'I wish for a son' being the only 'correct' translation bugged me: I kept trying with 'I wish I had a son', 'I wish me a son', 'I would like a son for me'... and none worked!
Yeah, it didn't even take "I want a son." even though it took "I want..." as a translation for "Ich wünsche mir..." in other examples. So far this whole lesson has pretty much just been a guessing game and an exercise in frustration. I suppose that Duo's format just isn't very well adapted to translating reflexive verbs to non-reflexive ones at this time. I'm going make a list of the particularly annoying examples to pose in a feedback report to the admins along with some suggestions, so hopefully this lesson can be streamlined soon.
Your work has been useful, the translation: "I want a son" is now accepted
This would be translated differently:
- I wish I had a son. = Ich wünschte, ich hätte einen Sohn.
but it accepts this translation for others - like "I wish I had a flower" elsewhere in this exercise!
To be honest, this is not a totally exact translation, but it is acceptable and Duo is very gracious in this matter.
For me "I wish for a son " means your wife is pregnant , or you are expecting . From what German people around me think , I wish I had a son seems more likely.
So what is the difference between "Ich wünsche mir..." and "Ich wünsche..."? Does the phrase without "mir" have the same meaning?
Verb wünschen usually requires a person (in dative case) to whom you dedicate the wish:
- Ich wünsche mir ...
- Ich wünsche dir/Ihnen ...
- Ich wünsche ihm/ihr ...
- Ich wünsche uns ...
- Ich wünsche euch ...
- Ich wünsche ihnen ...
The meaning of "Ich wünsche" is similar to "Ich wünsche mir", but rather uncommon.
You can express something in subjunctive though:
- Ich wünschte, es wäre schöneres Wetter. = I wish the weather would be better.
In this case, it's not too different from English. Consider:
"I wish/am wishing a good day" - sounds incomplete
"I wish/am wishing a good day to you" - clearer
In German this is Ich wünsche dir einen guten Tag, which gets shortened in common usage to Guten Tag!.
You can also say stuff like Ich wünsche ihm eine gute Reise or perhaps Ich wünsche ihr schönes Wetter.
So following this pattern, if you wish for something [for yourself], you need to use the reflexive pronoun. Anyone else wishing for themselves also has to use it: Er wünscht sich ein neues Auto.
Mir stands for myself. I wish for a son not for somebody else, but for me only.
If we are talking about pregnancy, shouldn't "I'm hoping for a son" be accepted?
This would be "Ich hoffe auf einen Sohn." or "Ich erhoffe mir einen Sohn."
Yes, wünschen usually requires dative case, "mir" is dative case and "mich" would be accusative case, therefore "mich" would not be correct.
A more literal translation "I wish myself a son" is not acceptable. Some times they want a literal (and often meaningless) translation, and at other times they want the meaning . A little bit frustrating but I guess it makes you think