"The woman eats an apple."

Translation:Die Frau isst einen Apfel.

January 3, 2013

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JuliaHelene

I don't underer stand why "ein Apfel" would be considered wrong, specially at this level.

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chubbard

I know this isn't actually explained anywhere on Duolingo (yet), so I can understand why this is confusing. Here's the thing. In this sentence, "the woman" is the subject and "an apple" is the direct object (the thing the woman is acting on).

In German, there is a concept of "case" that applies to nouns. What "case" a noun has depends on whether or not it's being used as the subject of the sentence (called "nominative case"), the direct object (called "accusative case") or the indirect object (called "dative case"). What version of "ein" you use depends on BOTH the GENDER of the noun and the CASE of the noun.

In this particular example, Apfel is a masculine noun (male gender), and, because it is being used as a direct object in this sentence, it is in the accusative case. Male nouns in the accusative case use an -en ending on the base "ein", and that's why it's "einen" here.

I know this is confusing when it's written out verbally as I've done here. What you really need is a table that shows you which version of "ein" to use for all the cases and genders. And I've got one for you! Please see the following Wikipedia article (specifically the table called "Indefinite article endings (mixed)" near the top).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_articles

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/katieOT

This is the BEST explanation I have found ANYWHERE on this topic! Thank you so much! Do you know of any websites that have comparable diagramming of the sentences? with nomitive/ indirect

June 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CallMeAnja

I came back to make all my topics gold again and I missed this. This is definitely the best explanation of this I have seen anywhere and it is simple enough for me to follow. Danke sehr!

December 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ead678

Thank you so much! (Danke! ?)

March 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

danke

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ABrokenDream

Nein. It would be "Ich danke dir sehr!"

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kitterjul

An excellent explanation. Thank you!

August 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/stoncavich

Thank you so much.

February 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SV867

Danke

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/VimalPilla

Thanks much for such a detailed explanation

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMc6

Brilliant answer and thanks so much for the link to the table! I understand!!! :D

December 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AnasHasanK

Danke Milliarden !

January 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ugo284581

Danke! Alles klar

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Penny504757

This is quite confusing. Why wouldnt they give you rhis information before starting each section? So you can understand what to do better?

May 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordan432145

Ive been wondering why when i start a lesson i just get thrown into rote memorization basicly. Wish they had worksheets to accompany the lessons as well as breakdowns of thi gs like this

February 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bunny1213

Thank you so so much

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TazeenMohs

This is gold. Thank you

September 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HardyPritchell

Thank you!

February 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

"essen" requires accusative

January 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/prashuuu

You have to consider the gender of the subject(she) and not the object(apple), thts why "ein" is wrong

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

The inflection of the article does depend on the object's gender. "ein" is wrong because the verb requires an accusative object and "Apfel" is a masculine noun.

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanaDomaze

Me too

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Greg74862

Why not esst but instead isst?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/QuantumHeels

It's an irregular verb, so there isn't necessarily a logical reason for that, unfortunately!

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Diablofire

der Apfel is a masculine noun.

ein Apfel is in the nominative case (the subject) einen Apfel is in the accusative case (the direct object)

Ich esse den Apfel. 'den Apfel' is in the accusative case, because it is the direct object of the verb 'essen' (or conjugated to 'esse' owing to 'ich')

An easy question to determine whether a noun is in the accusative case: I am eating an apple. What am I eating??? an apple. Thus, "Ich esse (insert noun and definite article in accusative case.)

Hope this clears up further issues with the accusative case.

November 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

I appreciate your explanation but confusion abounds

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Porthoz

Is there something wrong with the translations? I've received "Einen Apfel isst die Frau" as the proper translation, which I'm inclined to believe is, though humorous, not correct.

February 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

The sentence is grammatical, the object is stressed.

February 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sunnygirl598

Agh so confused on feminine and masculine.

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Samuel448692

Why is it isst instead of esse? Thanks for any help

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Porthoz

Isst is the 3rd person singular form of "Essen", and "Die Frau" is the third person singular object doing the eating.

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SwellElle

The translation showed for me as "Diese" Frau instead of "Die" Frau, though at the top of this discussion the sentence uses "Die" Frau. Can anyone explain why or is this just a mistake?

January 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

an error I hope

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jude42

Can I assume that the best way to know gender is really by familiarity? (ie learned mainly by usage, because not always logical)

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kamaleondmar

There are some rules that in most cases can help you to figure out what gender is a noun for example 60% of nouns that ends in -el, -er, en, are masculine, but that is almost half of it so yes the best way is by familiarity, I would recommend the book Hammer's German Grammar and Usage for more information =)

December 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chrspurser

there is nothing intuitive about this, "You used the definite "den" here, instead of the indefinite "einen".

May 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

straight forward Thanks

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Imaduddin

What is this 'jene' , we didn't studied it yet?

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

It is a little like "that" and "those" but "jene" isn't used much any more.

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Aditya.adi11

I am really confused between das, die, der and den. They are making me insane!

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

Don't worry, you will get over it

I just try to memorize for now not to over analyse

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CrimsonWolf09

Same here, and i used to know the differences! If someone could explain these as they explained ein/essen I'd appreciate it!

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Avishagalbo

When I soppusd to write "einen apfel" and when "dan apfel"?

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kamaleondmar

Einen Apfel and den Apfel are used in accusative, when the apple is the direct object, the difference between einen and den is the same as in english "a" and "the".

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ingerk

Why is the verb not at the end of a sentence

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

Because it is a main clause and not a subordinate clause.

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Marcellafn

I was saying it right and then the translation appeared "Einen Apfel isst die Frau".

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CallMeAnja

Yes, that would also work.

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/stutee

Thanks a lot for the explanation

February 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cazayia

Why is it isst and not essen?

February 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

Ich esse I eat Du isst You eat Er isst He eats Ihr isst You eat

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky
February 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dingding1111

I really don like it because I just started and it didn't say anything about that and I typed " eine Apfel " and of course it is wrong.

February 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

I am having problems with das Apfel also I am only on the third lesson and will stay on it untill it is right Good night

Keep it up

It will come

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vivelequebec

Is it ein Apfel?

March 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

der Apfel - ein Apfel (Nominative Singular)

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MemmyGarca

Why "Die Frau isst den Apfel" is not correct?

January 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LydiaWong

What's the difference between "einen Apfel" and "den Apfel"?

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kyky

"einen Apfel" ~ "an apple" and "den Apfel" ~ "the apple"

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/yashar.german

Sehr ausgezeichnet. Vielen dank

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hpalmowski

Why is it a masculine apple?

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Diablofire

No idea. However, most German nouns ending with '-el' eg. 'der Apfel' are masculine. You'll have to learn them. eg. das Hund sounds awkward to me, it is der Hund. You'll get used to it after lots of practice.

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rastin0

A

July 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ABrokenDream

Oh, okay. It compared "ein Apfel" to "einen Apfel," and read "isst" as "ist."

February 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gransview

Round Two!

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lauren528621

Ein and einen are so confusing!

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lauren528621

I used the ihr form esst instead of isst because i cant remember which form goes to which form

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lauren528621

I actuly got it correct secod time round! Yes!

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/VolantGeoduck

What's the difference between "Isst" and "Esst?"

July 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ekta277781

I used esst instead of isst. Please explain why isst.

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/diane686812

I'm confused between "isst" and "esst". Can someone explain their difference? Thanks.

July 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/matthew.an1

I used einen and still got it marked wrong ... clever system!

October 25, 2013
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