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"They are buying a few apples."

Translation:Sie kaufen ein paar Äpfel.

February 13, 2018

42 Comments


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

Instead of ein paar I wrote einige but it wasn't accepted. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

I did the same. I think it should be accepted.


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

Me too. I figure, just go with it & keep moving.


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

if Apfel is masculine, why is it not "einen paar Äpfel"?


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

probably the article is for the word "paar" not for "äpfel"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelGit4

einige also means a few or several - this is just an algorithm not a human being


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vendelin8

Why is "manche Äpfel" not accepted?


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

"manche" means "some" and "ein paar" means "a few". Yes, there seems to be little difference between the two words, but I think Duo wants to be specific.
In English, when you say, " i bought a few apples" vs " I bought some apples", there is little difference in the meaning. They can be interchangeable. But again, Duo is picky and wants an exact translation. I hope this helps and is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.Sraml

Is it OK to use "einkaufen"? Like: "Sie kaufen ein Paar Äpfel ein."


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

My gut says no, but seeing that Duden gives „ein paar Lebensmittel einkaufen“ as an example of the verb in use, I'd say there's at least a case to be made.


On another note, it is better here to use  „ein paar“ (lowercase "p") instead of „ein Paar“ (uppercase "p"), because we are talking about a few, instead of a couple or a pair. „Ein Paar“ literally translates to "a pair" and with „Paar“ capitalised it is only used to refer to things that come in pairs.

So even if there were exactly two apples that had been bought, it would still be a bit iffy. „Ein Paar“ is best reserved for things like „Socken“, „Schuhe“ or „Handschuhe“.


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

Aha! Lowercase! Alles klar!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimbo265038

That's exactly what i wrote and it was accepted!


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

To everyone who has tried the sentence „Sie kaufen einige Äpfel.“ and been marked wrong, please report it the next time it comes up.

As Jamanfi commented around 6 months ago, this is correct and should be accepted, it just isn't in the database.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the-Vengeful-one

You can use ein before plural words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    Here it's a rough unit/amount: ein paar = "a couple (of)". It functions similarly in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clare246810

    So 'Äpfel' is genitive plural here?


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

    The ein refers to the 'paar' and not to the 'Äpfel'


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

    Could someone explain what all the "<strong>and</strong>" stuff is supposed to mean? I don't get it.

    "Unlike English, German has no "-ing" form. So "Ich esse" means "I eat" <strong>and</strong> "I am eating".


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

    Are you able to clarify your question? Is it related to the above sentence or more general?

    I believe your question regards the lack of gerund form in German verbs, but I'm not sure. It looks like you tried to use some code that isn't recognised by Duolingo.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.Sraml

    I believe penguinchicken refers to somebody who has tried to use a html code to emphasize the word "and" when offering the following explanation: Unlike English, German has no "-ing" form. So "Ich esse" means "I eat" AND "I am eating".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ds4321

    The question accepted my wrong answer of 'Die kaufen...' typo. Probably don't want to accept that one.


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

    No, actually „Die kaufen ein paar Äpfel.“ is fine. Here "die" is a demonstrative pronoun. It's kind of like saying "Them over there" whilst pointing at the people you're talking about.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorasaur1

    I wrote "Sie kaufen einige Äpfel" and it was still rejected - so this still hasn't been fixed. "Einige" does mean "a few" according to dict.cc


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

    Why is it not "Sie kaufen eine paar Äpfel"? I though that because the gender of Äpfel is feminine, the "a" in a few apples would have to follow that rule. Is there a rule that I'm not aware of or have I made a silly mistake? Thanks in advance.


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

    Please see the comment threads above started by both PaulRE and the-Vengeful-one.


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

    Sie kaufen manche Äpfel is maybe right?


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

    I would strongly recommend always reading through the comments before posting a question on a thread, as your question may already have been answered.

    As it turns out, that is exactly what electriclinda eloquently did in response to the question from vendelin8:

    Why is "manche Äpfel" not accepted?

    "[M]anche" means "some" and "ein paar" means "a few". Yes, there seems to be little difference between the two words, but I think Duo wants to be specific.
    In English, when you say, "[I] bought a few apples" vs "[I] bought some apples", there is little difference in the meaning. They can be interchangeable. But again, Duo is picky and wants an exact translation. I hope this helps and is correct. [It is]


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raymond679870

    If someone said this live it could mean, You bought some apples, they ... or she.. right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raymond679870

    I meant "are buying", I mainly ask about the Sie in this swntence


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

    So, just to clarify, you're asking if this could mean both "You are buying-" and "They are buying a few apples"?

    If so, then that's absolutely right. Even written as the sentence is here, it could be either, because the "Sie" has to be capitalised due to it being at the beginning of the sentence; which means we can't tell whether "Sie" or "sie" ("you" or "they") is meant.

    However, if you also meant "She is buying a few apples"; it cannot also mean that due to the conjugation of the verb "kaufen"—if it were referring to "she" instead of the formal "you" or "they", the sentence would have to be "Sie kauft ein paar Äpfel".


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

    No worries :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew709516

    What about..."Sie kaufen wenige Apfel" (with umlaut on A)? Wenig also means a few, not many etc if used in front of plural Nouns, in this instance, apples. DL should not be so restrictive to ein paar.


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

    My gut says no.

    I would translate your sentence back into English thusly:

    They are not buying many apples.

    The same information is being conveyed, but the emphasis and context is different. With "a few" or "ein paar" the sentence merely states that a 'handful' of apples are being bought; with "not many" or "wenige" I get the sense that someone was expecting a large number of apples to be purchased, and this rebuttal expresses that, despite this person's expectations, only a few apples will be bought.


    "Sie kaufen wenige Apfel" (with umlaut on A)

    For future reference, the convention is to place an "e" after the to-be-umlauted vowel. In your sentence that would look like this:

    Sie kaufen wenige Aepfel.


    DL should not be so restrictive to ein paar.

    Agreed. "Einige" and the more seldom used "etliche" are perfectly good synonyms that can be used in this sentence in place of "ein paar"; however, if you are referring to "wenige" (and I have a pretty strong suspicion you are), I don't think it's necessarily the best idea to lament about Duo's over-restrictive nature before a consensus has been reached about whether an alternative should actually be accepted or not.


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

    Your gut feeling is right. We're not going to accept "wenige Äpfel".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew709516

    Thank you Adam Kean for your response. However, I could interpret the above statement (without any other context) as "They (meaning the many buyers in a produce marketplace where apples are sold or auctioned off) are buying a few apples" meaning they are not buying many apples but only some or a few. It is very much a "quantitative context" rather than a "numerical context" otherwise one would say more specifically that they are buying two apples or three apples etc. Wenig means a few - not many, not some but a few. Ein paar also means a few. In English we tend to see a few as meaning 2 or 3 or 4 perhaps but not much more. Several in lieu of a few is also frequently used. I agree that there are also other words that express the quantitative context, eg ethliche or einige etc. So my point is that DL should accept wenig amongst the other possible answers. Although if a married couple went to the supermarket and bought ein paar apples, we could surmise that they bought only two apples, ie one apple each.


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

    they are not buying many apples but only some or a few

    If that's what you want to convey, you'd have to say "nur ein paar Äpfel" or "bloß ein paar Äpfel".


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

    Also, Welche Äpfel passt nicht?


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

    Da kann ich nicht definitiv aussagen, aber meines Erachtens ist das eher Umgangssprache und drückt eventuell aus, dass etwas mehr als ein paar bzw. „a few“ Äpfel gekauft werden—aber es ist durchaus möglich, dass ich hier völlig daneben liege.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/larissa632187

    Why is it ein paar Apfel


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

    Firstly, it isn't.
    The umlaut over the "A" in "Äpfel" makes the difference between "apple" and "apples".

    Assuming you meant "Why is it 'ein paar Äpfel'?", though—literally translated "ein paar Äpfel" means "a pair apples", which I would say is only missing an "of" to become a fairly common phrase. Now, of course "a pair of apples" would refer to specifically two apples (and presumably they were sold together as a pair, otherwise there would need to be some reason to call them 'a pair'), which would also be the case in German if the phrase were "ein Paar Äpfel"; however this differentiation between upper and lower case "paar" simply translates to separate terms into English, which is why the model solution from Duo translates "ein paar Äpfel" to "a few apples".

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