeed. Which is why it has to be capitalised. Capitalisation is part of the spelling.
Also, Wasser is a neuter noun, not a feminine one or a plural one.
So feminine or plural keine does not make sense here.
Sie mögen kein Wasser. would be possible.
I'm afraid not. "mögen" makes "sie" into "they" in this instance.
Wasser mögen sie nicht = They do not like water.
Wasser mag sie nicht = She does not like water.
Wasser mögen Sie nicht = You (formal) do not like water.
(all of these put the emphasis on Wasser).
It could also be stated as:
Sie mögen Wasser nicht. = They/You do not like water.
Sie mag Wasser nicht. = She does not like water.
(all of these put the emphasis on Sie)
Nobody can see your answer.
If you have a question about your answer, please always quote the entire answer here.
Why can't this be translated as 'water doesn't like the'? I get that it doesn't make that much sense, but I'm more looking at the sentence structure to know for the future.
Why can't this be translated as 'water doesn't like the'?
Look at the verb. mögen cannot have a singular subject.
I think there is a similarity between French and German. When you say" il me manque" you mean "I miss him." I suppose an exception for pronoun objects
I vaguely understand why this happens, but I need somebody to clarify something, please. If it were "She does not like water" then it could be "Wasser magt sie nicht", right? If that's the case, then how does one tell that it means this instead of "Water doesn't like her"? Is it just that they would not do this in situations where to two could possibly be confused? For instance, you wouldn't use the example I gave because it would be confusing and you wouldn't be able to say "Manner mogen sie nicht" because it could mean "Men don't like women" instead of "Women don't like men". Or is it that the word "nicht" going at the end instead of following the verb tells the person that the word order was changed?
If it were "She does not like water" then it could be "Wasser magt sie nicht", right?
Nearly: Wasser mag sie nicht (no -t on mag -- for the same historical reason that we say "she may come" and not "she mays come": no -s on "may").
If that's the case, then how does one tell that it means this instead of "Water doesn't like her"?
The sentence is ambiguous.
But in general, the unmarked sentence order is "subject - object - verb", so when it's not clear from case endings what is the subject and what is the object, then usually, the noun phrase before the verb is considered the subject.
Here, though, the animacy hierarchy also comes into play: sie is a personal pronoun, which is much higher on the animacy hierarchy than Wasser, which is inanimate -- so sie is much more likely to be the subject than Wasser is.
So Wasser mag sie nicht would probably be interpreted with Wasser being the object and sie being the subject.
(One version of the animacy hierarchy is on https://www.frathwiki.com/Animacy_hierarchy .)
With something like Die Mädchen mögen sie nicht, it would be more ambiguous, since both sie and die Mädchen are animate and either could be a reasonable subject, so that sentence would be more likely to be understood as "The girls don't like her/them" (subject–verb–object) than "They don't like the girls" (object–verb–subject).
In speech, you have emphasis and word stress, which is not expressed in writing.
In both speech and writing, you have context, which can also help.
But in general, if you want to communicate clearly, you might want to avoid putting the object first unless context or animacy makes it reasonably clear that the thing before the verb is the object, not the subject.
you wouldn't be able to say "Manner mogen sie nicht" because it could mean "Men don't like women" instead of "Women don't like men".
It's Männer mögen, not Manner mogen. (If you can't type the umlauts, then write Maenner moegen. Don't just omit the dots entirely; they distinguish words: schon is not the same as schön, etc.)
And "wouldn't be able to say" is a bit strong.
The default interpretation is with Männer as the subject, but you could get away with using it as the object if you have sufficient context.
Really, I think the people who made this language needs to put the words in order! I mean, really, this is what you would put if you put what they said: Water like they not.
I understand how you feel, but I keep telling myself that I learned English, and German actually has better rules and makes more sense than all of the exceptions that exist in English. It's confusing at times to learn German, but I have noticed that the more I learn, the easier things get. Also, the more I really understand the earlier lessons. Keep trying...and good luck!
I understand the conjugation, but "sie" should be capitalized if it is referring to "them"
That is wrong.
Capitalised Sie is the polite "you".
The word for "they" is lowercase sie.
How can I know that ''sie'' means They in this sentence , I think that ''sie'' should be with capital letter !
You’re wrong: Sie with capital S goes for formal “you”. “She” and “they” are both written with minuscule s.
What conjugation would you use for you formal? Besides capitalization, how could you tell the difference (for instance, if it is heard, not read)?
Sie in the meaning of you conjugates the same as sie meanig they, you would use the -en verb ending. There is no way of distinguishing these in spoken language: Only from the context.