[LMB] OT: das vs. der, was Origins of Cetaganda

Marc Wilson marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk
Thu Oct 29 15:31:23 GMT 2015

On Wed, 28 Oct 2015 17:27:11 -0400, Fred Smith
<fredex at fcshome.stoneham.ma.us> wrote:

>On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 05:20:42PM -0400, Sylvia McIvers wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 12:04 PM, markus baur <baur at chello.at> wrote:
>> > markus baur                     SCA: markus von brixlegg
>> > s
>> > "der Markus?? .... das ist der mit dem Buch..."
>> >
>> > --
>> >
>> So here's a question. If 'das' and 'der' both mean 'the' then why are both
>> used in the .sig?
>> Sylvia, grammar geek
>my German is very weak (very), but I'd surmise that das has connotations
>of "this one" (or at least some specific one) while der may not.

In this context, "das" is "that".

"Markus? that's him with the book."

Der, die, and das can all mean "the", as German is a gendered language
which includes a neuter gender.

Prepending "der" to a name is kind of slangy: it implies a particular
instance of $name, the one we both know.

There's an interesting parallel to this in Liverpool dialect (aka
"Scouse"), where you might refer to someone both parties know well as
"Our $name") - mainly used within families, but extensible to close
friendship groups.  

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list