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"What horse?"

Translation:Welches Pferd?

January 9, 2013



Welches Pferd? = 1.) Which horse? / 2.) What horse?

Was für ein Pferd? = 1.) What horse? 2.)What kind of horse?

Was Pferd? = "What is the matter with you? Why are you talking about a horse?? (this is somewhat rude, better don't use it yourself.)

When you see the words "What horse?" without any context, the best translation is "Was für ein Pferd?"


Thank you for making these distinctions. Native English speakers know that the true meaning of this phrase is in the tone of voice one uses. Few English speakers would say "What horse?" to mean that one has a number to choose from. In fact to do so would be an indication of very low educational background. Duolingo needs to get rid of this sentence.


I total agree, there is a very high propensity for ambiguity... get rid of this sentence.


Duolingo is not great at handling ambiguity in general, since everything is done by translation.


Lots of English speakers would say "What horse?" "Which" is more formal and most people use both interchangeably. If asked for a book, I'd expect either "What book" or "Which book" as an answer.


"What horse?" and "Which horse?" are by no means interchangeable. "What horse?" without any other context suggests you're saying "What are you talking about? I can't see a horse" whereas "Which horse?" suggests you're asking them to choose from more than one horse. You might say "What horse will you be riding today?" to mean similar to "Which horse?" in a specific context but not just "What horse?".


If you asked for a book, the librarian would ask "Which book?" whereas the butcher is more likely to reply with an ironic "What book?". If you want to use what, you should be more definitive like "What is the book you are looking for?"


In my native dialect the what-question is not a low-class question. It's about context and availability.

Librarians have thousands of books to choose from, therefore "which": an option of many. To your point (I think?), a butcher isn't dealing in a wealth of books (IF AT WORK), so asking them about a book is confusing. What-questions are usually please-clarify/indefinite questions. Books don't fit a butcher context, so... What?


That wouldn't mean one has a very low educational background.


It does, since "what horse" is grammatically incorrect, less specific, and sounds lazy and amateurish by comparison.


I'm a college graduate and a native English speaker, and I took it to mean "which horse?" As in, "What horse are you betting on at the racetrack?" Or, "What horse got out of the pasture this time?"

I mean, I won't argue with being called grammatically incorrect, lazy, or amateurish. But hey- I'm educated.


This has nothing to do with education level or snobbishness. It has everything to do with context, and nothing to do with education. For example, if you were approached by a woman who said: "My horse ran away - did you see a horse? If you did not see a horse you would correctly reply: "What horse?" If you saw many horses run by you would say: "Which horse?" If you saw no horse and replied: "Which horse?" you would be deceiving her. As is often the case in Duolingo, no context is given.


This is exactly right. In English, "What horse?" means "What horse are you talking about? I didn't see a horse!" just as it does in German. DL should either accept "Was Pferd?" as a translation of "What horse?", or change the question to "Which horse?"


Have you reported it to DL?


I know a German person, who often asks like that, "what for horse?" I was wondering where this habit came from, thank you for explaining. :D


Was Pferd? = "why are you talking about a horse??" or "what horsesh!t?!"?


manaeiou, it is as well to know! We were warned it could be tricky in use but can now ringfence it, if preferred.


Is this something of a general rule, to use Was für instead of just Was? (Not for Duo, but in real life.) Thank you!


Why is "Was Pferd" not ok? I thought 'Welche' meant 'which', and 'was' meant 'what'...


I know why you made this error, it's because the highly Americanised Duolingo decided to use 'what horse' instead of 'which horse' which makes little grammatical sense in English.


Which German sentence would you use for "What horse?" in the context of saying you couldn't see any horse? I'm guessing not “welches“?


i have the same question!


'Was Pferd' makes no sense at all, it's like asking 'Who person?'. It's either 'Was für ein Pferd?' or 'Welches Pferd?', I would recommend the latter, just like duo.


Why "Welches Pferd" and not "Welche Pferd" ?

  • 2502

Pferd is neuter.

Das Pferd - Welches Pferd?
Der Mann - Welcher Mann?
Die Frau - Welche Frau?


does "was" not mean what?


Vocabulary says it does mean what. Thinking as an english statement, 'what horse', it makes sense to use it. German might not have two different statements for the same question.


Perhaps in german, "was" can only be used on inanimate objects? So perhaps this is why "welches" was more apropriate. No idea if that's right, just tossing that out there.


the sentence should be "which horse" not what*


"What horse?" and "Which horse?" are two different things in English. "What" is implying you didn't even know there was a horse. "Which" is asking for clarification when there are many horses to choose from. I know some people might use "what" in place of "which", but it is wrong.


Why is the 's' added here? (Welches rather than welche)?


Beacuse 'Pferd' is Neuter ... 'das Pferd'.


When do you omit the 's'? Just masculine, just feminine, or both?


Welches Pferd? Welcher Mann? Welche Frau?


Thank you. This has been plaguing me for days now.


Google is your friend :)


It is technically improper English to say 'what horse', like in German you should be asking the eqiv. of 'which horse'. 'Which' is used for items that are quantifible, works the same in German.


Which horse wont be better?


I think the question is wrong here : It has to be Which horse ? instead of What horse?


Could someone please clarify the usage of "Was" and "Welche"; since both of them mean what, it's confusing to know which one to use, where. I get it that there is some subtle difference in the usage that is not apparent in English (as some people seem to have mentioned above), but what is this difference?


Imagine that somebody said "did you see that horse?" In English, you could respond 'what horse?' or 'which horse?', but in German, only 'welches Pferd?' is correct.

That being said, in almost no other context would anybody say 'what horse' in English, and as such I think it's a bad question designed specifically to trick people.


This is the beauty of Duo... someone above gave a full explanation to this 'tricky' sentence and the incorrect usage of 'was' which you wouldn't run across if all of the sentences were straightforward.


In English, "which horse?" is asking someone to be specify a horse among multiple possible horses.

However, "what horse?" is either (a) a colloquial and incorrect way to say "which horse", or (b) doubting the existence of the horse.

For example, if you ask someone who has never owned a horse "Where is your horse?", they will most likely answer by saying "What horse?"

Therefore, if you want to translate "Welches Pferd?" into English, or translate something from English to that, the English sentence should, 100% OF THE TIME, be "Which horse?" and NEVER "What horse?"


I thought welches means which not what


If we were meant to choose "Welches Pferd?" then the English translation should have been "Which horse?".


doesn't "Welches" mean "which" and the es means the word is before a neuter gender word?


It's hard enough learning a foreign language without Duolingo using, at best, ambiguity, or misusing a language, in this case English.


When does one use "welches, welche, welcher, welchem and welchen?

It is very confusing to know which one to use as no distinction between is given.


what determines when Welche, welcher and welches is used. Like why is it Welches, and not just Welche


Gender. Welches is for neuter words, Welche is for feminine, and Welcher is for masculine, I believe.


the most helpful thing I have found to do is open Google Translate in another window. When I run into a problem I use the translator and try different variations on what I got wrong. It seems to help with the word endings.


Welches Pferd makes sense here, fine, now how'd you day What is the matter with you? Is there any chance that we can use welches in that case as well?


Welches Pferd is correct, I ask why not Welche?


Because it's Das Pferd?


For me it doesn't make sense since "what horse?" I saw it and thought " what??? what's wrong is the horse?? why horse?? horse is not horse? WTF horse??"

Maybe it is because English is not my 1st language but I do think "Which horse?" or "What kind of horse?" can fit better here


What is the distinction between 'Was' and 'Welches'? Both mean "what". What is the rule for using it? I applied 'Was Pferd' but it was not accepted


what means in German ? welche means which. Please explain/


I had the same issue in Romanian. Duo needs to ask 'which horse?'

[deactivated user]

    in the info on this section welches is not stated, yet during the course of "learning" you have welcher listed as meaning which. Is there saom epiece of magic i a missing that is never explained. Call this type of learning FUN?? I DO NOT!!!


    "What horse?" is an unhelpful translation for "Welches Pferd?" In English, "which horse" and "what horse" are often used for quite different meanings - which (when there is a choice of more than one horse) and what (eg: when there is doubt that there is a horse). I suggest this question be removed from the tutorial - given the high number of comments, it is clearly not educational, but controversial .


    Why is it not welcher pferd, since horse is masculine? Please help!


    Sentence seems ambiguous. If the correct translation is Welches Pferd? Then the english sentence should be "Which horse?" considering "what horse?" can mean a lot of different things in English (e.g. Do you see that horse? what horse?)


    Just done the Duolingo lesson of the 7 W's so why is the first question using Welches that Duolingo says means which when the lesson asks for What? Confusing


    Was = What. Welches = Which.

    <h1>Don't get it twisted Duolingo</h1>


    So why then does Duolingo say Was Pferd is incorrect in answer to What horse?


    Google Translate says 'Which horse?'


    I'm sure the translation is wrong.


    Too much wrong stuff in this lesson welches refers to what and which also


    Can I say, "Was Pferd?"


    My page did NOT read Welches Pferd but Was Pferd so I've been marked wrong when it is Duo's problem.


    The best answer I found from Google search:

    "In English, you can often substitute what for which, i.e. instead of "which school are you attending?" you can say "what school are you attending?" In German, this is not possible.

    So, whenever you would use "what" in the sense of "which" in English (e.g. "What horse?") you cannot translate it as "was" but you have to use "welche in German. (my note: you can use "was" but you have to use "Was für ein/e")

    On the other hand, if you take the sentence "what would you like for breakfast?" Here it would be impossible to replace "what" by "which". Hence you use "was" in German not "welch"."

    Source: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/was-vs-welche.981497/

    Other tips: Use "welche" when you have limited choices e.g. Welche Automarke magst du? - Which brand of car do you like?. Welche expresses a choise.

    In cases where you are unsure if you should use Was or Welche, you can interchange "Welche" with "Was für ein/e".


    I don't care whether the english is what or which - I just don't understand why its Welches and not the other choices - is it because of gender?


    This question was posed by me some years ago and I receive intermittent answers on the subject every 2 or 3 months. My opinion is , if you answer the question in 3 or 4 contexts over a period of say 6 to 12 months. Then drop the question as " answered", it would be an unreasonable student who should deprived of suitable attention, Thank you for a very thorough and competent presentation. Kind Regards, Bruce Gatgens


    Was Pferd - what horse, welcher Pferd - which horse. I didn't realise that 'was' and 'welcher' were interchangeable. 'What horse' was rejected.


    What horse /or which horse =Welche pferd


    Why is there an 'es' at the end if 'welch'?


    why "was Pferd?" is not a correct answer here?


    Can anybody explain Welches and Welche?


    Welches is used for neuter noun and Welche for feminine and plural nouns.


    Doesn't "was" translate as "what" ? "Come on" we can not have it both ways, can we? You asked what horse not which horse. Help me!


    why "was pferd " is wrong ?


    Zchbaniel25: Thank you for the explanation.


    Can someone help with the usage of welches, welch and welcher? Thanks!! Please give an example if you can...


    Check out the app "memrise" it explains stuff way better. Though i really like Duolingo, memrise is really helpful with learning the fem/masc/ neu aspect. It has helped me, i hope it helps you too.


    Welch changes its ending according to the case and gender you are referring to. Der Apfel is changed to welcher Apfel, Die Katze to welche Katze, In nominative case ,Den Hund is changed to welchen Hund and so on.


    Difference between Welche,Welches,Welcher,Welchen ,etc?


    It's determined by the gender of the word it describes, and the position in the sentence.

    As a subject of the sentence:

    das Pferd - welches Pferd

    die Frau - welche Frau

    der Mann - welcher Mann

    As a direct object:

    Du siehst den Mann. - Welchen Mann siehst du?


    Thank you, I was wondering in what context to use Welchen.


    as i know WAS is the deutch of WHat and WELCHES is WHICH ..correct me if im wrong


    This is obviously a TRICK question. Why Duo needs to use tricks is another question. So, if "welches Pferd" means "what horse", how would one say "which horse?"


    Do you see a horse? My reply What horse? Is 'Was Pferd' still incorrect?


    If we are to use 'Welches', then it should not say Which horse? and not What horse. The context of this sentence is, in English, What horse are you talking about? This could either be rude or polite depending on the tone and who you are talking to - a child or an adult for instance.

    Those who argue the point on which is more polite forget the unheard tone or the unseen context, so we have to go along with what the original sentence says which is, 'What horse? (are you talking about).

    Therefore, in my opinion (and what do I know), the sentence should be translated to Was Pferd?


    what horse? = was Pferd?


    both was and welche mean (what/which) The question word "was" comes before the verb The question word "welch-" comes before the noun and has the same ending as the definite article.


    Was = What - What Horse = Was Pferd.... That's what it seems to me is the obvious answer, but then again NOTHING is obvious on DL :/


    Your difficulty here is that the English word "what" has a number of different meanings, and not all of them are rendered as was in German. In particular, in some dialects of English, "what" followed by a noun (e.g. "What whisky do you want?") can be used to mean "which". This crossover doesn't exist in German, so that welches is always used for the "which" meaning, not was.


    Does that mean that "what" followed by a noun in English will always translate to "Welches" in German? or is it by context?


    This is a very poor question if you ask me! Very poor indeed!

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