1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Die Schere ist größer."

"Die Schere ist größer."

Translation:The scissors are larger.

August 2, 2014



I think of it as "shears" :) I'm guessing that's the most direct translation.


In English 'scissors' is plural. In a previous example DL translated 'die Scheren' as 'the scissors' as in English (a pair of scissors). So 'The scissor is bigger' was marked wrong??


In German, "die Schere" is the same thing as "(the pair of) scissors" in English (like the one thing you use to cut) except it is actually used singularly in regard to verb conjugations, so "die Scheren" is really multiple pairs of scissors (like in the aisle of a store where you would find a bunch of scissors). It's the same with "die Hose" - "the pants," z.B. "Ich kaufe die Hose" - "I buy the (singular) pair of pants," "Die Hose ist zu kurz" - "The pants are too short."


Thanks again niceliz. I didn't realize that die Schere implies two blades.


"Scissors" is a plurale tantum, which is "a noun that has no singular form, such as scissors (in most usage)." Cf. "pants", "trousers", etc.

So in English scissors always takes the plural verb form, which for "to be" is "are". In German--as niceliz explains very well--one makes the distinction both with the conjugation of the verb (e.g., sind vs. ist) and the noun suffix (Scheren vs. Schere). So, the English form of this sentence is ambiguous, and there is only one choice. The German form, however, has two options: "Schere sind" oder "Schere ist".

More at http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/plurale_tantum


The translation is ambiguous. "The scissors is bigger" may quite sensibly imply one pair of scissors in which case "is bigger" is perfectly acceptible !


"Bigger" vs. "larger" is not the problem; the verb should be conjugated for a plural subject when the subject is "scissors". "The scissors is . . . " is far less common than "the scissors are . . . ".


"Scissors are" ist Mehrzahl und bedeutet mehr als eine, richtig wäre "the scissor is larger"

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