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Reporting a possible error on "Nature"'s "Tips and notes" section — lakes and seas

In the "Tips and notes" section here, I was wondering — given the tables provided — how I could ever distinguish between "the lakes" and "the seas" if I didn't have a lot of context to draw from. So I asked a question on another site, here. The answers left there seem to suggest there might be something wrong with what's in that section.


May 10, 2017



As a native german speaker i have to agree to the first comment on stackexchange. Never heard the use of "Die Seen" as a reference for "seas". A german ear would most likely assume that you are talking about "lakes". So in my opinion, Duolingo should remove the plural table.


Sadly I can not see, what´s written there, but as another native German speaker an can say, that "Die Seen" does exist and is in use. In example: "Die Mecklenburger Seenplatte". The Duden actually lists also the plural here


Please be careful of the article, because it changes the meaning

  • Die See = sea
  • Der See = lake, inland waters

Maybe that answers your question how to distinguish between them (but sadly not in plural).

It is interesting, that the Duden contradicts itself in the article about "Die See"


Grammatik die See; Genitiv: der See, Plural: die Seen

And later in the section "Bedeutungen" you can read: Ohne Plural...

From my "sprachgefühl" I can say, if I hear the word "see" in plural, I normally would think, that someone is speaking or writing about lakes.

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