"The horse eats about ten apples."

Translation:Das Pferd frisst etwa zehn Äpfel.

March 30, 2013

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what's the difference between fast, circa and etwa ?


fast means "nearly" meaning that the number is a bit less than what follows.

circa, etwa, ungefähr all mean pretty much "about, approximately" meaning that the number is close to what follows but may be a bit more or less as well.


To me, (a native U.S. English speaker) almost and nearly are synonymous, so I don't understand why using fast instead of etwa was marked incorrect. If I was talking to someone, wouldn't they understand what I meant?


Yes, "almost" and "nearly" are pretty much synonymous; you could translate them both with fast.

etwa, on the other hand, means "approximately" or "about".

If you used fast zehn Äpfel, you would indicate that the horse definitely ate fewer than ten apples -- maybe it ate nine whole apples and part of a tenth one, so it was "almost ten apples" or "nearly ten apples".

While if you said ungefähr zehn Äpfel or etwa zehn Äpfel (about ten apples), it means that the number was either ten or close to it -- could be nine, could be eleven. Perhaps you weren't counting exactly.

If the horse in fact ate eleven apples, then "about ten apples" (ungefähr zehn Äpfel) would be appropriate but "almost ten apples" (fast zehn Äpfel) would not.


That's a fantastic answer!


Why is circa not accepted then?


unfair. You have used isst in previous questions

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It's usually fressen for animals and essen for people. :)


Here's an interesting thing in German: animals don't have a Mund, they have a Maul. They don't Essen, they Fressen. Menschen essen mit dem Mund. Tiere fressen mit dem Maul.


I translated this as "Das Pferd frisst um zehn Äpfel", which was marked wrong as I did not include "die". Why is an article necessary there? .


It just is.

The usual way, with an adverb, is etwa zehn Äpfel or ungefähr zehn Äpfel, but another possibility is um die zehn Äpfel, in that case with die.

Without it, das Pferd frisst um zehn Äpfel would mean "The horse eats apples at ten" (i.e. at 10 o'clock).


Thank you, I was wondering why there was an f in front. :)


Etwas vs. Etwa explanation anyone?


Etwas - A previously undefined object (i.e "something"), as in "I want something, but I do not know what."

Etwa - "Approximately", as in "A walnut weighs approximately 100g".


Which is the difference between Äpfel and Äpfeln?


Äpfel is the form used in the nominative, genitive, and accusative cases, while Äpfeln is used in the dative case, in the plural.

When we just talk about “the plural form”, we mean nominative plural.

But almost all nouns take an extra -n ending in the dative case in the plural.


What's the difference between etwa and etwas?


SamiaELSharkawy: This has already been asked and answered on this page. Please read all the comments before posting a new one.


And why is this sentence in a unit on time?


Why do we use das instead of der for the word pferd in this sentence ?


the word pferd

There is no word pferd in German. "Horse" in German is Pferd -- note the capital P.

Why do we use das

Because the word Pferd is grammatically neuter. And it's the subject of the verb in this sentence, so it's in the nominative case.

So we need the neuter nominative article das in front of it here.

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