"Es ist eine Kartoffel."

Translation:It is a potato.

January 2, 2013



I wrote "Es isst eine Kartoffel" and it was right, but i think it should be wrong...any ideas?

January 2, 2013

  • 1797

The German sentence may lead you astray. Knowing the English translation "It is a potato" gives you "Es = It" + "ist = is" ... But if you only have the German sentence (written or oral) you have a different option. "Es = it/the child" + "isst = eats"; if Duolingo overlooks "isst" with a double s, it accepts your version, which unfortunately for you is wrong. Sorry; hope this helps

April 11, 2013


Should the German not be ''sie" , Since the noun referenced is feminine?

May 17, 2016


If it is a type what you hear exercise, your answer would be correct because ist and isst are homophones, thus without context you cannot tell which one is meant. If you had to translate an English sentence it would be incorrect because then the meaning is clear.

March 31, 2014


I did the same... I heard "it eats a potato". This should be clarified.

March 4, 2013


It eats the potato or it gets the hose

March 7, 2017


I agree with you.

January 2, 2013


Definitely your version is correct, just the meaning is "It (a child) is eating a potato."

February 2, 2013


ist vs isst is being vs is eating

August 15, 2013


\isst is used for eating, in this sentence the \ist is meant to say 'it is a thing' so its the sentence it is a potato; tip is to count how many 's' there are

August 15, 2013


isst is for eating while ist is for is also, eine is 'an', not 'a', and you're supposed to use 'a' for words that start with consonants

December 13, 2018


Eine is correct. It's not used the same as English where the initial sound of the following word determines what you use. Eine is used with feminine nouns in nominative case (as it appears here). If the noun is masculine or neuter, you would use ein.

December 13, 2018


This is supposed to translate 'It is a potato." What makes it incorrect is that sie should be used instead of es, since the noun involved is feminine.

December 13, 2018


Why isn't "This is a potato" correct? in other exercises with "Es" it and this were accepted. Does Es necessarily mean it or is there a way to tell, even out of context like that?

April 26, 2013


They're just two different words, like in English. es = it, dies/diese/etc = this.

January 15, 2014


Because "Kartoffel" is feminine, why is it not "Sie ist eine Kartoffel"?

March 1, 2013


the sentence is "It is a potato" and es = it; sie = she. The gender of potato determines if it is ein or eine, so "eine Kartoffel" is correct for the feminine potato

March 17, 2013


The feminine potato....

June 2, 2013


I laughed at this hahaha

July 7, 2014


but still, in german gender does count for non-human thing right? 'es' is for every neuter noun, and 'Kartoffel' is fem. so..... sie ist eine Kartoffel. maybe duolingo did this so that English speakers don't get confused with the sentence

July 17, 2014


The word is grammatically treated as feminine, but the potato is still an object, not feminine or masculine. It's the same with the gender of most other words - you don't refer to doors, tabls, spoons, etc. as "he" or "she." This mistake (prominently among others) has often been used in TV shows to indicate someone is French and not quite fluent in English.

April 25, 2014


Actually, you do refer to potato and door with sie and to table and spoon with er in German. That is quite similar to French with the exception that we have (for whatever reason) 3 randomly distributed genders instead of only 2.

To be honest RynD's question got me thinking quite some time until I noticed that es is only used as a placeholder here. You can see it when you put Kartoffel into plural. Then the sentence would look like this:

Es sind Kartoffeln.

So the verb is conjugated with respect to Kartoffel and independently of es. A search reveals it is apparently a "formal subject with sein":


April 26, 2014


Because "es" = "it".

June 4, 2013


I wondered the same thing - shouldn't it be "sie" instead of "es" since Potato is feminine?

June 23, 2013


They are trying to say it is a potato not she is a potato.

March 3, 2014


Potato is feminine, that's why you say "eine Kartoffel" and not "ein Kartoffel". "Es" is the subject of the sentence and doesn't necessarily need to be the same gender.

February 22, 2014


All this "eine" and "ein" stuff always confuses me.

January 28, 2013


I get confused with "einen"

February 25, 2013


"einen" is the "a" form of "der" in the objective case. If you are performing an action upon an object, the object's article "ein" will become "einen". 'Ich bin ein/der Mann." is "I am a/the man." "Ich esse einen/den Mann." is "I eat a/the Man." Bad example, but I couldn't think of another masculine word haha I feel like Tobias.

June 4, 2013


Kar-toff-el. Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew.

May 29, 2016


It is purely context. The same way "It tastes bad" means that something tastes unpleasant instead of something tasting something else incorrectly.

December 23, 2013


I agree

October 20, 2014


The amount of times Duolingo asks me about potatoes...

June 16, 2015


How would you know whether it is "ist" or "isst" on these listening questions?

September 5, 2013


This is my first time running into the word "Kartoffel", and mousing over reveals the definition as "potato/conk/hooter". I just... what even? In this sentence the def. is obviously 'potato', but can someone please clarify the other uses of this word? Should I refrain from complementing people on good-looking "potatoes"?

March 20, 2014


I think kartoffel can refer to the nose as well as the vegetable, but I'm not all that fluent yet so don't take that for the absolute truth

December 13, 2018


I just put a e on the end of patato and it didn't accept it :(

December 18, 2014


I too am a potato

January 27, 2017


Why is Duolingo captioning my selfies?

April 15, 2017


is there a different between how "ist" and "isst" sounds? I put "Es isst eine Kartoffel" thinking it meant he is eating a potato...

May 9, 2013


They sound the same. If it was "He is eating a potato" it would be "Er isst eine Kartoffel." It could be "It is eating a potato" or "It is a potato" and I think you just use context to figure out which.

July 27, 2013


Why it is "eine" instead of "ein"? Isn't it Der Kartoffel?

May 13, 2013


No, it's Die Kartoffel = the potato. Potato is feminine, and therefore you use "eine".

June 2, 2013


why not "This" and only "It"?

May 19, 2013


Because "this" is "diese", while "it" is "es".

June 2, 2013


If potato was masculine the sentence would have been "Es ist ein Kartoffel" and not "Es ist einen Kartoffel" Am i correct?

February 10, 2014


That question looks more like learning english thanlearning german

February 13, 2014


Is there a place where you can see all your posted comments. Or do you just have to go back where you posted them. Hope that makes sence! ;)

September 8, 2015


Isn't Es "that" as well? I wrote "that is a potato" but it said i was wrong. Could someone give clarification on this? Bitte

October 20, 2015


I thought that es was er so i put "the man eats the potato" which was a little off i noticed but still, its reaally confusing!

January 7, 2016


Wouldn't Es be Sie as potato is a feminine noun?

June 1, 2016


Really? I thought it was a strawberry!

October 13, 2016


Its all very well learning the sentence 'it is a potato', but can anyone else think of a time in real life when we would actually use that? I mean who doesn't know what a potato is?

November 20, 2016


How do you say french fries in german?

November 26, 2016


Pommes Frites. Know first hand from my travels. Looks like the French. Use German pronunciation.

November 26, 2016


This is a potato should be right (it is =this is)

January 11, 2017


This gives me nightmares from the Schritte Internationale 1 coursebook.

September 12, 2017


So we can't use

September 25, 2017


ES IST EINE KARTOFFEL can also be THAT IS A POTATO, I checked before giving the final answer (it was one of the given options). But, unfortunately, my answer was somehow wrong. Any ideas?

August 3, 2018


I used isst instead of ist--I see below it used to be correct but they have fixed it; but ist & isst sound exactly the same as do Ihr & Er so how are you supposed to know which is correct when it's a "type what you hear"? Thats what I heard....

August 27, 2018


Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew.

November 21, 2018
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