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  5. "Das Tier frisst."

"Das Tier frisst."

Translation:The animal eats.

October 8, 2015



For whoever doesn't understand between "essen" and "fressen": essen: humans fressen: animals or insults to humans (Warum frisst du, ***? HAHAHA)


Awesome I don't even have to ask the question, thanks :)


errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr............... this may be a silly question, but i quite wanna know. what if an animal ate very politely? on youtube ive seen a chimpanze eat with chopsticks, so would we use ' esse'?


with manners, do you mean?


That's really cool to know :)


I am curious. What will it indicate if you use "essen" for animals? Will it simply be ungrammatical or...?


Depends on the circumstances I think. It might just be considered anthropomorphic like attributing speech to an animal.


Hello there! Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your response helps me. Have a good day. :)


Good explanation :)


If this is used for animals, why would there be a full conjugation. If I'll say Ich esse, I would never say ich frisse.


first of all, it is not "ich frisse", but "ich fresse". And you would say that, e.g. if you eat in a very uncivilized manner.


Thank you, I thought it was some sort of glitch, LOL.


Thanks, I couln't figure this out.


Why the need for such a distinction? As if humans were so much more mannered with their eating. We all use our mouths to feed when our instincts tells us to. I find this speciesism provoking. Die Katze isst. Der Alligator isst. Wir alle essen von den Tisch der Gaia.


I love speciesism! But it is often used for humans. When I was in Bavaria there was some disdain for the Italians. They were referred to as Spaghettifressers. It must be widespread because I just used Google translate to translate spaghetti eaters into German and got it as the translation.


A valuable addition to my vocabulary! I asked Google to translate frog eaters to german. Same result: froschfresser. Try to say it loud a few times.


Chinesisch fresse Frosch!


... why tho, this is literally one of the most diverse sites on the planet and this is what you decide to state? nasty.

p.s: incorrect grammar. in stead of " Chinesisch fresse Frosch," it's "chinesische leute fressen frösche." if you want to make fun of people, do it right.


That is a very discriminating term. I am Bavarian myself, I know that word,of courrse, but recommend not to use it.


You love speciesism? Do you even know what that means? Speciesism is an ideology that kills hundreds of billions every single year :(


Speciesism is less an ideology and more of a natural instinct. Humans, like many other species have deemed other species their food source and also attempt to rid their dwellings and immediate environment of species deemed pests. It certainly costs the lives of many animals and people, but it is an intrinsic aspect of life on this planet. In fact, it is definitely a type of Speciesism that tells us that eating plant based foods is not really killing. But plant species are living beings.


It exists in Japanese too ("taberu" vs "kuu"/"kurau") and even to some extent in English ("dine" vs "feed").

And in all those languages you'll find usages that break the rule.


I think not so extreme in English though, we would feed the dog, but also feed the kids


I think that Claire was talking about the intransitive verb to feed, not the transitive one where someone feeds someone else (or themselves). But we do use that one primarily with animals. The cows feed on the grasses by the stream. We don't really use that for humans with the exception of infants which feed on the mothers breast. But you are correct it's not quite the same because we also regularly speak of animals eating.


Yes, but the cattle are feeding and the kids are eating.


Humans are animals too


That is the scientists point of view, which I actually do agree with. But German developed a long time ago when the prevailing view was that Man was made in the image of God and given dominion over all other creatures. Ironically I believe some version of this as well, but in terms of Essen and fressen and other linguistic differences, the two concepts have always been considered opposites.


To say, "The animal feeds" is actually correct! (implicitly the animal is feeding itself) I would even say this is also the better translation, particularly in the context of farm animals.

We can describe an animal's diet in terms of 'how it feeds' A cow, a goat, a sheep; they all feed on grass and the processed food we give to farm animals is commonly called animal feed, not animal food. A cat can feed upon a mouse. A spider feeds on flies. Animals feed together, Creatures feed on things. It would be a very derogatory remark to say 'Peasants feed in McDonalds'. Also Mosquito's feed on blood and so feed in this context means to gain sustenance, either from solid or liquid food.

Let's get a bit Gothic! it does help illustrate the distinction between creatures and Humanity. Ghouls feed in graveyards and zombies feed on brains whereas people eat in restaurants and the French dine upon cervelle de veau. Vampires are an exception; they can feed AND dine. However, zombies may feed or eat but can never dine since they haven't the table manners.


This is a great explanation! Have a lingot! :D


This is how my German teacher at college explained isst vs frisst. Her dad's German, so I assume she knows what she's talking about.


I don't really agree, in Dutch we have this same essen/fressen construction with eten and vreten (yeah, most likely same root), and vreten / fressen simply means eating very rapidly or without manners, it hasn't really got anything to do with getting sustenance. Therefore "to devour", as mentioned by someone else already, is a much better translation.


I'm baffled that this is being rejected - it's a more accurate translation than 'eats'.


thats truly amazing.... waw... و.... have a break! have a kit kat! or a lingot. whichever you choose.


I do not think feed is a good translation to it. You can feed your human baby, by instance. Feed means to provide food to something/someone. The derogatory characteristic of "Fressen" (frisst) is that "fressen" implies to eat in a quite "savage" manner. In animals, you would say it without a derogatory intention. However, in persons, it would be an insult (one would say it to somebody who eats very fast and with no manners).

So, I would say that eat is adequate when used to animals. When "fressen" is used with persons, nonetheless, either "devour" or "eat up" would work.


In English, there is the phrase "Gone off feed". A horse can go off feed, a snake can go off feed, etc. You wouldn't say they've gone off eating as that implies they've literally gone off to eat.

You can feed a baby, sure, just like a you can feed another person, but a baby still eats. When talking about an animal eating, the proper way to refer to it in animal medicine is that they've gone off feed; they don't have enough feed; you've bought chicken feed from the store.

Literally, that's what's on the packaging for some cheaper brands for chickens - chicken feed.


As usual this is a long involved conversation about various constructions in English. But Duo makes no claim to accepting every possible translation for any sentence. Their standard is common use to common use. Certainly substantially more native English speakers would say the animal is eating than the animal is feeding, especially since if you aren't involved in the regular care and feeding of different animals it would sound incomplete to people's ears. Certainly within veterinary or farming businesses it is different, but a lay person is likely to ask, Whom is the animal feeding. {Of course they are actually more likely to ask who is the animal feeding, but you get my meaning}. But discussions here that require such detail oriented descriptions of English semantics with absolutely no difference in the German are really à waste of time by people who are more wedded to being right than learning German.


In English you can say that an animal is feeding. Would that be an acceptable translation here?


I don't actually know, but based on Omerzohar's explanation that makes a lot of sense to me


No. it's how an animal EATS. not gives food.


Yes, that's what I meant. "The animal feeds" or "is feeding", in english, can mean that the animal eats.


Sorry, but I have to correct you Omerzoha1 :-) When an animal feeds it is feeding/sustaining itself, not giving food.

Duolingo is VERY mistaken here to not accept "The animal feeds"


I am sorry then- I'm not a native english speaker! (but i have to correct you too: OmerzohaR1)


[nods Omerzohar1] :-) Got it!

It is a tricksy word 'feed'



Livestock feed on the feed that we feed them! Clear enough?? :D


"(intr) to eat food: the horses feed at noon."

It can also refer to the food itself. "We gave the horses their feed for the day." would refer to the grain being fed.


MyLittleEye explains it better below :)


Would "The animal feeds" be correct?


I know the difference between Essen and Fressen. But whats the difference between Frisst, Fresst, and Fressen?



They're different conjugations of the same verb. "frisst" is used with "du" and in the singular third-person (du frisst, er frisst), "fresst" is used with the informal plural second-person (ihr fresst), and fressen is the infinitive form, as well as the form used for Sie/sie (Sie fressen, ich werde fressen).


For some reason I keep thinking "Tier" means "horse," but it doesn't. It means "animal," and "Pferd" means "horse."


it doesn't accept "feeds" is it wrong or should it be accepted?


When do I use frisst, fressen and all of that weird stuff?


Know that the fr is regarding to animals. If you remove that, it is like isst and essen. When referring to "The animal" you are saying it in the du form. The du form of the word fressen is frisst. However, if there were multiple animals you would say fressen as the sie (they) form of fressen would be, fressen.


what is "feed" in german?


The verb 'to feed', in the sense of an animal feeding, is 'fressen'. The noun 'the feed', in the sense of animal food, is 'das Futter'. I don't know the German for 'feeding a child'. Is there a special word?


How do I know which conjugated form to use?


You can replace "the animal" with "it", so you have to use the third person of the singular. Think of what pronoun (I, you, he/she/it, we, you -plural-, they) could replace the subject of the sentence.


So could you say, "The man frisst like an animal!"?


When I have heard freßen used for humans it was less about the quality of the act of eating and more about degrading the human. When I lived in Germany (too many years ago to count as a current answer) the older Germans in the small village I lived in would refer to Italians as spaghetti freßers. It all had to do with the fact that Italy changed sides in WWII. But it would be consistent if they also said it sort of like a joke, like we say you eat like a pig. It would probably be said with less venom even if it were meant as an insult, not just a joke.


Wow. Thank you so much on the reply! The history part of it was definitely interesting!

So basically to say," you eat like a pig" would be something like," you isst like a Shwein"?


Fressen and To feed. Das Tier frisst can be translated as The animal feeds or The animal eats. However, Fressen cannot always be translated as To feed. Das Tier frisst einen Apfel can be The animal is eating an apple or The animal is feeding ON an apple. To feed cannot always be translated as Fressen. In English, you can say The mother feeds the child. So, To feed has several meanings in English.


one of my favorite words I randomly learned which taught me fressen is "menschenfresser" when I wanted to know what to call an Ogre, which literally means people eater.


Was it purple? Could it fly?


Is this like "the animal feeds" das Tier frisst?


not exactly. As far as I know (no native English speaker) this use of "to feed" is always intransitive (can't have an object), whereas "fressen" can be transitive as well, so I can say "das Tier frisst Gras", but not "the animal feeds grass" (but: Thre animal feeds on grass" = "das Tier ernährt sich von Gras"). Of course there is a transitive usage of "to feed", but that is "füttern" in German: "I feed the animal" / "ich füttere das Tier".


You are correct. This particular particular usage of to feed is intransitive. In order to get any object in the sentence it would have to be the object of the preposition on. Of course you can use the other use of the verb to feed even with animals. The bird feeds worms to its babies.


What is the difference between fresst and frisst?


"Frisst" is the third-person singular, which would be used in the German equivalents of "he eats", "she eats", or "it eats". "Fresst" is quite rarely used, because it's the second-person plural. "Ihr fresst" would mean "You eat" when addressing a whole group of people (the plural "you") and not just talking to one person. Since the verb fressen is usually only used to refer to animals eating or to people eating so savagely that they're eating like an animal, this would either be used when you're speaking to a group of eating animals, or telling a group of people that they are eating like barbarians. This is probably such a rare situation that personally I wouldn't even sweat trying to remember that form too much. :)


Just found essen and fressen is different, thought essen applied to all catagories of to eat.


Know that the fr is regarding to animals. If you remove that, it is like isst and essen. When referring to "The animal" you are saying it in the du form. The du form of the word fressen is frisst. However, if there were multiple animals you would say fressen as the sie (they) form of fressen would be, fressen.


not quite. The third person is used, either singular or plural. In plural this is "sie" ("they") as you mebtioned correctly, but in singular it is not "du" ("you"), which is second person, but "er/sie/es" ("he/she/it"). The form however, is the same ("frisst").


Sigh...still having trouble with which form to use.


Know that the fr is regarding to animals. If you remove that, it is like isst and essen. When referring to "The animal" you are saying it in the du form. The du form of the word fressen is frisst. However, if there were multiple animals you would say fressen as the sie (they) form of fressen would be, fressen. Ask me if you have more questions :)

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Just tried "the animal feeds" and it was accepted. 2020/10/02


There are also different verbs for dying: sterben ("to die", about humans) and krepieren (from Italian crepare) or verenden ("to die", about animals).


Why not der tier frisst? Im sorry if it sounds dumb :/


The word "Tier" is not masculine, but neuter Therefor it is "das Tier".


When we say das tier, does it mean that animal or the animal? How do we know?


Usually it is "the animal". But if you talk about a specific animal, it can be "that animal".
Without context, both are accepted.


Is das "that" as an adjective? I thought it was only a pronoun, as in Das ist das Tier. If I wanted to say That animal is dangerous, I would use dieses, not das, wouldn't I? Dieses Tier ist gefährlich.


Neither "that" nor "das" can be an adjective.
"das" is a definite article, and it can be used as a demonstrative pronoun (that's what "that" is, when it is not a conjunction or a preposition) as well, when standing alone.

When not standing alone, you can't substitute "das" for the demonstrative pronoun "this". So "This animal is dangerous" is definitely "Dieses Tier ist gefährlich".
But in case of "that" matters are not that clear. A literal translation of "That animal is dangerous" would be "Jenes Tier ist gefährlich", but nearly nobody would say that nowadays. Instead you say "Das Tier ist gefährlich", the same sentence you would use for translating "The animal is dangerous".


I wasn't referring to the article das as an adjective. I was simply referring to the fact there are both demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns, and I thought das was only that as a demonstrative pronoun. But thanks for the information. I had actually forgotten about jenes. Except when I am actually using this and that to talk about things based on their relative position to me, I tend not to distinguish much between this and that in the more abstract uses. It tends to cause me literal problems in most languages except French, but doesn't cause a meaning issue.


Well, demonstratives that distinguish between close and far away are existing in many languages (in Spanish there are even 3 categories).

Sorry for not grasping your use of terminology. Yes, of course the full terms are "demonstrative adjective" and "demonstrative pronoun".


on the multiple choice pictures for the dog one of the pictures is a mouse about to be pounced on !


I said it correct but nope it wrong like what the heak


I am answered correctly, but it still says it is wrong? why is this happening? this happened already more than 3 times now


In the german course for Spanish speakers they use the verb "Essen". "Das Tier isst"


But this is nevertheless no good German.


Thank you 'Latebit' for explaining why I needed to use frisst rather than fresst.


how long does it take to learn this language


Quite a while, Duolingo cannot (sadly) teach you everything there is to know about German, but always be sure to read the tips and notes section on all lessons to gain more background knowledge on forms, etc.


why not fressen or fresst????


because "das Tier" ("the animal") is 3rd person singular. "fressen" would be 1st or 3rd person plural, "fresst" is 2nd person plural. The complete conjugation of the present tense of "fressen" is: ich fresse - du frisst - er/sie/es frisst - wir fressen - ihr fresst - sie fressen.




why we must use frisst not fresst?


In German the verb is conjugated like this. It changes its form depending on person and number of the subject. So it is "ich fresse", "du frisst", "er/sie/es frisst", "wir fressen", "ihr fresst", "sie/Sie fressen". So "fresst" is only 2nd person plural, whereas "frisst" is 3rd person singular. Or was the question why the verb changes its main vowel at all? This happens with a lot of verbs (and in most cases goes from e to i then) and applies only to 2nd and 3rd person singular.


How to use frisst fressen,trinkt trinkst or trinken


I think there has been said a lot about this topic in other comments,please read those! In short: the verb is conjugated in German (different forms for different persons), e.g. ich fresse, du frisst, er/sie/es frisst, wir fressen, ihr fresst, sie/Sie fressen resp. ich trinke, du trinkst, er/sie/es trinkt, wir trinken, ihr trinkt, sie/Sie trinken. Note the systematics concerning the endings, there are some subtleties with cahnging vowels in 2nd and 3rd person singular with some verbs, which have to be learnt by heart.


If "frisst" is singular, what's the form for "Ihr"?


It's the same vowel changed as in essen. For the second and third person singular, the e changes to an i, but in the plural it is an e.

Ich esse/fresse Du isst/frisst Er isst/frisst Wir essen/fressen Ihr esst/fresst Sie essen/fressen


I don't understand why frisst for animal and isst for human?


The verb "fressen" originally comes from a combination of the prefix ver- and the verb "essen", suggesting "to eat messily or destructively". It is thus applied to animals eating, as animals tend to eat more messily than humans, and it is also used for humans who eat impolitely, suggesting they are eating like animals rather than civilized human beings.


I have heard people refer to ravenous, inelegant eating by people as fressen. I don't know the reason for the origin of the two words, but you have to know that the process we go through to eat, planning a menu, cutting, seasoning and cooking the food and sitting down to eat it on plates with silverware with glasses for drinks is hardly recognizable as the same activity that animals do either in the wild or as domesticated animals. Asking why seldom provides real answers for questions like that, but languages have drawn less obvious distinctions between words.


My cat is speciesist. All humans look the same and more-or-less sounds the same. Oh, and natürlich... „Du isst wie ein Mensch, Mensch. Jetzt bringst du mir mein Essen.“


Why is 'The animal eats' correct but not 'The animal is eating'?


Duo error. Report it.


I looked it up: both are among the valid solutions.


Thanks. I thought so. I must have been making some other error.

[deactivated user]

    Isst also eat and frisst also ?


    Man isst, die Tiere fressen.


    Is eating and eats is the same. 'is eating' should not be considered a wrong answer.


    I don't agree that is eating is the same as eats in English, but I agree that both should be accepted here as both would be written like this. Report it. Comments in here don't report issues to Duo. If you want it to change, report it using the report button.


    Tier gets me mixed up with other German words


    I have written same answer das tier frisst, why did I get wrong????


    I put devour as a translation for fressen, it was not allowed. It is one of the translations fro the word fressen in Mcgraw Hill's German Verbs.


    Wouldn't verschlingt be a better translation for devours? - Devour implies eating with a relentless or remorseless savagery. It's most applicable to hungry carnivores.
    To say "The bunny devoured it's alfalfa pellets" would sound humorous/ironic. The bunny did devour the knights in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' however.


    Great answer Omerzohar1 , shalom, but why would anybody have two different words for eating, one for animals and one for humans, very funny


    Well, I think this is the interesting thing about languages. Not always do you have an exact word translation, as in gemutlichkeit. And if a language uses a different word for animals eating and people eating, why would I argue. P.s. I'm not going to mistreat my dog because he fresses.

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