any german speakers?

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False
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Postany german speakers?
by False » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:34 pm

hi, is anyone fluent in german and can help me out please?

im learning via the repetition method or whatever duolingo uses but it doesnt explain the rules of when words are used. im struggling a bit with the concept of 'the'

so we have der, das, die - masc, neutral, fem

some sentences like, the woman and the man - if i enter die frau und der mann - its wrong and gives me the big x - then it tells me its das frau und der mann - but das and die are interchangable in this instance are they not?

is it because i have to start a sentence with das rather than die? what is the rule for using either?

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also another one for example, das frau trinkt - trinkt literally has several meanings, drinks, is drinking, to drink? so i say, the woman drinks and it goes, nope, the woman is drinking

that strikes me as unfair, is there a reason for this?

thanks

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by aayl1 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:40 pm

My Germanish speaking partner thinks there's something fishy going on here, as "it is always die frau, never das frau".

But beyond that she's not good enough to help any more. What a waste of space I should get rid.

Edit: and in your second example that could just be duolingo being a bit bullshit - have you checked the comments on these sentences?

Last edited by aayl1 on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Moggy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:40 pm

I don't speak German sorry, but any excuse for this:

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Somebody Else's Problem » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:41 pm

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by False » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:42 pm

its frustrating because i can translate fluently at this point, but when it comes to writing its like ah ah ah whats the password?

if i was in germany and was speaking and said die frauen or whatever, maybe they would think my grammar is a bit wonky, but they would get me, right?

i feel like this is the flaw with these online lead things with no teacher to get the concepts across to me - next lesson is seir und sind which is also twisting my melon

edit - didnt know there were comments ill check next time i get tripped up

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Vermilion » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:50 pm

I sometimes struggle to pronounce auf wiedersehen properly when i've been in Germany (i do have a tendency to butcher the languages of countries i visit sadly).

That said, one shopkeeper told me my pronunciation of danke was so good i sounded more local than the locals.

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Karl_ » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:52 pm

I'm not fluent (I only speak a little) so someone should fact-check this post(!) but I think both your examples are just Duolingo being wonky.

"The woman and the man" is definitely "die Frau und der Mann". "Frau" is feminine, you wouldn't ever pair it with "das". You might think to try "das Frau" for "that woman" but I think that's actually incorrect - you would say "diese Frau". [EDIT: Though Googling for "Das Frau" suggests it's used by native speakers sometimes, I'm not sure for what... maybe Aaron's partner can help!]

"Die Frau trinkt" can be translated as either "the woman is drinking" or "the woman drinks". German doesn't have a present continuous tense like English. Maybe Duolingo is trying to train you to think of it as "the woman is drinking" for some reason.

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Knoyleo » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:53 pm

False wrote:im learning via the repetition method or whatever duolingo uses but it doesnt explain the rules of when words are used. im struggling a bit with the concept of 'the'

Have you tried the lesson notes and tips?

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/The/tips-and-notes

They're hot and miss whether they're accessible through the app, some languages do, others don't, but they're a vital supplement for their courses.

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by False » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:54 pm

thanks karl

thats exactly what i thought about das frau, that women - whereas its actually die frau, the woman

which makes me think there is a grammatical rule going on here but its easier in every day like to just say 'die' and thats how people use it

these lessons are written buy german people so there is something in it, but divining what it is i just cant fathom at the moment

seid, sind - i think is seid always comes first and sind is second, if you are using in a single statement

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by False » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:55 pm

Knoyleo wrote:
False wrote:im learning via the repetition method or whatever duolingo uses but it doesnt explain the rules of when words are used. im struggling a bit with the concept of 'the'

Have you tried the lesson notes and tips?

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/The/tips-and-notes

They're hot and miss whether they're accessible through the app, some languages do, others don't, but they're a vital supplement for their courses.


thanks - im on the pc and havent seen anything like this anywhere, but i can work back from the link you gave thanks

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Hypes » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:14 pm

I'm not sure why it should be das Frau, either die Frau or diese Frau. What lesson is it?

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Karl_ » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:14 pm

@False

In the dative case, "die" becomes "der", which can trip you up - it's weird seeing "der Frau" once you're used to thinking of "die" as feminine, but it shows up in e.g. "I gave a dog to the woman" which is "Ich habe einen Hund der Frau gegeben".

I've done some more Googling and I'm now kind of convinced "das Frau" is always wrong and that the examples I'm seeing are where Frau is being used as a part of a phrase: like "Das Frau Und Mutter Kochbuch", which in context translates to "The Wife And Mother Cookbook", has "das" before "Frau" because "das" is really attached to "Kochbuch", as far as I can tell.

I might be about to get owned by a native speaker though! If you do figure it out let me know though, I'm really curious now as it seems like such an odd thing for Duolingo to get wrong, you do think maybe there's more to it that we've just missed!

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Knoyleo » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:20 pm

False wrote:
Knoyleo wrote:
False wrote:im learning via the repetition method or whatever duolingo uses but it doesnt explain the rules of when words are used. im struggling a bit with the concept of 'the'

Have you tried the lesson notes and tips?

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/The/tips-and-notes

They're hot and miss whether they're accessible through the app, some languages do, others don't, but they're a vital supplement for their courses.


thanks - im on the pc and havent seen anything like this anywhere, but i can work back from the link you gave thanks

Haven't used the desktop browser version for a while, so can't currently advise where exactly they hide it on there, but in the mobile browser version, it appears when you click on the category, but before you select to start a lesson.

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It still baffles that their UI doesn't direct you to these more easily, and that they're basically missing from most courses on the app version, meaning mobile users need to switch from app to browser to use them. They're pretty much essential unless you want to learn purely by trial and error, and quite often, a lot of the question discussion when people agree struggling, just ends in people being directed to the lesson notes.

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by floydfreak » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:43 pm


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Hypes
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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Hypes » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:47 pm

You can click on the speech bubble when you've answered something to see the discussion about that question

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Somebody Else's Problem » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:17 pm

Well I thought it was funny, you bastards

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by Zilnad » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:28 pm

It all comes down to whether the noun in question is considered masculine or feminine. And I mean any noun. For example, an ambulance will be considered either a masculine or feminine noun (I can't remember which, in this particular example) and that will determine which form of "the" to use.

That's the basic gist of it anyway. It's been a long time since I studied German and I haven't had any need to use it in over ten years so I apologise I can't go into any more detail.

People would still understand what you were saying even if you got it wrong though. You'd just sound clumsy.

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by False » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:39 pm

i know you can click the words after ty, but as i said they kind of add more confusion, like the drink example, it lists all the options and then only accepts one, rather than ok thats right but this would be better grammatically speaking... etc

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by rinks » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:44 pm

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PostRe: any german speakers?
by andretmzt » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:46 pm

I haven't done any German since university, but I can't recall ever coming across a case where one would use the wrong gender for a noun, although perhaps there are odd cases. Don't think Die Frau would be one though.

Karl is right to point out that articles can change their form depending on the case they take which can be a bit of a mindfuck. :dread:

The woman drinks thing sound dodgy. Only thing I can think is that it is trying to make you think in a more general way when it comes to German rather than taking the literal translation. So from an English translation perspective, the 'is' or 'can' or whatever, is implied. When you say 'Die Frau trinkt einen Tee', 'the woman is drinking a tea' makes more sense and is what you'd say in English as opposed to 'the woman drinks a tea'. I think that comes in time though rather that it being wrong. I had to translate every single thing in a literal sense for ages before being able to just get what someone was trying to say straight away.

Could be talking utter bollocks though. Should try and get back on the German. My lecturer looked like Willy Brandt...

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