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?



1 Answer 1


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, 2015 at 22:16
  • And the same distinction applies to viel/viele.
    – Carsten S
    May 4, 2015 at 8:23

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