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  5. "What would you like to eat?"

"What would you like to eat?"

Translation:Was möchtet ihr essen?

May 1, 2018



If Duolingo is going to treat "möchten" and "wollen" like they're nearly synonymous, maybe our answers shouldn't be wrong if we use them interchangeably. This incessant nitpicking is seriously infuriating.


Why is "Was wollen Sie essen" wrong?

  • Was möchtest du essen?
  • Was möchtet ihr essen?
  • Was möchten Sie essen?


Why is " was willst du essen" wrong? As I understand it, möchten is a sort of supercharged form of mögen. In other words, möchten means to really crave something. Am I right?


Möchten is unusual. It is actually the subjunctive form of "mögen", which is why it has the same ending system as subjunctive and past tense verbs. If you remember that mögen translates to "like" in English, it makes perfect sense that its subjunctive möchten means "would like to".


Well that's really helpful of Duolingo to throw that in well before we cover the subjunctive! Not.


Nein, "Was möchten Sie essen?" und "Was wollen Sie essen?" sind ähnlich! Ich war richtig, Duo!


In my high school German class, we said: "Was möchtest du zu essen?" This was an unaccepted answer. Is this a bug, or am I wrong?


no zu + Infinitiv when you use modal verbs.


We say that in Germany (at least where I come from), but grammatically it is a strange structure... I don't know whether the Duden accepts it as grammatically correct or not.

You could also say 'etwas zu essen/Essen', 'ich habe etwas zu essen/Essen, and the same with 'zu trinken/Trinken'.

The funniest is 'das Zu-Essen / das Zu-Trinken'. :D (meaning 'das Essen, das Getränk')

Well, I think they are usable in spoken language, but not in written. So you are not wrong, you were just taught a colloquial structure that probably will be understood. ;)


You explain it yourself: It is short for Was möchtest du zu essen haben?, hence the zu-particle.


Thank you! This was very helpful


was würdet Ihr gerne essen?


How is one to know only the second person plural is correct? Equally correct would be second person singular and third person plural. Thus "Was moechtest du essen" or ""Was moegen sie essen" would be equallly correct. This is a glaring short-coming of Duolingo and needs to be corrected!!


How is one to know only the second person plural is correct?

That is not the case.

Equally correct would be second person singular and third person plural.

Indeed. Which is why those are accepted as well.

"Was moechtest du essen"

That is accepted.

Was moegen sie essen"

That would mean "What do you like to eat" and not "What would you like to eat".

Was möchten Sie essen? would be correct.

Also, lowercase sie would mean "they" here and would be incorrect. The formal "you" is Sie, capitalised.

This is a glaring short-coming of Duolingo

I see no demonstration of any shortcoming, only your claim.

Please provide evidence of correct translations being rejected -- take a screenshot showing the question and your answer, upload the image to a website somewhere such as imgur, and post the URL of the image in your comment.

and needs to be corrected

Again: please demonstrate that something needs to be correct. Thank you.

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