"Ein paar Orangen"

Translation:A few oranges

January 4, 2013

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Landjager

Why is "One pair of oranges" wrong?

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

That would be "Ein Paar Orangen"

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

ein Paar = a pair of

ein paar = some / a few

In English, you might say "a pair of oranges", but in German, you wouldn't say "ein Paar Orangen", but "zwei Orangen" because oranges don't necessarily come in pairs of two. "ein Paar" is reserved for things that do tend to/often come in pairs of two (ein Paar Schuhe / ein Paar Socken).

September 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pretreabra

You mark in the lesson about food the word orange in german as femine -to be used with Die-, yet in the correction to this question you state it should be used with Ein -and not einE- as it masculine.

Isn't there a mistake here ? moreover, the "ein" should follow the genre of "Paar" rather than "Orangen".

Thanks a bunch for your answer and for this website, a cheap, yet efficient way of brushing up my -very- rusty german.

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

"Ein paar Orangen" is correct. Consider "A few oranges" "A" does not go with plural either but as "a few" is a unit, it is fine not to say it requires plural. "ein paar" + plural is correct. There is "paar" and Paar". "paar" is like "few"; it can be two of something but also more. "Paar" is two of something that comes in two like shoes -> "das Paar Schuhe" or "das Ehepaar"

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Duomail

It seems like a non-English-speaker couldn't understand the use of "a few oranges" instead of "some few oranges".

March 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/slug_a_bed

Should "paar" not be capitalized?

March 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fagbot

ein Paar, capitalized, means "a pair". It can also mean "a couple". ein paar, non capitalized is an non descript adjective usually considered plural.

April 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MsLagerkvist2

Thanks.

July 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Aqarius

So how do you tell the difference in verbal communication?

April 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

Oranges usually don't come in pairs in contrast to shoes for example.

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/angiedaytripper

when Paar is being used as a noun to mean 'a pair' it doesn't decline because nouns don't decline

When paar is being used as an adjective it declines as all adjectives do.

If there's no declension then you just have to go by context, but that's easy enough

I'm sure you can tell the difference between the word 'couple' in

'They are a lovely couple' and 'I have a couple of apples in my fruit bowl'

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rpsa

should it not be "A pair of oranges"

June 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PatriciaJH

I came in all on fire to ask that, but it seems that when paar isn't capitalized, "Ein paar Orangen" is really "a few oranges" -- , it's just an unspecified small plural number of oranges.

Whereas "Ein Paar Orangen" is "a pair of oranges". Strictly.

I suppose when it's spoken, it's all about context.

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PatriciaJH

Except, oops, the question I got had three caps: "Ein Paar Orangen". Off to go click the little "Report a problem" button. Tchsuss!

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/angiedaytripper

You will find adjectival 'ein paar' used to mean 'a couple' as well as 'a few' in colloquial spoken German, duo is just being very formal because we're learning I guess.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mAg_ma

In English, if you say "a few oranges" you imply that there are 3 or more oranges. Or if you say "a couple oranges" more often than not it is implied that there are only 2 oranges (although I've heard people say "a couple" referring to 3 or more, but in my opinion they should have said "a few". I might be being super technical or picky here.)

Anyways I'm confused, ein paar can translate into both a couple and a few? I could be wrong, but that seems a little contradictory or non-specific to me. Is there a distinction between the concepts of a couple and a few of something in German?

And if Ein Paar translates into a pair of something, like a specific set that is matched, is that where the translation to "a couple" comes in and not when ein paar is used?

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/carrytehzero

Here is a wonderful (and deep) explanation of paar - http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/meaning-paar/

In case you don't feel like reading the whole thing... (and it reiterate what others have previously said) is that basically there is:

  • "das Paar" (notice the capitalization) which is officially a noun and can mean a couple or a pair. I.e. Ich habe ein Paar Schuhe. (I have a pair of shoes) or "Thomas und Marie sind ein Paar." (Thomas and Marie are a couple.)

  • "paar" which is an adjective. I would not think of this version as "a couple."
    To quote the above mentioned blog -- "The word paar, or actually the combination ein paar, is THE best translation for a few. And it is NOT used to indicate precisely 2 anymore. Ein paar something means 3 or more something. That is the reason why Germans keep using the word a couple the wrong way in English."

So I think of it as: "ein Paar" -> a couple/a pair and "ein paar" -> a few

January 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahTheEntwife

Fascinating; thank you! This is worth a lingot!

July 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/polomare

"A couple oranges." -marked wrong. I'm a native English speaker and I say it this way. Anyone else?

April 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure

It is colloquial. I've heard people drop the "of" in America and say they bring a couple apples, or I bought a couple oranges.

July 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gorn61

In my part of England one wouldn't say that. It would have to have "of" in there.

January 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MsLagerkvist2

Candentlion makes a good point. I've heard this in America too.

July 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/swissmiss70

I had the same problem on this one.

April 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

"A couple of oranges"?

April 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Erikman

Same here. I reported it.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/angiedaytripper

That's because dropping the 'of' is a dialect feature and is not standard English.

For comparison lots of Northern English dialects shorten the phrase 'to the' to t' (pronounced 'tut') so 'I'm going t'shops' makes perfect sense in Lancashire in Yorkshire but is meaningless or confusing in most of the rest of the English speaking world.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karnnan

A pair of oranges - rejected ! Why is it so?

May 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

That would be "Ein Paar Orangen."

May 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Waleed.Sta

Why is "a pair of oranges" not accepted ?

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/butlers91

Ok, didn't know this, but it is all about the capitalization:

Ein Paar Orangen = a pair of oranges.

Ein paar Orangen = a few oranges/a couple of oranges

July 14, 2014
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