Hello all, just to clarify...
man (one n, no capital) is the indefinite pronoun (one, you, we in
English). Man kann nicht verstehen...
der Mann (capital M, two nn, masculine) is the Male person.
der Mensch (Capital M) is the person without gender, albeit the word
itself is masculine.
die Person (capital P, feminine) is used for theatre characters and
for expressions similar to English "personally".
Gender in German depends on the final sound of the word, not on the
gender of the object. Thus die Katze (the cat) is feminine and das
Schaf (the sheep) is neutral. Das Maedchen (the girl) is also
neutral. Endless examples, but I do not want to be tedious.
---- Original Message ----
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: a Jeremiah ...?
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 21:17:26 -0400
>I'm not sure why you refer to the German impersonal "you" as
>At least in German, what is commonly - and annoyingly - used in
>English as "man" becomes "*Das* Mann" - *neuter* gender.
>My own prejudices were surprised when I expected "Der Mann", and
>learned "Das Mann".
>At 12:36 PM -0400 7/10/07, Nancy Gish wrote:
>>But that is Diana's point: in German the impersonal "you" would be
>>written as "Mann": annoyingly gendered but accurate. I am not sure
>>matters that he chose the "you" but "one" is a bit stuffy in a
>>conversation. In any case, according to Valerie Eliot, "his
>>of the sledding, for example, was taken verbatim from a conversation
>>had with this niece and confidant of the Austrian Empress
>>Eliot was staying in Germany and spoke German, but she may well have
>>spoken English. So it is not clear whether or not Marie simply said