"Ein Hund frisst."

Translation:A dog eats.

October 8, 2015



In another example frisst was used when a spider ate a fly, somebody said that frisst in this case was more like "feeds on" than "eats". But I would have though that frisst would only work if what it is feeding on is mentioned (e.g. Der Hunde frisst die Katzen), can anybody help with the difference between Isst and Frisst?

October 9, 2015


'Essen'-refers to humans eating. 'Fressen'-refers to animals eating.

October 14, 2015


Yes, much like we use "he" and "she" for humans, but "it" for other animals.

October 17, 2015


Thanks. Was wondering where that word came from

June 8, 2016


Fressen is usually used for animals (or perhaps for making a human seem animal), and essen can be used for both humans and animals. Essen is indeed more like eat, and fressen like feed.

However, a further grammatical comparison between the languages is useful:

  • Essen and fressen both take the food as an accusative object (ein Hund isst eine Katze / ein Hund frisst eine Katze), and both can be used intransitively, without an object (ein Hund isst / ein Hund frisst).

  • Eat takes the food as the direct object (a dog eats a cat) and feed takes it as indirect (a dog feeds on a cat). However, both can also be used intransitively, without an object: a dog eats / a dog feeds. In other words you don't actually have to state what's being fed on in English either.

"A dog feeds" is less common than "a dog eats", but it's acceptable. You'll see "to feed" used in this way in scientific or technical contexts, in relation to livestock farming, and in describing things that are beastly. It's also used to describe infants eating/drinking, particularly nursing.

See my other comments on this page for a further look at the English grammar. I've also posted some example translations here.

January 14, 2016


And yet they mark "feed" wrong :(

May 1, 2017


Isst is for humans and frisst is for animals

April 26, 2017


A dog feeds wasn't accepted yet the recommended answer was a dog eats despite use of the word frisst. Is that accurate in this context?

October 25, 2015


"A dog feeds" wouldn't make sense in English, it would have to be "feeds on ...", so we would always say "eats". Apparently there are two different verbs for "to eat" - the one for humans ("essen") and the one for animals ("fressen").

October 26, 2015


Actually "feed" can be used without an object in English to mean "eat" in the same way that "fressen" is used in German. It's not as common, perhaps, but "a dog feeds" is fine, and it should be accepted.



November 10, 2015


Being a native English speaker, "a cat eats a mouse" is correct, but "a cat feeds a mouse" means that the cat is giving the mouse some food. "Eats" is going in one direction and "feeds" is going in the other direction, like taking and giving. So, if you want to use "feeds", it has to be "feeds on" to mean the same as "eats".

January 14, 2016


If you have an object, yes, the object of "eat" is direct, and the object of "feed" is indirect. But both can be used without an object:

  • The cows are feeding. = The cows are eating.

    Intransitive; no object; the food is unknown.

  • (1) The cows are feeding on grass. = (2) The cows are eating grass.

    1st sentence: intransitive; grass = indirect object; the food = grass.
    2nd sentence: transitive; grass = direct object; the food = grass.

You'll find the example "cows feeding in a meadow" in the dictionary. (Look at the links I provided above.) Note that the food is unspecified and unknown.

You're right about "a cat feeds a mouse", but you can say "a cat feeds":

  • (1) A cat eats a mouse. = (2) A cat feeds on a mouse.

    1st sentence: transitive; mouse = direct object; food = mouse.
    2nd sentence: intransitive; mouse = indirect object; food = mouse.
    Both sentences: mouse gets eaten.

  • (1) A cat feeds a mouse.
    (2) A cat feeds a mouse some cheese. = (3) A cat feeds some cheese to a mouse.

    1st sentence: transitive; mouse = direct object; food is unknown.
    2nd sentence: ditransitive; mouse, cheese = direct objects; food is cheese.
    3rd sentence: transitive; cheese = direct object; mouse = indirect object; food is cheese.
    All three sentences: food gets delivered to mouse; food gets eaten by mouse; mouse is fine.

  • A cat feeds a mouse to a snake.

    Transitive; mouse is food for snake; cat hopes to escape.

  • (1) A cat feeds. = (2) A cat eats.

    Both sentences: intransitive; no object; food is unknown.

As for "taking and giving", both "take" and "give" can take a direct object and an indirect object.

  • Give me a dollar. Ditransitive; me, dollar = direct objects. = Give a dollar to me. Transitive; dollar = direct object; me = indirect object.
  • Take a dollar from me Transitive; dollar = direct object; me = indirect object.

Both can also – in the right context – be used without an object:

  • I'm a giver. I give and give and give and give.
  • I'm a taker. I take and take and take and take.
January 14, 2016


It might be a bit ugly and not exactly common, but it is defintely okay in English to say 'a dog feeds'.

Probably it is the present simple tense that makes it sound odd to you, but think about 'a dog is feeding'. That should sound fine to you. Probably when we use it without any objects then it is an implied reflexive: A dog is feeding (itself)'.

I think that our two verbs eat and feed work in much the same way as the two german verbs esse and fresse. If we say that a person is feeding then it it is to make them sound like an animal as somebody above said you csn do with the german term fresse.

May 8, 2018


Will it be offensive if I use "Ein Mann frisst den Apfel"

December 26, 2015


Same question. In Dutch it would be. Eten (essen) is the regular word. Vreten (fressen) means eating in a messy or fast way, or used when referring in a negetive way about the food that is being served. So cats and humans (usualy) eet, dogs usualy vreet, Isn't it the same in German?

May 17, 2016



May 11, 2016


Yes, because "fressen" is reserved only for animals. However, it is okay to use "essen" when saying that animals are eating.

April 21, 2017


Why is it ein Hund instead of einen Hund (der), is it because of a case? Thanks.

March 6, 2016


Yes, because in this sentence, the dog is in the nominative case, not in the accusative case.

April 21, 2017


Strange. Sounds exactly like "ein rund frisst"

October 8, 2015


To me it sounds like "ein Wund frisst"

October 9, 2015


you people are crazy. it sounds like hound to me.

January 14, 2016


I thought for sure it sounded like "Pfund." A pound of what!?

February 5, 2017


What is the significance of frisst rather than isst?

October 16, 2015


I cant make out how she prounounces Hund. Any help please?

December 25, 2015


perhaps they want to hear devour in place of fressen?

December 27, 2015


"To devour" needs an object. "To feed" works here, but it's less common.

  • A dog devours. (Incorrect in most contexts, because of the lack of an object.)
  • A dog feeds. (Correct, but less common.)
  • A dog eats. (Correct.)
January 14, 2016


I know a Oliver and I kind of like him.

March 19, 2018


* an Oliver

March 19, 2018


correct me please

Ich frisse

Sie / Er / Is frisst

Du frissst

Sie / wir frissen

January 25, 2016


I think the conjugations for "fressen" are. . .

Ich fresse

Du frisst

Er/sie/es frisst

Wir fressen

Ihr fresst

Sie Fressen

April 21, 2017


I'm hoping that there aren't conjugations for "fressen" in "Ich" and "Wir"... ><

April 11, 2018


Is there a person who can help me to learn German. I want to learn it but i am new. Who can help me by chatting?

May 22, 2016


Post this in the German discussion forum.


May 22, 2016


Thank you very much

May 22, 2016


What would you say for "A dog eats.. (Meat)" As apposed to "A dog is eating .. (Meat)" Because this sentence means both but both different situations/sentences.. Confusing.

August 20, 2016


It's the same sentence in German, "ein Hund frisst/isst". You would be able to get the sense from the context.

August 20, 2016


True, definitely is hard getting my head around all of these new language structures. But Thanks :)

August 20, 2016


Anybody tell me how to pronounce frisst. Cant get it. :/

September 25, 2016


Is there any reason why Hound shouldn't be an acceptable translation of Hund?

November 16, 2016


"Hound" can be used to refer to a specific type of dog, as well as being a less common synonym of "dog" in general, whereas "Hund" is the common and general term for "dog" in German, so perhaps to prevent confusion.

November 16, 2016


what does the arrows below your comment means ? upvote , downvote ?

December 12, 2016


Yes. It is for up and down votes.

December 12, 2016


Why is it "one" and not "the" dog eats? How do you tell between one and A?

January 11, 2017


It is "one" because of the article "ein". There is no difference between "one" and "a". Both are "ein" in masculine and neuter forms. Now unless you are talking about the numbet one, then that would be "eins".

January 11, 2017


I thought ein meant a not one?

January 28, 2017


It can mean either, depending on the context.

January 28, 2017


I do not get it, i say everything corect but it does not accept it.

February 28, 2017


I wrote "a dog eats" and it said that I'm wrong and it should be "One dog eats"... why's that?

April 11, 2018


Technically it could be "a" or "one", but it seems that Duo tries to give you an answer that matches as closely as possible the characters you typed, so, given your answer of "the dog eats", the algorithm would take into account that "one" has the same number of letters as "the" and shares the "e" at the end.

April 11, 2018


sorry, I meant to say that I wrote "a dog eats", not "the".... I'll edit it.

April 12, 2018


There shouldn't be any problem with "a dog eats". If Duo doesn't accept it, that's a reportable error.

April 12, 2018

August 24, 2018


I wrote "a dog eats" is it wrong or just unacceptable by Duo?

December 5, 2018


It's fine. Duo should accept it.

December 5, 2018


Why would 'A dog is eating' not be acceptable as well as 'A dog eats'?

May 17, 2019


"A dog is eating" is an acceptable translation.

Did you have a listening exercise, perhaps?

May 17, 2019


I think it was some other error on my part. Something silly like answering in German when I should have been typing English.

May 17, 2019
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