"She likes the new glasses."
Translation:Sie mag die neuen Gläser.
The reason is somewhat confusing (at least I think so). The issue basically comes down to this. Here the word "Gläser" is plural (like you said), it's used here as a direct object (so accusative case), and it's preceded by a definite article (that is to say, a version of "the"... here "die"). In this situation, the adjective "neu" is said to be weakly inflected, and it takes an "-en" ending. If the "die" hadn't been there, then "neu" would have been strongly inflected and just taken an -e ending like you figured ("Sie mag neue Gläser.").
Similarly, if the noun had not been plural, but just neuter singular (like "das Glas") or feminine singular (like "die Tasse") the adjective still would have been weakly inflected (because of the "das/die") but the neuter and feminine singular version just take "-e" ("Sie mag das neue Glas" / "Sie mag die neue Tasse").
For completeness, the masculine singular weakly inflected form for accusative case (i.e. direct objects) also takes an "-en" ending like plurals do. ("Sie mag den neuen Tisch").
This whole thing with the adjective endings is one of the hardest parts of the language to learn I think, and I know I haven't explained the situation all that well here, but it's explained much better on a lot of different web sites that deal with German grammar, so look around! I found this Wikipedia article that probably makes more sense, but there may be better explanations out there.
Thanks. I really appreciate it.
Indeed this is very hard for me too. Don't get me wrong - I am trying to learn it, but I wonder how important it is to use them correctly while still in the first steps of learning german. Am I gonna have too many problems communicating in german if I use the wrong gender or miss the inflections?
What I'm saying is that in my opinion Duolingo shouldn't fail us on lessons when we don't use proper gender or inflection.
In portuguese (my native language) we have masculine and feminine articles and they always depend on the substantive they are referring to. Problem is, many words that are masculine in german are feminine in portuguese and vice versa.
I knew people of german origins that had trouble (like me) knowing the correct gender for substantives and the associated articles (but in their case, in portuguese). Still, we were able to communicate very well.
You won't have a problem communicate.
However, My German teacher told me at school that I would sound uneducated and uncouth.
You should Definitely be failed if you can't get the gender or inflection right. Once you start cutting corners like this, you will stop caring about getting things correct. You have to strive to get this perfect.
@douglas_om, this really helped me (scroll down to the bottom diagram for quick and easy). cheers! http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html
this one helped me a lot thank you! i've been so caught up trying to keep akkusativ and dativ straight, i didn't even KNOW there was more to it than that ... hopefully with this article's help i can start understanding better. one of the biggest downfalls of duolingo is it doesnt really Explain things lol i have a hard time picking such nuances up without knowing why or how they happen xD
And I've heard that if one messes up in Germany; native speakers will just switch to English. I'd say that's kind of funny; but, it's selfish to try and practice your English on me while I'm visiting.... oops, wait, oh no! That is what I do when the visitor from Germany in the US messes up their English. I switch to German.... (sigh) my bad. I guess we all want to learn the other's language; might as well give it the best shot at it, work hard, and try to pass as native with great grammar. :-)
The way I've been thinking about it is that if you didn't add the "-n" to the adjective of a plural direct object than it would be indiscernible from the feminine, since they use the same definite article. Because masculine and neuter both have explicit articles inflecting the adjective isn't necessary.
If you interpret "glasses" as a plural noun, you will use "Gläser" in the German sentence. A plural noun in Akkusativ uses die.
If you interpret "glasses" as a single pair of spectacles, then you will use "Brille" for the German sentence. Since Brille is feminine, in Akkusativ it also receives die.
When you use "gefallen" you must switch the object in English with the subject in German and the subject in English would become the object in German. It always uses the dative case. Ex: Das Zimmer gefällt mir (I like the room). "Das Zimmer" is the subject here, but is the object in the English sentence. "Mir" is the object here, but is the subject (roughly, as the subject in English is "I" not "me") in English.
OK, this is what I thought -- so I put "Ihr gefallen die neuen Gläser" for "She likes the new glasses," and it was marked wrong. Am I mistaken, or should it be accepted? Based on what I know plus the info provided here, I can't identify an obvious mistake, but I'm just a learner.
@douglas_om @chubbard @SelphieB: One rule I recently read from a reliable source (I believe it was http://www.duolingo.com/#/myra) is this:
When you have a plural word preceded by ANY determiner whatsoever (meine, diese, jene, alle, die, etc.), the following adjective always gets the ending "-en", regardless of case or gender.
This is a poorly chosen sentence on DL's part. By "glasses" do they mean: 1. Those things on your face? <= Singular, fem. 2. Those things you drink from? <= Plural, neuter
I looked at the hint and determined it was the first one. Otherwise, the ending would be different as many people indicated.
So, die Eule should not present things that are ambiguous even though they are encountered "in the wild"? The English sentence can be translated both ways. Both ways are accepted. This helps us learn that the word "glasses" is not simply equivalent to "Gläser" oder "Brille".
As an aside, one could avoid the slang "glasses", and use "eyeglasses" instead, which translates nicely to "Augengläser" (which makes me wonder: why don't Germans use the shortened "Gläser" as is done in English?).
Why is the plural sometimes "neue" and sometimes "neuen"?
Because of strong versus weak inflection -- the ending on an adjective depends on whether or not there is an article in front of it.