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  5. "De Alpen is een bergketen in…

"De Alpen is een bergketen in Europa."

Translation:The Alps is a mountain range in Europe.

December 26, 2014



Is Alpen plural? If so, why do we use the singular "is"?


This is actually the first line of the Dutch Wikipedia entry of the Alps: a point could be made (especially if this was indeed the source) that in this case it is the name of the mountain range (not multiple individual mountains) and therefore should be considered singular. Having said that, I think it should be plural. I don't know how the translation sounds in English, but to my Dutch ear "De Alpen is..." sounds a bit awkward. Worth reporting so the Dutch Duo's can have a second look at it.


Nee, Wikipedia zegt "De Alpen zijn" en "De Alpen is." Wikipedia is a very unreliable source for high quality, grammatically correct prose though.

Anyway, this source says both are correct because it's a plurale tantum word. Alpen is also mentioned in the Dutch Wikipedia article on the subject. Van Dale just lists Alpen as plural though, so I'd probably err on the side of using "De Alpen zijn..."


It is a difficult thing. It is one mountain chain (sorry my english is not really good) so you use "is" and not "zijn". Just like "een groep mensen is..." It is one group so you use "is". Even dutch people have trouble with this


can you say "mountain chain"


That is also what I put and thought should be correct.


According to the Collins English Dictionary ( http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mountain-chain ) and to Merriam-Webster ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mountain%20chain) you can. You should report it.

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