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  5. "Die Fenster sind klein."

"Die Fenster sind klein."

Translation:The windows are small.

July 23, 2013


  • 1434

Tricky. Fenster is both singular and plural and you have to really observe the verb to catch which use applies. Are there other words that look/sound the same in the singular and the plural?


Yes, it's far more common in German than in English (eg. sheep, fish).

Male and neuter nouns ending in -el and -er usually have the same form in plural and singular.


Also nouns ending with en,chen,lein don't have plural. Eg-Das Maechen (Singular) Plural - Die Maedchen


i think you have a typo "mädchen"

[deactivated user]

    Assuming you're not on the app, if you don't have access to an umlaut on your keyboard or don't feel like clicking the little buttons, you can put an "e" after the vowel that need an umlaut and Duo accepts it.


    Keyboard shortcuts for windows.

    alt plus 132 ä (0228)

    alt plus 137 ë (0235)

    alt plus 148 ö (0246)

    alt plus 225 ß (0223)

    alt plus 129 ü (0252)

    alt plus 142 Ä (0196)

    alt plus Ë (0203)

    alt plus 153 Ö (0214)

    alt plus 154 Ü (0220)


    ë is not found in the German language.

    Also, problem with codes that contain 4 is that it will trigger a "page back" command if used in a browser, because the 4 occupies the same key as the left arrow on the number keypad, which when combined with Alt will send the page back command to the browser.

    So, you must open another application first (e. g. Notepad), type your German text there and when done copy and paste into the browser.


    "Maedchen" should be acceptable for "mädchen"


    Sure. But 'Maechen' is not acceptable for 'Maedchen'.


    Thanks for the correction.


    Nouns with the ending "-en" don't necessarilly look the same in singular and plural. Especially those with the vowel "a".

    E.g.: "der Laden" -> "die Läden" (shop); "der Graben" -> "die Gräben" (ditch); "der Faden" -> "die Fäden" (thread, string); "der Magen" -> "die Mägen" (stomach); "der Schaden" -> "die Schäden" (damage); ["der Wagen" -> "die Wägen" (wagon) this plural is only used in some parts of Germany]

    "der Boden" -> "die Böden" (ground);

    "das Gen" -> "die Gene" (gene); "das Allergen" -> "die Allergene" (allergen)

    So there is nearly no rule without exceptions. ;)


    You can also look at the article. Fenster is a neuter word ("das Fenster"), but pluralized, it uses the feminine die ("die Fenster").

    • 2037

    You can also look at the verb - it's "sind" (plural) rather than "ist" (singular) here.


    A word cannot change gender. Simply because you're using "die" in front of a noun in plural doesn't make it feminine. In fact, all plural nouns in nominative case, no matter what gender, go with "die" as an article.


    Yes, the person I was replying to said you need to observe what verb fenster is using to tell whether it was singular or plural, and I said you can also look at the article because only the plural form will take the article die, because fenster is neuter.


    Ob es Plural oder Singular ist kannst du selber leich bemerken - das Fenster IST (sin), die Fenster SIND (plur). On english too - singular IS, plural ARE


    You also have the definite article to guide you. Das Fenster is singular, but die Fenster is plural. On that note, feminine nouns always change when they become plural.


    دمت گرم داداش


    I wrote: "The windows are short". Why was I wrong?

    [deactivated user]

      Also I believe "kurz" means short.


      Short is not a typical word to describe the length of windows, buildings, etc (things that are rather wide than long-ish).

      Short is used to describe distances (both abstract and concrete), as in "short man", "short pencil" and "short trip".


      Defenestrate - to throw someone out of a window


      that's my favourite english verb! ^^


      How to know which one would apply here? either one seem correct. "Die Fenster sind klein" And "Die Tur sind klein".


      Not sure what you're asking, but the second sentence is incorrect.

      First, you didn't use the umlaut ü, second, the verb conjugation (plural) doesn't match the count of the noun (singular).

      So, it should be either:

      Die Tür ist klein. (singular)


      Die Türen sind klein. (plural)


      thanks! probably like Javad, I also got this question the same way he did. you get the sentence and it askes you to fill either Tur (no umlaut sorry) or fenster. Now I understand that its because it says sind, then its plural, and only fenster was plural in this case. danke!


      I meant Both sentences "seems correct to me. "Die Fenster sind klein" and "Die Tür sind klein", which you already shed light on it it, I get it now, thanks pal.


      You can tell the difference between the singular and plural by looking at the article. One window is "das Fenster", while more than one window is "die Fenster".


      Usually plural adjectives without a preceding article seem to end with -e, like "Die Fenster sind deine". Why is this not "kleine"? Does "klein" not decline? (Hey, that is a rhyme!)


      It does. But in this case you designate the plural with "sind", so you don't need "-e" at the end of "klein". Another example: if you speak of a bottle, for instance, which is feminine in German. You can say "Diese Flasche ist mein" or you could say "Das ist meine Flasche". In the first case you designated the gender with "-e" at the end of "diese" and you don't need the "-e" at the end of "mein". In the second case you designated the gender with "-e" at the end of "mein". Hope that makes sense. I also hope it's correct =) P. S. Is "Das sind kleine Fenster" correct? If it is then my explanation is somewhat flawed because we have two designations of plural here: "sind" and "kleine". The issue has to do with the whole adjectival/pronominal system of German language. See http://www.canoo.net/ for more details. It's all there.


      Thank you very much for your detailed response! I think I understand your reasoning. The plural-specific ending is redundant for this adjective since it is already incorporated into the subject as well as the verb. I think "Das sind kleine Fenster" is correct, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Strong_inflection.5B6.5D.5B7.5D but I don't think this by itself would invalidate your argument. Here we're talking about adjectives being used directly in the stead of nouns, instead of describing nouns.


      "Thank you very much for your detailed response! I think I understand your reasoning."

      My pleasure. Glad to be of help.


      I Wrote short for klein and it was a suggestion so I think it should be correct. ?right ? shouldn't this be changed ?


      No, "short" means "kurz". And while a skirt maybe short a window usually wouldn't be called short but small.


      No, I would not equal "short" with "klein" in this case.

      A window may be fairly wide, say, one meter, but only a few centimeters high, say, 30 cm. To me that would fit the description of a short window, but not necessarily a small one. A small window would be one that's 30 cm square.


      but it didn't give the length or the height. so it was left up to debate right; and a window can be short.


      A short window may not necessarily be a small window. So the two words, "short" and "small" ("kurz" and "klein") cannot be used interchangeably. That's what I was trying to illustrate with a window that's a meter wide, but only about 30 cm high. To me that's not a small window, but it may qualify as short.


      Kurz=short Klein=Small


      Like eine kleine natchmusik, i think it has genre


      Why did I get it wrong if I said, Die Fenster ist klein?


      Because you combined a noun in plural with a verb in singular.

      Die Fenster sind klein. (plural)

      Das Fenster ist klein. (singular)

      Or, you used the wrong gender (feminine) article (die) for a neuter noun (das).


      Die Fenster sind klein, aber jedes Fenster kann sich öffnen!


      Why speaking lessons are turn off. Mic is working but Duolingo can't process the voice.


      so it matters when i say window and not windows


      Haha, my quick response was "The windows are klein." I mixed the 2 languages. That means I am starting to think in German. Yay!


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