"For the most part babies like toys."

Translation:Babys mögen meist Spielzeug.

April 2, 2018

86 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/icelandicfire

Why is Spielzeug not plural in this example?

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

"Spielzeug" means multiple toys, like "furniture" in English. (It can mean a single toy, too.)

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Aztend

But we have always been using "Spielzeuge" before for toys, are there specific circumstances one would use Spielzeug over Spielzeuge?

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

Yes, that's true; several toys are "Spielzeuge", if you don't look at them collectively, but seperately.

"Ich habe dein Spielzeug versteckt" can mean "I hid your toy" or "I hid [all] your toys".

"Du hast aber viel Spielzeug!" (with "aber" as a filler for amazement: I'm admiring the number of toys the child has) focuses on the total amount of toys collectively: I look at the room and it's full of toys. "Du hast aber viele Spielzeuge!" sounds like mentally counting out every single toy: there's a doll, plus a fire truck, plus this, plus that... Personally, I'd say it depends a bit on the context, on what exactly I'm trying to say, but generally I'd prefer "Spielzeug" here.

It's a bit like the difference between "much" and "many". Think "Much adventure can be found in Alaska" vs. "Many adventures can be found in Alaska".

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sno85

So would this be comparable to the way we pluralize "hair" in English? (E.g., "three hairs" vs. "I'm brushing my hair")

July 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

It's similar,y es.

September 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/simopr1

Du bist gemeint. Warum hast du mein Spielzeug versteckt?

July 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@simopr1: Meintest du vielleicht "gemein" (mean), ohne das "t"?

Du bist gemeint: I mean you!

Du bist gemein: You are mean.

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KaptianKaos8

Does this apply to other "zeug" words, like "Flugzeug" and "Werkzeug"?


Trägt dies auf anderen "zeug" Wörter, wie "Flugzeug" und "Werkzeug"?

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Some yes, some no.

Werkzeug is similar to Spielzeug.

But Feuerzeug and Flugzeug are only countable.

Also, Trägt should have been something like Trifft ... zu? (zutreffen = to apply, in this sense)

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/111159aa

Honestly, in spoken Austrian/German, I have never heard Spielzeug (sing) used in the context proposed by Duolingo.

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigPolis

Spielzeug is a word similar to 'gear'. It would 'sound funny' to say "I am packing my hiking gears" On second thought, it's more like 'hair'. You can use the singular when referring to the collective, and the plural when referring to the 3 you found in your soup.

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Steffen870754

In Germany we use only the singular (toy Spielzeug), even if we mean several parts. Spielzeuge sounds funny for us.

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@Steffen870754: No, that really depends on the context. stepintime explained it perfectly.
It would be definitely WRONG to say: "Da liegen drei Spielzeug auf dem Boden." - In combination with a number it has to be the plural. Richtig ist: "Es liegen drei Spielzeuge auf dem Boden."

http://canoo.net/blog/2009/08/07/spielzeuge-und-saatguter/

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Steffen870754

@ursulias "Spielzeuge" das scheint grammatikalisch richtig zu sein, aber hier in Deutschland sagt niemand"Spielzeuge" sondern "Spielzeug". Damit meinen wir sowohl Singular als auch Plural.

November 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

Hallo Steffen, ich bin Deutsche. Und ich kann dir versichern, dass niemand, der die deutsche Sprache beherrscht, sagen würde """ Ich möchte diese fünf Spielzeug kaufen """. Das ist falsch. Und zwar definitiv.

November 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChickenRunner02

So is the idea that you only use Spielzeuge after a number (zwei Spielzeuge) but in other contexts you always use Spielzeug (viel Spielzeug)?

November 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Marian150342

7:2 to Ursulias and counting. Sorry Steffen

November 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kim1947

Why not: Meistens Babys moegen Spielzeuge ?

April 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rogcha22

I would also like to know if this construction is correct, or if it changes the meaning when you put Meist in front of the subject

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

This word order doesn't work. You can say, "Meistens/Meist mögen Babys Spielzeug(e)", though; it normally doesn't change the tone much, compared with "Babys mögen meist(ens) Spielzeug(e)".

If you're going to add, "...but sometimes they don't", then "Meist(ens) mögen Babys Spielzeug(e)" works much better.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Krizzards

I wrote, "Meistens mogen Babys Spielzeug" and it was rejected (my keyboard does not have an umlaut O).

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@Krizzards: Next time report it. "Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeug." is correct.

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie

If you can't find the correct character in the OS table, you may follow the wovel with an -e: "moegen", "Maedchen"… It's the conventional way, though I don't know if Duo accepts this. Outside of Duo, failing to use either the Umlaut or the -e is considered a speeling mistake, and can alter the sense of your sentence :)

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

As far as I know, the ae oe ue spelling is automatically accepted by Duolingo.

(Even when it makes no sense, e.g. if you write teuer as teür.)

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SharonNaor

English question.. What is the difference between: "Babies like mostly toys" and "Babies like toys mostly"?

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dbayly

Babies like mostly toys means that nearly everything that babies like are toys. Babies like toys mostly means , in most circumstances, babies like toys

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wibbleypants

All these "English" sentences are nonsense.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wibbleypants

Heh. I wonder where that -1 came from ;-)

But seriously, if I were to write something using "mostly" like the above, I would expect somebody to take my keyboard/pen from me and then break my fingers.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lhynard

There is no difference in the two English sentences without further context. In English, adverbs can come almost anywhere in a sentence, and they can modify the entire sentence, just the verb, or just an adjective.

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JorgLovoll

Doesn't the German text here mean that babies like almost any toy rather than the suggested?

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

"Babies like most toys" ( = there are only a few toys that babies don't like) = "Babys mögen die meisten Spielzeuge".

...and "Most babies like toys" would be "Die meisten Babies mögen Spielzeug" (sounds better to me than "Spielzeuge", cf. my answer to Aztend)

And in both cases, "die meisten" = "most [things/people/...]" is declined. ("Die Früchte der meisten Tomaten (genitive case) sind rot" = "The fruits of most tomatoes are red", etc.)

(...and "Babys mögen das meiste Spielzeug" would sound more like "of all people of different ages, babies are those who like the biggest percentage of [different / a given selection of] toys; adults dislike more of these toys than babies".)

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@stepintime: You found a good sentence to show, when the plural "Spielzeuge" is used in German. "Babys mögen die meisten Spielzeuge." = Babies like most of the toys.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Hi JorgLovoll. Here, the English being translated uses the verb phrase "to like for the most part". The "meist" here is therefore an adverb. Adverbs are never declined in German.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bekir978479

There is some misunderstanding. I said Spielzeuge. It was rejected. That is OK. BUT Duo says ''You used the plural "Spielzeuge" here, instead of the singular "Spielzeug". But the English sentence has the PLURAL? ODER?

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@Bekir978479: Try to compare to "stuff" (Zeug) or to "water" (Wasser). Water is uncountable. Unless for instance when you compare different sorts of mineral water. Then you can say: I tasted fifteen waters, but none of them was delicious.
It is the same with "Spielzeug."

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/150984/plural-form-of-stuff

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Good point, Ursulias! I've got hard stuff, soft stuff, sharp stuff and blunt stuff, and all these stuffs are stuffed into my spare room!

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SydneyBlak4

After reading all the comments and explaination I still don't think that from a grammatical point of view that "spielzeuge" is wrong. Because it "sounds funny" or " I prefer" are not good reasons.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

Well, but exactly how else are you going to determinate what to preferably say and what better not to say? It's true that from a purely grammatical point of view there's nothing at all wrong with "Spielzeuge", but the discussion here is mostly about which words people would actually use. If you were to choose between "I'm selling all my furniture" and "I'm selling all my pieces of furniture", would you "prefer" the first one because the second one "sounds funny", or would you tell someone who's learning English that you couldn't recommend one over the other, since there's nothing grammatically wrong with either?

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk

Hi Sydney, you have a point. Duolingo is not clear about what it is teaching. They have sentences like: "Duo is buying a shopping center", which is something nobody says, it is both more or less "funny" and "sounds weird" at the same time. On the other hand they pretend to teach the commonly spoken language. With the exception of the more informal collogial phrases like "F*k off" etc. Kiss my "Ah", and similar german phrases. Because of this we have discussions about sentences.

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ChickenRunner02

Would "Meistens gefallen Spielzeuge Babys." work? What about "Meistens gefaellt Spielzeug Babys."?

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

On the whole, I'd say that both work.

"mögen" is the word you'd tend to use for a general preference, while "gefallen" is a little bit more like "the thing is pleasing" and would tend to be used for specific objects: "Die Puppe gefällt dem Baby" = "The baby likes the doll", vs. "Mein Baby mag Spielzeugautos" = "My baby likes toy cars".
cf.: "Ich mag Musik" = I like music in general, like "as a hobby"; "Die(se) Musik gefällt mir" = I think this music sounds nice; but also: "Ich mag die(se) Musik" = I like this music ( = a weaker version of "I love this music"); but "Musik gefällt mir" (I like music in general / "as a hobby") sounds odd.

To me, your sentences tend to sound like an answer to someone doubting that babies like toys: "Oh, I'm quite confident this present will go down well with them/him/her, usually babies like toys."

I'm not sure about subtle differences between "for the most part" and "usually", and "meist" and "meistens". "Meist" is on the formal side, anyway, I think that's the main (and possibly only) difference in German.

As for word order, yours works fine, and so does "Meistens gefallen/gefällt Spielzeug(e) Babys" (this would sound more neutral, emphasis-wise); only note that this construction can sometimes be confusing to decipher and sometimes even ambivalent: "Meistens gefallen Frauen Katzen" can mean that women like cats or that cats like women.

July 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChickenRunner02

I thought "Mesistens gefallen Frauen Katzen." must mean "Cats mostly like women." since I am taught at school that the grammatical subject of the sentence (here Frauen) is always immediately before or after the verb, so the literaly translation would be "Mostly women please cats." --> ie. Mostly cats like women.

Does this mean that what I learn at school is wrong?

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/icelandicfire

I believe Frauen is dative here because you always use the dative case with the verb gefallen. I would say it means that for the most part women like cats.

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Yes, icelandicfire. "Gefallen" here is dative. The verb "gefallen" is always used in the dative. The only other use of "gefallen" is as the past participle of "fallen", to fall. But this is intransitive: that is, it has no direct object. Any sentence with a subject and a object, difficult to attribute, like this one, using "gefallen" will have the object in the dative and will mean "to please".

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Marian150342

Are you sure AttilatheBrit. What is wrong with “Ich bin in die Xxx gefallen”. There is a subject and an object here and it is not dative

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Thank you Marian. The role of "gefallen" in your example is easily identifiable, so I have tweaked the above to include that possibility. I must beware of over generalisation!

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jackfkkey

I don't get the sentence structure

July 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

The given German sentence I see is "Babys mögen meist Spielzeug." - there's "Babys (subject) mögen (verb) Spielzeug (direct/accusative object)" plus "meist" as an adverb of frequency (like "often", "sometimes", "never").

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LandaWalsh

The English doesn't sound quite right. I am a native English speaker from Ireland and I would say 'Mostly babies like toys' or 'Most of the time babies like toys'. I have never heard someone say 'For the most part'.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Marian150342

I disagree Landa. ‘For the most part’ is perfect English and is commonly used (also from Ireland and a native English speaker)

October 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wibbleypants

Dialect. I'd say the opposite. BrE.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChickenRunner02

What's the other language you learn on DL apart from German? Not Dutch is it?

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/wibbleypants

No. I'm not learning any other language. I had a go at Guaraní and gave up. My native language is English (UK) and my day to day language is Spanish. I translate for a living from Peninsular Spanish to GB English. "For the most part" is elegant in my dialect. I suspect that the usage of the word "mostly" here is from the USA.

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TomRaptile

Babys gefällt meist Spielzeug?

August 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CMTinPHX

There are discussion threads in the "Stuff" module where at least one MOD has insisted that there is NEVER any circumstance where any "-zeug" word is pluralized (i.e., that "-zeuge" is always always always wrong). So much for consistency (or helpfulness).

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stepintime

Well, in their defence, there's sort of two kinds of "-zeug": the "-zeug" that implies several objects (like Spielzeug, Werkzeug = tool(s)), and the "-zeug" that doesn't, although often the several-objects-"-zeug" has a one-object meaning as well that you can put into plural ("-zeuge").

Words like Feuerzeug (lighter) or Flugzeug (plane) are obviously words referring to a singular object that can have a plural.

I've just looked at a little list of "-zeug" words, and I agree it seems virtually impossible to put some of them into the plural ("-zeuge") without at least sounding horribly awkward, even if you refer to several "groups" of them. It works totally fine with "Spielzeug" or "Werkzeug" ("Das Kind hat fünf Spielzeuge", "der Chirurg und der Koch verwenden verschiedene Werkzeuge" = "the surgeon and the cook use different [sets of] tools"), but not with "Grünzeug" (greenery) or "Badezeug" (swimming utensils).
I'm not really sure what to make of "Schreibzeug" (writing utensils; could be just a single pen, but more usually includes at least paper, or a student's collection of pencil, eraser, highlighter etc.) - a teacher would say, "Legt alle euer Schreibzeug weg" = "Everybody put away your pens (literally: writing utensils), we're playing a game today", but I'm not sure if "Anna und ich legen unsere Schreibzeuge weg" ("Anna and I are putting away our two respective sets of writing utensils") would be considered wrong. Well, seeing as duden.de doesn't list a plural of "Schreibzeug", I suppose it's wrong.

Still, "always always always wrong" doesn't quite cover it :) - I'm sorry for the confusion. I'd assume those contexts where it's not wrong just didn't come to their minds at that moment, none of us are perfect. Similar things have happened to me as well, luckily there's usually someone here to correct me :)

September 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Thank you stepintime, for that impassioned plea for flexibility. I agree with everything you said. I look at zeug-words as having their zeug-part translate into either "thing" or "stuff". Flying thing. Green stuff. If it's a "stuff-word" it won't take a plural; if it's "thing-word" it will. If it could be either in English, then it could be either in German and so a plural is optional. There are few uses where it is one or the other. Of course, with Duolingo, it sometimes HAS to be one or the other if that's the only answer in the database: but in real life, it is likely to work both ways.

September 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@stepintime: You asked wether there is a possiblity for a plural use of "Schreibzeug". I have never heard it up to now in my whole life. If I had to talk about "Anna and me" putting away our two respective sets of writing utensils, I would say:

Anna und ich legen unsere Schreibutensilien weg.

Synonyms for "Schreibutensilien" and correct to use in Plural: Schreibsachen, Schreibwerkzeuge (eg for calligraphy), Schreibsets, Federmäppchen (in school, pencil cases).

Ich vergebe ein Lingot für die guten Erklärungen und die gute Recherche!

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pat769088

'Babys mögen zum größten Teil Spielzeug' I believe my answer should be allowed.

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stillePoeten

I would disagree. It would be translated back into “A big part of babies likes toys.“ which sounds rather like there is a part in every child's personality, that doesn't like toys. But the sentence refers to a small group of babies that - in contrast to the others - does not like to play with toys. So “zum größten Teil“ does not feel correct to me here

November 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mat663761

'Meistens moegen Babies Spielzeug.' should be accpeted, as well.

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stillePoeten

“Meist mögen Babies Spielzeug“ why is this wrong?

November 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/I.Schmidt1

"Babys mögen meistens Spielzeug" was marked "wrong word". But it is corredt as well!

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/liebe.avie

Can someone break this down a wee bit? I keep wanting to read it as "Babies like most toys" Is it just how the word order should be? I had a German Teacher in high school tell me I need to stop thinking in English (especially when verbs would shift with Weil, Dann, etc.) I guess what would it be to "babies like most toys". Thanks!

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

To liebe.avie:

The key here is to notice that "meist" is undeclined; ie it has no ending. Therefore it is not an adjective (even though it is directly in front of a noun) but an adverb. Once that is done, with this sentence, you would translate "meist" as "mostly" or "for the most part" and link it to "mögen".

But I agree: turning off the Englishness is a damned hard trick: you can't turn your brain off for a second!

December 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NLVEF

My DuoLingo says "For the most part babies like toys", NOT "Babies like most toys." ...so the translation "Babies mogen meisten Spielzeug" is wrong, anyway. "For the most part"...or "Most of the time" is translated "am meistens"...nicht wahr?

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

"For the most part"...or "Most of the time" is translated "am meistens"...nicht wahr?

No.

am meistens doesn't work at all.

meistens means "usually, for the most part, most of the time"

am meisten means "most of all, more than anything else"

meist also means "usually, mostly, most of the time, generally".

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

"Meist" also means "usually", "mostly", "for the most part", and, "most of the time". See Leo.org.

December 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CharleneSh13

Zum größten Teil Babys wie Spielzeug. is given as Google translation. Why not accepted here please?

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Haha :) Because that makes absolutely no sense. "wie" means "like" as in "in the same way as" -- but that's not what "like" means in this sentence. It's a verb here, not a preposition.

Don't trust Google Translate.

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

@CharleneSh13: Google has a report button as well. Report it to google.

Google can give very useful hints, it is very helpful for this, but you can never rely on it. For single words and for 3-word-sentences it is ok, but for complete (complex) sentences the result is poor. More than 50% is not correct!

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MurrayDouglas

if either one can be used, why was i marked wrong for choosing Spielzeuge?

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

What was your entire answer?

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MurrayDouglas

"Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeuge"

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Thanks.

meistens means "most of the time", not "for the most part", so it's not the best translation - but I see that there are other accepted translations with meistens.

As for Spielzeuge... it wasn't there, and I've added it now, but it doesn't sound that natural to me. I would use the collective Spielzeug here.

February 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/karen3388008

I think the translation has the first part missing.... I typed twice 'Meisten babys mögen spielzeuge" Because "For the most" could be "Meisten" and it still says "Babys mögen meist Spielzeug."

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

"For the most" could be "Meisten"

No.

But "for the most part" can be meistens.

Remember also that the verb has to be the second item in a regular sentence -- you cannot put both an adverb such as meistens and a noun such as Babys in front of it.

March 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/oihelder

Why not "Meisten mögen Babys Spielzeug"?

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ursulias

Why not
read the previous posts of the discussion?
Mizinamo explained it.
(Ich finde es übrigens super, Mizinamo, dass du mit so viel Geduld und Engagement Fragen beantwortest!!)

Man kann sagen:
Die meisten Babys mögen Spielzeug ( = Most of the babies like toys)
Oder:
Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeug.

""Meisten mögen Babys Spielzeug"? ist jedenfalls falsch.

March 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AttilatheBrit

Danke, Ursulias, für Ihre Belobigung des Mizinamo. Ich stimme Ihnen zu, er ist immer so hilfreich. Danke Mizinamo!

March 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chooch639215

and yet Die meisten Babys mögen Spielzeug is NOT acceptable.

April 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Because the English sentence is not "Most of the babies like toys."

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chooch639215

Right. So I've learned. But I was responding to Ursulias' comment, who said Die Meisten Babys mögen Spielzeug was acceptable.

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

It is indeed an acceptable German sentence.

But it's not acceptable as a translation of Duo's English sentence, and I don't see how her post claims that.

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonVBlack

Still don't really understand why both meist and meisten are accepted.

April 13, 2019
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