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"Was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel?"

Translation:What are the prices for these apples?

April 22, 2013

101 Comments


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

Why not, "what is the price for these apples?" ... "What are the prices for these apples?" sounds a little strange to my ear. Like each of the apples has a separate price tag.


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

The German sounds all right to me. Of course I would have said: "Was kosten diese Äpfel?" but that is not the point here. Probably the price tags differ when you buy a different quantity. 1,80 per Kg, 3,40 in a bag of 2 Kg etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

Was sind die __ für diese Äpfel?

The answer is "Preise", the plural of "(der) Preis", probably because there are different kinds of apples. The HoneyCrisps are more expensive than the Fujis, etc. You know Duo wants the plural because it's "Was sind die...." In this context, "What are the prices of these apples?" is a better English translation, because "What do these apples cost?" sounds like we're back to a single price.


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

That's how I'd interpret it too, and if they had asked what the prices are for these vegetables, chances are that most of these comments wouldn't be here. The problem isn't with the grammar but with sentences that are contrived to the point that people can't imagine ever using them.

In real life, the prices would be posted. I might see apples in a friend's house and wonder what they cost, but using examples of sentences that people can't make sense of in their native language isn't a good way to learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johan807389

Could also be a farmer's market. Or perhaps you're asking because the prices are missing.


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

Perhaps, but where I live the prices are posted at farmer's markets. Then again, you don't necessarily pay what's posted. If there's a price per pound, you buy 4.8 pounds of apples, they might tell me that it's $5 even if the posted price would work out to $5.76.

But I'd expect the person selling me the apples to tell me what I owe when they calculated it. I can't imagine them waiting around for me to ask.

There might be theoretical situations, but they are not realistic.


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

DL should not be dealing in "probably."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freddy813516

Read Steve32837 and Doctor-John Comments, very clear explanation. I, personally find it great that DL has these discussions so we can understand things better. Languages do not always translate exactly and we have to assume that there will be ambiguity in certain parts of the language. I hope you find those comments I recommended as useful as I did and lots of luck on your language endeavors!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

Grammatically there is no ambiguity here. The verb sind requires a plural subject. The plural of der Preis is die Preise. The speculation is only about the context that led to the question Was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel? A likely answer is that different apples have different prices. Not many vendors or supermarkets sell only one kind of apple.


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

Because questions for learning should not be ambiguous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve32837

Whether you like it or not, the lack of specificity in languages like English and German will force questions to be ambiguous. What is not ambiguous is the list of potential translations. There's no point in objecting to ambiguity, since it was decided by the formation of the languages themselves.


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

I am taking it as meaning, "What are the prices for these [different kinds of] apples". Maybe, the Gala apples are a bit more expensive than the Fiji apples, and Golden Delicious are the cheapest. But, it's obvious that we are not talking about the price for a group of apples, so we must be talking about various types of apples.

But, I'm curious if this is a common way to ask this kind of question in native German? Would Germans say, "What ARE the prices of [something]" or, "What IS the price of [something]"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schildkroete89

Like most markets, if you purchase a bunch it is usually cheaper. One has one price, a bunch has another price. Or more simply, there may be more than one type of apple for sale.


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

they want to draw your attention to the use of plural. the case in itself is not much important how strange would it be to your ears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KTo228

You can havd different varieties of apples, different quality apples which will each have their own prices.


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

The former is accepted as correct now


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

If you mean "What is the price of these apples?" is now accepted, that's too bad. It's a fine English sentence, but an inaccurate translation. The situation in which the original sentence arises has prices (plural), from which it's obvious there must be a variety of apples to choose from at different prices. Duolingo doesn't advance a student's learning by accepting inaccurate translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arshil492974

Thought the same


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

...until you read all the discussion here, which explains why the plural is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalie296205

I understood in this that the person is asking about different varieties of apples.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeoBlackma3

"What is the price for these apples?" was accepted for me :)


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

Now this is confusing.

The German phase is currently "was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel?" and the English translation is "what do these apples cost?"

What confuses me is "die Preise" (the prices - in plural!) in German.

Can you say also "was ist der Preis für diese Äpfel?" in German?

Because if you would use the plural form in English "what are the prices of these apples" then it would change the meaning of the question and you might get answers like "the price at XZ Superstore is 4,99 but you can buy the same apples at a cheaper price at A&B Market".


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

That's wrong, in german we say "Was kosten diese Äpfel" or "Wie hoch ist der Preis für diese Äpfel", nobody says "Was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudithMett2

Why 'sind die Preise'? Could someone explain please.


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

would, "how much do these apples cost" not work here? I got the translation correct but it seems a bit forced


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

It isn't quite the same question. For example, you could also say "What do you want for these apples?" "What are they asking for these apples?" and so on, but the German question is specifically asking for the prices.


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

It is sort of the same question though? I would expect someone to tell me the price of something if I asked how much it cost & I'm a native English Speaker?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

The person is asking about the prices (plural), because presumably there are different kinds of apples, some varieties more expensive than others. An English translation that better conveys the German question would be "What are the prices of these apples?"


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

Why is it diese Aepfel?


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

Because it is plural.

der Apfel = 1 apple (nominative case) den Apfel = 1 apple (accusative) dem Apfel = 1 apple (dative)

die Äpfel = more than one apple (nominative)

and so on. Here's one source that explains it - http://www.crodict.com/nouns/german/Apfel.html - or you can google German noun declensions.


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

I think the bit that confused me is the 'diese' bit. I thought it would be diesen as Aepfel is plural. Am I missing something?


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

Here's the table with the declanations of "dieser".

http://canoo.net/inflection/dieser:Pron:Demonstr

The preposition "für" takes accusative, the apples are in plural, hence "diese": was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel?.

If is was singular, then it would be "diesen": was ist der Preis für diesen Apfel?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

DANKE I am having so much problem with this. Thanks!


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

It would only be "diesen" if it were dative plural - which it isn't.


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

Or accusative singular, which it also isn't.


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

Why is "What are the prices for these apples" marked wrong


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

perfect English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

"What are the prices for these apples?" should be accepted, and if it's not, please report.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pete915002

I had "What are the prices for the apples", marked wrong


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

How can you tell a difference between singular and plural apple in German?


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

der Apfel = the apple

die Äpfel = the apples


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

I meant the pronunciation, in "type what you hear" exercise.


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

Follow these links and click on the loudspeaker next to Apfel and Äpfel

http://www.dict.cc/?s=apfel

http://www.dict.cc/?s=%C3%84pfel

The English-like "spelling" of Apfel and Äpfel would be correspondingly up-fel and ep-fel (unless you come from Manchester ;) )


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

The pronunciation of "a" is a bit different from "ä".

Also, the article "diese" in this case lets you know it's plural.


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

Yeah... and I want to know the difference.


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

You have to listen for the difference in the vowel sound.

The difference in the article should be clearer, even to an untrained ear. If it were singular, it would be "diesen Apfel."


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

in plural it sounds exactly like english apple, added just f, in singular instead of ''æ'' sound we have just ''a''


[deactivated user]

    Duolingo tells me to pay attention to the accents, yet does not allow me to put an umlaut over a capital A.


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

    The easiest option is to use the full-sized web interface of DL, because the German special letters

    Ä Ö Ü´ß

    should be visible right under the text area where you type your answer. You can just click on these letters for inserting them into your text.

    If you are using a DL app on a mobile device then it is not so easy any more., You must find the way to configure the German keyboard on your device. But even this can be done :)


    [deactivated user]

      That is exactly where they are missing. (I do use the full-size web interface.) The accented capital letters are not shown, only the lower-case letters.


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

      Oh, I didn't notice at first that the lower case letters "ä ö ü" are shown to you. There should be also an upwards (or downwards) arrow to the left of the German letters. This arrow switches between the upper case and lower case input.


      [deactivated user]

        Oh! I never noticed that! Thank you!!!


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

        I tried to resize my browser window and noticed that if you make it narrower than 720 pixels then the German letters just vanish from the user interface. Maybe you are using a tablet with a small screen? If yes then try to use the tablet in landscape mode, not in the portrate mode.


        [deactivated user]

          I'm using a 27-inch desktop computer, so size is not the problem.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thatguy94

          why is it not Preisen?


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

          Because the plural of "Preis" is "Preise."


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dick706865

          Speaking exercise gave me four seconds from the go ahead bleep


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

          Would this be another example where the genitive case could be used? z.B. Was sind die Preise diesen Äpfel?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thenephilim1337

          Why does duo say this is incorrect: ''what are the prices for these apples?''


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

          Maybe because “what are the prices of these apples” is more common than “....for these apples”. In the example given by a contributor about comparing prices between different supermarkets, you could use either ‘for’ or ‘of’. Maybe the person has a list of prices of different types of apples in different supermarkets and you want to know the prices for these particular ones. It seems however to be complicating matters a bit for what should be a simple sentence


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

          Different supermarkets were mentioned in one comment, but that's not what's happening here. You can't ask in one supermarket about the prices in other supermarkets. Anyway, Duo rejects "What are the prices for/of these apples?" because whoever could add more answers to the list of correct answers hasn't gotten around to it or doesn't realize that this is a perfectly reasonable translation. It's what many native English-speakers would say, if there are different varieties of apples at the given store and the prices are not posted. (This rarely happens in the U.S.)


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

          I've encountered this before, with the answer given as "what are the prices for these apples. "


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike336577

          I translated this literally as "What are the prices for the apples?" Unusual for a Brit to say price in the plural but not incorrect if there are different types. So I was miffed when I got the red mark!


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

          Should have been "these" apples, not "the" apples.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve32837

          "What are the prices for these apples?" translates to "Was sind die Preise für diese Äpfel?"

          So it should then translate back in the other direction without being marked as incorrect.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeoBlackma3

          This is refreshing after the nitpicking of responses to other questions where a near literal translation and attention to words used is required


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George440392

          Man, either my ears or the audio needs improvement.


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

          To me(English speaker) this sounds a bit strange- suggests different varieties of apples on offer.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neda478292

          What is the case of äpfel here isn't it dative?so shouldn't it be diesen??


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

          No, "für" is one of the prepositions that take the accusative.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neda478292

          I don't understand why the case for äpfel is accusative and not dative sice it is after für ?would someone explain that?thanks in advanced


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

          "Für" is one of the prepositions that take the accusative. The ones I've learned so far: bis, durch, für, gegen, ohne, um.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheila351374

          Is there a rule regarding i before e? I can never remember which comes first. In English, the rule is i before e, except after c.


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

          Blessedly simple, at least for English speakers. You pronounce the name of whichever letter is second: "ie" - eee, "ei" - eye.

          PS, the English rule has many exceptions, the German one, I'm fairly sure, has none.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/claus795066

          Was kosten die Äpfel.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EthanBlack192465

          Anyone know why the word for price and prize are the same?


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

          Flipping the question, why are they different words in English? In English, "price," "prize," and "praise" all come from the same root. https://www.etymonline.com/word/price


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

          "Why" is frequently a vexed question when it comes to language.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalie296205

          I was at first shocked that my answer was incorrect... until I realized, that I have typed "sind" twice!


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanarcisse21

          I don't have the umlaut sign on my cellphone.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ain15412

          There is a difference between a cost and a price, they are not interchangeable in most situations and substitution of one with another is a gross mistake


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaSteh3

          Diese Aussage ist sehr selten in Deutschland. Wir fragen: Wie teuer sind die Äpfel oder Was kosten die Äpfel.


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

          Der Preis: singular. Die Preise: plural. The implication is that there is more than one price - probably because there is more than one type of apple on offer.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric35159

          i forgot to put apple XD


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

          Nice one Eric. Very clever.


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evelynne55466

          on saturday you told me i was wrong when I chose preise, Now I am wrong choosing the answer you said was correct, Why do I stay with this stupid programme????????


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

          Only you can answer that one. As for your complaint, if you could tell us what your answer was here, and what the question and your answer were "on saturday", someone here might be able to help.


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

          until now my answer was accepted


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

          how much is it for these apples? We're speaking English here


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eineFrau400587

          "What IS the price for these apples"! If there are several types of apples one COULD say, "what are the prices OF apples".


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elea577031

          The English translation makes no grammatical sense


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/osafo1

          I'm tired of people trying to justify duo when it's wrong.


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

          The German sentence itself is unacceptable: The apples should have only one price, hence "Was sind..." is "unnatural."

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