"Ich esse zweiunddreißig Erdbeeren."

Translation:I eat thirty-two strawberries.

October 23, 2015

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any particular reason why dreißig, unsure of the spelling, has the ß instead of like all the others that have zig, zwanzig, vierzig, sechzig, etc...


Hey you all:

"any particular reason why dreißig, unsure of the spelling, has the ß instead of like all the others that have zig, zwanzig, vierzig, sechzig, etc..."

Yes. There is no mistake. The answer is simply that dreißig is an exception.


Wow I just thought you people were just comically bad at answering this question, but after doing some digging, it seems like it goes waaaay back, and no one's totally sure, but there are some hints:

In early German, there was a word starting with t that was used as a suffix. It was added onto the end of numbers in this case. The tens numbers in English have the same origin, which is where the "ty" came from at the end of twenty, thirty, forty, etc. In German, over a long time, the t word shifted to -zig with a hard z sound instead of t.

There seems to have been some rule where this t word was only added after consonants, not vowels. So if you notice, all the other ten-number words have a consonant before -zig, but dreißig is the only one that has a vowel: zwaNzig. DreIßig. VieRzig. FünFzig. SechSzig. SieBzig. AchTzig. NeuNzig.

Also very interesting: In English notice how in the number Three, the R comes first followed by the EEs, but in the number Thirty, the vowel I comes first, followed by R. Were they possibly switched around to accommodate this rule to make "thirty" instead of "threety?" Two tens became twenty, not twoty. Three tens because thirty, not threety. Five tens became fifty, not fivety. Ninety has the vowel e, but "nine" is pronounced ending with a hard consonant sound, unlike five where the consonant sound is softer, so that might explain why ninety was left alone.

My guess - In English, if the number ended in a vowel sound, they changed the pronunciation of the number slightly to fit with the t suffix word. In German, they left the original number alone and changed the suffix slightly.


I wondered about this as well. Somebody please tell us the answer...IF there is one.


The difference is the pronounciation : ß is pronounced like an S ; Z is pronounced " ts ".


That still doesn't explain the spelling. The only thing I can think of is that it ends with a vowel, and the others don't, and maybe that's why it needs to be pronounced differently


itd be nice to practice numbers other than 23,23,28,32,42,82 and 123


I eat thirty-two strawberries, then I have a tummy ache.


Is berries Beeren, and Erdberren is only strawberries?? If so, how would I say blueberries, raspberries, etc.??

  • blueberry = Heidelbeere but there are many regional names including Blaubeere, Schwarzbeere, Mollbeere, Wildbeere, Waldbeere, Bickbeere, Zeckbeere, Moosbeere ,Heubeere (the last one seems to be used in Switzerland and southern Germany)
  • raspberry = Himbeere
  • blackberry = Brombeere
  • red currant = Rote Johannisbeere
  • mulberry = Maulbeere
  • gooseberry = Stachelbeere


It seems that all countries have certain idiosyncrasies when it comes to numbers. Especially when it comes to the teen numbers. In French, after 'dix' (10), you have to count to '16' (dix-six) before it becomes 'logical'. Don't get me started on numbers '70' -' 90' . But even in English, we have strange rules. No such numbers as 'threeteen' or 'fiveteen' here.

As BekahBelle mentioned that drei ends in a vowel may possibly have forced the ßig ending, the same could be said for the English '3' and '5' turning threeteen to 'thirteen' and fiveteen into 'fifteen'. The Germans already use 'zwanzig' instead of 'zweizig' or 'zweißig'. In that case, they could have opted for dranzig but 'dreißig' wins the day.




It'd be REALLY nice if when I type something in the wrong language DuoLingo gave me a second shot. They used to do that. I heard the sentence in German, understood it, then translated it into English. They used to have a feature where they did that, but they got rid of it for some reason.


They have that feature on audio-only lessons where the user is only expected to transcribe spoken German rather than translate it into English. Not sure why it isn't universal.

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