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To translate

It was the first time that either (of the two of them) had worn the suits.

what is the difference in meaning between these possibilities? Or are some simply incorrect?

Das war das erste Mal, dass jeder von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von beiden die Anzüge trug.

Das war das erste Mal, dass beide die Anzüge trugen.

2 Answers 2

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Das war das erste Mal, dass jeder von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

All are wearing the suits at the same time.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

The first time one of them is wearing the suit, or could also be The first time both are wearing the suit.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von beiden die Anzüge trug.

Same as "einer von ihnen" but states they are two.

Das war das erste Mal, dass beide die Anzüge trugen.

Both are wearing the suit at the same time.


In this case either can have multiple meanings. I would translate it like that.

It was the first time that either (of the two of them) had worn the suits.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

OR

Das war das erste Mal, dass beide die Anzüge trugen.

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    I don't really see how "einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug" can mean that both are wearing suits. For me, this means that 1 of the group is carrying (not wearing) all the suits (because of the plural in Anzüge). If Anzüge was is in singular, it would still be difficult for me to understand that all are wearing suits. Only in a way that 1 person is pointed out of the group, indicating that it is the first time for him to wear it, while the others are used to it...
    – king_nak
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 10:12
  • if this sentence comes after explaining what these suits are, example, a group of men made special suits to wear at a wedding. then they were at the tailor, everybody is trying on the suit for the first time. "Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug." this sentence now fits. even if all are wearing the suits. thats why i said it could mean both
    – Molbac
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 13:23
  • Ah yes, I see now. That meaning is also possible
    – king_nak
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 9:11
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Let my state what I read out of the possibilities, as a native speaker:

Das war das erste Mal, dass jeder von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

This was the first time that they all wore the suits (they all wore them at the same time). Using singular "den Anzug" would be better, otherwise it can be understood as every single person of the group wearing multiple suits. Remember, "jeder" is singular.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen die Anzüge trug.

Strange: how can one person wear multiple suits? So, I'll modify the sentence:

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von ihnen den Anzug trug.

Now it matches your English sentence.

Das war das erste Mal, dass einer von beiden den Anzug trug.

(Changed for singular) Exactly one of the two wore the suit, the other one didn't.

Das war das erste Mal, dass beide die Anzüge trugen.

This was the first time that they both wore the suits (at the same time). As "beide" is plural, the plural form "die Anzüge" is correct.

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