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  5. "They eat some apples."

"They eat some apples."

Translation:Sie essen ein paar Äpfel.

December 22, 2012



"ein paar" isn't the same as "a couple" in English? because I thought they are the same. And if I am right, then "ein paar" means 2, not more, not less. Like couple.


Unfortunately "ein Paar" and "ein paar" mean different things. "ein Paar" is a couple meaning exactly two as in "a pair of socks" or so. "ein paar" means two or more of a kind, as in "a few" or "some".

So the case of one letter really matters here.


There is a sort of similar split in English, if someone says that something costs a "couple of pounds", it means that it costs £2, but if a woman says that she'll be ready in a couple of minutes.... it means you can make yourself a nice cup of tea, put your feet up and watch the cricket.

Though it does sound like the difference is more formalised in German.


Ah, kind of like if a man says it'll take a couple of minutes to fix something you can go out for the afternoon and he'll still be struggling with it when you get back...? ;)


I think the "couple of" thing depends on what kind of English you are speaking. I am not sure which is which, but either in British or American, "a couple" could mean "a few", not necessarily two


a couple is always 2. a couple get married etc it's only more than 2 when someone is speaking bad english and was not educated correctly


How does one know the difference in speech. How do I make out its '2' or 'a few'


Only from context.


"Paar" also means "some," so why can't "paar" here stand alone?


I find that increasingly in English "a couple" is also used informally to mean "a few". For example, "throw me over a couple of screws" could result in anything from 2 to 5, say.


Not usually. If "a couple" is used as a count of something specific then it almost always means two. Otherwise we'd say "a few" or "some". As a measure of time it's a little looser, but even that is more an understanding that no matter what amount of time we say it won't be exact. "Give me 5 min" really means "give me at least 5 min".


a couple only means 2


"manche Äpfel" which is suggested here, sounds horribly wrong to me as a native German speaker.


It sounds fine to me. The German sentence is more marked than the English, though. It basically means that they're fussy eaters. They eat (like) some apples, but not others.


"manche" might be right the way Christian is suggesting it, but "einige Äpfel" would be a way more common translation for "some apples".


"ein paar Aepfel"? Or this is also horrible for a native?


This is essentially the same as the correct translation given above: "Sie essen ein paar Äpfel". The Umlaut "Ä" instead of "Ae" looks better though, but "Ae" will be understood too. You could always argue that your codepage does not support the umlaut or whatever ;)


Yeah, I know about the codepage issues, I'm using English keyboard layout and was a bit lazy to look up Ä in the charmap, sorry :)

Did not notice the "official" translation, just read the conversation about "manche" vs. "einige", that's why I asked about "ein paar", sorry, it was absolutely unnecessary. Mea culpa.


Most certainly... more? I suppose there may be qualifications such as machine type and OS default language. shrugs


0228 = ä

0246 = ö

0252 = ü

0196 = Ä

0214 = Ö

0220 = Ü

0223 = ß

I suppose it's a matter of someone using the keyboard (as I am - old school I suppose) or the mouse more.


Using Windows? Turn on "English - US International" keyboard input, then use http://www.forlang.wsu.edu/help/keyboards1.asp


Thanks Virgil, I did know about [alt] + 132 = ä, but I didn't look up anything above the extended ASCII table (i.e. 255) :)


you can install german keyboard layout, it takes exactly two minutes, and all it does is add those letters, and flip the y and z. :P qwertz....


Isn't Äpfel plural here? Shouldn't it take the eine accusative?


In English it is "A pair of apples", where "pair" is singular, so it takes the singular article. Won't it be the same in German?


Unfortunately both "ein Paar" and "ein paar" in those different meanings use singular articles. So there is no way to tell what is meant by looking at the article.


That would be "ein Paar Äpfel" though, wouldn't it (ie, using the noun "Paar" rather than "paar")?


I forgot all about grammar, but "ein paar Äpfel" is right and "eine paar" is completely wrong. But sure don't ask me why ;)


Because Paar is neutral so eine wouldn't be applicable (being used for feminine nouns only) if I got the sense of your sentence right :) By the way one of my German books has a line about ein Paar versus einige and it suggests using einige for more formal conversations as ein Paar is a bit 'lowlier'.


How would we use "einige" in speech? Sie essen einige Äpfel?


Yes, exactly.


That doesn't quite work for me, though, because here we are using "paar" (as an adjective?) rather than "ein Paar" (as a noun). Is "paar"just special in some way?


Yes, I agree with you, but I'm still confused as to why it's not accusative.


I've come to the view that it is accusative, it's just that ein paar is a magically "atomic" phrase that never changes its appearance, regardless of case.


That's right. "ein paar" is invariable.



But shouldn't it be "eines paar" instead of "ein paar"?


What about "etwas Äpfel"?


"etwas" does not fit the plural of apples. "etwas Apfel" meaning a bit of an apple (singular) would be ok (but that's not an appropriate translation for the sentence above).


How do you tell the difference between "Paar" and "paar" if you are speaking rather than writing?


1) They don't. 2) But the context usually helps in differentiating.


ein Paar means a couple. ein paar means a few. May be "couple' is taken as a noun ,hence capital 'P'.


"sie essen welchen Apfel" works? in past lessons duolingo said that welchen=some


No, it doesn't work here.


welchen means "what".


Welchen means "which"


How do I know when "ein paar" means "a pair" or "a couple" and when does it mean "few"?


"a pair" (exactly two things, if I get merriam-webster right) is "ein Paar", uppercase. "a few" or "some" is "ein paar" (lowercase).


Yes I'd also like to know why the "ein" is required..


Why do you need "ein" here? I feel like the English translation should be "They eat a few apples and not some apples.


paar (few or some) is adjective, while Paar (a pair) is a noun?

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