It's simply a neuter indeterminate pronoun. A construction like "The girl went shopping. It came home with a new hat."* is quite ordinary. "She came home..." would be ungrammatical in this context.
That's not necessarily any different from "it".
Except we have 3 genders: er, sie and es.
But it becomes even more complicated:The child looks hungry; give it food.Das Kind scheint Hunger zu haben.a, b, and c are correct answers.a. Gib dem Kind etwas zu essen.b. Gib ihm etwas zu essen. (if it's a boy)c. Gib ihr etwas zu essen. (if it's a girl)
"the dove took her food from the gutter" and I'm like "but how do you know it's a female dove;
What if you don't know?
"Dat meisje ziet er hongerig uit. Geef haar wat te eten." Still, I think that might be acceptable in spoken German?
In case you know it is a male: der Hengst. Er gefällt mir.In case you know it is a female: die Stute. Sie gefällt mir.
Incidentally, Germans don't seem to care too much about the difference between a hare and a rabbit. "Ach, was für eine süße Hase," a German girl once said about my pet bunny.
Ach, was für ein süßer Hase.
As for children growing up in a town it's hard to make the difference between a hare and a rabbit. In cartoons they all look the same
I'm afraid we manage to hijack the thread or at least we are doing our best
Quote from: krake on 2013-12-29, 13:08:20Ach, was für ein süßer Hase.She probably said "ein", but I'm not so sure she said süßer. (Of course it's hard to say seeing how it was sometime between '05 and '07.)
Okay, that's a bit out there, because I've met plenty of Germans who certainly speak with the case system in full attire.
Local dialects are a different story but not related to mismatches of cases or genders.
The case system is not something a native has to learn at school. He/she grows up with the language in his/her ears. Even an illiterate will use the case system when speaking. Only thing he/she can't is to read and write. Mismatches of cases or genders will simply hurt his/her ears
The case system is not something a native has to learn at school. He/she grows up with the language in his/her ears. Even an illiterate will use the case system when speaking. Only thing he/she can't is to read and write.
In case of a live dialect, the native grows up with the dialect in his/her ears. My country is highly literate and small enough so that dialect differences should be non-existent, yet occasionally I meet people who are grossly attached to their dialect and whose place of origin can thus be placed.
I'm pretty sure horses are in some sort of animal top ten.
My country is highly literate and small enough so that dialect differences should be non-existent, ...
Men's best friends...
Dialect differences in Germany can be extreme, to a point where a Saxon won't understand a Bavarian or vice versa
How a bus can "of course" be a tram is a secret that eludes me to this day.
Quote from: krake on 2014-01-03, 10:16:27Dialect differences in Germany can be extreme, to a point where a Saxon won't understand a Bavarian or vice versaLike I said, Saxon, Franconian, and German are three different languages from a linguistic standpoint.
Ersi, you're right about "continuum" but not right about the families - which are trees not clumps. Trees means that you cannot juxtapose two languages for that purpose isolately - because they are the most probably just the current-day states (slices) of themselves taken diachronically - when in time, they intersect in their certain ancestor (if one).
You have spoken to an idiot. That's it BTW, here in the south (and in Austria) we also say (die) Tram.
From the linguistic standpoint, it's well understood that dialect and language form a continuum.
Their mutual intelligibility is so fluent that they could be considered dialects. Saxon, Franconian, and (High) German have a common present.
Other related terms are substratum and superstratum in language contact theory.
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