"For the most part babies like toys."
Translation:Babys mögen meist Spielzeug.
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".
@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."
Sounds like this might be a thing where different parts of the country (or different German-speaking countries) simply say things differently. I guess in this case it would be important for a learner to know both "Spielzeuge" and "Spielzeug" as plurals. Citing it to work like "hair" does in English is a perfect analogy.
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.
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 :)
"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".)
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.
@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."
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?
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.
But doesn't this sentence Babys mögen meist Spielzeug, mean babies like most toys?
No. That would be Babys mögen das meiste Spielzeug.
"most" is a superlative and requires a definite article in German -- much like how in English you cannot say "Mount Everest is highest mountain in the world": it has to be "the highest mountain". Similarly, "most toys" is das meiste Spielzeug or die meisten Spielsachen with the definite article. And the adjective meist- has to have an ending before a noun.
meist without an ending can only be an adverb there: "mostly; for the most part".
"For the most part"...or "Most of the time" is translated "am meistens"...nicht wahr?
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".
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.
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.
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?
Yes, icelandicfire. "Gefallen" here is used in the 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 be pleasing".
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.
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 :)
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.
@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!
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
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!
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!
@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!
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)
Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeug.
""Meisten mögen Babys Spielzeug"? ist jedenfalls falsch.
Q1: Does "meist" in this case function as an adverb modifying "mögen" (e.g. "Babies MOSTLY like toys"), or does it function as an adjective modifying "Spielzeug" (e.g. Babies like most toys)?
It seems to function as an adverb, so ow would we say, "Babies like most toys?" Would it be: "Babys mögen meist die Spielzeug?" Or "Babys mögen meisten die Spielzeug(e)?"?
Q2: How would we know apart from context that "meist" is an adverb? Is it because it is right after the verb?How would we know in a situation where a modifier right after the verb could reasonably be either an adv. or and adj.?
I would greatly appreciate any help figuring this out. Thank you!
Q1: Does "meist" in this case function as an adverb modifying "mögen" (e.g. "Babies MOSTLY like toys")
It's definitely an adverb, though I'd say it modifies the sentence as a whole rather than specifically the verb.
ow would we say, "Babies like most toys?"
Please see the comment thread started by Will709432. This question has already been answered.
How would we know apart from context that "meist" is an adverb?
It has no ending yet it stands before a noun, so it can't be an adjective -- attributive adjectives (before a noun) always need an ending. (With only a handful of exceptions, such as singular viel.)
Also, meist is a superlative form, so as an adjective, it needs a definite article, as in die meisten Babys "most babies" and das meiste Spielzeug "most toys". Much like how you can't say "Mount Everest is highest mountain in the world" -- the superlative "highest" requires "the" before it: "the highest mountain". The fact that "most" does not require an article in English is the oddity here.
'Babys mögen meist Spielzeug' = 'Most babies like toys'.
No; that's not a correct translation. Babys mögen meist Spielzeug = Babies mostly like toys. (= In general, babies like toys.)
Most babies like toys = die meisten Babys mögen Spielzeug.
So is 'Babies like most toys', 'Babys mögen die meisten Spielzeug' ? or something different?
Either die meisten Spielzeuge or das meiste Spielzeug. (I'd go for the second one myself.)
Seems like Duolingo's translation says "babies like most toys"
If it were an adjective modifying "toys", you would expect an ending on the adjective.
"most toys" = das meiste Spielzeug / die meisten Spielzeuge
But here, you have meist without an ending -- a good sign that it's an adverb here, "mostly, for the most part".
'Meist Babys mögen Spielzeug' was rejected with 'Babys mögen meist Spielzeug' given as the correct answer. Duo's order implies that all babies like most toys, while the English to be translated implies that most babies (but not all) like toys. This is a big difference. How does proper German differentiate between 'most' defining 'Babys' vs 'Spielzeug'?
'Meist Babys mögen Spielzeug' was rejected
The verb mögen has to be in the second position in the sentence.
You can put the adverb meist or the noun Babys in front of it but not both at once.
with 'Babys mögen meist Spielzeug' given as the correct answer. Duo's order implies that all babies like most toys
No, it doesn't.
Duo's sentence doesn't talk about das meiste Spielzeug "most toys" at all.
while the English to be translated implies that most babies (but not all) like toys.
No, not necessarily. It could also mean that babies like toys most of the time (but not all of the time).
How does proper German differentiate between 'most' defining 'Babys' vs 'Spielzeug'?
most babies = die meisten Babys
most toys = das meiste Spielzeug
mostly, for the most part = meist, meistens
Thank you for your explanation. Unfortunately I am just beginning to learn German and do not usually recognize which noun is being described based upon the adjective ending. I'll have to keep studying.
One comment about English. 'Most babies like toys' never would mean that 'babies like toys most of the time.' That could be stated as 'Most of the time babies like toys.' or perhaps 'Babies mostly like toys' although this last phrasing sounds a bit awkward to me. In English adjectives such as 'only' and 'most' should be positioned in front of the noun that the adjective describes.
Anyway vielen dank für ihre Antwort (and I apologize for the 'für' and 'ihre' which likely are incorrect.
German means babies like most toys.
No, it does not -- it says Babys mögen meist Spielzeug (Babies mostly/generally like toys; For the most part, babies like toys) and not Babys mögen das meiste Spielzeug (Babys like most toys).
Therefore, the correct German should be Die meisten babies mögen Spielzeuge.
That would mean something different again: "Most babies like toys."