Translation:The few interesting books are expensive.
The reason that "e" is added to "weinig" is different than that for "interessant".
In modern grammatical terminology, weinig is a "quantifier" here (rather than an adjective), since it is saying something about the number of (interesting) books rather than the type, size, etc of the books. The "e" is added to "weinig" because reference is being made to a definite group of books, due to the "de". It has naught to do with the "number" of the books per se. Weinige is the definite form of weinig.
And so if there were no "de", then there would be no "e":
Weinig interessante boeken zijn duur.
Weinig boeken zijn duur.
Klein (like weinig) also means "little" but it refers to the size of "the books" rather than to their number. It is therefore an adjective and the inflected "e" rule for adjectives would apply (viz., kleine). Ditto for interessante, an adjective. In sum:
De = definite article (giving definition)
Weinige = quantifier (giving number)
Interessente = adjective (modifying subject)
"Old school" grammar has "weinig" as an adjective, so reader beware. That designation is not incorrect of course, but then one needs to make an exception for this class. Better to think in terms of determiners and quantifiers I think.
Hey Duolingo: This sentence, and the many others like them should not be in your "Indefinite Pronouns" section. They are NOT being used as pronouns in these samples. As you can see by the many comments, there is much confusion. Suggestion: Create yourself a section on Determiners/Quantifiers and move these samples there.
I am glad I found this. I was just practicing on the app and got the sentence "Er staan weinig oude bomen in de Nederlandse bossen." I was trying to reconcile it with this exercise ("De weinige interessante boeken ..."), and Judi MD's explanation does it quite well.
Er staan weinig oude bomen in de Nederlandse bossen.
De weinige oude bomen in Nederland bevinden zich in de nationale landschapsparken. (I don't know if this is true: I was just trying to come up with two examples about old trees.)
Begrijp ik het goed?
Because no one is going to refer to "the few" without their being a many to compare.
A better phrase would be "a few interesting books are expensive." Or even more accurately, "quite a few interesting books are expensive."
Otherwise you really do have to have a bookshop to compare it to.
I'd like to add something else. If you hoover the mouse over the word "weinige" is the pronounciation of the word incorrect. It's not weini-"gey", but weini-"guh" (that is, a short e-sound and not a long e-sound).
Apart from that, I agree that there is a difference between de weinig-interessante-boeken zijn duur (the little-interesting-books are expensive) de weinige interessante-boeken zijn duur (the few interesting-books are expensive); in the first sentence "weinig" is a modifier of "interesting", in the second sentence it's a quantifier
- written by a Dutch native speaker
A few seems to be 'Een paar' based on other Dutch resources that I have found in the comments.
Still, that is not how the the sentence would translate. 'A few interesting books' means that some are expensive (others are not), the Dutch sentence implies 'the few interesting books' that exist at all 'are expensive'.
How are 'weinige' and 'interessante' indicated as plural here? I love what you're saying about agreement; that's helping (I translated as 'the books of little interest are expensive'- so way off-- I see now how that is incorrect )-- but please explain how the 3 words agree so can be read essentially as a phrase (the few interesting books). Thank you!
Because the "little" in this case is referring to number, not size. That is why it has "few" as another translation for the word--so we're saying there are a few interesting books and they are expensive. Thus, the translation, "The few interesting books are expensive." Make sense? :)
But little does not exclusively mean small in size? Little can also mean small in number. Like when you say "See how little of the red cake is left". I think the acknowledgement here should be that you were able to see that the word refers to something small, albeit size or number :)
All too true. But what happened to Latin is now happening to English. The language has spread to its greatest extent as a native language and a lingua franca, and both at home (by which I mean in England) and abroad it is rapidly shattering into mutually unintelligible chunks. I'm sure I am not alone in having to put subtitles onto some films from the Americas, and American English is a relatively close relation.
I know we have the speed of speech options here, but I like to try to understand the standard speed since the slower one is too slow for ordinary speech. Some of these sentences are said so fast that it's hard to pick out the words as I'm hearing them. It's sometimes so fast it rolls into gibberish with these unnatural voices.
So in the case of a movie/play/concert etc., it can be thought of as "expensive in time" and not having anything to do with length as in a metric measurement. Also doesn't lang mean long, tall and prolonged time? So this means duur and lang can be used for length of time or only in specific instances?
Duur can only be used for duration in time. While lang can be used for duration in time and metric measurement.
- De film is lang - The movie is long
- De duur van de film is één uur - The duration/length of the movie is one hour
- De film duurt één uur - The film takes one hour/is one hour long
Some examples with metric measurement
- De lengte van de brug is tien meter - The length of the bridge is ten meter.
- De brug is lang - The bridge is long
- Ik zie een lange brug - I see a long bridge
See the remark of YvonneJanssen and my comment on her remark: if 'weinig' is used as an adverb (here before 'interessante', so it means little interesting), than you don't use an 'e' at the end. If you use 'weinig' as a noun (and in the meaning as few), than you do use an 'e' at the end.
It's not that it's strange: it's that it doesn't mean what the Dutch sentence means.
Your sentence, "Not many of the interesting books are expensive," suggests that there is a set of interesting books, and only a few of those interesting books are expensive.
The Dutch sentence means that all of the interesting books, of which there are only a few in number, are expensive. At least, that's what the given English translation means.
I put in the correct words. But instead of puting "the interesting books are expensive". I put the interesting books are dare". But this came up as incorrect. And had the word "dear" on the end instead. Dare is the correct spelling in this case. Not sure who I contact for this.