Is, "Ihre Küchen sind lecker," not a valid German sentence? Its translation being:
Their cuisines are tasty.
I guess that is technically possible, although I have to strain my imagination very hard to think of a context where that sentence might be used in that way (largely due to the plural Küchen; if it was singular it would be easier: “Ich mag die Italiener, ihre Küche ist sehr lecker!”). But in general, Küche is only understood as “cuisine” if you have a specification (which cuisine?) very close by. Otherwise the word defaults to its primary meaning: “kitchen”.
Of course the plural Küchen should not be confused with Kuchen “cake”.
I hope that helps.
I had no idea it also means cake so my first thought was when talking about international friends, saying "Ihre Küchen sind lecker". Makes me realize how international my environment is lol
Possible, although it’s much rarer to speak of plural die Amerikas in German than it is in English (also I’m afraid most Germans would be hard-pressed to define any American cuisine besides Mexican. There is the odd Brazilian restaurant in bigger cities but they are rare. I have to confess that from the top of my head I can only think of a single dish which I know to be Brazilian. US cuisine also exists of course but people rarely speak of it as such, maybe because apart from steaks the things that got imported are pretty much exclusively fast food which many people don’t see as refined enough to warrant the term “cuisine”).
In any case, in by far the vast majority of cases where Küche means “cuisine”, it will be in the formula “die xxx-sche Küche”. Outside of that formula I would tend to understand “kitchen” unless the context makes it clear beyond doubt that that is not what is meant.
Why is it Ihre and not Deine? Also how am I meant to know which Küche it is, some end with an N some have no umlauts. Duolingo never teaches this. How am I to know if it's Dein, Deine, Deiner or Deinen???
Ihr is the formal possessive pronoun (the possessive form of Sie); you can say either of the following: “deine Kuchen” (you = one person whom the speaker addesses as du), “eure Kuchen” (you = multiple people each of whom the speaker addresses as du), “Ihre Kuchen” (you = one or multiple people whom the speaker addresses as Sie). These are different from each other; in any given real life situation only one would be appropriate. However since the English sentence would be used for all of these, they are all valid translations.
As for the ending, it depends on gender, number and case of the main noun. Fortunately they are the same for all possessive pronouns (and actually a few other pronouns, too). You can find a full table here. In this case, we are talking about multiple cakes in nominative. Kuchen is masculine but fortunately gender doesn’t matter in plural. The plural nominative ending is -e, so we end up with deine/eure/Ihre.
Concerning your question about the noun itself, Kuchen (cake) has no umlaut. Küche (with an umlaut but without -n) means “kitchen”. They’re two different nouns.
I hope that helps.
The noun form is identical but you can see that it’s plural from the possessive. Singular would be ihr Kuchen (Kuchen is masculine).
I... feel like this phrase would get me in trouble if I actually said it in Germany >.
Not at all. Of course if you just went up to a random person and told them in a very sleazy way that their cakes are tasty, that person could in the extreme think that you’re making some kind of weird innuendo. But in order for that to happen (rather than just a confused look) you’d have to use a tone so smarmy that you could be asking the time and it would still sound like an innuendo ;)
You know how sie can mean either "she" or "they"? (sie hat = she has; sie haben = they have)
Similarly, ihr can mean either "her" or "their": ihr Apfel "her apple; their apple".
And before a feminine or plural noun, it's ihre: ihre Kuchen "her cakes; their cakes".
You can only tell the difference from context -- so in an individual Duolingo sentence, without any other context, both meanings are usually possible (and should be accepted).
There is a difference in the vowel. The umlauts are not just for decoration; they do make a difference meaning-wise. So ü may sound similar to u to non-speakers (or beginners), but they are very different sounds to speakers of German. To produce the ü sound, start with an i (“e”) and then round your lips as you would for u (“oo”) while keeping your tongue in the same place.
And because they are different sounds, they can have different effects on other sounds in their vicinity. The combination ch for instance is pronounced like in the Scottish “loch” (the native pronunciation, not “lock”) if it comes after a, o, u. But after ä, e, ö, i, ü (as well as eu because that one is pronounced as though it were spelled oi for historical reasons) it has a different sound which English doesn’t have ([ç] in the International Phonetic Alphabet). Again, it’s somewhat similar to “sh” and there are dialects which pronounce it as such, but for most Germans it’s a very different sound.
I guess you mean the fact that Kuchen is the same in singular and plural? In that case basically yes. Although “fishes” does exist to denote multiple species of fish. And with Kuchen you can still see case and number on the determiner (in this case ihre).
Ok thanks, at first i was interested in the word Yummy. But that is accepted. :) But now i have another issue: in the english language "cake" is a word like "water", "rice" and "fish" It is also plural.!!?? I think that even if someone makes several different types of very yummy cake it is still called cake and not cakeS.
In English, cake can be either -- it can refer to the "material", as it were, in which case it is uncountable ("she made a lot of cake"), or to one particular (often round) item of such material, in which case it is countable ("she made lots of cakes").
So you could say, "I had some cake for dessert." (= uncountable: an unspecified quantity) but also "I had a cake for dessert." (= countable: one entire item that is complete in itself).
In this is it like "pizza": you can have "two pizzas" (countable) but also "lots of pizza" (uncountable).
But not e.g. "bread" -- which can be countable in German (drei Brote = drei Laibe Brot) but not in English, at least not for me ("*three breads" does not work for me).
Also, when it's countable, it doesn't necessarily refer to different kinds of cake: you can have three strawberry cakes and seven chocolate cakes, for example, which together are ten cakes, not two cakes.
Yes, but the point is that you cannot say “breads” to mean “loafs of bread” or ”slices of bread” in English (but you can in German). The plural only has the meaning “kinds of bread”. “cakes” on the other hand can mean either “kinds of cake” or “loafs (?) of cake”. This is what makes “cake” a countable noun.
At the same time, you can use the singular with expressions like “a lot of”: “a lot of cake”, just like you can say “a lot of water”, but not for example “*a lot of apple”. Here “cake” is as an uncountable noun, i.e. “cake” is treated as a material, not as a specific item.
Why is it 'ihr(e)' if 'Kuchen' is masculine? Shouldn't it be "ihr Kuchen sind lecker"? Am I missing something obvious?
The plural of Kuchen is Kuchen.
This sentence uses the plural word -- this explains both the verb form sind and the ending -e on ihre.
ihr Kuchen ist lecker would be singular (her cake is tasty).
And ihr Kuchen sind lecker would mean "her cake are tasty" -- wrong in both languages.
But German doesn't have a word for "pie"... partly because US-style sweet pies are not as widespread. "Kuchen" is probably the word that would be used.
Compare e.g. image searches for "Rhabarberkuchen" and "rhubarb pie", or an image search for "gedeckter Kirschkuchen".
Conversely, I think that English doesn't really make the Kuchen/Torte distinction that German makes, where cakes with lots of cream have a separate word in German. For example, compare image searches for "Kirschkuchen" and "Kirschtorte".
US-style sweet pies, would those be equlivent to British ''tarts'' and so, German ''Torte''?
As I said, Torte basically always has quite a bit of cream in it, so I'd call a US-style sweet pie a Kuchen, if anything, not a Torte.
That said, images searches for both Kürbiskuchen and Kürbistorte bring up images of things that look like pumpkin pie.
But that's creamier than, say, an apple pie -- for which I'd expect something like (amerikanischer) Apfelkuchen.
There isn't one German word which applies to everything called a "pie" in English.
Sweet ones (with fruit etc.) would probably be a Kuchen. Savoury ones (steak and kidney pie, shepherd's pie, etc.) might be a Pastete or perhaps even an Auflauf. A particularly American one could even be a Pie for want of a better German word, if it's not an object typically baked in Germany.