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?


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...

  • 1
    Isn't the mathematical Menge a set?
    – fifaltra
    Jan 8 '14 at 23:49
  • 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 S
    Jan 9 '14 at 8:49
  • 3
    @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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