Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt. - I'm sorry, he's broken.

ginlane

Member
English
Hi there, please can someone tell me, what is the correct translation for,

'Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt'

The translation I got is: 'I'm sorry, he's broken'. 'he's? Surely not?

Why would it be - 'he's'

can anyone give me a better translation please?

Kind regards, Gin.
 
  • Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Hi there, please can someone tell me, what is the correct translation for,

    'Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt'
    That depends on what der stands for, a car (der Wagen), a ballpoint pen (der Kuli), a table (der Tisch) or whatever is masculine in German ...
    Probably, its an it in English!
     

    HilfswilligerGenosse

    Senior Member
    German, High German
    "Tut mir leid, der Computer/Drucker/Bildschirm/Fernseher/... ist kaputt." can, if the noun is masculine, be shortened to "Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt."

    But "he" is wrong, you should use "it" in such cases.

    A person can only be "kaputt" in one specific sense of the word, then meaning "extremely tired/exhausted". It is sometimes used, and with this sense, you can translate "der" as "he" (but then don't translate "kaputt" as "broken", but as "extremely tired"!)
     

    ginlane

    Member
    English
    Hi there again,

    so the sentence before was, 'Kann ich mal den Kugelschreiber haben'?

    Does this have a bearing on the next sentence?

    Kind regards Prem
     

    ginlane

    Member
    English
    but in any case I don't understand, 'I'm sorry, the is broken', ..... Is meaningless in English? The what?
    The second sentence, 'Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt' ......doesn't mention what is broken?
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi there again,

    so the sentence before was, 'Kann ich mal den Kugelschreiber haben'?

    Does this have a bearing on the next sentence?

    Kind regards Prem
    Indeed this is the key.
    Der Kugelschreiber - male in German language, "der" refers to Kugelschreiber. English it is a thing, so it becomes "it" or "this".

    A: Could I have your pen, please?
    B: Sorry, it is defect.
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    Ginlane--

    but in any case I don't understand, 'I'm sorry, the is broken', ..... Is meaningless in English? The what?
    The second sentence, 'Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt' ......doesn't mention what is broken?
    To your question: in conversation, it's possible to use the definite articles (der, die, das, etc.) instead of the third-person pronouns. It's casual, even substandard, but you'll run across it.

    Der (=er) ist kaputt. It is broken.

    Likewise: Was will denn der(=er)? / What does he want? And so on, and so on.....
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, I think it is used as demonstrative pronouns instead of "dieser". I do not think that it is simply a personal pronoun. It is a kind of pointer.

    "Der" (=dieser) ist kaputt.
    Usage of "der, die, das, die" as demonstrative pronouns is rather common.

    Maybe in spoken language it is analysed as personal pronoun rather than demonstrative pronouns.

    Compare:

    Was will denn der? (demonstrative pronoun, idiomatic, depending on intonation and context, it might be pejorativ. This may also depend on region.) It might be a substandard personal pronoun in "Was will der denn?"
    Was will denn dieser? (grammatically correct, but not very idiomatic, also demonstrative pronoun.)
    Was will denn er? (I think, this is not grammatically correct and not idiomatic.)
    Was will er denn? (Default usage of the pronoun. But it has another meaning. "Er" is not in focus.)

    Note: It is a personal pronoun here because it refers to a person.

    Edit: pronoun -> personal pronoun
     
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    ginlane

    Member
    English
    Ginlane--



    To your question: in conversation, it's possible to use the definite articles (der, die, das, etc.) instead of the third-person pronouns. It's casual, even substandard, but you'll run across it.

    Der (=er) ist kaputt. It is broken.

    Likewise: Was will denn der(=er)? / What does he want? And so on, and so on.....
    Many thanks that explains it better for me. Didn't really understand why we were using the and not it!
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    but in any case I don't understand, 'I'm sorry, the is broken', ..... Is meaningless in English? The what?
    The second sentence, 'Tut mir leid, der ist kaputt' ......doesn't mention what is broken?
    Der, die, das are not only articles but also determiners. "I'm sorry this/that is broken."
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    See
    Demonstrative pronouns: der/das/die
    The demonstrative pronouns der, das, die are used as substitutes for nouns.
    Many of the forms of the demonstrative pronouns der/das/die are identical with the forms of the definite article. In spoken language the forms of the demonstrative pronoun are more stressed.
    The choice of the demonstrative pronoun is determined by the gender and the number of the noun it replaces.
    , it's possible to use the definite articles (der, die, das, etc.) instead of the third-person pronouns. It's casual, even substandard :cross:, but you'll run across it.
    No, it's not necessarily substandard ( it depends on contexte).
    cf.:
    Demonstrative pronouns are used to demonstrate (i.e., make explicit) who or what is being referred to in an utterance. Similar to personal pronouns, they can replace a previously mentioned noun (or noun phrase). Unlike personal pronouns, however, demonstrative pronouns place additional emphasis on the person or thing being referred to.
    Wo ist Betty? - Die ist im Bett! She's in bed!
    Kennst du das Mädchen? Do you know the girl? Nein, das habe ich noch nie gesehen! No, I've never seen her!
     
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