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  5. "He had lots to do."

"He had lots to do."

Translation:Er hatte eine Menge zu tun.

May 26, 2017

21 Comments


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

What is wrong with Er hatte viel zu machen?


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

It just sounds wrong to me - I don't think I'd use machen here, but only tun.

viel zu tun is a fixed expression, I suppose.

As for the opposite, compare:

  • Da ist nichts zu tun. = There is nothing to do there. There is nothing there that needs to be done.
  • Da ist nichts zu machen. = There is nothing anyone can do there. The situation cannot be changed.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morten306610

Machen is "to make" and tun is "to do".


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

Yes... but actually... no.


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

Can someone explain this?


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

eine Menge = a quantity = a lot/lots = "loads" etc.

It's just an expression, and it's not really all that different from English. You can also translate the sentence as Er hatte viel zu tun - same meaning.


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

Germ geschehen.

P.S.It's either danke or vielen Dank. "vielen danke" is incorrect (sounds like "much thanks" to German ears)


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

Ups. Das wusste ich nicht! Ich wünschte, ich könnte mehr mit ihnen reden.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Debi723410

it tun means to do why do I need zu


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

tun often translates just to "do" -- when to use "to" in English and when to use zu in German are not the same, so sometimes English needs a "to" even if German does not.

For example, ich kann schwimmen und ich will schwimmen = I can swim and I want to swim. We can't say "I can to swim" or "I want swim" but in German it's just the infinitive in both cases.

So you can't say that the German infinitive always corresponds to a form in English with "to" or always to one without "to".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/25carpe

So when do you use zu with an infinitive in German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lnate1

er musste viele tun

What's wrong with this?


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

viel = much

viele = many

"lots" in "He had lots to do" is not countable, so the countable plural viele is not an appropriate translation.

Also, musste ... tun "had to do ..." -- and not "had ... to do".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arty1990

The translation is more like "He had a lot to do" rather than "He has lots to do" or am I missing something?


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

"He had a lot to do" and "He had lots to do" mean the same thing, in my mind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arty1990

Overall yeah, I guess when taking the meaning of the sentence overall. It just confused me a bit when I was translating from EN to DE since the DE answer is that with an "eine". But then again I should really stop with the complete equivalence of the two.


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

As mentioned below by SimoneBa this can also be translated as "Er hatte viel zu tun" which is exactly what I did, however, it was rejected by DUO's very rigid algorithm so unfortunately it is not the same meaning as far as Duo is concerned. :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

"Er hatte viel zu tun" is accepted, actually. If you happen to encounter this exercise again, please post a screenshot of this answer not working so this can be fixed.

Also, do note that Duo is rigid because it is a machine. It doesn't have the common sense that a human has and can only accept answers that its contributors program into it. Contributors do their best to accept all the right answers they can think of, but it's hard for even a human to think of all possible translations people might think of.


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

"Er hat viel zu tun" was not accepted just now, but seems equivalent to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

No, "hat" is present tense: "He has lots to do."

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