"She likes the new glasses."

Translation:Sie mag die neuen Gläser.

January 3, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why "neuen" instead of "neue"? I was expecting "neue" because "Gläser" is in the plural.


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.


My opinion as a non-native speaker, is that it doesn't hinder communication most of the time. On the other hand, the correct adjective endings are really hard to learn, and it takes a lot of practice, so it helps to start learning them as early as possible!


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 another thought is, while it might seem unimportant at your computer at home, when you go to Germany and start speaking to people, you'll feel pretty stupid when you mess up all the word endings, and you'll wish you'd put it more effort to learn them :P


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. :-)


You think Duolingo should say your answer is correct when it is incorrect? And you think that will help you learn the language?


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.


Danke. Sehr hilfreich


Good job, well spoken.


Thanks. But why here the definite article "die" was not changed to "den" also? I would expect to change it.


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.


Die neuen Brille gefällt ihr.


Close - the adjective ending is not quite correct.

It should be Die neue Brille gefällt ihr. with neue, not neuen.

Brille is singular, and the weak adjective ending is -e in the singular nominative.


Can you explain how to use "gefällt(/gefallen?)" properly?


Translate "gefallen" in your head with the English group "to be pleasing." i.e - Die Schuhe gefallen mir. = The shoes are pleasing to me, or in regular English, = I like the shoes.


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.


Exactly as RowanStarr states. Also, it helps me to think of gefallen as "is pleasing to". So, "[etwas] gefällt [jemandem]".


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.


July 7, 2015 -There might be a problem with the word order. I would have tried "Die neuen Gläser gefallen ihr."


Perfectly fine. You should report it if you can.


Neue! In German Brille is singular bit like Hose


I put "neuen Brille", and was told it should be "neue" by DL... is this because Brille is a singular rather than plural word (like glasses in English)... also, when referring to spectacles, are Gläser / Brille interchangeable, or is one preferred?


Brille means spectacles and is singular, feminine, as you mentioned. I think Gläser is used only for drinking glasses. Not sure about that though


Thanks for the info. By the way... is your username as rude as I suspect :-) ?


Sorry, not intended. Mislead by a friend and I fell for it :(


I know how you feel. A french girl once told me "baiser" means "to kiss" and I used it in casual conversation for years...


That must make you cringe thinking about it! xD


But it is not necessary to persist:



Why not "Sie mag den neuen Gläser"?


Because Gläser is plural, and thus the definite article must be die in either Nominativ oder Akkusativ. Hier ist es Akkusativ.


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"?


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.


  • 3226

@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.


Could "Sie hat die neuen Gläser gern" also be an acceptable translation?


I think not.

gern haben is more of a "have warm fuzzy feelings for" kind of "like" -- the object will typically be a person, not an inanimate object such as glasses.


Is there any reason why 'die neuen Brillen' wouldn't be accepted as answer?


Brille itself means a pair of spectacles, and is a singular noun. Neuen brillen would apply to numerous pairs of spectacles


Is "ihr gefällt die neuen Gläser" wrong? It wasn't accepted.


If they are going for "she," then "ihr" does not work.


Good thinking, but since the Subject is "die neuen Gläser", it is in plural form. So the correct sentence would be "Ihr gefallen die neuen Gläser". If that doesn't work i think it should be reported.


Can I use "hab gern" instead of "mag"? If not, why? They both imply like but one was not accepted.


Why is it Brille instead of Gläser?


"Brille" means "eyeglasses".


Can "Gläser" mean the glasses on someone's face as well as the glasses in someone's kitchen cabinet?


Can "Gläser" mean the glasses on someone's face

No. That's Brille (countable, singular; plural Brillen for multiple pairs of glasses).


Why is, "Die neuen Gläser gefällt ihr" wrong?


Why is, "Die neuen Gläser gefällt ihr" wrong?

The verb doesn't have the correct form to match the plural subject die neuen Gläser.

Read the comment thread started by BenTheGerman2 again.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.