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Can one say "eine Menge von Fehlern" instead of " eine Menge Fehler" ?

Er macht eine Menge Fehler, wenn er Deutsch schreibt.

Will it be still be grammatically wrong if one says:

Wir machen alle eine Menge von Fehlern.

Is the preposition "von" only used for style?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In daily German the version without preposition is by far the more idiomatic one. The von-version while probably not totally wrong sound odd, at least to me. It definitely doesn't sound like higher German. Technically both versions exist and have different meanings.

Eine Menge X

means a

A lot of X

This uses Menge in the colloquial meaning of mass. But the word has a mathematical meaning, too. I don't know the exact term but a mathematical Menge can consist of one element only. So

Eine Menge von X...


A set of X...

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Isn't the mathematical Menge a set? –  fifaltra Jan 8 '14 at 23:49
@fifaltra... it is. Thanks. –  Emanuel Jan 9 '14 at 8:27
Yep, in mathematical parlance “eine Menge von Fehlern” is “a set of mistakes”. Unfortunately I have lost the ability to gauge how these sound to non-mathematicians. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 9 '14 at 8:49
@CarstenSchultz... I think there might be a certain ring to it for people who have been paying some attention in math in school, a ring that might fade over time. As for people who didn't pay that much attention... I'd say they'd go for "voll die Fehler" anyway ;) –  Emanuel Jan 9 '14 at 8:52
@CarstenSchultz It sounds like "a set of mistakes whose cardinality is not a small nmber" –  Ingo Jan 9 '14 at 10:49

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