1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Ist der Supermarkt billig?"

"Ist der Supermarkt billig?"

Translation:Is the supermarket cheap?

October 20, 2015



question: does "billig" imply something is inexpensive, of low quality, or both?


It can be understood as both. If you want the avoid the "low quality" meaning, you can say "kostenlos" or "gratis".

EDIT: kostenlos & gratis mean "for free", see mizinamo's comment. SORRY


Äh, was? "Kostenlos, gratis" entsprechen nicht "cheap".

Besser wäre vielleicht "günstig, kostengünstig, preiswert".


Late to the party, but... Having lived in Germany for a few months now, I've noticed - in the East at least - that when people talk about cheap quality they say "Billig" but in talking about prices they say "Günstig". 'Gunstig' is cognate with favourable, but this is how the two words are used.


Es kostet eine Menge Geld, so billig auszusehen. It takes a lot of money to look this cheap. - Dolly Parton


Does this refer to the price of what the supermarket sells, or a price of the supermarket itself? (Or potentially either?) I'm... not entirely sure whether I'd phrase the former the same way in English. (although I'm pretty sure I might do it for "expensive". Hmmm)


Either. Most commonly, you'd probably talk about the prices of the products in the supermarket.


Wait... wouldn't you want to say that the merchandise at the supermarket is cheap rather than saying that the place is cheap itself? This implies that you are trying to buy the supermarket itself.


Come on, that's implied (unless you're a real estate guy or something).


It's just... what if someone doesn't pick up on the implication? I kind of had to to get the answer right, but some young hooligan might not understand. They might not see that it is meant to generalize the merchandise at the supermarket under the name of the supermarket itself.


Anyway I think it means the same in both languages (i.e. it generalizes the merchandise at the supermarket under the name of the supermarket itself). Of course you could clarify it in either language if you have the feeling that you need to.


30 years ago, even i was taking high school German, my teacher was very particular about using "sein" in sentences. He always defaulted to "sein" being a statement of equivalence rather than an introduction to an adjective. You aren't hungry, "Sie sind hungrig." Rather, you have hunger, "Sie haben Hunger." That could have just been his way of getting students to think more like Germans.


Why does the 'g' in billig sound like the 'ch' in other words?

This is similar to how a 'g' is pronounced in Afrikaans, but it is the standard pronunciation and is always used for the g.

When do I know to pronounce the 'g' like in Geld, and or like in billig?


The ending -ig has the "g" sounding like the "ch" in "ich" (not the "ch" in "ach"!).

Otherwise, in standard German, "g" sounds like either "g" in "Geld" or (at the end of words) "k" in "kalt", e.g. "Tag" sound like "Taak".


I had forgotten it sounded like a "k" in other words.

Thanks for the clarification! I will try to remember this :)


Generally, there are no voiceless sounds at the ends of words: Rad "wheel and Rat* "council" sound identical, for example.


Is "that" not correct? It certainly seems to be demonstrative when it relates to a particular supermarket. Thanks!


It can be either "the supermarket" or "that supermarket" or even "this supermarket".


Thank you. I reported it, but I was not sure.


why not "Is the supermarket affordable?"


If you ask someone standing in front of the supermarket "Ist der Supermarkt billig - is the supermarket cheap" they would get that you mean the merchandise, not the supermarket itself. But if you ask if it is affordable - erschwinglich that sounds like you would like to buy the property.


I have to ask, why is it 'supermarket' and 'shopping cart', not 'shoppingcart' in English?


So billig = cheap, but how do I ask if something is affordable? It wouldn't accent affordable.


I would say bezahlbar (literally, "payable") or erschwinglich for "affordable".


For Duo it is, since he bought one


it says that shabby is incorrect when i typed it


Because shabby is not the same as cheap, especially when talking about prices.


Why can't I use 'store' instead of 'supermarket'? Is it being specific with 'supermarket', or do they mean totally different things in Germany?


Supermarkt (supermarket) is one kind of Geschäft, Laden (store), so it's more specific.


Thank you:)


To avoid the confusion of "cheap," does Duolingo accept "inexpensive" or even "economical"? I have found that schlecht for people I would rather translate as "poor" -- he is a poor teacher, for example, but Duolingo doesn't accept some of those more diplomatic descriptions.


"cheap" matches German billig -- it has the same two meanings of "not costing a lot" and "low-quality".


I guess the name of the Billa supermarket chain comes from this word.

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