When should I use wie viel or wie viele? Is the difference in the genre or do they have no difference and I can alternate?

For example, should I say:

Wie viel Sprachen sprechen Sie?


Wie viele Sprachen sprechen Sie?



Wie viel is used for uncountable things like:

Wie viel Reis ist auf dem Teller?

while wie viele is used only for countable things.

In your example:

Wie viele Sprachen sprechen Sie?

is correct. Think of it as how much (wie viel) and how many (wie viele) in English.

  • 3
    Wonderful comparison stolen from the answer linked above: Wie viel Wolf steckt im Haushund? as opposed to wie viele Wölfe stecken im Haushund? ;) – Jan May 3 '15 at 22:16
  • And the same distinction applies to viel/viele. – Carsten S May 4 '15 at 8:23

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