Translation:The fifth and the sixth bags are similar.
In English we would say the 5th and the 6th bag are similar. Note that Tasche indicates one bag . So it means the 5th bag and the 6th bag. Fünfte Tasche and sechste Tasche which become two bags hence the plural sind
To say" 6th bags" would mean that there was more than one of the 6th bag. Imagine you are in a bag shop and you pick up bag No. 5 and then bag number No. 6 and look at them. You can see that they "are " similar. Now you can use the plural for looking at two bags only
Actually in English I'm fairly certain we can say either, as "bags" (plural) refer not only to the 6th, but also the 5th. Very similar to saying "My brother and sister are going for a walk." rather than saying "My brother and sister is going for a walk". Just of course in some instances similar to that one would use the singular in English. Just some more good old-fashioned English ambiguity for ya :P
It can be "bag" (singular) because the construction of this sentence makes "the fifth/die fünfte" function as a nominal adjective (see Wikipedia::Adjectives and Wikipedia::Nominalized Adjectives) in which the noun that would ordinarily appear (bag/Tasche) is presented only once, where it is modified by the attributive adjective "sixth/sechste".
The sentence, which expresses the idea that two bags--number five and number six--are similar, can be formed in numerous ways, including:
- Die fünfte Tasche und die sechste Tasche sind ähnlich.
The fifth bag and the sixth bag are similar. <== most explicit by repeating the object
- Die fünfte Tasche und die sechste sind ähnlich.
The fifth bag and the sixth [bag] are similar. <== second [bag] is understood, not stated
- Die fünfte und die sechste Tasche sind ähnlich.
The fifth [bag] and the sixth bag are similar. <== first [bag] is understood, not stated
- Die fünfte und die sechste Taschen sind ähnlich.
The (fifth and the sixth) bags are similar. <== Fifth & sixth together modify "bags"
- Die fünfte und die sechste sind ähnlich.
The fifth and the sixth are similar. This assumes one has already established that bags/Taschen are the topic of comparison.
All of these are valid. Some, however, are more clear/explicit than others.
I know, I agreed that both translations are acceptable. However, when you used the singular you wrote Tasche. When you used the plural version you used Taschen.
Duo wrote Tasche (singular) in the example sentence but translated it to bags (plural). It's more an issue of consistency.
Yeah, but I think you may be trying too hard to have the translation work word-for-word. I may actually be overreaching with my suggestion that "Die fünfte und die sechste Tasche
n sind ähnlich." is proper German.
The crux, though, is that we're dealing with two bags--the fifth bag and the sixth bag--and thus the plural verb (are/sind) is necessary. Whether one uses "Tasche/bag" twice, once (with one understood), or "bags/Taschen" is probably just a matter of author's/speaker's choice, with all valid to a similar (ähnliche) degree.
We are dealing with two bags here. Must use pleural in any language. I didn't know Germans count fifth and sixth bags as only one bag. This German sentence and English answer simply DO not make any kind of sense. Notice that I used 'DO' instead of 'DOES' in my previous sentence because of two subjects not one !
how many sixth bags are there in this example? only one, yet english people seem to say "sixth bags". i didnt know english count one bag as two :p even germans can differentiate between one and two but using a singular adjective with a plural noun sounds strange. just accept it as difference like the difference between e.g. "must not" and "nicht müssen".
so this should probably be Taschen. That is, if the "fifth" thing this sentence is referring to is a bag. What if the "fifth" thing is something other than a bag? I guess it could be trying to say something like, "the fifth [pink polka-dotted dragon] and the sixth bag are similar." In that case, there is only one bag.
Would definitely be "bags" in English. They aren't viewed individually because of the "and" so we need the plural noun to match the plural "are." Came here to see if the German was different but apparently there wasn't even complete agreement on the English. Seeing as it's just subject-verb agreement and not a collective noun I feel like it should be "Taschen," but I'll let a German make that call.
From John McWhorter, Ph.D. I believe here: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/story-of-human-language.html. Wikipedia says: Theo Vennemann has hypothesized a Basque substrate and a Semitic superstrate in Germanic; however, his speculations, too, are generally rejected by specialists in the relevant fields. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Germanic_language Dr McWhorter makes a stronger case and his lastname is McWhorter. Clearly he knows about language with a name like McWhorter!
If I'm not mistaken, "ähnlich" translated to comparable is a previous question ("Die summe ist ähnlich"). It seems a battle over semantics for questions like these... I've noticed, occaisonally, it mark me as correct even when I didn't get the exact phrase "correct". To say "The bags are similar" compared to "The bags are comparable" appears to result in the same meaning regardless... With maybe comparable being more in relation to either price or quality. However, if I was comparing two bags with someone and they said "they are both comparable" It would still result in exactly the same meaning... That they're pretty much the same. There is no differing meaning between either; if I was unsure whether the person was talking about quality, price, or whatever I would ask additional questions to confirm in both cases. It also eases the "unbundling" of meaning in having one word mean the same thing (for both similar and comparable).
TL;DR I think this is one of those questions "comparable" should be an additional correct answer, with the tagline "You can also say... similar...".
Well, I do not know if I am right, but it looks to me like a common N - ellipsis (noun ellipsis) of the word "bag" from the complete sentence: "The fifth bag and the second bag are similar". In the context you can omit it completely: "The first and the second one are ...", but the verb is in plural because it is related to the Compound Subject (the first bag and the second bag), which has been elided, because to use x times word bag is redundant.
I understand, that when somebody sees the verb in plural, he must have there a noun in plural, but for me is more natural to say "The first and the second person are carrying weapons", than to try get there noun in plural, here in extreme case "people".
On the other hand, why not ... hmm, wait, I got one - the IEELTS test which you now will have to probably take, if you want to go somewhere in Commonwealth, even if English is your native language.
IIRC, it's not just articles, every noun generally needs an attribute of its own, even if it's the same. For example, while in English you could say "my brother and sister are at home", in German you'd have to repeat the pronoun: "mein Bruder und meine Schwester sind zu Hause". It would sound unnatural otherwise. I'm sure there's a proper grammar explanation for it, but this is from my personal experience. :)