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  5. "Wasser mögen sie nicht."

"Wasser mögen sie nicht."

Translation:They do not like water.

December 23, 2012

135 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhmd.modan

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arthaey

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gallifrey_

I assume it's the same as "They do not like water" and "Water is not liked by them"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stefano6884

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zchbaniel25

Quite so, Stefano.

"Wasser mögen sie nicht" gives some emphasis on the water, like in English "Water is the thing they do not like."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdTyrone

So, then, would "They do not like water" and "Water they do not like" be a better comparative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hedup

How then you say: "Water doesn't like them"? Is such anthropomorphisation in German impossible?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

How then you say: "Water doesn't like them"?

You would use the verb form that matches "water" rather than the verb form that matches "they" -- Wasser mag sie nicht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OscarPevan

But well, maybe when your a sailor navigating on the sea you can say ... "water doesn't like me"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristian_93_SVK

So it's like a Yoda version, am I right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasonsudana

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No. German is not a pro-drop language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zchbaniel25

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!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArcelioSilva

I came to the comments specifically for this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oriol212570

"Sie mögen kein wasser" would have been my guess if they asked me. The sentence in the example is just plain confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abderrahimo

maybe there is two kind of structures ... anyway we still at the begining courses, there will be explanations later i guess


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Segall

The verb is suppose to be in the second position in this kind of phrase. The order of the other parts is more flexible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhmd.modan

Is there a name for this type of phrase?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glutexo

It is the most basic one: No question, no dependent clause.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nardoel

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nardoel

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angel333

The structure is not that important in German, I guess.. The verb is where you look.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beeters

Yes, it certainly has a more flexible sentence structure than English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PierFrance262780

In Latin it is even worse than this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kurtqiao

ah~ mogen should use "They"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chogas

Nein! In Deutch sentence, the words can change their sequence each other.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EynharVzqu

So sentences don't have a strict order?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessRoamalot

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielBlea7

I answered "mögen sie nicht wasser" and it was correct


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

Are you sure? It shouldn't have been.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanMeaneyPL

As long as the verb comes second. An older style of English would have allowed, "She called; but answer came there none!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutchins.wayne

yeah a little confusing..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azielinski

How do I know when "sie" is supposed to be "she" and when "They"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arthaey

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beeters

Actually, in this case, if sie had meant she, then the verb would have been mag instead of mögen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slytherclaw

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveGilli2

Ha thats so funny.. my translation was "water doesnt like them"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fishy39

I believe that would be: Wasser mag ihren nicht.

Or perhaps: Ihren mag Wasser nicht.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nailtrail

Water is stressed with this word order, so a correct translation would be 'It's water they don't like'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/posto84

yes, but this would be translation + adaptation to English. We have to translate almost literally at this stage


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxbailey1979

why is it not correct to answer "You don;t like water", when referring to the formal 'you'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arthaey

Because "sie" is not capitalized, it does not mean formal "you". (It is ambiguous in speech, though.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxbailey1979

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlsrock989

Then... what do they drink? :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave168907

Since this is German, they drink beer, of course. And since there are children here, it's Alkoholfrei!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linuxist

So, it's not "she doesn't like water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/someone23

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yaliyev

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckalina

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TwistedSpoon99

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckalina

Maybe that's just one flexibility too far!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purplenurp

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glutexo

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nparham

how come nicht goes at the end of the sentence? Is this a rule like the verb placement?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/renanluz

Could it be translate as "Water don't like them"? I know it's a like weird, but...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mz147

No, because "mögen" is a plural form, the subject must be plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nardoel

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 ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maggie.davis

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckalina

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beckalina

though obviously it would usually be clear from the context, which we don't have here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjk

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/imatopsider

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nailtrail

The water would be das Wasser, that's why you're wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/genniblob27

How is it not she?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgenTsi

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexxflower

What a confusion..my God !!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Reinhild

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vnrakeshpnm

if "Wasser mögen sie nicht" is = They don't like water. then how to express the reverse "the Water does not like them"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

das Wasser mag sie nicht

"Water" is singular so you would use a different verb form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark.Z

【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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kenshinji

Why s in sie is not capital here? I thought Sie means they...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark.Z

'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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulino-4

Could it be "Sie mögen nicht Wasser"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessRoamalot

Sie mögen Wasser nicht is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/francolmassa

Would "Sie mögen nicht Wasser" be also correct?


[deactivated user]

    No, it would be Sie moegen kein Wasser.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sah3

    OMG. so every sentence in german would be a challenge for translators. or it's new for me to see flexible structures!!!?? .


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheNerdInTheRoom

    Who doesn't like WATER?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vberbinschi

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SillyLilyAJ

    Sie is not capitalized in the sentence. The formal you must be capitalized.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshWyant3

    I wrote "Water doesn't like you." Clearly wrong...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XT7y5

    is "wasser sie mogen nicht" okay?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulioC.Gom

    "water is disliked by them" is not the correct thing either


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.L.Carter93

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UntilValhalla

    Sentences like this are why I'll never be able to understand German completely.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/averytheloftier

    What about "Sie mögen kein Wasser." As in "they like no water." Or something like that. Sry if stupid question.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pyr0Seraph

    I understand this would be a nonsense statement, but how would one say 'Water doesn't like them'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Wasser mag sie nicht.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pyr0Seraph

    Vielen dank. I never thought about whether water would be singular or plural oops.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kef
    • 527

    Couldn't that sentence be also translated as "She doesn't like water."?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rphdrgn85

    that would be "Wasser mag sie nicht"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferYu18

    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!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VinC9099

    "Sie mögen kein Wasser"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    What is your question?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew210884

    How to say " water doesn't like you" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vecvec79

    Yoda? Is it you?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CirAtzix

    This example convinced me that this order makes sense. > Die Pflanzen bevorzugen einen gut durchfeuchteten Boden. Doch zu viel Wasser mögen sie nicht. ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alpilerntdeutsch

    So when does it become an obligation to use ''kein''? I remember that in some courses we were forced to use ''kein''.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shasdi1

    Shouldn't the 's' in sie be capitalised here?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    No. That would mean that "you" (Sie) don't like water rather than that "they" (sie) don't like water.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacob12183

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dueknee

    Is it still grammatically correct if I would say "Sie mogen Wasser nicht"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erijon10

    Isn't 'sie"-"she" & "Sie"-"They" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    No.

    sie = she / her / they / them

    Sie = you (formal)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drewbledude

    Germans essentially just put "not" at the end of their sentences.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdTyrone

    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!

    https://www.thoughtco.com/the-position-of-nicht-1444481
    http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/negationexpl.html


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KieranDugg

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Is the only reason we can tell that sie is the subject is because mögen can't refer to Wasser?

    That's right.

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StarkFeuer

    Why was the sentence arranged like that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rphdrgn85

    I suppose this would be like saying "water they do not like"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Literally, yes.

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vicky688789

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rita540340

    Could "sie' also be "she"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdTyrone

    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)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JmHayot

    I wrote they don't like water and it marked it as wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isawie11

    Isn't my answer the same


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Nobody can see your answer.

    If you have a question about your answer, please always quote the entire answer here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmrutKatig

    Hit like if you too felt unfair


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopSixSquish

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Why can't this be translated as 'water doesn't like the'?

    Look at the verb. mögen cannot have a singular subject.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sule1981

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PamMcCarty

    I listened to it many times and couldn't figure out that she was saying "Wasser." It was unintelligible to me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vatnar

    Yoda, is that you?

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