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This is not exactly an "answer", but something just occurred to me: Being Bavarian and very much used to this construction, I feel weird saying "Ich bin Mac." As a matter of fact, to me it makes my name sound like an adjective. Possibly (and I'd like to make it very clear that this is just a tentative theory), certain dialects developed the article + ...


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I come from the northern half and say this too, and never noticed it was considered "wrong", until some people from even farther north thought it appropriate to correct me. I believe the usage is from the influence of other languages, because the same usage of articles is very common also in italy, which apparantly is also southern neightbor to the german ...


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It is actually a bad habit, albeit a widespread one. Your observation that the article is superfluous is correct.


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Since you are not asking where it’s commonly used – i.e. South and West, partially at least –, but why a definite article before a given name would be appropriate at all, be assured that this is the very reaction Northerners are likely to show when first encountering this peculiar phrasal structure. After living more than seven years south of the ...


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You can use it, but you need not do it. Other people may use it out of tradition or with special connotations. For example, this can be used when talking to somebody as if he was a child. Das ist der Martin. Und das ist die Oma Gertrude. …


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With the genitive case in danger of extinction, there is no longer the possibility to recognize from the name which case it is (genitive case would exhibit a trailing s or an apostrophe for names ending in s or similar, e. g. for Alex). Note that in Goethes time the dative case still had such a suffix, where "Anne" would have become "Annen". So in my ...



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