"For the most part babies like toys."

Translation:Babys mögen meist Spielzeug.

April 2, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Why is Spielzeug not plural in this example?


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


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


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".

  • 1987

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


It's similar,y es.


Du bist gemeint. Warum hast du mein Spielzeug versteckt?


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

Du bist gemeint: I mean you!

Du bist gemein: You are mean.


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

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


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)


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


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.


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


@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."



Why not: Meistens Babys moegen Spielzeuge ?


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


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.


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


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


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 :)


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.)


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


"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".)


@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.


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.


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

  • 1454

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


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.


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?


@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."



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!


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.


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.


For the most part seems like generally babies like toys. But doesn't this sentence Babys mögen meist Spielzeug, mean babies like most toys? That's not the same thing.


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".


Hi Will. No! Here "meist" is not a an adjective describing "Spielzeug", it is undeclined (it has no ending). That means it is an adverb modifying the verb "mögen" and rendered as "for the most part".


Why is "Zum größten Teil mögen Babys Spielzeug" wrong?


Just a bit clumsy, I suppose! A bit wordy, a bit un-colloquial, unidiomatic.....?


I don't get the sentence structure


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").


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?


"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".


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


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


What was your entire answer?


"Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeuge"



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.


I put "Die Babys". Is this wrong? (You have to use the definite article here in French or Italian, but it would be quite wrong to use it in English. I'm trying to get the feel of German usage.)


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


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?


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.


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".


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


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!


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'.


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

[deactivated user]

    Dialect. I'd say the opposite. BrE.


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

    [deactivated user]

      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.


      Babys gefällt meist Spielzeug?


      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).


      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!


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


      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


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


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


      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!


      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!


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


      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.


      @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!


      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."


      "For the most" could be "Meisten"


      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.


      Why not "Meisten mögen Babys Spielzeug"?


      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)
      Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeug.

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


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


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


      "For the most part babies like toys" is a bad translation. This could have been written as "Most of babies like toys" or i missed something..


      Yep, you definitely missed something. There is a world of difference between ‘For the most part babies like toys’ and ‘Most babies like toys’ . I will give you the benefit of the doubt that it was a typo when you said ‘most OF babies like toys’. Yours pedantically. M


      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'. So is 'Babies like most toys', 'Babys mögen die meisten Spielzeug' ? or something different?


      '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.)


      Why not "Am meistens mögen Babys Spielzeuge."?


      Why not "Am meistens mögen Babys Spielzeuge."?

      am meistens doesn't make any sense.

      Am meisten mögen Babys Spielzeuge = Babies like toys more than anything else

      Meistens mögen Babys Spielzeuge = Most of the time, babies like toys


      Why is "Babys meist mögen Spielzeug" wrong?


      Why is "Babys meist mögen Spielzeug" wrong?

      The verb mögen has to be in the second position in the sentence; you can't put both Babys and meist before it. One or the other but not both.


      In this word order, wouldn't "meist" be modifying "spielzeug", like "Babies like mostly toys, rather than tools".


      How do I know if the word is going to be meist or meisten and where will it go in the sentence?


      Hi Aleema. Meist and Meistens are pretty interchangeable. They are adverbs, and, as such, go as close to the verb as possible.


      To me that translates to Babies like most (but not all) toys.


      But this translates as 'Babies like most toys' whereas the English sentence provided by Duo for translation was 'For the most part babies like toys' which means something different.


      I found this question and proper response very confusing. I read this as "most babies like toys", not "babies like most toys" so the correct answer is opposite of my understanding of how its written :(


      Seems like Duolingo's translation says "babies like most toys" rather than "most babies like toys


      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

      Of course.

      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


      Mizinamo, 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.


      One comment about English. 'Most babies like toys' never would mean

      I don't know why you're bringing this sentence into the conversation.

      Duo's sentence is "For the most part, babies like toys."


      vielen dank für ihre Antwort (and I apologize for the 'für' and 'ihre' which likely are incorrect.

      Your sentence is correct except for capitalisation: vielen Dank für Ihre Antwort.


      "Babys mögen meistens Spielzeug." is listed as the correct answer, however, "meistens" was not even a choice. I chose "meisten" as the word.


      How can I have a typo when the word in the answer 'meistens' isn't included in the options offered?!!


      How about: die meiste babys mögen spielzeuge


      Why not: die meiste babys mögen spielzeuge

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.