"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?"

October 23, 2013


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.

April 25, 2014


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

October 15, 2014


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.

October 27, 2014


"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?".

September 6, 2015


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?"

July 22, 2015


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

November 23, 2018


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

February 8, 2019


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?"

September 2, 2014


Have you reported it to DL?

September 5, 2014


I have.

February 8, 2019


Ahh.. thank you.

December 27, 2013



April 22, 2014


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

December 11, 2014


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

January 22, 2015


Cool thx!

August 29, 2018


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

January 9, 2013


'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.

January 9, 2013


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

February 21, 2014

  • 1930

Pferd is neuter.

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

February 28, 2014


see below

October 23, 2013


does "was" not mean what?

January 29, 2013


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.

February 3, 2013


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.

December 12, 2013


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.

December 7, 2013


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“?

February 13, 2015


the sentence should be "which horse" not what*

January 29, 2014


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

April 20, 2013


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

May 2, 2013


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

September 14, 2013


Welches Pferd? Welcher Mann? Welche Frau?

October 23, 2013


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

June 15, 2014


Google is your friend :)

August 6, 2014


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?

August 6, 2013


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.

August 16, 2013


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.

July 21, 2015


Which horse wont be better?

June 29, 2013


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

July 28, 2013


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.

October 24, 2013


"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.

February 17, 2014



February 8, 2019


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

August 20, 2017


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

November 7, 2013


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.

November 14, 2013


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

February 1, 2017


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?

February 8, 2019


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

March 9, 2018


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?"

March 20, 2018


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

December 6, 2018


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?"

February 8, 2019


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

March 23, 2019


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

April 14, 2019


I thought welches means which not what

May 20, 2019


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

November 19, 2013


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?

November 20, 2013


Welches Pferd is correct, I ask why not Welche?

August 17, 2014


Can anybody explain Welches and Welche?

August 30, 2014


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!

September 7, 2014


why "was pferd " is wrong ?

September 26, 2014


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

March 13, 2015


Zchbaniel25: Thank you for the explanation.

May 10, 2015


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

June 22, 2015


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.

August 29, 2015


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

February 22, 2018


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 :/

February 8, 2014


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.

February 8, 2014


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

April 27, 2014
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