"Der Apfel"

Translation:The apple

January 2, 2013

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Strange how some objects are arbitrarily masculine. For example, why is it Das Auto/Wasser/etc but then Der Apfel? So interesting!


Ja es ist unheimlich (Yes it is weird)


caught my attention too! :) and Mädchen as a neuter while is translates as "girl".


I have worked out the Madchen already I just figured as a child is stay neuter like kind and kinder, but I struggle with Das/Der etc...


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 Example: Die Frau (the woman), das Fräulein (slightly outdated term for an unmarried woman).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 do too! It's kind of tricky, I wonder if there is a trick for it, hmm maybe!


I never move on to a new lesson till I can go through a section without having to think about it. Might go much slower but it helps me


I do similiar but I will do it as a group of lessons, instead of a single one, if you focus on too small a variety it will be easy, but only after you have gone over it, where as broader makes it less commonly occurring and easier to remember quickly


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.


True. I was able to a bit far and I always skip the listening part. And now I am having a hard time how words are being pronounced. So now i am redoing it.


Same, when I first tried Duolingo I rushed through it and soon forgot what I was learning. This time around I redo lessons over and over until I get everything right and understand it.


I do the same, it helps so much to keep re-doing a lesson


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)


Thanks for that info, very interesting!


Thanks! That helps a lot, we might move to Germany for a year so that's good to know!


"den apfel = the apple" and "der apfel=the apples" ??


‘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.


what's nominative and accusative?


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).


thanks!! appreciate that!

is there any book that I can learn these rules more effectively?


Why are all nouns capitalized in German?


It is just as appropriate to ask 'Why aren't all nouns capitalised in English?'


Nouns used to be capitalized in English as well. In German, it helps to distinguish nouns from infinitive verbs.


Are the articles always capitalized as well?


Articles are capitalized when they are the first words of sentences.


In German language some parts seems so nonplssed in begining . but thye seems so familiar as we proceed ahead e.g. das wasser and der Apfel. But so interesting to learn.


doesn't fall far from the tree!


Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm!


Ah, danke! You're a good apple.


im confused, i though it was den Apfel. ???


It depends if it's nominative (subject) or accusative (direct object).

  • der Apfel ist groß - the apple is big

  • Ich esse den Apfel - I am eating the apple

If a (pro)noun is the direct object of the verb, it is accusative and the accusative of der is den.


Great explanation..but is it also true for feminine & neuter nouns(like for water & girl)??


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)


Thanks for the explaination, so is the word "den" only used when it's masculine accusative?


den can be either masculine accusative, or dative plural.

So in the accusative case, den is only used for masculine singular, if that's what you were asking - not for neuter or feminine or plural accusative.


It really confuses me how some items use der, die, or das. How can I tell which are which?


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").


Confuzzled, I am. If it's "der" in the case of this sentence, then when exactly do you use "den"?


Please see the thread started by samaghd.


You say “Der apfel”. That means apfel is masculin. Why we have a sentence “ich esse einen apfel”.


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.


Can some one please tell me when to use dieses? Why not to use "das" instead of "dieses" in the sentence below? Ich kaufe dieses Geshenk für dich.

  • 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.


How are we supposed to know what to put when multiple answers are fitting in that sentence


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.


How do i know which der die and das goes with which animal/food?


You basically have to memorise it. There isn't really any logic that says that "dog" is masculine, "cat" feminine and "horse" neuter, or that "wine" is masculine, "lemonade" is feminine, and "beer" is neuter.


Why is it not der apfel?


Why is it not den apfel?

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