"Sie haben wenige Bücher."

Translation:They have few books.

December 27, 2012

36 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/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".

February 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

February 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Wirelizard

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

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Boseous

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

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JonKScott

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

April 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Wicked_Starfish

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

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1456

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.

May 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wpliao

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

December 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Scarlett_Zuo

Just saw from another thread, and thought it could be helpful to post it here as well: Sie haben wenige Bücher. = They have few books. Sie haben einige Bücher. = They have a few books. = Sie haben ein paar Bücher.

June 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

June 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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)

October 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pounce82

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

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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".

February 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

December 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

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

December 28, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/skylene

so Sie can be formal singular AND plural??

January 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

Yes.

January 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vexter

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

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jaxojax

how would you say "they have fewER books"?

June 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
June 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Manny4us

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

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1456

Shouldn't it be "wenigere Bücher"?

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/christian

No, it's "weniger Bücher".

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1456

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?

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1456

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?

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 5, 2017

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

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

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FreekVerkerk

"They have not so many books" ???

June 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JonKScott

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

June 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KimberlynS16

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

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Contrapunctus_

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

August 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TanyaShukl1

Why can't i use paar

October 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

October 1, 2017
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