"Obst, Gemüse, Eier"

Translation:Fruit, vegetables, eggs

January 21, 2013



It's amazing how much learning another language teaches you about your native one as well... My first thought was that fruit is simply fruit... until I started reading comments and the complaints about plural fruit. Then the more I read and thought about it, English has several food items that work like this: fish, meat, fruit, cereal. Basically any word that refers to both an item that you eat multiple pieces of and is a category of food.

June 20, 2014


Great catch, VickiWonder! A partial explanation for this in English is the concept of "countable nouns" (1 chicken, 2 cows, 3 piggies) vs "mass nouns" (some chicken, some beef, some pork).

Plurals (typically or always, depending on how you think about them and how strongly you feel about it) only work on countable nouns.

December 29, 2015


I got the spider question and I totally freaked out I was like:OMG I HATE SPIDERS!!!!!!!

September 3, 2018


Does the clear pluralisation of the egg part of the list at the end, imply that everything else in the list before it is also plural? If so is this just the way that this sentence reads or is it a general rule for lists?

April 6, 2013

  • "Obst" does already mean "fruit" in the plural sense.
  • "Gemüse" can be both plural or singular but it would need an article in singular, so here it clearly is plural

So, yes they are plural but not for the reason you suspected.

December 27, 2013


"Das Obst" is a singular term (look at the article) it has no plural even though it used like one in everyday speech.

It is a mass noun like butter, blood, wine or water, for example. A part of water is still water but a part of a table isn't a table (as a whole). The same goes for the term "Obst". A piece of "Obst" is still "Obst".

Most mass nouns don't have a plural form but in case they have those don't refer to the mass noun itself but to the brand. Take " der Wein" (wine), for example. A part of the wine you have in your glass is still wine, right? Right. But "Wein" has a plural called "die Weine". That is because in the case of "Wein" the plural doesn't refer to the general term of wine but to different brands. So if you say "die Weine" you mean different brands like white wine, red wine, Riesling etc.

Mass nouns also aren't countable. You can't say one "Obst" or fifty "Obst". If you want to make it countable you need a word to help with that: "Ein Stück Obst" (one piece of fruit) or "fünfzig Stück Obst" (fifty pieces of fruit).

"Das Gemüse" is similar to "Obst", it has a plural (die Gemüse) though, which I never heard used by anyone btw. People use "Gemüse" the same way they use "Obst" in everyday speech. I'm unsure if it is actually a mass noun. I even looked it up but couldn't find anything specific. I think it is if you want an opinon.

September 5, 2015


Thanks for the explanation

March 20, 2016


What if I want to express two (or more than two types) of fruits? Assume I am at fruit shop. I seperate out 2 mangoes, 3 bananas. Then I tell the vendor (by pointing at seperated fruits) "I want to buy these fruits." How do I say this in German?

December 28, 2018


You can say "die Früchte". Obst is the collective form of fruit, but Frucht is an individual piece.

June 1, 2019


Ich moechte dieses Obst kaufen. Obst is a mass noun. What would you say if you had three jugs of milk on the counter and wanted to buy them? I want to buy these milks?


April 23, 2019


CreativityBrain asked a legit question. You are forgetting that we DO make a distinction in English and use the word "fruits" for different types of fruit, so it is not always a collective noun. Your example of milk is not parallel, as it is all the same kind of thing. However, if you had cow milk, soy milk, and almond milk, there could be a valid argument that "milks" could be used.

June 1, 2019


We do not usually emphasize the "O" and the "bs(t)" in "Obst, in this way. If anything, rather the "O" than the "bs(t)".

November 2, 2015


How can I decide in this sentence, whether Gemüse refers to singular or plural form of vegetable?

February 18, 2013


From context, mostly. "Das Gemüse' can refer to a single vegetable or to vegetables collectively. 'Ein Gemüse' means 'a vegetable', so it would be singular.

April 13, 2013


Yes, KatTancock. You're absolutely right.

In India I've rarely heard "fruit" used as a plural - it's almost always "fruits". And it's not necessarily while talking about different species / varieties.

"I've bought fruits from the supermarket" - could mean multiple quantities of the same fruit, or different species / varieties.

April 24, 2014


Is it obst or früchte

December 9, 2018



Either way, both obst and früchte would be wrong since you forgot to capitalise them.


April 23, 2019


why Gemuse is not - "vegetables" (in plural)?

February 13, 2013


I think 'Gemüse' is 'vegetables' but 'ein Gemüse' is 'a vegetable'. I am sure native speakers will correct me if I am wrong.

February 13, 2013


Gemüse in plural is Gemüsesorten

November 1, 2013


they said it wrong and it was hard to understand

October 29, 2015


I wrote "Fruit, vegetables, egg". I got flagged for wrong because I should have written "eggs". AFAIK Eier is both singular and plural. Now I am mad.

December 4, 2015


Ei is singular for egg. Eier is plural. Right?

February 16, 2018


No, it's das Ei, die Eier.

August 9, 2018


Yes, Thomas, that's right

August 9, 2018


Where did you get that one from? Well, in this course I've had tones of the egg - das Ei translations.

February 11, 2018


microphone was poor, then it would'nt let me retry

June 25, 2017


Gemuse does not pick up on the microphone

October 25, 2017


what is the difference between Frucht and Obst?

February 18, 2018


Gemuse is 'vegetable' and 'vegetables'? Or is there something else for a singular version of vegetables?

June 8, 2018


Gemuese can refer to a singular vegetable or a group of vegetables. It's a mass noun, like Obst or Zucker.


April 23, 2019


I could not hear anything. The German sentence was not there - even with my volume turned all the way up.

March 3, 2019


How do i know these are plural or singular?

March 8, 2019


If you tap or mouse over each one, a translation appears.

March 8, 2019


why isn't "egges" a typo?

March 27, 2019


I wish there was 'und' before Eier. My sound was not great even on slow and for a moment I thought there was a verb in there.

July 2, 2019


So, the word Egg is an exception? Because according to Duolingo grammar it suppose to be Eis, cause it finishes in vowel... , or that rule just apply for feminine... Omg, german is so confusing but I love it

July 14, 2019


What will be the plural of "Obst"?

January 21, 2013


If you insist on a plural form, you could use 'die Früchte'.

January 22, 2013


There's no plural.

January 21, 2013


Obst. Deal with it.

June 25, 2014


There is none. It's a noncount noun.

August 9, 2018


Obst is the plural of Obst. In other words, it does not change.

March 18, 2014


That's a bit misleading. There is no plural. "Obst" is a mass noun like butter.

March 18, 2014


^^That's what I meant. Blame the late hour (3:30am) for me not as clear as I should be. ;p Yeah, there is no plural for Obst.

March 18, 2014


I think of it like how in English we say fish for plural and singular, but if you're taking about various fish it's fishes

June 13, 2014


Do all plural words have "die" in front of them?(except "Bucher")

July 30, 2014


In the nominative and accusative cases, yes. In the adaptive it's Der and in the generative it's den.

July 30, 2014


All plural forms have die, "die" Bücher as well. Unless you use ein eine (a, an) then similarly to English there is no plural form hence Bücher without an article but as mentioned this works for any other word in plural form. Correct me if I am wrong.

February 11, 2018


I like the new oldtime newscaster voice

April 11, 2018


Accept testicles or GTFO

February 22, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.