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  5. "Das ist nicht unserer."

"Das ist nicht unserer."

Translation:That is not ours.

December 27, 2012



Why is "ours" feminine dative case here? Why feminine? ("Das" makes me think it should be neuter.) Why dative? ("That is ours" doesn't even seem like it should be accusative, let alone dative, but I'm shaky on all of these tenses.)

Maybe it's genitive? That's also "unserer". (I'm using this worksheet that I found in another discussion on this topic: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AifA7Dli3AYsdFJWM1hGdUg1RHh1T1h1NXJqRTZJdmc#gid=0)

[deactivated user]

    It's masculine nominative. http://goo.gl/Nj9xQ

    "When it is used with the verb sein, the form das can refer to singular and plural nouns of all three genders" http://goo.gl/Onc8t


    So, if we're talking about e.g. a cup (die Tasse), can I say "Das ist nicht unsere?"


    What about "Sie ist nicht unsere?" Is this acceptable since "Tasse" is feminine?


    Thanks! I bow before that - not native german speaker - person who can use properly this set of rules in a realtime speak or chat. :)


    If it's nominative, why is this sentence turning up in the dative section? What's dative in this sentence?


    You might think that all the exercises you are given when doing Dative Pronouns should include the dative case. However, this isn't the way it works.

    When you do a lesson or practise a skill, the program has a list of words for you to learn or pracise. When you do a lesson, you can see that list. When practising a skill, the program selects words from the skill's lessons.

    The program generates sentences from Duo's database that include, or can be translated to include, any of the words from the its list. What it is not worried about is whether those sentences fit into the context of the skill. So, a word like "unserer", taught in Dative Pronouns but not always used datively, can bring sentences that lack the dative into dative lessons.


    Brilliant explanation. So I imagine "unserer" is here because of a sentence like "Er kommt mit unserer Schwester" or "Unserer Mutter geht's gut", which are indeed dative. Duo is not yet clever enough to tell the difference, and thus shows us a nominative use of "unserer". This would be very helpful in a test or class (or if people read all the way down into these comments), but a beginner can certainly be excused for being confused here!


    I don't understand what the hell is unserer, and when do we use it. Why isn't it unser?


    You'd better look at the "not attributively, without article" chart on the first link Christian posted.


    So it's a matter of context?


    Exactly. Unfortunately, Duolingo does not make this clear.

    The problem we have is that unser- needs to have an ending, but without context we don't know which ending to choose. Duolingo just chose the -er ending as an example. If it had chosen -e or -es we would translate it the same into English. Because das without a noun can refer to anything, the inflection of unser- doesn't necessarily need to be neuter. All these are valid sentences that translate the same in English:
    Das ist nicht unserer
    Das ist nicht unsere
    Das ist nicht unseres

    Although this exercise is translating from German to English, it's trickier if we want to go the other way. You might think that unser with 'no ending' is fine, but it isn't. Because unser- is standing alone with no noun, it needs an ending. That's what the table posted by Christian shows. 'Non-attributively' means there's no noun with it. 'Without article' means there's no der/ein/etc. immediately before it. So, we need to choose from the middle table in yellow. Because this is a simple sentence of the form where the only verb is ist, it has to be in nominative case, so then we're left to choose from the variations in the red box - but we don't know which gender the thing is that we're talking about... This is pretty much just a Duolingo problem though, since in real life you'd know what you were talking about and could choose the appropriate gender.

    'unser' on Canoo.net


    It actually makes sense that unser- should have an ending. There is an implied noun but it isn't in the sentence. Having an ending here is similar to attributive adjectives with articles that do not show gender e.g. unser altes Buch or unser kleiner Junge. Something must show gender if you fall outside the inherent article + noun combinations that are defined i.e. in the two examples that I gave, you can go without the adjectives and nothing is altered. Changing the article to one that shows gender changes the declension and so does omitting the noun (and thus the adjective) altogether which creates a no gender situation so that the -es and -er become required because unser- and its equivalents including ein, euer-, mein-, dein-, ihr- etc... don't show gender.

    Effectively, this means that the middle/second table is exactly the same as the first one except for the entries where unser shows up in the first one (three entries). In these cases, you have unseres or unserer instead.

    What I am having trouble with is the third table. I can't imagine having situations with two articles back to back without a noun following (non attributive as it says). I think you can have them in cases where word order gets changed in sub-clauses but there will always be a noun e.g. I found "Herzlichen Dank an alle, welche unser Projekt unterstützen". Can it be non attributive in some other way?


    See the bottom of this page, linked to from that table on Canoo.net. I'm not personally familiar with that usage, but it does seem to answer your question about the third table.


    Thank you man, i will gladly give you my lingot for that explanation!


    Thanks for the detail explanation! It is very clear. I have a question regarding the red box, could we exclude the possibility of plural because of 'ist', or it doesn't matter?


    So "Das ist nicht unsere" and "Das ist nicht unseres" would also be correct here?


    If I wanted to say it in dative form, would I say, "Das gehört nicht unserem" or "Das gehört nicht uns"?


    Thanks for the link to the worksheet. Very helpful! :)


    It is a common mistake it seems. I also made the same earlier. I remembered it like this: Whenever something is equated with something else, it is always Nominative.

    E.g. X ist Y. Wheather in a statement or the question, it is always nominative.

    When something has something else, it is akkusativ.

    E.g. X hat Y.

    Whenever there is an expression Es gibt is used, that is always akkusativ.

    Hope this helps.


    Independent possessive pronouns replace previously mentioned nouns, they stand on their own in a sentence i.e they are not used together with a noun. So you can check online to get the chart.

    Unserer is actually a masculine nominative independent possessive pronouns. It is very different from the possessive form


    how on earth are we supposed to hear the difference between "unsere" and "unserer"? I got it right, but it was only on a gut feeling that it was the latter...


    It is subtle. Depends on the accent of the speaker. In Duolingo the speaker sometimes pretty much unintelligible so you have to live with that. I wish they would fix that - compare their robot speaker with Google's, for instance.

    [deactivated user]
      • "unsere" = /'ʊnz(ə)ʁə/

      • "unserer" = /'ʊnz(ə)ʁɐ/



      It absolutely sounds to me like she says "unsere". I listened and re-listened at least 10 times. I don't hear any kind of "r" on the end.

      [deactivated user]

        That's because the "er" at the end of "unserer" is pronounced as a vowel, not as a consonant, but it's not the same vowel as in "unsere".


        Yeah, "unserer" sounds like it would if it were spelled "unserö". It can be quite instructive to listen to native speakers pronounce things on Forvo, by the way. Different regions, different accents.


        OK, I guess it's just hard to hear. I listened to both in a male's voice on another website and did hear a slight difference. Thanks, Christian.


        Ok, looking over the links in this thread, as well as my own notes, this is what I have come up with:

        "Unserer" is nominative because it is the subject of the verb ("ist") in the sentence. "Unserer" is not attributive, without article (meaning that it's not before a noun and there's neither a "der/die/das" or an "ein/eine" behind it), so we now know where to look (if we look at the diagrams provided by christian and smithmks)

        And since we don't know what "das" is referring to there are several choices for the ending - like "unsere" (f) or "unseres" (n). In this case Duolingo chose the masculine ending "unserer".

        I am not sure about whether the plural form could also have been chosen, because if it was referring to multiple somethings, then it probably wouldn't be "das" that would be used, but something else, right?

        Can someone please confirm this?


        Good clear explanation! I'm still not sure on what basis you can just 'choose' the gender, but I guess plural would demand Das sind anyway.


        So in conclusion, this was random


        This is why I cannot use Duolingo on my phone; because I have no access to these discussions and Duolingo relies on them heavily for grammatical explanations. I wish Duo would explain grammar somewhat instead of leaving us to figure out everything on our own!


        A question for German native-speakers:

        Much of the discussion here has been about how to know the gender for inflecting unser- if the noun hasn't been mentioned yet. The common response is "Oh, but context will make it clear" - but will it always?

        An example where it is clear could be two people talking: "Ist das hier euer Stift?" "Nein, das ist nicht unserer". Here, the first person clearly asks about a pen (which is grammatically masculine), and so the second person can respond with the appropriate inflection.

        An example where it isn't clear could be where the object is not unambiguously identified. Imagine that someone picks up a ceramic dish that looks like it could be a deep plate or a shallow bowl: "Ist das unsere(r)?". Here, it isn't sure whether to use unsere to match (die) Schale ("bowl") or unserer to match (der) Teller ("plate"). What would you do in this situation? It's quite common as a new German-speaker, when you want to ask about something that you don't know the gender for.


        It is clear for me that it is nominative, but why masculine? Couldn't it be feminine or neuter? 'Das ist nicht unsere' or 'Das ist nicht unseres', according to http://goo.gl/Nj9xQ

        [deactivated user]

          Well, they had to pick one.


          That's not terribly helpful. Here is a good opportunity to explain fully, so would you?

          For example, it's a common question from many new learners to ask why das is used instead of die or der in situations like this. And the answer is that das is a bit special, standing in generically when the noun is not specified. Now, that begs the (valid) question as to whether unserer is also 'special' in some way to be used in this sentence when it would otherwise seem to be an arbitrary choice - i.e. if the noun is not specified, do we always use unserer? Or can we just pick one? Or is it only valid in the context of replying to a specific question? And so on.

          So far, this thread has failed wholesale to actually explain the sentence clearly to learners without technical grammar knowledge.


          Agree and it's exactly my train of thought. Up until this point in the discussion I have not understood why 'unserer' is used in the absence of evidence of gender. I was wondering if masculine was default also.


          Can anybody clearly explain to a non native English speaker (me!) what 'attributive' means? I have an idea but am not certain.


          An attributive use of a possessive (e.g. unserer) is when it's used it front of a noun.


          unserer is the dative case of Feminine?


          On the listening exercise for this, how can I tell 'unsere' from 'unserer'?


          Tricky... “ist” is like an equal sign between the two words... Doesn’t make sense to say or write, “Das ist nicht unserem” because “unserem” is in the masc./neut. dative case. And possessives are ALWAYS ein words. And remember the XEXE pattern for nominative case ein words? Here it is: Unser Apfel “Der Apfel gehört uns, also er unserer ist.” Translation: The apple belongs to us, so it is ours. See what I mean?


          chadoh, I think it's actually genitive because we are talking about possession. I don't know how we are supposed to distinguish "unsere" from "unserer" by listening, however.

          [deactivated user]

            No, it's definitely nominative. Note that the declination changes depending on whether "unserer" stands alone or not. Please have a look at this chart. http://goo.gl/Nj9xQ "Unserer ist das nicht" means the same as "Das ist nicht unserer". So it has to be nominative.


            Hi, I was wondering then why it was wrong to say, "Das ist meiner". Here too, "mine" is not attributive, and there's no preceding article. Thank you!


            I think that the answer is that meiner IS correct in this circumstance. "Wem gehört das Hund?" "Das ist meiner"


            Wem gehört der Hund?


            Yes, that's right. "Das ist meiner" is still right, though. For some reason, we can refer to any non-human object of any gender with "Das ist ...". Don't ask me why.


            @FatAlan, actually no. Der Hund is nominative. gehören is a special "dative" verb that takes the object in the dative (for some reason). So in "Wem gehört der Hund?" wem is the object and Hund is the subject. You can see the same in "Der Hund gehört mir." There are a bunch of other dative verbs, like gefallen ("Der Hund gefällt mir."), helfen ("Der Blindenhund hift mir."), antworten, others.


            Thanks BB, didn't realise it was one of the verbs that forces dative. That's one of the reasons, these discussions are of such value.


            the "r" of unserer cannot be heard even slowly. Then what is wrong with unsere?

            [deactivated user]

              "unserer" and "unsere" do not sound the same. Please see my previous comment.


              can 'unserer be used in all three genders ?


              No, in this sentence it can only refer to a masculine object. So because this sentence is presented to us out-of-context, we cannot tell what Duolingo is talking about, but we can tell that it must be a masculine object (like a plate, a dog, a pen, an apple, etc.).


              I know that is a exercise for listening. But this phrase is missing of substantive or verb!!! Is very hard know why is "unserem"


              There are three possible answers: Das ist nicht unserer, or unsere, or unseres. "Das" is essentially a non-gendered THAT here, so it is special. Unserer, unsere and unseres mean "OURS", not our.
              (Copied from above with additional input)...... Similar problem to this translation exercise: When mein is used (intead of unser/unsere/unser) on its own (not followed by a noun, not preceded by an article), it needs an ending. So you need to choose between Das ist nicht meiner/meine/meines depending on the gender of what you're talking about. For example, if you were talking about a jacket, you would say Das ist nicht meine because (die) Jacke is feminine.

              Otherwise, it's similar to the incorrect English sentence 'That is not my', instead of That is not mine.

              Liebe Grüße


              christian, you are right. It is not genitive.


              Can some one please explain why the dative is used here? The link that was previously posted in here is not available anymore.


              There is no dative case in this sentence, even though it turns up in dative lessons.


              Does "Das ist nicht mein? = "That is not mine." ?


              Similar problem to this translation exercise: When mein is used on its own (not followed by a noun, not preceded by an article), it needs an ending. So you'd need to choose between Das ist nicht meiner/meine/meines depending on the gender of what you're talking about. For example, if you were talking about a jacket, you would say Das ist nicht meine because (die) Jacke is feminine.

              Otherwise, it's similar to the incorrect English sentence 'That is not my'.


              I think so. Not sure.


              The word “das“ apparently means both “this“ and “that“. Isn't there a different word for each?


              Surprisingly not! At least not with the clarity that English has. Dies and das can be used for either "this" or "that". Dies- also needs an ending when used with a noun.


              Why "That is not of us" is not correct?


              In English we don't use "of us," we use "ours."


              Is "unserer" refering to a masculine noun?


              Yes, as mentioned in some of the other comments.


              I write '' that is not for us '' and considered wrong why? kindly explanation thanks


              "That is not for us." means it is not available for us to use or it is not being given to us. "That is not ours." means it does not belong to us.


              "unseres" will be used with a neuter?


              Why is it not "That's not from us"?


              Wgy did we say unserer? Why is that sityation even Dative?


              i still don't understand why does it use dative case here (unserer)?


              Sometimes 'der' and 'die' can be used for 'this' and 'that', right? In case the thing I am pointing to has a masculine noun, can I say 'Der ist nicht unser?' or should I still use unserer?


              Unserer is genitive plural


              Meine alte Deutsche Frau meint dass "unseres" passt besser. Auf jeden Fall werde ich keinen Schlaf darüber verlieren.

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