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  5. "Seit dem Frühstück?"

"Seit dem Frühstück?"

Translation:Since breakfast?

October 6, 2013



What is "dem" doing in this sentence? Would "Seit Frühstück?" have the same meaning?


No, you can not say "Seit Frühstück"

You can use "seit" in German with time specifications like "Seit 4 Uhr" or "Seit 2012".

If you use something that happened at a specific time (like breakfast) or a more general term (like the morning), you add an article (to hint which one you meant):

Seit dem Frühstück

Seit dem Morgen

Seit der Begegnung

Seit dem Urlaub

Sometimes (with time periods) you can use both:

Seit dem letzten Jahr

Seit letztem Jahr

with slightly different meanings.

Seit dem letzten Jahr ist es grün - for (at least most of) the last year it has been green.

Seit letztem Jahr ist es grün - sometimes in the last year it became green.

(Also: Seit letztem Monat, Seit dem letzten Monat. NOT Seit letzter Minute but Seit der letzten Minute...)


I'm still a little confused. In English if I say "since breakfast", that would generally be understood to refer to today's breakfast. If I say "since THE breakfast", I am referring to some specific breakfast, probably not today's. You would need more context to know which breakfast I'm talking about. And this would be a fairly uncommon phrase.

Does the definite article in German have a similar connotation here or not?


No, that's actually a problem I had while explaining: Somehow you do specify by using the article, but usually you always mean the last breakfast (or the last mentioned breakfast). In any case: It is not possible to use "Seit Frühstück" in any way.

So my "hint which one you mean" is actually only for the grammar: You can explain it to yourself like that, but it's not really true on the semantic level.

It's just always: You need the article for anything that is not a certain, very specific time (except for those mentioned: "Monat" and "Year" were you can use both).

Sorry, it IS not easy.


something similar happens in spanish. You can't say "since breakfast" as in english (desde desayuno) it is just wrong. You have to say "desde EL desayuno". Sorry for the off-topic, I was just thinking about it.


Portuguese too.


Jajaja cierto. Pero puedes decir Desde ayer... We need to rebuild the lenguages so they are clear and follow universal rules...


Good explanation. Although you should emphasize the 'not' and not the 'is' when you say "It is NOT easy"


Thanks, that clears things up.


"Dezember ist ein Monat."

Why does Duolingo tell me that this sentence is correct without an article?

Can you explain the apparent contradiction?


You posted your comment some time ago and are now at a Level 12 (plus, you haven't had any recent activity ... at least not through this account anyway), so you may not be looking for an answer to this anymore, but somebody recently posed a similar question in a different discussion thread. I found a web page that addressed the question and I think it will help answer yours, too. That link is below:

German Articles (Gender of Nouns)

If any of you have the same question as nweston, I hope that helps.


I was confused at first too but after reading through the comments I get it In English we actually do thay with many nouns too. Imagine you went to see a movie, afterwards you would say "Since the movie", not "Since movie". Or same for a party, a race, a festival, etc. It seems that we only omit "the" for very specific things like dinner, work, school


There is something significantly different between breakfast (or probably any meal) and movie. Breakfast denotes a relative time and event, and even the specific kind of event, whereas movie isn't even necessarily an event, much less at a particular time.


"Since the movie" would work in the right context.

What did you do after the movie?
Since the movie, I have done this and this and that and the other.

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You are really on to something. It has been called the "zero article." That is, one need not use an article when referring, for example, to singular countable nouns: "I told Robert" (not necessarily "the Robert"). "It was yesterday" (not necessarily "the yesterday" nor even "a yesterday"). This works for meals too: "I ate dinner." It can be used for modes of transportation, too: Here is a plural example: "She likes cars." There is more to the zero article than that, but that's a start.


Let's just say German is another language so you can't expect them to be exactly the same, but the translators did their best


Unrelated, but could you say '2012' in German as 'twenty-twelve' (zwanzig-zwölf) like we would in English?


I've got the same question in mind too, so I've searched and found this first:


and then this:


So, from what I understand, in German, years are expressed like this:

For 1000, it's Eintausend Then, after 1099, up till 1999 things get weird, kinda like English. Elfhundert - 1100 ok, eleven hundred, yeah, just like English, nothing special. Elfhundertzwei - 1102 huh? do they keep the hundred?

Yes, they do. Unlike in English, where we don't say "eleven hundred oh two" for 1102 but instead we say "eleven oh two", in German, they keep the hundred but use the teens for the first two digits: Dreizehnhundertzwölf - 1312 (lit. thirteen hundred twelve) Sechzehnhundertneunundneunzig - 1699 (lit. sixteen hundred ninety-nine)

Then, at 2000, things go back to normal:

Zweitausend - 2000, Zweitausendzwölf - 2012 (and not Zwanzigzwölf)

I repeat, this is for expressing years.

Also I'm not a native speaker so I'd love to have a confirmation from one.


Hello, I'm not a native German speaker but a Flemish speaker and we use the same logics for numbers it seems. All I can say to help is that in Dutch, afaik we never split up the number in two pairs without putting the word hundred in between. eg: your example of 1102 being Elfhundredzwei isn't eleven hundred OH two, but stands more for elevenhundred AND two. The 'eleven hundred' just replaces 'one thousand one hundred'. It doesn't stand for 11 Elf, 00 Hundred, but always as a whole. I say this because the example of Zwanzigzwölf, if you'd follow the Elfhundredzwei rule it would be Zwanzighundredzwölf. Hope this helps in any way :p


The second part of this explanation (starting with "with time periods you can use both") exploded my poor brain. Is it only valid with "letzten"? Or would the phrase "Seit einem Jahr ist er allein" also mean "sometimes in the last year he was alone"?


No, reading carefully, I'm fairly certain he means that "seit letzten Jahr" means since sometime in the middle of last year, while "seit dem letzten Jahr" means since the beginning of last year, for the whole of last year.


I found that 'seit' means also after. So it can be translated with different meanings depending on the context. i.e.: In this very case, can it be either "since breakfast" or "after breakfast"?


Nach dem Frühstück.


´since breakfast´and ´after breakfast´ have two different meanings in English and the same is in German since = seit and after = nach (both taking the dative in German)


So seit is for time and da is for reason/justification?


So if I would use dinner. Would it be “Seit dem Abendessen?”, for “Since dinner?”

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Ja! Sehr gut!


I just want to point out, you CANNOT use "can not" in English.....


Oh yes you can, both are correct although cannot is more common see https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=can+not+or+cannot


Useful, thank you


This one was my question as well ,thank you very much for your good help .


When I write Seit, it is wrong and it must be ZEIT. WHEN I WRITE Zeit is the answer Seit?...?


Does "seit" always require Dativ?


Yes. The list of German pronouns that always take Dativ: auß-außer-bei-mit, nach-seit, von-zu (to the tune of the "Blue Danube")


You mean prepositions, not pronouns. I read that gegenüber (across from, opposite) (this preposition can go before or after its object) also takes dative.


only with nouns are you correct.....with pronouns gegenüber must come after e.g. mir gegenüber


didn't you forget - aus - ?


"auß" is an obsolete/alternative spelling of "aus".


No, it is just an old spelling. Using the "ß" today is quite confusing. As short as I can put it the "s" is used, if the word has a [z] somewhere (Glas [glaːs] - Gläser ['glæː.zə]), and the "ß" is used, when it does not have this [z] in any form. But as "aus" has no other forms, it is not necessary. But the words "außer" and "außerhalb" kept it, for some reason. Yes it is confusing, but I think it is the only really confusing part about german spelling.

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:-{)> ! Danke!


I like that mnemonic


dangit, now we have to add "ab" and "gegenuber" to the song aus-ausser-bei-mit-nach-seit-von-zuABGEGENUBER


We learned this in school as a help (melody from Frère Jacques): "Aus, bei, mit, nach; aus, bei, mit, nach; seit, von, zu; seit, von, zu; immer mit dem Dativ; immer mit dem Dativ; gegenüber auch; gegenüber auch.


Why not "Since the breakfast?"


Why "for the breakfast" is considered invalid? The dictionary hints proposes the translation "for"


I was going to ask if anyone put what you did for an answer. I didn't, but seit does also mean "for" so I don't see why it wouldn't be valid.


I put "for breakfast" and it was rejected


Eating something for breakfast is "haben _ zum Frühstück". 'Seit' means 'since' in this context as in "I haven't eaten since breakfast"


Is 'seit' pronounced the same as '(ihr) seid'?


Having Spanish as my first definitely helped to understand. It's the same. In Spanish you'd say: ”Desde el desayuno". With ”el" being the necessary article. Just saying ”Desde desayuno" would sound weird and clumsy.


I find this sentence tricky expecially in English. I'd translate with "Since breakfast time?" "Desde esta mañana? "Da stamattina?" I hope to help latin languages speakers! Regards


How would I say "Since that breakfast"? To single out a particular breakfast meal


seit jenem Frühstück


Since breakfast i have been craving for for dessert


I encounter this yest in preposition dative, and then I conjecture it should be related to dative case especially the dem. But how?


"seit" is a preposition which always takes a dative object. Since "(dem) Frühstück" is the object of this preposition, it must be used in the dative case.


What does this mean? It doesn't appear to be a question (apart from the question mark) or even a sentence - in either language.

  • 1103

Abe: "Since breakfast, I have read the newspaper, mowed the lawn, baked cookies, and painted the kitchen door!"

Barbara: "Since breakfast?"

Abe: "Yes! Since breakfast!"

Barbara: "Seit dem Frühstück? Wow! You are so efficient! Sehr tüchtig!"

Abe: "Danke schön!"

I hope this helps! I think it makes perfect grammatical sense--in a conversation--in English or German.


why not "since that breakfast?"


how do you say "since breakfast." not as a question?


how do you say "since breakfast." not as a question?

The same way (but with a period "." at the end, not a question mark "?").

  • Wie lange liest du schon das Buch? (How long have you been reading that book?)
  • Seit dem Frühstück. (Since breakfast.)


thanks so the only way to tell them apart in speech is the tone of the speaker and context?


so the only way to tell them apart in speech is the tone of the speaker and context?



So "Zeit" and "Seit" sound similar here, how can i distinguish between the two?


Well. Zeit means time and Seit means since. So I guess for words that sounds the same....generally just look for what makes most sense in that context.

I have questioned similarly as you are with the words war and wahr, but since they mean very different things, I can just look for context and have my problem solved.


Zeit and Seit don't sound the same in German! (Nor would they in English.) German "Z" = English "Ts". And while English "S" сan often make an English "Z" sound when placed between two vowels (as in "use" or "nose"), I can't think of an example where it would make that sound at the beginning of a word.


they are pronounced vice versa. zeit sounds like "s"eit and seit sounds like "z"eit. "s" and "z" as in English.

z, actually sounds like a "ts" sound in which you say "s" while your tongue touches your front teeth from behind. but we usually hear a "s" sound in a fluent speak.


The audio at normal is speed is affirmative but in slow speed its a question!!


Am I the only one who was confused as hell about this sentence?


Sorry, I know this is basic, but is breakfast male or neuter?


Bencloete asked: "is breakfast male or neuter?"

"Not "male" (biology), but "masculine" (grammar). Many German nouns which are masculine do not refer to actual males. Like speaking of a country in English - "France is proud of her soldiers" even though France is not a female creature.


can't you say from breakfast


difference between da and seit????


"Seit" means "since". "Da" is used quite frequently, but it is informal. Uses for "da": "Ich bin da" (=I'm here), "Schua! Da!" (=Look! Over there!) "Da drüben." (=Over there)


Why is it dem (dative)?


Because the preposition seit requires the dative case.


Dear Duolingo Where are my scores? Only some are showing and only at level 1. Those I have completed are now showing blank. I am feeling discouraged by this. I have completed ALL the games. Some up to level 5 . For revision and practice, I was enjoying working my way through all the games again to level 5. My total says level 16 working towards 17. Please update my scores back to the correct levels. Thankyou.


Why is it in dative case?


seit is one of the prepositions that require the dative case.

  • 1103

We in America use the definite article, "the," only when we really want to refer to one definite, particular, specific breakfast: "Since the breakfast." But the vast majority of the time, we don't bother. That is because if I were to say, about 11:00 in the morning, "Since breakfast," with no article ("zero article"), everybody would assume I meant the breakfast just that morning. However, in German it is different; they require an article. I hope that that helps!


Why is dem used here? Frühstück is a feminine word rite?


das Stück is neuter; therefore, das Frühstück is also neuter.


I think we all agree. "Since breakfast?" is a pretty hopeless phrase to practice over and over because nobody would ever say it in commom speak. Duolingo, please take note and replace with something more useful. Thanks.


I don't understand why they say "dem" in it, can someone please explain me why?

  • 1103

"Since [the] breakfast" is a dative clause in German--as if it were part of some such sentence as "I am tired since the breakfast." A noun in a dative clause needs a dative article; a neuter noun like "Frühstück" needs "dem" instead of "das." I hope that that helps!


Why not "from the breakfast"?


What does since breakfast mean?


"Since breakfast" - the time period between breakfast and now.


I haven't eaten anything since breakfast.


why do you use dem could you not just day seit fruhstuck


Why is it dativ?


seit is one of the prepositions that require the dative case: aus bei mit nach seit von zu (gegenüber)


And außer, apparently. Have you seen before the Blue Danube mnemonic for this?


'Frühstück is a noun and in German every noun has articles


This is not true. Most of the time, articles in German work similarly to English, but here you need one simply because it sounds weird without it to native German speakers. Compare French "depuis le petit déjeuner" or Dutch "sinds het ontbijt".

Ich habe Milch. / Ich habe die Milch.
I have milk. / I have the milk.

Ich habe Äpfel. / Ich habe die Äpfel.
I have apples. / I have the apples.

Ich esse das Frühstück. ("das" required)
I eat breakfast.


Why not "Since the breakfast" as exact translation. Why "the" is unavailable?

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Sure, we might say, in the U.S., "Since breakfast" or even "Since the breakfast." We use incomplete sentences lots. All the time! :-) Imagine a conversation: "How long have you known it's Mother's Day today?" "Since breakfast." "Just since breakfast? What do you mean?" "Well, Eliza told me that when she took mom out for that special breakfast yesterday, Mom said that she was unhappy with you before they went." "Really? And since the breakfast?" "Since that breakfast yesterday, Mom was happier, thinking I was going to remember it's Mother's Day! But I didn't remember until breakfast today when Eliza reminded me! So now I am going to take Mom." "Take her where?" "Out for dinner!" I see that there are a few people commenting on this page thinking that "Since breakfast" would not be OK to say. So I hope this helps!

  • 1103

You're welcome!

[deactivated user]

    why do you leave out 'the' in the english - dem!!???


    "The" isn't needed in the English translation. "The breakfast" would be a specific breakfast, that has already been identified. Just "breakfast" would usually refer to the most recent.


    Because the preposition seit requires the dative case: aus außer bei mit nach seit von zu (gegenüber).


    It means not really since breakfast but THE BREAKFAST can mean anything from yesterdays to tommorows to etc, but Germans are very on-the dot sophistication...

    Seit dem Frühstück

    Would mean also THE BREAKFAST SINCE THE BREAKFAST and so on, but German or rather Deutsche isnt very specific because words like Auf,Bitte,viele, have like 10 different types of meanings


    As do many words in English.


    Neither "since breakfast?" nor "since the breakfast?" makes grammatical sense in english. This is an error, as the meaning in english is quite ambiguous, is not a complete sentence, and is not a saying I have ever heard a native english speaker say for any reason as it stands.

    • 1103

    Sure, we might say, in the U.S., "Since breakfast" or even "Since the breakfast." We use incomplete sentences lots. All the time! :-) Imagine a conversation: "How long have you known it's Mother's Day today?" "Since breakfast." "Just since breakfast? What do you mean?" "Well, Eliza told me that when she took mom out for that special breakfast yesterday, Mom said that she was unhappy with you before they went." "Really? And since the breakfast?" "Since that breakfast yesterday, Mom was happier, thinking I was going to remember it's Mother's Day! But I didn't remember until breakfast today when Eliza reminded me! So now I am going to take Mom." "Take her where?" "Out for dinner!" I see that there are a few people commenting on this page thinking that "Since breakfast" would not be OK to say. So I hope this helps!


    Thanks DJJG7 for your comments, you are right, it is possible to use in speech, although I would still assert as a stand alone phrase it does not have sufficient meaning to function as an education tool. The translation "since breakfast?" as a question is quite confusing, as in the absence of context clues it gives little understanding of what the meaning of the phrase in German is since the stand alone phrase in English is one which is not common as a stand alone phrase. Out of all of the various English translations of phrases I have encountered across German and Italian on Duolingo, "Since breakfast?" is the weakest and I think would be worth improving or changing. Especially since (no pun intended) the word since in English also has a double meaning: i.e. "Since breakfast is always the first meal, I always eat a big one. " as opposed to "I haven't eaten since breakfast." I would highly advocate for extending or changing the phrase to eliminate ambiguity.

    • 1103

    You're welcome! It has been nice to read your thoughts here.


    You are obviously not a native speaker of English because twice you write English with capitalisation. Since breakfast, since lunch, since afternoon tea, since dinner, since supper are ALL normal English expressions. Other languages use the definite article, English doesn´t UNLESS you want to specify one particular breakfast after the breakfast at Jane´s last week, we.......


    It is difficult to grasp what she is saying especially when the sentence is nonsense, isn't it?


    It'd presumably be part of a larger conversation, but by itself it still has meaning (though it's only a sentence fragment).


    It would likely be an exclamation at something like, "Yeah, she's been trying to reach you since breakfast."

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