1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Das ist viel."

"Das ist viel."

Translation:That is a lot.

October 9, 2015

87 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YingingYang

My answer is "That is much." and it's not accepted. I'm not a English native speaker. I doubt "That is much." is not logical in English, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonErikS

English speakers would understand "that is much," butwe would say "that is a lot"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blaufuchs

"That is much." is now accepted. "a lot" are two words that conjure an imaginary lot filled with things for comparison to whatever "that" is. "lots" is its plural, so I'd imagine that "lots" is more than "a lot". I'd imagine that literal use of "lot" and "lots" would cause at least momentary confusion to the colloquial English speaker accustomed to using "lot" in the non-literal sense. Saying "That is a lot." and pointing to an empty lot might get the response "A lot of what?".

"That much?", "How much is that?", "That's much more than I wanted." are typical English uses. Colloquially, "a lot" is as much as will fit in a lot, not to be confused with the allotted amount, which is how much is given to you.

Personally, I'd rather learn viel as much and viele as many, because "a lot" is not really a word in English, but faced with trying to decided between using "much" and "many," English speakers will casually use the phrase "a lot." instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/la.mia

You are right that in English sometimes "a lot" is used to avoid the confusion between "much" and "many". However, there are situations where you can't use "much" and would have to use "a lot". For example, "That is much" is incorrect. The only way to say it would be "That is a lot" or "That is too much."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Athalwulfaz

I don't think it's incorrect, merely unfashionable to use. Remember that 'much' is from Old English 'mycel', which also evolved into 'mickle' and 'muckle' in northern English dialects (especially Yorkshire under Norse influence), and yet if someone said 'that's muckle', or even the expression 'that's a bit much', it would seem less strange.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

You are absolutely correct. Except I wouldn't try mickle or mickle on Duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZackKneeland

Agreed! And a few other ways "That is not much," "...so much" etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edward600232

I'm a native British English speaker and I wouldn't say that ""lots" is more than "a lot"". As phrases for amounts they are mostly interchangeable.


[deactivated user]

    "That is much" is not proper English. Sorry for the bad news :/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Izaak384161

    Much is used in things that can't be counted. Many is things that can be counted. Examples: There's so much water.

    There's so many shoes.

    Hope this helps.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    You are correct, but you will notice that you had to put the so in front of much to make it sound right in Modern English. We no longer use much before uncountable nouns without modifying it. Unfortunately we tend to substitute a lot for much and that muddies the issue as a lot is used before both countable and uncountable nouns since the word lot technically provides the unit to count, although that expression has lost connection to its original derivation. This change happened long before my time, but is just another case where English seems to be losing some of the grammar rules which help students understand the rules in other European languages.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mommyandme1

    There are so many shoes.

    Plural= are; singular= is

    Hope this clarification is helpful!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZackKneeland

    American-English is my primary language. This should translate to "That is a lot." The phrase "That is much" is not used and sounds strange. However, you could say "That is TOO/SO/NOT much."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    The verb sein acts like an equal sign so that the predicate noun or adjective is in the nominative case. In the nominative case the options are viel or viele. Viel is singular, used with uncountable things like water, and is translated as "a lot (of)" Viele is used with plural nouns, describes countable things like plates (or cups of water) and is translated as "many". To say many in this case you would need to say Sie sind viele. You need that plural verb.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClarkBHM

    Why not "That is many."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

    "viel" means "much" or "a lot". "Many" would be "viele", "Das sind viele". And in English it would be "These are many", not "This is many" - in my opinion singular wouldn't make sense here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopSixSquish

    Now I'm confused. I thought 'viele' was the plural of 'viel'. Isn't it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Viele is sort of the plural of viel, but it's a little different of a concept. It is a little more confusing because we now say a lot of most of the time instead of much and many. But if you think of negative statements which do still use much and many, it may make more sense. I don't have much money. I don't have much time. I don't have much information. In each of these cases you have much modifying a singular, uncountable noun. I don't have many quarters, I don't have many friends, I don't have many clothes. In these cases many modifies a plural, countable Noun, although clothes is a bit of an odd man out. So viel is much. It has a singular form because it modifies a singular noun. Viele is many. It has a plural form because it modifies a plural noun. I hope that helps.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErkanHmlz

    I had to choose between viel, viele, vielen. How could I know that it was viel, I chose viele n it was wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    As mizinamo said, viel is singular and viele is plural. The significance of this often gets lost in English since we have pretty much replaced both much and many with a lot which works with both countable and uncountable nouns, but is grammatically singular. While countable nouns become plural in this expression, the plural doesn't affect the form of the verb because it is only the object of the preposition. But viel and viele do require different verb forms, so it is the use of the singular verb ist that requires viel. Viele would use sind.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    viel is singular: much, a lot.

    viele is plural: many.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmad728338

    what is the difference between vielen and viele ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Like most of the similar endings of words like that the variation depends on gender, number and of course.case. Viel is used for uncountable things and means much. It does not change forms. Viele means many and takes various forms like vielen, vieler, and vielem. Of course the English expression a lot can be used instead of either much or many.

    Here is a link that reviews the declension. It contains another link within it that is a chart. The chart labels are in German, but you should be able to follow at least the basics. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101106054250AAtq1bW


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agoston11

    why is "this is many" not accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That would be Das ist viele. Viel is much, viele is many, but a lot works for either.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Das ist viele is not possible - wrong verb. Das sind viele would be "These are many".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That was indeed what I was going to write and indeed what will be correct 99.99% of the time. But there are ocasionally exceptions. I had had a good example which I can no longer find, but this works too:

    http://www.e-flux.com/journal/08/61381/irene-ist-viele-or-what-we-call-productive-forces/

    Basically the point is that the issue is more logical than gramatical. But in order to present the concept that one thing is many things you would use the grammar structure to say that. Now you just have to be in the circumstances to want to express that which is unusual at best.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HammadS.

    Why viel and not viele?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo
    • viel = a lot, much
    • viele = many

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kallutvictor

    Could it be "that is too much"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Yes and no. People can say that's a lot in English in such a way that you understand they think it's too much. The same is true in German. But I would argue that that is actually more extra-linguistic communication. The added emphasis is added by intonation or body language. I think they may have some exercises that use viel as too much, I know that they do in Spanish with mucho, but ultimately it's a subjective judgment that has to be made it context which is meant.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suzanne57.Prowse

    I said Das ist viele which when checked on google translate means that's a lot which was basically the same answer that is a lot except it said the correct word to put in for Das ist.......was viel. Viel and vielen didn't make sense in the english form. So why is viel better answer than viele?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Well this is certainly not the first time Google translate is wrong. Viel means a lot. It is used for uncountable nouns like water or sand. Viele is a plural adjective. It means many and is used with countable things. As a plural adjective you need a plural noun and in this case a plural verb. Here is a link.

    http://grammar.languagenius.net/comp-viel.html


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bubblebobbler

    I'd answered 'that is lots' and it wasn't accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That usage of lots is colloquial at best. There has been much discussion in English over whether it correct to use There is a lot or there are a lot since lot is a singular form representing a collection or group. That breaks down to whether the item is countable. . There is a lot of water but there are a lot of cars. This makes a lot equivalent to both much and many. But any way you look at it, "lots" is both plural and countable. So there is lots should never be correct. It would always be there Are lots, which would definitely correspond to Viele not viel. I consider using lots instead of a lot of a little colloquial or at least very informal anyway.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean292640

    I am confused. This link

    http://www.canoo.net/services/Controller?dispatch=inflection&lang=en&input=viel&features=(Cat+A)

    shows that the nominative singular of viel with a definite article is viele


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    But there is no definite article in front of viel in this sentence -- it is not das viele Geld, for example.

    The das is not the definite article here, either; it's the word "that".

    Then comes ist, which can't be between an article and its noun, either.

    So viel stands on its own -- and it's after ist, so it's a predicative adjective, which doesn't have an ending.

    (Endings are only on attributive adjectives, i.e. essentially those which come before nouns.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mashedkartoffel

    Okay, so this might be a stupid question, but I answered "That is many." and it wasn't accepted. Is 'many' a different word in German altogether? I know that in English I would more commonly say, "That is many." Rather than say, "That is much." But I guess it would depend on the context it's in?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Not completely different but still different.

    • viel = much
    • viele = many

    "That is many" would be das sind viele.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NestorSaliven

    How about "that is many" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That would be das sind viele. Viel is a lot as in much for uncountable nouns. Viele is a lot as in many for countable nouns. And the verb form would have to change. I think that Those are many would be a better English sentence as well, but yours is certainly not uncommon


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    "many" is used for countable objects, with a plural: Das sind viele = Those are many.

    viel is used for uncountable objects; it's "much" or "a lot".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bjgallag

    I think that based on the gender of what you are talking about, it could be either viel (neut. or masc.) or viele (fem.)...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    viel is usually used without ending in the singular -- I would say viel Sahne, for example, not viele Sahne.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    In this sentence viel is an adverb. It does not change due to gender, only number. In general, even when directly modifying a noun, viel is used any uncountable noun, regardless of gender. Es gibt viel Wein (masculine), viel Milch (feminine), and viel Wasser (neuter). Viele is used with countable nouns and, if directly modifying a noun, will always modify a plural noun. For this reason viel is often translated as much and viele as many, although we tend to translate both as a lot, which muddies the picture because a lot can be used for both countable and uncountable nouns. We do sometimes say many, but we seldom say much in modifying uncountable nouns, except in negative statements (I have a lot of soda, but not much beer)

    This construction also has a feature not used much in modern English. Our ability to use a lot muddies the picture again. But in German, this sentence must be constructed to say That is much. The countable version of this would be Those are many Das SIND viele. The verb would become plural to agree with the plural viele. As I say, although I believe such a construction used to be correct in English, you won't hear that much, if at all, in modern English. But in German it definitively defines this sentence as referring to an uncountable noun due to the singular verb.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardJef18

    What is the difference of viel,viele,vieles,vielen ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Well there are a couple of things going on here. The first is the countable/uncountable issue between viel and viele which you see discussed up and down this stream. This particular sentence uses viel. That means that it is talking about an uncountable noun in the singular. A lot of water, much anger, etc. If it were viele, it would indicate many with a countable, plural noun. Many books or a lot of problems. Our use of "a lot" for both muddies the distinction a little, but you will still see the difference between a singular and plural nouns.

    But all that is mostly about viel/viele as a predicate adjective which is by its very nature in the nominative case. But there are three genders in German and four cases, so of course you have a declension table.

    http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/reference/complete-declension-tables/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danu9861

    When are we using viel, viele, vielen??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Viel is an adverb. It doesn't change with gender or case. It is only used with uncountable nouns. It is the equivalent of much.

    Viele is a PLURAL adjective or pronoun. It is always followed by or represents a plural, countable Noun. As a plural adjective, it declines with only changes in the dative case to vielen and in the genitive case to vieler. But as a pronoun it stands alone and shows the gender of the noun it represents. So if you want to use Many as a subject pronoun to a sentence where you are saying Many men, it would be Vieler. If representing many women it would be viele and if representing children it would be vieles.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aspetos

    How to sound viel like fiel


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Viel does sound like fiel. The German v always sounds like our f.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    The German v always sounds like our f.

    Only in native words.

    In loanwords, it often sounds like the English v, e.g. Vitamin, Vase, Vene, Villa, Veranda, ....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That is quite true. But I would argue that in loan words Germans are not using the German v. I said the German v, not in German the v...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    True as far as it goes, but that may not help learners unless they can identify which German words contain a "German v"....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    Of course. But most of the loan v words that you mentioned don't really sound very German, and people are quite aware of the concept. Loan words are always in the minority, and how they are pronounced is affected by the language they are borrowed from, so the pronunciation doesn't really follow rules. People who want to learn German should learn the German grammar and pronunciation rules. They can learn the exceptions as they come across them. Even with all the loan words and exceptions, they will certainly find German more consistent than English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmUmv0Ci

    there's a technical problem. no options on view


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    German has a rather ironic name for poison, at least from an English perspective. Poison is der Gift, and poisonous is giftig.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Poison is der Gift

    das Gift


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquelineB77

    many is a lot in english interchangeable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    To expand a little on what mizinamo said, English is unique among the languages I know with "a lot". A lot is either many or much, although it has almost replaced much except in questions or negatives. But German, like many other languages always have different forms for many and much. The key is simple. Much is used with uncountable nouns, always in a singular form, so much, as an adjective, will have a singular form as well to agree with the singular, uncountable noun. Many is always used with a plural countable noun, so here the adjective many will have a plural form to agree with the plural noun. The respective pronouns have the same forms as the adjective would based on meaning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    many is a lot in english interchangeable

    Only sometimes, with countable nouns in the plural.

    "that is" (rather than "those are") indicates that we're dealing with an uncountable noun, so "many" doesn't work.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tailise15

    How to know when to use viel, viele or vielen? Thanks!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    That's sort of two questions. For this particular sentence, the only theoretical options would be viel or viele, since ser is a "linking" verb, nouns and pronouns on both sides of the verb are in the nominative case. Here we have the pronoun, but the adjective is generally more obvious because you know what it is modifying. Viel is the singular form. When you have an uncountable noun, you leave it singular when you have a lot or much of it. But countable nouns use the plural. (Examples A lot of coffee vs A lot of cups). Of course "a lot of" has replaced the different terms that English used to use more commonly as other languages do: much and many. Viel is much and viele is many. If you just had the English sentence That is a lot to translate and you didn't know what was being talked about, you might well translate this wrong. But the German definitely says much. It is obvious from both the lack of a final e and the singular form of the verb. If it were viele it would be Das sind viele.

    The various case markers are affected by the gender of the noun (either being modified or being represented) and the grammatical case. Viele, vielen, vielem, vieler, and vieles are all possible depending on whether there is an article. Here's the table just for this.

    https://www.cactus2000.de/deutsch/adject/showadj_en.php?adj=viel


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdaleyW

    viel and viele are both 'a lot' ?? and jemand is someone/no one....no i know why germans have no clue about anything.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    viel and viele are both 'a lot' ?

    viel is "much" -- viel Wasser = much water

    viele is "many" -- viele Bücher = many books

    In English, "a lot" can mean either of those: you can say "a lot of water" or "a lot of books".

    jemand is someone/no one

    No. jemand is someone, niemand is no-one. Note the n- at the beginning which is common in negative words such as "no, not, none, never, nobody" or nein, nicht, nie, niemand.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    As mizinamo said, the issue with "a lot" is more of an issue with English, at least among European languages. Your issue with jemand suggested to me that you were maybe studying a romance language or other language as well. Neither English nor German allow for double negatives. But Romance languages love them. What that means is when they say essentially I don't like nobody, we change the word nobody into anybody to make it work in English. All I am trying to say is that as long as you regard English as being the "right" way, you won't be able to appreciate another language. Certainly there are things you can say in English that l can't quite say in German. But there are also many things I can say in German that I can't say in English. That's the reason you will see German words translated directly in various disciplines, like schadenfreude or gestalt. Each language has its own personality. You have to befriend it to speak it well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

    What a good comment. I assume "no i know why germans have no clue about anything" is not the best approach to learn a foreign language...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordCopern

    what is the difference among 'viel', 'viele' and 'vielen'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    The essential difference is between viel, which means much and viele which means many. We obscur this difference with a lot, which works with both countable and uncountable nouns. These words can be either adjectives or pronouns. Viel always represents or is followed by a singular, uncountable noun. It is always singular and doesn't change to agree in gender. Viele always represents or is followed by a plural noun. It acts like a plural adjective or pronoun. Based on this description, all other forms like vielen are explained by the German case rules.

    Here is a little more information

    https://grammar.languagenius.net/comp-viel.html


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/24sophia24

    how can i change the speed of the speaker


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    The dictation exercises have two speeds, and if you keep pressing the slow button it gets a little slower. But otherwise you can't.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedDog282863

    Surely this could be either answer depending on weather you are pointing at a pile of sand or a pile of potatoes?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    No. That's exactly the point. If you were talking about potatoes, it would be das ist viele. We consider much and many different words, though related. German, like many European languages, essentially considers many the plural of much. Viele is the plural of viel, and is required if the thing that has "a lot" is expressed as a plural.

    And for all those people who are struggling to learn German from English as a second language, I must correct your English. You should have said whether, not weather.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    If you were talking about potatoes, it would be das ist viele.

    No. das ist viele is incorrect. Das sind viele could be possible for "Those are a lot".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedDog282863

    I think this question appears in different formats, but the format I saw gave the English phrase "That is a lot" followed by "Das ist __" and required me to choose either "Viel" or "Viele". The point of my post was to enquire if either answer would be correct depending on the nature of what was being indicated - i.e. "That is a lot [of potatoes]" or "That is a lot [of sand]."

    As to your second point, are you familiar with McKean's law? Ironically, where you said "I must correct you English" It should be "your", not "you". I am less confident about this as I have not been learning German long, but I think you also intended to write "ist" not "is" at the start of your answer.

    We are working at keyboards or phone screens and we all make typos. Constantly pointing them out is unhelpful, not to mention irritating.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    I had not seen that iteration of this exercise. I am familiar with Duo and their multiple versions of essentially the same exercise, but I have not seen one which actually went against the entire point of the exercise, so I do apologize. You should obviously report it.

    I won't apologize for the correction, however. I do thank you for yours, and I have made the appropriate corrections. I understand that we all make typos. I use my smartphone for most of my Duo experience. But as I said, people in these forums are learning languages, and many are still learning English and are doing the quite different thing of learning German from English. Modeling the best language I can is something I consider important. I am constantly in these discussions, although more in Spanish and some of my other languages than German, and I have often been called on my errors and corrected them. It's what I expect and I do appreciate it. Weather and whether is a more substantial typo, as most people expect typos to be omitted letters and transpositions. I certainly won't say I have never used the wrong homonym by mistake, but it can be a more difficult error to recognize for some.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquelineB77

    why do you not accept 'that is many" ???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynettemcw

    You have a couple of problems there. If that were a more common English expression, you would probably recognize it's grammatical error, and if you did that, you'd know why it's not what the German says. The correct English would be Those are many. Many takes a plural noun and verb. There are many people there. The German would be Das sind viele. If you wanted not to say a lot, this could be That is much. A lot has tended to replace both much and many in English, which is what makes viel and viele a little more difficult for us than it should be. And though many is still used quite commonly, you only generally hear much in negative statements or questions. You probably wouldn't hear someone say I have much money. But saying I don't have much money or asking Do you have much money is relatively common.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ndakaziva

    why is " das is viele" incorrect


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    why is " das is viele" incorrect

    • You did not translate the English word "is" into German
    • viele is "many", which is not the same as viel "much" (and would require a plural verb)

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaterIce455

    Viel, viele, vielen, what is the difference?

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