"Twelve is a dozen."
Translation:Zwölf sind ein Dutzend.
ist, third person SINGULAR. sind, third person PLURAL (Sie sind schnelle Läufer).
yeah, 12 is not a 1, but all languages I can think of would use their translation of "ist", not "sind"
This is true even for Dutch, which is usually very close to German.
Sure, but in a predicate nominative sentence such as this, where you have something grammatically plural on one side (zwölf) and something grammatically singular on the other (ein Dutzend), to what do you conjugate the verb? Could you also say ein Dutzend ist zwölf?
This is a tricky question. These do not appear that often.
If theres a predicative nominative that has a different numerus, then theres a strong tendency that the verb gets a plural inflection, but rarely you also see constructions with singular verb inflections.
So my advice is, if the subject is not 100% clear, then you should use a plural inflected verb. Most of the time it is not clearly distinguishable what the predicative noun shall be and what the subject noun shall be. Both come in nominative and they do not have a set place in the word order (so they can switch their places).
canoo states it in a similar way http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Wort/Verb/Numerus-Person/ProblemNum.html?MenuId=Word21213#Anchor-Subjekt-11481
Wenn Subjekt und Gleichsetzungsnominativ in einem Satz nicht den gleichen Numerus haben, steht das finite Verb in der Regel im Plural:
Imagine how many times users have been hung up on this. The sentence should be changed to "Twelve are a dozen," if it's going to be judged this way.
My translation to German was "Zwolf ist ein Dutzend" was marked wrong, but it appears also (maybe falsely) as correct translation in English/German translations.
I wrote "Zwölf ist ein Dutzend" and I believe that would be correct here. Other sentences in the exercise are "Nineteen is a number" - "Neunzehn ist eine Nummer/Zahl", so I believe when numbers are talked about like this they are a singular object/idea and the verb should reflect that. If for some reason the person was talking about eggs or something else and it was implied, it should be "Zwölf (Eier) sind ein Dutzend" but with no context in the examples, it's impossible to know which would be correct.
Duolingo, please address this!
The phrase is, "Twelve is a dozen". The statement could also be said, "Twelve equals one dozen".
In this English statement, the number "Twelve" is an independent singular subject not an amount/quantity of something. The phrase is equating the number 12 to the quantity of one "dozen", else it would have included a subject (well, 12 of them actually)
"Twelve donuts are a dozen" would be referring to 12 independent donuts in a group. But, when the subject is the singular number "twelve" and not donuts, then "Twelve IS a dozen" is correct.
"Twelve are a dozen" is just simply wrong in every language. That is, unless, a subject is being implied in the statement:
"How many eggs are in a dozen?" (We are talking about eggs)
"Twelve [eggs] are a dozen." (The eggs are the implied subject, and "Twelve" becomes a quantity, not the subject.)
From Duo's correct answer, "Zwölf sind ein Dutzend", apparently they are implying 12 items/subjects in this sentence. Otherwise, it is wrong grammar.
And, as someone else pointed out, "Neunzehn ist eine Nummer/Zahl", is another version of this statement. Let's combine the two; "Zwölf ist eine Nummer"....Twelve IS a number. (again, Is not Are)
So, Duo, can you please try to make "Zwölf sind eine Nummer" or "Neunzehn sind kein Dutzend" correct statements...
For now, just do what Duo wants and move on to other lessons. Good luck!
I'm just going to have to settle for getting this constantly wrong. My brain refuses to recognize "Twelve are a dozen".
Apparently German is an exception regarding " Zwölf" sind ein Dutzend. In Spanish we say as in English "doce es una docena" using the 3rd person singular instead of the 3rd person plural. I guess we have to memorize it. However if we use a qualifier like "twelve cats are a dozen of cats" we have to use the 3rd person plural obviously.