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  5. "Sie hat eine Kuh."

"Sie hat eine Kuh."

Translation:She has a cow.

May 27, 2015



In English to say someone is having a cow means they are throwing a fit: "Don't have a cow!"

Does this expression exist in German?


No. I've never heard it in English either. At least not in British English. Instead we say "he/she's having kittens", when somebody is really stressed/anxious about a situation.

But you can say (in German) Du blöde Kuh! (You stupid cow!) That's the only "cow" expression that comes to mind... there must be more... I shall ruminate on it...


Must be an American English idiom then, though I can say it is not commonly used anymore. Now people just say "chill" or "don't trip" as in "calm down." The "kittens" expression is interesting, I've never heard that one.

Thanks for the German bit; learn something new everyday! :-)


Was this a phrase before Bart Simpson used it? It may have been an invented idiom.


A popular catch phrase of Bart Simpson to be sure, but I believe the expression to have originated from the 1950s.


Yes, I heard it in my childhood many times, long before there was a Bart Simpson. That would have been in the 1950s an 1960s. The expression in the present tense wasn't "She has a cow," but "She's having a cow." To tell someone to calm down, you'd say, "Don't have a cow."


Also said in the US "mellow out" as in "Dude, mellow out man."


Another way of saying it is "don't freak out!" I'm a 58 year old US citizen an the phrase "don't have a cow" has been around a long time. I'm thinking probably since the 60's or 70's at least.


@Kelly-Rose: Thanks for the two new phrases, but I also have to give you serious credit for that "ruminate" joke. Hilarious!!


How about "waiting till the cows come home"? Or being "cowed"?


"Until the cows come home" means "a very long time, and possibly never". Being "cowed" means being intimidated. Reference


What does it mean by throwing a fit?


Only yankees throw fits.

In the [old, deep] south we "pitch" a fit.


Oh, I guess I never realized that it was slang. To throw a fit means to have a tantrum or to freak out about something.


Don't have a cow, man


why is it not "they have a cow"?


Because "they have" is "sie haben" - different verb form.

"Sie hat" can only be "she has" because of the verb form.


It is very confusing. This might help me if i can remember it


Practice makes perfect.


The phrase "don't have a cow" is at least as old as me (66, in U.S.)


I am 91 and I remember this idiom from my childhoohd in the USA


How we will write "She had a cow" in German ?


Sie hatte eine Kuh


How we do know that where is used "eine " and. "ein"


Use eine before a feminine word such as Kuh "cow" or Katze "cat" or Person "person" or Gabel "fork".

Use ein before a neuter word such as Pferd "horse" or Mädchen "girl" or Messer "knife".

Also use ein before a masculine word such as Hund "dog" or Apfel "apple" or Löffel "spoon", when it is the subject of a verb - the thing that is or does something.

Use einen before a masculine word that is the object of a verb - the thing that gets acted on.

Whether a word is masculine or feminine or neuter is something that you just have to learn -- ideally, when you learn the word itself, you learn it with its definite article, e.g. not just Apfel = apple but der Apfel = the apple so that you will know that it is masculine.


could you say 'sie hat ein kuh gehabt' and it mean the same thing?


could you say 'sie hat ein kuh gehabt' and it mean the same thing?

It would still have to be eine Kuh with -e on eine and with a capital K on Kuh.

Otherwise yes, sie hat eine Kuh gehabt is possible -- but haben is one of those verbs that is still commonly used in the simple past, so you will probably find sie hatte eine Kuh more often.


What's the difference between Rind and Kuh?


Wiktionary shows Rind as a generic term for a bovine (includes cows, bulls, and steers), whilst Kuh is specifically a female bovine (a cow). It also shows Rind as a term for "beef", the edible form of a bovine.

dict.cc shows similarly, but indicates that the sense of "beef" is more common than the use a term for cattle.


Im confused Sie hat eine kuh She has a cow Er hat einen hund He has a dog Sie hat eine katze She has a cat Im not understanding when to use ein eine einen Can someone explain?


The article needs to be declined to match the noun it is being used with in number, case, and gender. In the construction "[Jemand] hat [etwas]", etwas is Akkusativ. Kuh und Katze are both feminine; Hund is masculine.

If you've reached level 14 without picking this up, die Eule has been too generous in awarding progress. You could remedy this by looking at these two discussions (and possibly others):


So sie never means "you" in any way?


Lower-case "sie" only means "you" (in reference to a female) in very old usage.

Upper-case "Sie" is a polite way to say "you" (comparable to "Lei" in Italian), either in singular or plural. It uses third-person plural conjugation, though -- so "Sie haben eine Kuh" could be either "They have a cow" or "You (polite/formal; one or many) have a cow".


If at begining of sentance structure it will still always be uper case in German, same as English? Do i understand this corectly?


That's true.

  • Heute essen sie Brot = Today they eat bread
  • Heute essen Sie Brot = Today you (formal) eat bread
  • Sie essen heute Brot = They eat bread today -OR- You (formal) eat bread today

If it's at the beginning of a sentence, you can't tell the difference anymore because the first letter of a sentence is always capitalised, as in English. So the 'they' word 'sie' and the formal 'you', 'Sie' will both be 'Sie' at the beginning.


Grazie mille. Danke schon!


It means you in plural and she


For whatever reason the drop down tooltip for Sie, for me at least, said You not She...


"Tip", not answer. In the sense of "suggestion", "hint", or "possible meaning for this particular word although not necessarily in this context or grammatical construction."


Why cow and spider is eine? Not ein or einen. I don't get it


Why cow and spider is eine?

It isn't. We say "a cow" and "a spider" in English, not "eine".

This may seem petty, but it is pretty important that grammatical gender belongs to a German word, not to a concept or to an English word for that concept.

For example, in Austria people call a tomato ein Paradeiser while in Germany it's eine Tomate. So you can't say that "tomato" is an ein word or an eine word -- it's Paradeiser and Tomate that have grammatical gender, not "tomato".

So it's eine Kuh, eine Spinne because Kuh is feminine and so is Spinne. But "cow" and "spider" have no grammatical gender, because those words are English words and English has no grammatical gender.

And there is no "why" for grammatical gender. Grammatical gender is not, in general, logical.

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