18:56 Dec 20, 2000
English to German translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: three
the number three

Summary of answers provided
naYes, but "one" in one quirky but common idiom.
Wigtil (X)



7 mins

ordinal: dritt-

Local time: 05:44
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 day 18 hrs
Yes, but "one" in one quirky but common idiom.

Normally DREI means "three", as all of us usually think.

However, in the expression, DREI VIERTEL SIEBEN (and in similar clock-time expressions), the detailed English equivalent is "one quarter-hour before seven". Effectively DREI = "one" in this one odd instance!!

German counts the number of quarter-hours that have built up in advance of an hour:
o 6:15 is (EIN) VIERTEL SIEBEN (a quarter-hour one the way toward seven)
o 6:30 is HALB SIEBEN (halfway toward seven)
o 6:45 is DREI VIERTEL SIEBEN (three quarter-hours toward seven)
The same thing is done for any of the clock hours (HALB ELF means 10:30, VIERTEL EINS means 12:45, DREI VIERTEL DREI means 2:45, etc.).

Wigtil (X)
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