7

In this sentense,

Zuerst wollten wir nur eine größere Wohnung, um zu Viert mehr Platz zu haben.

I would interpret it as

First, we just wanted a bigger apartment in order to have a fourth room.

But google translator interpreted it as

First, we just wanted a bigger apartment in order to have four more rooms.

I thought because it's "Viert mehr Platz", it's "fourth added space".
If it were "four more rooms" it would have been "vier mehr Plätze".
Who is correct? me or google translator?
(I'm studying on my own, and sometimes have this kinds of questions..)

  • 3
    You parse it not correct. It's not "Viert mehr Platz" which is a grammatical unit but "zu viert" and "mehr Platz". – Eller Jun 20 '18 at 15:36
  • 1
    BTW, I recommend to use DeepL instead of Google Translate. DeepL can translate such sentences correctly. – tavkomann Jun 20 '18 at 19:49
  • @tavkomann Wow, thanks. that was a very helpful information. – Chan Kim Jun 21 '18 at 1:43
  • "zu viert mehr Platz" = "more room for the four of us". – Kilian Foth Jun 21 '18 at 7:15
14

Both your interpretation and the Google translator are wrong in this case. Zu Viert describes that the sentence is about a bunch of four people.

The phrase can be extended to other numerals larger or equal than 2:

Zu Zweit, zu Dritt, zu Viert, zu Fünft, zu Sechst, ..., zu Achzigst, ...

Other examples:

Wir sind zu Viert verreist
We travelled as a group of four people

Heute waren wir nur zu dritt
Today we were only three

| improve this answer | |
  • I didn't know the ordinal number is used in this way in German. Thanks! – Chan Kim Jun 21 '18 at 1:24
10

None of your translations is very accurate, unfortunately. (Google:Chan Kim 0:0)

zu viert translates roughly to "the four of us".

So the translation would be along the line of

First, we just wanted a bigger apartment to have more room for the four of us.

First, we just wanted a bigger apartment to have more room for our [group|family] of four

So, nothing is said about the apartment, but rather the amount of people who want to live in there.

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  • At first we only wanted a bigger apartment to have more room for four? – LаngLаngС Jun 20 '18 at 16:43
  • Hi, I chose the other answer because it provided with two examples about how to use the oridnal number this way. But I liked the 0:0 part :) – Chan Kim Jun 21 '18 at 1:26
  • 1
    »zu viert translates roughly to "the four of us"«: only if there's a »wir«. It could also as well be »you« or »them« in other contexts. – Philipp Jun 21 '18 at 5:21

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