So "enkel" means "a small number" or "a few" when describing a plural noun, but "a single" or "just one" when describing a singular noun?
I think with plural nouns you have to say "enkele". Sg: Een enkel bord. Pl: Enkele borden.
Een paar is for informal use, whereas enkel(e) is for formal use. Both only used before plural nouns.
Oooh, "geen enkel..." meaning "not a single..." makes a lot more sense now.
I wrote "a single dish" and it was marked wrong, dish and plate are used interchangeably in English, after all we can say "wash the dishes".
"Dishes" is a broader category than "plates". When one says "wash the dishes", they mean plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, etc.
Nederlandsetaligevolk (you can combine those words, right?), in the sentence 'I thought I was the only one,' for 'the only one' would you use de enige or de enkele (assuming I've got the grammar right)? I feel like enige is right but I'm not 100%.
Because it doesn't make sense in English. Of the top of my head the only time "only" is used like that in English is when referring to an "only child", i.e. someone who has no siblings.
Yes, if you want to write een as one in this sentence you'd use één. This is what Wiktionary says about this:
When it is unclear from the context whether een is the number or the indefinite article, the former is written with acute accents: één. In all other cases it is written without. For example, een van die is 'one of those'. But een appel can mean both 'one apple' and 'an apple', so if the former is intended you would write één appel.
Mmm, I'm confused. In a previous question I translated "...enkele kranten" to "...single newspaper" and it was marked wrong and corrected single to "a few". But here enkel is single. Will enkele ever refer to a few? I thought verscheidene is a few :S
- Een enkel bord - bord = singular, hence a single plate.
- Enkele kranten - kranten = plural, hence several/a few newspapers.