"My son is watching the deer."
Singular or plural? Yes, in general English is more consistent with its pluralization of words (usually just -(e)s ), but every language has its own fun with plurality. And this example in English doesn't have the nicety of das/die. And as painful as it may seem, the better you get at it, the more natural you will sounds. And that to me is an amazing feeling.
The same issue arises in English. If I say "I like the fish", that could be either plural or singular "fish" - and unlike German, the article doesn't give a hint about which it is.
Also, when you hover over "Spiegel" it is indicated that the grammatical gender of the word is masculine, but you see "die" in front of it? - "die" is the definite article for all German plural nouns in the nominative case and in the accusative case.
I find it particularly difficult to remember a new word if, at first presentation, it is given as a plural. I'm always thinking of it as "die" like this and I need to think of the new word and the correct gender. This seems particularly important in German. I'm reporting it as a problem - perhaps it may be improved one day.....?
because of the article. Die is for plural because the first time you saw the wors Spiegel they told you it is masculine.
Why is "I like mirrors" incorrect? It says I need an article, but I'm not sure why.
@PeriwinkleHat : The German sentence has a definite article, so the English sentence needs one too. (But this is not always the case.)
The function of the articles is that they let you know that you're talking about something specific. "I like the mirrors" could mean that I like the mirrors in my house, for example, but not the mirrors in general.
An article is a word like "die" or "einen" in German and "the" or "a" in English. If the German sentence has one, the English sentence needs one too.
does that mean it's possible to say 'Ich mag spiegel' to express a general liking of mirrors?
"Spiegel" the pronunciation of this word is very tricky. I see no hints for saying this