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  5. "Sie haben wenige Bücher."

"Sie haben wenige Bücher."

Translation:They have few books.

December 27, 2012

71 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/james3326

It marked me wrong for "You have a few books.", yet the hover-over cheat list for "wenige" lists both "few" and "a few".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FHemmes

I had the same issue. It is not entirely clear to me why in this case "a few" should be wrong, unless the correct German would then be "ein wenige" (i.e. include the article as in English), but in that case the hover-over is wrong anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wirelizard

Note that You have a few books is now accepted as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Osubin

Yet "a few" has a different meaning than "few".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonKScott

It has a different conotation but the implied number value is usually similar so there should be situations where the two are interchangeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariadelCa703168

It is not accepted. July 12th 2019


[deactivated user]

    Not for me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterPehli

    Not accepted here still.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wicked_Starfish

    I gave "They have a few books". Marked it as correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul

    As far as I am concerned, DL should not accept "a few books" as a correct answer. "I have few books" = "I don't have many books" while "I have a few books" = "I have some books" (not necessarily few, moreover "quite a few"="many"). So, unless "wenige" covers the latter meaning as well, "a few" should not be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wpliao

    "A few" is no longer offered as a hint any more


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lupemercedes

    This is my first exposure to weniger and wenige so with continued exposure, I may someday get the difference but can anyone explain when to use which?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

    weniger = less in english (the ending a sounds like ah)

    wenige = wenig = few in english (the ending e sounds like the e in deck)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pounce82

    Am I the only one who hears weniger when she speaks wenige?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lakissova

    Nope, you are not the only one, and it's kind of a pity to loses a heart on that, because the phrase "she has fewer books" is also a valid one. So how could one know?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/White-Sky

    I also got this one wrong. I realise now it's because I only ticked the box of "They have few books", when I should also have ticked the box corresponding with "You have few books". Note that it does say at the top to "Mark ALL correct translations".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/muaddib32

    I have to say as a native English speaker I can't ever imagine saying 'You have few books'. I think it would be more normal to say 'You don't have many books'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeff.tsuku

    So 'a few books' could mean quite a bit of books, in the vernacular use of course.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Contrapunctus_

    Wenn man hört den Satz, man kann nicht wissen, ob das Wort "wenige" oder "weniger" ist.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MShihaby

    Sie could be you/they, but since 'haben' is plural, shouldn't it only be They? Should this be reported or am I mistaken?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    It's fine. The formal you doesn't make a distinction between singular and plural. "Sie hat" does not mean "you have".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skylene

    so Sie can be formal singular AND plural??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewSautter

    but formal singular is capitalized (Sie) and plural is not (sie), if it is at the beginning of the sentence it is ambiguous, and duolingo will usually accept either.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    No, the formal you is always capitalised. It doesn't distinguish between singular and plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/james3326

    I think AndrewSautter was referring to 'they' when he said 'plural'. So there is an ambiguity when 'Sie' appears at the beginning of the sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    He said "formal singular". There's no such thing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewSautter

    I apologize, I meant to say formal 2nd person and plural 3rd person


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mfoster

    Sie is you/they, since it is followed by haben in both cases. Why did it mark me wrong when I submitted my answer containing both the choices of You have few books and They have few books?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vexter

    They only want one answer (you choose which one).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaxojax

    how would you say "they have fewER books"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manny4us

    What's the difference between "weniger" and "wenige"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul

    Shouldn't it be "wenigere Bücher"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    No, it's "weniger Bücher".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul

    Thanks for your answer. However, this brings another question:
    If the comparative from "weniger" is undeclinable, how do you then distinguish it from "weniger" as a declined form of "wenig". I.e., how do you know whether "weniger Wein" (nominative) means "little wine" or "less wine"? Or, bringing it closer to the example we are discussing here, how would you know whether an instance of "weniger Bücher" in genitive (as in "wegen weniger Bücher") refers to few books or fewer books?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul

    Sorry for being thick, but that still does not help me: The line just above the one you have circled mentions "wenig" as an uninflected form. Yet it is "wenige Bücher" (as in this exercise). So why is the comparative form "weniger" any different?
    (Also, English "uninflected" is an ambiguous word here: it can be uninflected because it's uninflectable or simply because they list the forms that have not been inflected, but can be inflected.)

    P.S. https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Flexion:wenig
    Checking the entry for Komparativ→Starke Deklination→Plural→Akkusativ: wenigere, which is clearly not what you are saying. Could you please explain the discrepancy?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    The comparative form "weniger" is in fact indeclinable. Unfortunately, you can't always trust Wiktionary.

    https://goo.gl/gmx63x

    Why is "weniger" indeclinable? Good question. Not sure you'll find a satisfying answer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    @roman2095 Those are not "entries". They're just extracts from random texts, which may contain mistakes or non-standard language.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

    Here are some examples of weniger being declinable as wenigere for the plural according to these entries in Reverso Context

    https://context.reverso.net/traduction/allemand-anglais/wenigere


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaxojax

    thanks, and for such a prompt reply too :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FreekVerkerk

    "They have not so many books" ???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonKScott

    That doesn't sound very natural in English. A more natural version of your translation might be "they don't have many books".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

    I have found to my cost that this is not accepted, but in different similar translation in this section, ' do not have many' is given as an alternative answer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimberlynS16

    Okay sie is she but sie is also they and in this case sie is you. Can someone explain this to me?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/requin230

    sie hat - she has

    sie haben - they have

    Sie haben - you (formal, sing.)

    Since the beginning of a sentence is always capitalized both "you have" and "they have" should be correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanyaShukl1

    Why can't i use paar


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    What was the exercise you got? Was it a fill-in-the-blank exercse, a multiple-choice exercise, a translation exercise from English to German or German to English, a type-what-you-hear exercise?

    What was the entire answer you provided?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ololo-518

    Why not "they have some books"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Why not "they have some books"?

    Because this sentence specifically says that their number of books is small -- they have few books (not "some books, a few books, a couple of books, several books" which are more neutral about the number being surprisingly small).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmVz2

    I think few means "almost no (→0)", a few means "a (little) bit of ".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michaelwritter

    What about , " du hast ein paar Bücher "


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    What about , " du hast ein paar Bücher "

    That means "You have a few books."

    Note the difference between "few books" and "a few books".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daveaus

    Why not less books. Wouldn't it mean the same?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul

    No, not for several reasons:

    Firstly, "less" is a comparative form, meaning that the quantity is smaller than some other quantity, specified directly or implied. The German analogue would be "weniger" (instead of "wenig") or, in this particular instance, "... wenigere Bücher".

    Secondly, "less" is the wrong comparative form for countable objects such as books. You would have to use "fewer books" instead. Now, that rule is being constantly eroded in colloquial speech, at least in the US where is not uncommon to see supermarket signs "10 items or less", but it's still wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daveaus

    Thank you for your input.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veerauchra1

    What is the difference between wenige and manche?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/requin230

    wenige - few

    manche - some


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CirrissaCl

    Why is you have less books wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/requin230

    wenige Bücher - few books

    weniger Bücher - less books

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