"The child likes her mother."
Translation:Das Kind mag ihre Mutter.
think about it like this: there is a woman, her mother, and a child. The child likes the mother of that woman. This is what the sentence says, "the child likes her mother". Child is not female in English either. The sentence is very clear, it is not about child's mother. It is about "her" mother, of that woman. So, "Das Kind mag ihre Mutter" seems the only logic reply, for me. I am neither English nor German native speaker.
In English, "child" is gender neutral - it could be a male or female child. If I heard "The child likes her mother." with no other context, I would assume the child was female and the mother was the child's mother. I would not interpret it to mean someone else's mother (as you have suggested) unless there was context indicating the child was male or there was another person ("her") whose mother was being discussed. In general, in English, a pronoun such as "her" refers to the last feminine person mentioned. When dealing with a gender neutral term such as "child", the gender of the child is often indicated by the pronouns used to refer to them. So "child" followed by "her" later in the sentence, would indicate that it is a female child, barring evidence to the contrary. I am a native English speaker.
Kind is neutrum. I wonder if "Das Kind mag seine Mutter" is more correct than "Das Kind mag ihre Mutter" (Despite the English translation that says "the child likes her mother")
Why doesn't "sie" work here instead of "ihre"? I thought both would work as they both translate to "her".
"sie" means "she" in that context, which wouldn't make sense to say "The child likes she mother"
As mentioned by Burhunk, this is very confusing. The Tips and Info explicitly states that you should use "sie" instead of "her" (which is obviously wrong, as seen in this example :P), and makes no mention of the form "ihre".
Check this article http://christianlangenegger.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/whats-yours-is-mine-german-possessive-articles/. Remember, sie would be used as a pronoun. In this case, you need to use the proper accusativ possessive article
Duolingo just gave me these as the correct options (multiple choice format): "Das Kind hat ihre Mutter gerne." and "Die Mutter gefällt dem Kind." What on earth is "gerne" and "gefallt"??? I am guessing those are conjugations of some verb meaning like, but I definitely haven't seen them before, so how was I supposed to know this?
Think of it this way.... Gern/gerne means glady. Ich esse ein Sandwich gern - would be translated as I gladly like to eat a sandwich or I like to eat a sandwich. Gefallen sort of means "to please" - Das gefaellt mir. That is pleasing to me. Also, the object for "gefallen" is in the dative case - so it is not "Das gefaellt mich". You can also think of "Das gefaellt mir" as to meaning "I like that". Just remember, one doesn't always translate/interpret one-for-word, but one needs to keep concept/context in mind. For example, "Ich gehe dort nicht" would be translated as "I am not going there" and not "I am going there not". Make sense?
So I read all the comments in this thread, but I still don't get it. Is "ihre" in this case referring to the mother of the child in question, or the mother of a different person?
In English, it would likely be the former.
Not an expert, however I think "ihre" here is correct. If "sie" were used here, the sentence would literally mean "the child likes she mother." With her, the possessive pronoun is ihr (third person feminine)
Oops. I see my error. I thought the sentence meant that the child likes the child's mother - not someone else's. My bad!
Ihr=Her, masculine, neuter. Ihre=Her, feminine. The reason "sie" does not work here is because in this context, it means "She."
If "Mutter" was masculine, then it would be "Das Kind mag ihren Mutter". But Mutter is feminine, and accusative form for the possessive pronoun "ihr" is as follows:
1- for masculine names, it's "ihren" : Die Tochter mag ihren Vater
2- for neutrum names, it's "ihr": Die Tochter mag ihr Buch
3- for feminine names, it's "ihre": Die Tochter mag ihre Mutter
I don't know about you guys but I got the multiple choice version of this sentence and it clearly says in english " The child likes HER mother ". Last I checked seine means his, so how could it be a correct translation?