"Wie viele Tiere seht ihr?"
Translation:How many animals do you see?
How can "ihr" mean plural you here? Doesn't the -t ending in "seht" indicate a singular person (i.e. she)?
What you mean is "sieht" (3rd pers. sing. conjugation). "ihr" is you (plural, 2nd pers.).
Yes, that's exactly what I mean! Wait, if "sieht" is 3rd person singular, what is "seht"?
Thank you! I've been looking for an explanation of this difference for a while and couldn't find one until now! Take a lingot. :)
A question for German native speakers (or anyone who can answer it):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the question "Sie sehen wie viele Tiere" or "wie viele Tiere sehen Sie" ambiguous, and can't either construction mean both "how many animals do you see" and "how many animals see you"?
How would a German speaker deal with this ambiguity?
If you knew the person who is being seen, I believe you'd use 'dich' in the second example you wrote. The first example you wrote is entirely incorrect.
Thanks very much for your response. I'm clear on the question of "dich" versus "Sie". So, so far I've got:
- Wie viele Tiere seht ihr? = How many animals do you see?
- Wie viele Tiere sehen dich? = How many animals see you?
(Biertopf's example below, and also mine from a different comment.)
- Wie viele Tiere sehen euch? = How many animals see you?
(My example below, which I presume is correct, but if not, I'd be happy to be corrected.)
- Wie viele Tiere sehen Sie? = How many animals see you? OR How many animals do you see?
(Or so I presume. No one has answered my question about this yet.)
- Sie sehen wie viele Tiere? = Null.
(This sentence is wrong, per OldMate2, I presume because the question phrase has to come at the beginning of the sentence. Maybe this sentence is analogous to something strange in English like "Do how many animals see you?")
A year later, with questions still unanswered, or presumptions still unconfirmed, here's proof that learning a language solely on Duolingo has its major drawbacks.
You can also have Wie viele Tiere siehst du? = How many animals do (informal) you see? I think your 4th interpretation is correct in both ways. I can't think of another way to ask either question. The final point would be word for word interpreted as "You see how many animals?" - in English it works, but in German I believe you have to have the question words at the beginning.
how can i differentiate between "seht" and "sieht", especially when the subject is ihr which sounds awfully similar to er?
I am not sure about the use of "Ihr" in this case - why is it the subject of the sentence?
That would be "Wie viele Tiere seht ihr an?" with "sehen" being "to see" and "ansehen" (a separable verb) being "to look at".
Wie viele Tiere hast du gesehen? (singular informal)
Wie viele Tiere habt ihr gesehen? (plural informal)
Wie viele Tiere haben Sie gesehen? (singular formal, plural formal, "Sie" with capital "S")
I guess my confusion comes from grammar struggles (which isn't surprising for me) but in which case would the animal be the noun because from how the sentence structure looks to be, it seemed worded that the animals were seeing you. I could assume a sentence like this (How many animals see you) could be used when asking a Vet how many animals they see, but inverting the nouns or something along those lines.
If you wanted to write "How many animals see you" the line would be "Wie viele Tiere sehen Sie/dich". In the original line the verb was second person plural (you(pl) see).
So the pronoun defines the subject? I guess that kind of makes sense to me. God, I hate grammar differences. Thanks for the help! :D
The pronoun is the subject here, but not because it's a pronoun.
It's because "ihr" means "you" only in the nominative (subject) case, and although it can have other meanings, none of those lets it make sense as a direct object (which is the other possibility you might consider with this sentence construction and this verb), so you're stuck assuming it's the subject.
And the verb form "seht" goes with "ihr" as subject, which is your other big clue.
The noun, Tiere, could have been the subject if the verb had been in the form "sehen", but then your pronoun would have been "euch", because "euch" is the accusative (direct object). ("Sie" and "dich" would work here but "Sie" is formal and "dich" is singular.)
So "wie viele Tiere sehen euch/Sie/dich" would presumably be "how many animals see you [plural/formal/singular]".*
* However, with "Sie" it would seem to be ambiguous as to who is seeing whom, because both "Sie" and "Tiere" can be nominative or accusative, and the verb form would be "sehen" whether it was the "Tiere" or "Sie" doing the seeing. Can a native speaker confirm this, or correct me?
I have always known "how many" to equate to "Wieviel," but in Duo I always see it as "Wie viel(e)." Why is it never one word in Duolingo? Does "Wieviel" not exist anymore?
I guess I should know by the pronoun "ihr", but I can't hear a difference between "seht" and "sieht", if they are in fact supposed to be pronounced differently.