Go to the homepage of this German Course Chapter 7: Going Shopping University of Portsmouth
7.6 Quantities

Some grammatical points
When asking for a quantity "of" something in German, the word for "of" is omitted.

  English German
a piece of cake ein Stück Kuchen
a glass of beer ein Glas Bier
a portion of chips eine Portion Pommes
a bottle of wine eine Flasche Wein

Note too that even following numerals greater than one, masculine and neuter nouns of weight, measurement or value must remain in the singular:

  English German
three pieces of cake drei Stück Kuchen
two glasses of beer zwei Glas Bier
five sacks of potatoes fünf Sack Kartoffeln
six pairs of shoes sechs Paar Schuhe
ten English pounds zehn englische Pfund
for a few dollars more um ein paar Dollar mehr

Feminine nouns of quantity do take the plural form however:

  English German
seven portions of chips sieben Portionen Pommes
eleven bottles of wine elf Flaschen Wein
sixteen cups of tea sechzehn Tassen Tee

Feminine nouns for currencies remain singular however. Thus the former German currency "die Mark" never took a plural ending - i.e. "zwanzig Mark", "drei Mark 50".

Do your homework!

Test yourself!
Test yourself on singular and plural endings for quantities by taking this multiple-choice exercise. Click on the bar below to get started.



German weights and measures
German uses the metric system and the basic unit of weight is the gram - das Gramm - which equates to 0.0353 ounces. One ounce equals 28 Gramm. Note again here that the quantity is singular in German whereas we would say 28 grams in English.

The pound - das Pfund - is also used in German-speaking countries, but note that a German pound is slightly heavier than an English pound. One Pfund is equal to 500 Gramm, whereas one English pound equates to 454 grams.

  Weight Gramm Ounces
100g 100 Gramm 3.5 oz
ein Viertelpfund 125 Gramm 4.375 oz
ein halbes Pfund 250 Gramm 8.75 oz
ein Pfund 500 Gramm 1lb 1oz
das Kilo(gramm) 1000 Gramm 2lb 2oz

Conversion table
You can use the table below to convert from pounds and ounces to grams and back again. You can also try out some more obscure units of weight with it!

From: Kilograms

Grains

Troy Ounces
Avoirdupois Ounces*
Troy Pounds
Avoirdupois Pounds*
Short Tons
Long Tons
Metric Tons
To: Kilograms

Grains

Troy Ounces
Avoirdupois Ounces*
Troy Pounds
Avoirdupois Pounds*
Short Tons
Long Tons
Metric Tons


* Also known as Apothecary Ounces and Pounds

German-speaking countries use the litre - der Liter - to measure liquids. One litre is equivalent to 1.7 pints. One Liter is made up of 1000 Milliliter.


Weiter!Chapter 7.7: Numbers greater than 100

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