Pytania dotyczące gramatyki języka: niemieckiego
Posty: 20 • Strona 1 z 21, 2
 
18.07.2012 12:15:57

Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez HeidrunKollider
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posty: 32
Dołączył(a): 20.05.2012 13:46:08
Hi,

When talking about ‘ein Mädchen’, I know that grammatically one should use the pronoun ‘es’ but I was wondering if it was acceptable to use ‘sie’? (Referring to a girl as 'it' seems odd.)

Thanks in advance,

hk
 
21.07.2012 13:22:52

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez [PONS] yakyuyama
Posty: 306
Dołączył(a): 16.12.2011 12:45:19
Hey all,

I'm just trying to call attention to this post by HeidrunKollider, which unfortunately remains unanswered. Anyone care to chime in?

Thanks,
Yama
 
22.07.2012 10:33:06

Mädchen; es; sie

 
przez 89rules
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posty: 66
Dołączył(a): 06.03.2012 08:37:40
Hey HeidrunKollider,

I'm not a native speaker of German, but I have definitely heard Germans using sie when referring to ein Mädchen, so, right or wrong, I know it's used. Anyway, I found this old discussion http://www.leselupe.de/lw/titel-Das-Maedchen-sie-oder-es--71972.htm on the topic, so maybe it'll help you out a bit.

Take it easy
 
15.08.2012 23:16:39

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez [PONS] Linguistin
Posty: 273
Dołączył(a): 09.03.2010 21:59:03
Hi!

I'd say it is not wrong to refer to "das Mädchen" als "sie", but when thinking of it, it doesn't seem odd to me to use "es".
I'v thought of some examples:

"Gestern habe ich in der Stadt ein Mädchen gesehen. Es hatte ganz bunte Klamotten an."
"Gestern habe ich in der Stadt ein Mädchen gesehen. Sie hatte ganz bunte Klamotten an."
:arrow: The first version sounds better to me.

"Und dann war da noch dieses Mädchen. Ich habe es nicht richtig gesehen, aber es war glaube ich blond."
"Und dann war da noch dieses Mädchen. Ich habe sie nicht richtig gesehen, aber sie war glaube ich blond."
:arrow: I don't know what other people here think, but I think you could also say:
"Und dann war da noch dieses Mädchen. Ich habe es nicht richtig gesehen, aber sie war glaube ich blond."

What do the others think?
 
16.08.2012 12:55:28

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez DaveP
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posty: 135
Dołączył(a): 05.10.2011 16:17:59
Hi All,

Mark Twain had quite a lot to say about this in his article ‘The Awful German Language’ http://german.about.com/library/blmtwain01.htm

e.g.

In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print — I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:

"Gretchen. Wilhelm, where is the turnip?
Wilhelm. She has gone to the kitchen.

Gretchen. Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?
Wilhelm. It has gone to the opera."

:)

Dave
 
20.08.2012 16:45:51

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez Fishnchips
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posty: 230
Dołączył(a): 20.10.2011 14:00:13
Hi to all,

Good quote, Dave!

That has always been one of the things that baffles me about the German language - that the gender of the noun may differ from what it represents, such as "Mädchen" and "es". Even although it may be technically grammatically correct to refer to a "Mädchen" as "es",, I have always found it rather bizarre - what do native speakers think when confronted with this phenomenon?

Cheers
Fishnchips
 
22.08.2012 02:45:40

Mädchen; es; sie

 
przez [PONS] yakyuyama
Posty: 306
Dołączył(a): 16.12.2011 12:45:19
Hey Fishnchips,

I'm not a native speaker of German, but I agree with you that referring to a Mädchen as "it" is really strange. I tend to just go with "sie" in that case (when I'm speaking about a Mädchen), even though it's grammatically incorrect.

Cheers,
Yama
 
30.08.2012 07:45:44

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez Lena
Hey there,

as a native speaker of German , I am sorry to have to tell you that in this case, the biological facts are irrelevant.
'das Mädchen' should be correctly referred to as 'es', as long as no other (grammatically female) expression for that person is used.
it's the same with 'das Weib', which is also used for females only, but is referred to as 'es' in written language.
I know it sounds odd, sometimes even to me...
awful German language ;)

regards, Lena
 
30.08.2012 10:45:48

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez stefan
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Lena napisał(a):Hey there,

as a native speaker of German , I am sorry to have to tell you that in this case, the biological facts are irrelevant.
'das Mädchen' should be correctly referred to as 'es', as long as no other (grammatically female) expression for that person is used.
it's the same with 'das Weib', which is also used for females only, but is referred to as 'es' in written language.
I know it sounds odd, sometimes even to me...
awful German language ;)

regards, Lena


I am native speaker fo German, too. But I don't speak english very well. So please excuse my mistakes in English.
I would like to say, that you should make a big difference between spoken and written German.
In writing the correct pronoun for "Mädchen" is "es". According to its (her) Genus (grammatical sex).
In spoken German anybody says "sie". Saying "es" would be overcorrect. That sounds artificial.
I would like to add that many germans do mistakes in writing by using "sie". Actually the reference is changing from genus to sexus (real sex). It is only a matter of time till this is gererally sexus also in written language.
Those non-native speakers who couldn't understand that german genus differs from sexus should try to understand that languages are different. Also the position of verbs in german sentences is very strange to non-native speakers. Differences are wether awful nor strange but simply different. Please accept this difference as en enrichment for yourself and not as a handicap. (Though you would be in best compliance with many german feminists who demand a change in the german language since 40 years.)

Best regards
 
03.09.2012 11:48:16

Re: Mädchen - es or sie?

 
przez HeidrunKollider
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posty: 32
Dołączył(a): 20.05.2012 13:46:08
Hi all,

Thank you all very much for the replies – really interesting :)

I’ll keep trying to use ‘es’ but won’t feel so bad if I forget and say ‘sie’ ;)

hk
 
 
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