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  5. "Hast du eine Schere?"

"Hast du eine Schere?"

Translation:Do you have scissors?

January 13, 2014

72 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniel.loughran

It would not accept "Do you have some scissors?". Surely this should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaos_Yoshy

Some would be more than 2 parts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rjjacob

Since the German sentence uses an indefinite article (questionable usage to be sure) the translation using an indefinite article/adjective (some scissors) should be correct. In fact "some scissors" is more idiomatic in English than "eine Schere" is in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larkspire

My understanding is that Schere is singular - plural being die Scheren, (see also dict.cc: http://www.dict.cc/?s=Schere )

If that dictionary and I aren't wrong, what makes using the indefinite questionable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I can't speak for the German sentence, but in English we wouldn't ask if you have a scissors. We'd say a pair of scissors, some scissors, or as the preferred translation now shows, just scissors without any article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JTTeske

Here in the upper west US I always hear people say "a scissors". "Do you have scissors" sounds very unnatural too me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

I know that there are regions where people speak like that. But nevertheless it is incorrect English. You can, of course, say "Do you have a pair of scissors".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/padjis

I would say "a scissors". It wouldn't sound strange at all in Ireland. Duolingo should accept it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

From the comments on this page it looks like "a scissors" is acceptable in Ireland and in the American midwest. However, the research I did on 'scissors' confirms that they should be treated as a plural. So, if you are here to learn English it would be preferable that you go with the latter school. If you already use or have heard people using 'a scissors,' there is an explanation for that in the etymology of the word, and it relates to the fact that in German they say, "eine Schere." Google it -- it's interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fedorabeard

Can you say "ein paar Schere", akin to "some scissors"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

I think that would mean you would have two pairs of scissors, but a native speaker will have to confirm.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandra949358

Eine Schere = only one pair of scissors Scheren = more than one pair of scissors Ein paar Scheren = more than one pair of scissors but only a few. "Sissors" are also difficult for Germans learning English. Instinctively, I would call them "scissor". ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ancien3

Im Deutschen Einzahle ...im Englischen Mehrzahl ...das muss man nicht verstehen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

auf Englisch ist Schere eben (wie z.B. auch Brille oder Hose) immer Mehrzahl. Die Erklärung ist wohl, dass es sich um Dinge handelt, die irgendwie zweiteilig sind (zwei Schneiden, zwei Gläser, zwei Hosenbeine ...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/walt302149

While scissors may be plural when I go to the store and buy ONE it is a scissors. I would never say "Do you have scissors" in the midwest. It sounds like a sentence a child just learning the language would use: "Gimme Scissors!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

"scissors" is formally plural. Something like "a scissors" (or better: "a scissor") does not exist. If you definitely want to speak of ONE, then it is "a pair of scissors".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/walt302149

So my South St Louis Dutch grandparents were wrong to say "a scissors" when their German told them it was "eine Schere"? Don't mess with my continued speaking of English and German with a South St. Louis Dutch accent!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

As you correctly say, this is obviously a dialect. You yourself can of course speak whatever you want. But don't expect Duolingo to accept something that is not standard English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Banshee1967

Where I grew up 'a scissors' was used all the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

As already stated several times: there may be regions, where a local variant or dialect is used for some expression, but Duo tries to use standard English, how it is taught in schools.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Could you please tell us where you grew up? Next time I go there I'm going to show people a pair of scissors and ask them what they are!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muyil

Why not 'Do you have shears'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MalcolmB77

"Do you have some scissors?" was marked wrong. As is so often the case, I would not, as a native English speaker, use the DL translation without qualification. I would say what I put, or "Do you have a pair of scissors?" or, "Do you have any scissors?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/estefaniammm

"Do you have a pair of scissors" was not accepted :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

it should.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHJMa

'Do you a scissors?' does not make 'any sense' in English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbsreddy

Attributes of singularity/plurality/punctuation/ usage are peculiar to a word in each and every language.Here this one is an example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tpb1862

Have you got any scissors?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanORour1

what I hear is "hast du eine schelle" SO SICK OF THE AUDIO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregCrowley11

Why doesn't Duo accept "Do you have a scissors"? It's standard English usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

That is not correct in English. "Scissors" is plural by default, so it would not use the indefinite article "a", which goes with singular nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LawrenceWelch

I beg to differ. Though "a pair of scissors" is more common, "a scissors" is not wrong. I'm a native English speaker, and I believe GregCrowley11 must be too, given his name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarrenBrow3

Perhaps you're speaking British English? I've been speaking American English since I was born over 60 years ago, and I have never used "a scissors". I have used "scissors", or "the scissors". The only time I've used the indefinite article "a" was as part of the phrase "a pair of scissors".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

"a scissors" isn't British English either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I find Greg's and Laurent's comments really surprising. Like Warren, I'm a native speaker, a former English teacher, and I've never heard "a scissors."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexiuscomnenus

I have never, ever, ever heard anyone say this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

I hadn't either, and so I found the two comments above really surprising. Now I've done the research (see my other comments on this page) and can confirm that it is grammatically incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHJMa

'eine' (a) is not 'have' !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

Das Subjekt des Satzes ist "you", und die korrekte Form für "hast" ist natürlich "have". Das hat nichts damit zu tun, dass "Schere" im Englischen nur im Plural verwendet wird ("scissors").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Finzig

"Have you some scissors?' was marked wrong. This is a good translation and should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

It's rather archaic to form a question with "have" by inverting subject and verb. The standard form in AE is "Do you have...?" while we also certainly understand and might use the British "Have you got...".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 181

Of course it should not. Duo doesn't intend to teach pre-Shakespearean English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wb.leonard

I think "do you have a scissors" should be ok-like a pair of scissors, because of the eine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Domleschg

Agreed, because "a scissors" is also acceptable usage in US English. See Merriam Webster, which specifies "noun plural but singular or plural in construction." [ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scissors ]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProjectHopeless

As an American 'a scissors' sounds really odd, but I come from Southwest Missouri so maybe up near Canada they say stuff like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regney
  • 2273

Nope. In Canada, we would never say "a scissors." We will say, "a scissor lift" (a mechanical lifting device for large loads), but we would never refer to a pair of scissors as "a scissor."

Also, regarding the link above, there is nothing to indicate that "a scissors" is acceptable in US English when referring to a pair of scissors. It's singular in construction only when used as "a scissor lift" or "a scissor hold".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fi_Da

Or a scissor kick. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regney
  • 2273

Or a scissor kick. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jairapetyan

Yes, Domleschg included a link to a page that he neither fully understood nor read. Merriam Webster goes on to explain, '"Scissors is an example of a plurale tantum, or an English word that only has a plural form that represents a singular object. Though pluralia tantum name single objects, they are grammatically plural: "the scissors are on the table," "my pants are in the dryer."' "Noun plural in construction" refers to the morphology and etymology of the word, which they explain on another page that is attached via a link. Plural in form means you must treat it as a plural and use plural articles and verbs with it. Therefore, "a scissors" is not acceptable in American English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rodmc

It grates seeing an indefinite article used with a noun ending in -s (a glasses, a trousers, etc). Also, 'any' is the norm in questions, rather than 'some' (though of course there are exceptions), but it wasn't accepted by DL either... one never knows if the owl wants a literal or idiomatic translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raisinnoir

"Do you have a scissors?" should be accepted. Perfectly fine American English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmgmor

The German sentence is not correct! It should be Hast du Schere ? When you use the plural of a noun you don't put the undefinite article (unbestimmte artikel) eine in this case


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhattick

The German sentence is fine because Schere is feminine singular, so you can have "eine Schere"or in in English "a pair of scissors".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
  • 2328

I strongly believe that my answer "Do you have a scissor?" should be accepted. I reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/possum404

In English, you NEVER say "a scissor." It is always plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fi_Da

Except when using as discussed above (see Regney's comment). :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bynny2015

I couldn't find Regney's comment. I agree with possum404--You wouldn't say "a scissor.

A pair of scissors is the most common way to say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nighteagleowl

Well... perhaps you could say a scissor if you are repairing scissors and removed a screw in the middle attaching one part to another and so you don't have anymore a pair of scissors.


[deactivated user]

    I do. It is a singular tool, like do you have a hammer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
    Mod
    • 181

    The single tool is "the scissors" in English, very much like "the glasses".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EuPoMes

    Yeah but we are learning German not English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbsreddy

    We are learning German through English. It is perfectly right to mention about the English words and it's grammatical variations in comparison to the language which we are learning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

    I only know the plural: (a pair of) scissors, same as with trousers.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
    • 2328

    @quis_lib_duo : Well, on second thought - and after some googling - you may be right. Maybe my knowledge of other languages interferes, where scissors has both the singular and plural forms (just like the German here: eine Schere).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joe_graus

    Scissor isn't generally used as a noun. Instead scissor describes the shearing caused by two surfaces scraping or dragging across each other in opposite directions. Scissors is the noun normally used to describe any tool purposely built to use this motion, generally for cutting. This is the same for shears, which are just larger scissors :)

    I don't think it's technically incorrect, but it would sound unnatural in conversation.

    Some people also consider each individual blade of scissors has a singular scissor.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lazar.ljubenovic

    Those words are called "pluralia tantum" - they have only plural forms.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tcgriffin

    I got marked wrong for 'Do you have a scissors?' which I'm pretty sure is idiomatic.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJMCD

    No, that's just plain wrong English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tcgriffin

    Seem to be reputable examples of it in use: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/one-scissor/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJMCD

    Hmm. Not in England. But that's interesting.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bynny2015

    I'd recommend that you use "a pair of scissors" and not "a scissors."

    "A pair of scissors is the commonly used, accepted phrase.

    Even though that article you referenced says one could say "a scissors", that's going to sound wrong to a lot of native English speakers.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbsreddy

    In English once you add 's' to a noun it becomes plural word and an article 'a' cannot precede the plural word 'scissors'

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