"Sie haben den Apfel."

Translation:They have the apple.

January 4, 2013

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"Sie haben den Apfel" = You/They have the apple.

It can't mean "she" because of the verb: "Sie hat den Apfel" = She has the apple.


Would you just rely on context to determine if it means you or they?


Yes. In writing formal you is always capitalized, but that won't help if it is at the beginning of the sentence or spoken.

However, formal you (Sie) requires that you directly talk to someone in direct speech. Whereas they indicates that you talk about some people (behind their backs?). These cases are usually clear to distinguish by context.


but for plural "you" we use "ihr", dont we?


I'm confused about why the translation was They and not you (formal)?


"You" and "They" are both possible. Duolingo should accept both.


sie hat = she has & sie haben = They have


I had written 'you' and they didn't accept..


If you wrote "You have the apple" -- and not "You are having the apple", which is wrong here -- report it. The translation "You have the apple" is fine.


I think that 'Sie' with the capital S mean "Formal way of saying you" but 'sie' with the lower case s, means they... thats how you distinguuish between them. To figure out if it is a 'she' you have to look at the verb ending


why should i use den not der


Because in this sentence, the apple is the object. You would use der in a sentence like "Der Apfel ist rot", because in that sentence the apple is the subject


Someone tell me how to understand the masculine, feminine, and neutral word!


I just copy from myself:

We are talking about grammatical gender here. They have very little to nothing to do with the meaning of the noun. E.g. all nouns which last syllable is -ung, -heit, -keit and -schaft are feminine. That leads to the situation that the word "Mannschaft" (team) is feminine although it only consists of the word for man and the ending. Another "rule": all nouns with -chen or -lein as last syllable are neuter. Why? That's why! There really is no logic. Do not try to find one. This essentially leaves you with the need to learn the gender with every noun, i.e. instead of just Apfel you have to memorize der Apfel.

In my opinion calling the different articles masculine, feminine and neuter raises more problems than it solves (and that is the case for French, Spanish, etc. as well), but is the established way to classify it.

Just think of it as 3 different kinds nouns the r-nouns, the e-nouns and the s-nouns. Correspondingly they have the definite articles der , die and das . Later that will help you when you have to do things like for example inflect adjectives:

Like "ein schöner Mann", "eine schöne Frau", "ein schönes Kind"

This explains it much better than I ever could:



That explanation really helped me! Thanks so much!


Don't know if you're still learning German, Cass2286, but I came upon a useful post on this topic recently. If you haven't memorized every German word yet, it may come in handy.

Gender Rules (how to work out which gender)

Who knows, perhaps you'll see some patterns in some other classifications and develop your own system for making your best guess. Short of memorizing every word in the dictionary, it sounds like a good idea!


why is it "den" apfel?


Why isn't there an umlaut on the "a" in "Apfel" here?


Because "Apfel" is singular in this sentence. "der Apfel" = the apple; "die Äpfel" = the apples.


Because Apfel is the accusative object in the sentence.


Is it also because Apfel is masculine? What would the accusative form of the be if the noun in question was feminine?


subject is doing something to the object...when that happens der becomes den and ein becomes einen


Because "Apfel" is masculine. "Things" can be masculine or feminine in German as well, not just neuter.


I got this wrong as I didn't also choose "You have the apple".... I'm not quite sure why I was wrong, I thought "haben: would always refer to a group?


it can also refer to a single person that you address formally


how do you know which "sie" to use


When the verb is ending with -en then its Sie, and when it doesnt end with -en then its sie.


What is the difference between she and they it is so confusing for me please explain thanks


wait wait, I am really confused please help me out. you mean we would use "Sie haben" to say "You (singular) have" formally!!!? why not Sie hat?


"Sie haben Den Apfel" how do i know that it is "They" and not "She" in this case?


If it was she, the be third person singular form of the verb would be used (Sie hat den Apfel).


Look at the verb ending. "She" would have a "t" ending while "they" would have a "en" ending


Actually, it seems that it could be either. The conjugation for the formal Sie and the sie (Meaning "they") is the same, right?


Yes, formal Sie and third person plural sie are conjugated the same way.


Why isn't it "They are having an apple"? Do we have to use "sind" for "are"?


See my comment below.


I got it wrong. "They are having the apple" .. why is it a mistake?


See my comment below.


Yes.."They are having the apple" shud b correct


No, it shouldn't.

1) Standard German doesn't distinguish between the simple and the progressive aspects. For this reason, a sentence like "Er geht" can be translated as either "He goes" or "He is going", depending on the context.

2) However, some English verbs change their meaning when they're used in the progressive aspect, e.g. "to have": "He has an apple" (in his cupboard) vs. "He is having an apple" (= He is eating an apple). The German verb "haben" doesn't have this second meaning: it doesn't mean "to eat". For this reason, it can't be translated using the progressive aspect in English.


What's the difference between "Sie" (in plural) and "Ihr"?


1) Sie haben den Apfel. = They have the apple. OR: You [formal singular + plural] have the apple.

The formal "you" (Sie) is used to address one person or several people formally, e.g. adult stranger(s).

2.) Ihr habt den Apfel. = You [familiar plural] have the apple.

For the familiar "you", there are two words: "du" (familiar singular) and "ihr" (familiar plural; y'all). "Du" is the familiar address for one person; "ihr" is the familiar address for several people. The familiar forms are used to address e.g. close friends, family members or children. The familiar forms are also used among students and in most Internet forums.


Thank you so much! :-D


I translated it to 'they have an apple' which I know is wrong, however it told me that the correct answer was 'They have that apple' Where the heck did 'that' come from?


I was marked wrong for answering "They have the apple.", and was told the correct answer was "They have that apple.". Confused


I had the same thing, then I see the top of this page has "the apple" as expected - I suggest reporting it since at least three of us have seen that message.


Why is it not "der" instead of "den"? I know it is accusative but in this sentence the apple doesn't receive the action, "they" just "have" the object. Can anyone help me, please?


The den sounds like die


why the apple it should be an apple.


Is apple masculine? Please help guys


Yes, "Apfel" is masculine.


When does the "den" mean "the" and when does it mean "that"?


it is just a form of Article (Der/Das/Die/Den = The) which appears according to gender+numbe+case. Nominative: Das = neuter , Der = singular+masculine , Die = singular+feminine/ Plural+All. Accusative: Den = singular+masculine :) (here, apple is a masculine word, ...but don't ask me why :P :) ). ...... *** but i don't think it means "that"


Can we say also Sie haben einen apfel ?? Why exactly den Why den and not der or die ?


it is just a form of Article (Der/Das/Die/Den = The) which appears according to gender+numbe+case. Nominative: Das = neuter , Der = singular+masculine , Die = singular+feminine/ Plural+All...... Accusative: Den = singular+masculine :) (here, apple is a masculine word, ...but don't ask me why :P :) )


Sound keeps getting jammed up


Can anyone explain the difference between habe,habt,haben,hast,hat..


They're all forms of the verb "haben" = to have The difference is the subject that's being used:

ich habe = I have

du hast = you(singular) have

er,sie,es hat = he,she,it has

wir haben = we have

ihr habt = you(plural) have

sie haben = they have

Sie haben = you(formal) have


Three times now I have written "They have the apple." And each time I'm told it's incorrect... That it should be "They have the apple." THAT'S WHAT I'M WRITING!


Apple always has a conjuction 'an'..I wrote an befor apple as A is vowel... And it is wrong..... How??.please explain


i wrote an apple ):


What's the difference between haben, habt and hast?


Here we see: 'der' has turned to 'den'. What would the accusative form of 'the' be if the noun in question was feminine?


How do you know when its "They have" or "They are having"?

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