The real reason Mädchen is neuter is because it comes from a word affixed with the German diminutive (-chen or -lein) which always makes neuter words (it also tends to add umlauts). Example: Die Frau (the woman), das Fräulein (slightly outdated term for an unmarried woman).
I'm a little similar. I will learn the words to a lesson but I won't wait until it comes to me instantly. I do this for the whole group of lessons (of half if its a big group) then I perfect them together :)
I listen and repeat the German parts when I'm learning. Then later when I'm perfecting, I avoid looking at the screen so that I learn the sounds as well as the written words.
Okay, this probably has really nothing to do with this topic, but I learned something the day before yesterday, its that if you (for example) are standing in front of teachers in Germany, you dont say "du" because that doesn't show respect, its like walking up and saying "'sup my peeps!" That is impolite even in america, instead, you would say "sie" which is the formal way to say "you people". The only time you would use "du" is if you are actually talking, to your peers, like you would say in america "Hey guys, how are you?" but, with teachers, you would say, "Guten Tag, sie Frau (enter name here)" meaning, "Good day, Ms/mrs. (name here). You wouldn't talk formally in america to your friends all the time, because they would think you dont like them like you wouldn't call your friend "Ma'am" or "sir" would you? Its almost the same thing in Germany, the teachers are insulted if you address them like a close friend, because your not showing respect, and your friends are confused when you call them formally, because they think your not interested in them. (<-I guess I could've said the last two sentences to sum it up faster... :/ oops)
‘der Apfel’ = “the apple” in the nominative singular case, when it's the subject of the verb.
‘den Apfel’ = “the apple” in the accusative singular case, when it's the direct object of the verb.
‘die Äpfel’ = “the apples” in the nominative plural or accusative plural case.
They are two of German's four cases -- different grammatical forms that words can take to show which role they play in a sentence.
The nominative case is used for the subject of a verb, for example -- the person or thing that does the action.
The accusative case is used for the direct object of a verb, among other things -- the person or thing that suffers or undergoes the action, the one who gets the action done to it.
Compare English "He sees the ogre" versus "The ogre sees him" -- the first sentence uses "he" because it's the subject (the one doing the seeing); the second one uses "him" because it's the direct object (the one being seen).
English only has two cases, and only for pronouns; German has four (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative).
Yes, they still go into the accusative case, however their articles don't change, for example:
- die Frau ist schön - the woman is beautiful
- ich sehe die Frau - I see the woman
You can still distinguish whether it's nominative or accusative by asking who?.
- Who is beautiful? - Wer ist schön? (nominative)
- Who(m) do I see? - Wen sehe ich? (accusative)
In general, you can't tell the gender of a noun just by looking at it -- so it's best to learn the gender together with the word, i.e. learn not Apfel but der Apfel so that you will know that it's a masculine word.
There are some suffixes that will show gender (e.g. almost all nouns in -ung or -heit are feminine) but for many nouns, you just have to learn it.
And some nouns can have different genders depending on the meaning (e.g. der Leiter; die Leiter "the leader; the ladder").
It's Der Apfel with capitalised Apfel, because Apfel is a noun -- apfel is wrong.
Ich esse einen Apfel. uses the indefinite article einen before Apfel ("an apple" rather than "the apple").
einen is the masculine accusative form of the indefinite article -- masculine because Apfel is masculine, and accusative because einen Apfel is the direct object of the verb essen "to eat", and direct objects are (almost always) in the accusative case.
- Ich kaufe dieses Geschenk für dich.
- Ich kaufe das Geschenk für dich.
Both are possible.
dieses Geschenk is "this present".
das Geschenk can be "the present", "that present", or "this present".
So if you want to emphasise that it's something fairly close, you can use a form of dies-.
If you don't need to emphasise the position, then a form der, die, das can work as well.
What do you mean with "that sentence"?
All multiple-choice exercises (both the "choose ALL correct answers" type with three sentences and the "fill in the blank" type) should have just one correct way to answer them.
If you come across a fill-in-the-blank exercise where multiple possibilities are correct, please identify it.
If you come across a "choose ALL correct answers" exercise where multiple sentences are correct, choose all the correct ones.