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  5. "It is only four degrees."

"It is only four degrees."

Translation:Es sind nur vier Grad.

April 5, 2013

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gildesh

Why is it "sind"? Is it also possible to say "Es ist nur vier Grad (aus)"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

"Es ist nur vier Grad" was accepted for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/backtoschool

But it is wrong.

Correct sentences are:

"Es ist nur vier Grad warm."

"Es ist nur vier Grad kalt."

"Es sind vier Grad."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrboogie

Warum es ist falsch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/backtoschool

It is incomplete. A typical ambiguous short form. When you talk about the weather it might be ok when you have agreed on the unit to measure in, but in general it is wrong because it could be:

grad: Celsius, Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Rankine, Delisle, Reaumur. My teacher would have said, "Four degrees of what?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellablun

That doesn't answer the question. Sind doesn't clarify which degrees you are talking about


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Buddha_Bunny

If I were to say this in the USA, we would assume that Fahrenheit is the unit; in Deutschland, Celsius. It helps to use the full set of words. It isn't necessary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbudinoski

What about: Es hat vier Grad? Duolingo says its wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/backtoschool

"Es hat vier Grad" Is Swiss German or Schweitzerdeutsch. You may hear that in Germany or some derivatives in South Germany but it is not German. Duo is right, it is not correct German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbudinoski

We say it so in Austria too. Here 'es sind vie Grad' sounds strange.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

There are multiple degrees, so plural it is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Would "Grade" ever be used when referring to temperature?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

No. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen "Grad" in plural form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

The only example that comes to my mind is when you use it as a synonym for temperature: 'Die Grade steigen' meaning it becomes hotter. But this usage is a) rare and b) even somewhat poetic. So, apart from rare exceptions, it's virtually always used in singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BettyJJ

I'm more puzzled now. If Grad is singular, then why is sind?

BTW, I wrote Es ist nur 4 Grad and DL accepted it. So both ist and sind are OK?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

@BettyJJ: Yes, both are possible. You can use "Grad" as a counting operator: "Es sind vier Grad", this usage is analogous to the use of "Bier" in "Wir hätten gerne drei Bier".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

@Hohenems: you wouldn't use the word 'Grad' in that situation, rather 'Skala' or 'Einheit'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pellucidon

Would you say "Es ist Bier Uhr" or "Es sind Bier Uhr"? In Australia we say "It's Beer O'clock" meaning it's time for a beer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Thanks for pointing out the dative...

What about in use like Bier/Biere. If you said something like "temperature is shown in one of two degrees: Fahrenheit or Celcius." Awkward, but would it be plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

@pellucidon: No, that doesn't work in German. (Or rather: The pun may work but it's not a common thing to say)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

Thanks. I've been looking up Grad and Grade, but the only time I can find "Grade" is in example sentences like this "bis zu einem gewissen Grad[e]" that show both singular and plural are acceptable, but I can't find use of Grade when talking about temperatures. Thanks again for the confirmation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

In your example, 'Grade' is not a plural form but an alternative dative declension. (German declension is... - you know)


[deactivated user]

    But surely the subject of the verb is 'es', so the singular of the verb should be used. I do not see why the object of the verb changes it from the singular to plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wataya

    There is no object here. "Vier Grad" is a subject predicative. In a predicative nominative, "es" and "das" can refer to nouns of all gender and number. If they refer to plural nouns (here disguised by use of the singular counting operator as pointed out above), the verb has to agree with the predicative.


    [deactivated user]

      Thanks, I hope that I can remember that.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renate79

      why not "es gibt nur 4 Grad"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhhpk

      that would be "there are only four degrees"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ACardAttack

      I guess depending on the context it could be correct


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P.Loewe

      Klingt für mich als Deutschsprecherin etwas holprig- wie wenn noch ein Wort fehlen würde. Würde "Es hat nur vier Grad" bevorzugen (österreichische Wortwahl?! gg)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
      Mod

        Both should work, I guess (after conferring with a German from BW). Report it?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard_B.

        So, i just said this sentence but my microphone picked it up as "Es ist bloß vier Grad", and apparently that is correct as well. What in the world does that sentence mean and how is it used? : /


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
        Mod

          bloß = "merely"

          "Merely" is like saying "...and that is very little".


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/macpuddock

          Bonus word lol thanks for posting


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bongobear

          'es hat nur..' so why not have a little schwaebisch?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keksal

          Beides klingt für mich falsch, aber das liegt wohl am "southern regionalism", also mindestens Niederbayern und Oberösterreich ;-) Wie wäre es, mit "Es ist nur vier Grad warm" als Lösung, dann stellt sich doch die Frage nach Plural oder Singular gar nicht erst. Oder auch "Draussen sind (es) nur 4 Grad", dann sollte es doch immer Plurarl sein, oder? Ja und dann gibt es da noch "Draussen herrschen 4 Grad". - oder ist das auch wieder "regionalsim"? Und wenn wir schon dabei sind, ab wann ist etwas "regionalism" und ab wann eine akzeptierte Variante?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rjjacob

          In the English sentence, the pronoun "it" refers to the (unspoken) temperature: "The temperature is only four degrees." Cf. "Her weight is fifty kilograms." In the German sentence, the phrase "Es sind" refers to degrees, and is plural since there are four, i.e., more than one, of them: "There are only four degrees." It's just a different way of describing the situation.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geop7

          That's a good point. In fact, if we say it is 4 degrees C, there is no 4 of anything involved. We do not add 1 degree C to 1 degree C... to get 4 degrees C.Also, for example, 4 degrees C is not twice as warm as 2 degrees C. (4 degrees C = 39.2 degrees F and 2 degrees C = 35.6 degrees F. )


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rjjacob

          Not to mention 277.15 deg K and 275.15 K, resp., which are definitely not a factor of 2 different.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

          I went through all the comments and I am still confused about the singular Grad used instead of the plural form. Is it something related to degrees only or to all of the measurement units or is it an overall rule? Are the following correct?

          • es sind nur drei Kilogramm;
          • es sind nur zehn Meter;
          • es sind nur fünf Tassen;
          • es sind nur drei Männer.

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P.Loewe

          Hi, die Beispiele sind korrekt. Anmerkung: Großschreibung im Deutschen beachten: Meter und Kilogramm ;)

          Im Deutschen gibt es einige sogenannte "Singulariatantum". Das sind Verben ohne neu gebildetes Plural. Grad-Grad, Geld-Geld, Kilogramm-Kilogramm, etc.. Entgegen dazu: Tasse-Tassen, Mann-Männer.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margusoja

          Thanks, the Kilogramm and Meter are now capitalized :)


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          Yes, measurement seems to use a singular after numbers in general -- this includes currency (drei Euro, vier Pfund, sechs Dollar) but also applies to drei Kilogramm, zehn Meter, vier Grad etc.

          Note that with Meter, you can't tell the difference anyway; the plural would be die Meter.

          I would say eine Entfernung von zehn Metern, though, which looks like dative plural. But ein Gewicht von drei Kilogramm.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoM.O

          Es ist einfach vier Grad?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/think.green

          "Vier Grad" ist ungemütlich kalt. Deswegen halte ich es für viel wahrscheinlicher, dass der Sprecher ausdrücken will: "Es sind nur vier Grad."

          Die Übersetzung "Es sind einfach vier Grad." könnte natürlich in ganz speziellen Kontexten auch zutreffen:
          Er: "Vier Grad plus, Wind um Nordost, Stärke 7 bis 8, 1025 Hektopascal, Heiter bis Wolkig, 62% Luftfeuchte, gefühlte Temperatur minus zwei Grad." Sie: "Nee, mach's doch nicht so kompliziert, das kann sich doch kein Mensch merken. Es sind einfach vier Grad. Basta!"


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
          Mod

            English interpretation: "It is only four degrees" is emphasising that it is cold. This would even work if talking in degrees Fahrenheit, where "It is only 35 degrees" is still cold, even though the 'number of degrees' is higher.

            The only time you would say "it is simply (einfach) four degrees" is when you are literally wanting to simplify someone's description of the weather that was otherwise too complicated. In the example given by 'think.green', a guy is giving sooo many unneccesary details about the weather, when someone just wanted to know the temperature. She says "No, don't make it so complicated - it's simply four degrees!". In saying this, there is no emphasis on it being cold anymore.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/think.green

            Thank you very much for your translation! :-)


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tominius

            Why not 'Grade'? As a plural.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

            Yes, you'd use the plural there ("in einem von zwei Graden") — but the proper term is "scales".


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

            You and wataya both said that "Grad" wouldn't be used in this sentence, so I'll drop it. Thanks!


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kash.manchan

            What about Abschlüsse, instead of Grad?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/esgerman12

            In the end of the school you get "Abschluss"


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daraghlol

            In college I was taught "es betragt" for temperatures by native German speakers. Is this right or am I remembering incorrectly?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/esgerman12

            No, "beträgt is used where a sum of numbers or prices.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zawerg

            Yes, you can say that but it sounds very formal. On TV a weather presenter might say "Die Temperatur in Wien beträgt 20 Grad". In Austria, colloquial is: "Es hat 20 Grad".


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rowschank

            Why not either "It's only four degrees Celsius" or "It's only four degrees centigrade"?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
            Mod

              Nothing in the original sentence says "Celsius/Centigrade". It could be degrees Fahrenheit, angular, or mathematical.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rowschank

              Doch, dies ist der Abschnitt des Wetters!


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chaterlaine

              One year later, I respectfully disagree. I translated it as "It is only 4 degrees Centigrade." and was marked wrong. Should have been "It is only 4 degrees." However, as a citizen of the U.S. who has visited relatives in Germany and India, has lived in the Middle East, and friends from all over the world, I have found it very necessary to always specify whether I am speaking Centigrade or Fahrenheit. This is especially true as I live in an are where the weather is extremely volatile. We can start off with a temperature of 85 in the morning and 30 at night. My Scottish friend would be under the impression that I am still in the Middle East, or perhaps in Death Valley or the Gobi desert. C or F is crucial to me, and I suspect to many others.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

              And so if you were speaking German, you would specify "Grad Celsius" or "Grad Fahrenheit".

              But just "Grad" by itself does not refer to any particular scale.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary54437

              Doesn't "es" refer to the implied "temperatur", Which is singular? So I just can't understand why "sind" and not "ist"? ?


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Korolyeva

              Okay, I understand that 'vier Grad' is plural and 'sind' is for plural things, but doesn't the verb agree with the number of the nominative subject not the predicate?? I didn't think you could use 'sind' with 'es', just like you can't say 'it are' in English.

              So... Why is 'es sind' accepted?


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cyph0r
              • 1368

              You are completely right, my mother tongue is kind of crazy. Perhaps this explanation by canoo.net provides first aid in such cases of using "es": http://t1p.de/opm9
              But there are still a lot of other crazy kinds "es" is used in German as you can see on this overview page: http://t1p.de/0vhv
              HTH :-)


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Korolyeva

              Ah okay! Die Links sind sehr hilfreich! Vielen Dank! :-)


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PushythePirate1

              I put down "Ist nur vier Grad." and it said it was wrong and that the correct solution is "Es ist nur vier Grad." I get it that I didn't put in the 'it' but in German is the 'it' always necessary? I am pretty sure that in Spanish (which I'm better at), you can put 'Es solamente..." without putting in the 'it'. I keep on messing this up in German.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rhhpk

              Yes, it's necessary in German, just like in English - you can't say "is only 4 degrees" either. Spanish is not similar to German; it's more like Italian, where you can also leave out the pronoun.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaidynWorkman

              Isn't this precisely like saying "It are four degrees?" German and English grammar are similar enough that this shouldn't be right, yes?


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

              Es sind vier Grad is correct in German, with plural verb sind agreeing with vier Grad.

              "It are four degrees" is incorrect in English, I would say.

              Compare also things such as "Those are horses" = Das sind Pferde.

              German uses neuter singular for some introductory subjects but the verb may still agree in number with a following plural noun.


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana404503

              They do not give the word box choice for 'es ist', only 'es sind' .


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgLovoll

              This sentence sounds weird for me. The plural of Grad is Grade. The verb is plural because vier Grade is the subject here. https://de.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Grad


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

              The plural of Grad is not very relevant here, because German usually uses the singular in measurements such as weights, currency, temperature, etc.

              vier Grade would mean "four individual degrees" (e.g. academic degrees, or four intervals of one degree in temperature), but not the measurement "4°".


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgLovoll

              I have learned something new today. I have been using German for years, even been in interview with Süd Deutscher Rundfunk once. They complimented my language, but I'm Norwegian. Thanx for your comment


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seamus-42

              I had learned "Es gibt nur vier Grad". Is that now archaic, or was I just taught wrong?


              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zawerg

              "Es hat nur vier Grad" needs to be accepted!!

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