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?
'Essen'-refers to humans eating. 'Fressen'-refers to animals eating.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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?
You can use either 'essen' or 'fressen' with animals. It's preferred that 'fressen' is used with animals because of the way they consume their food. Never use 'fressen' with people though.
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".
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.
can someone please explain why I got it wrong with the answer of (A dog is eating.)
No. Nobody can explain that without seeing what happened.
If you have a screenshot showing the question and your answer, then please share it with us -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image.
Otherwise, remember to take a screenshot the next time something like this happens.
The Quetion is the one we are discussing Ein hund frisst. I answered with (A dog is eating) and Duo said it was wrong. Wanted the answer(A dog eats). But there is an almost identical question of Eine Ente frisst. in which Duo WANTED the answer of A duck is eating. I'm confused and what makes these two sentences different
I answered with (A dog is eating) and Duo said it was wrong.
I doubt that both of those statements are true. At least if you had a translation exercise, rather than (say) a listening exercise.
what makes these two sentences different
There's no point in continuing this discussion based on what you think you remember.
Please show us screenshots.
Why now is "EIN hund"
It isn't. Where do you see hund with a small h?
It has to be ein Hund with a capital H here -- using the nominative case since ein Hund is the subject of the verb frisst.
in the other sentence was "EINEN hund"?
There is no German word hund.
As for einen Hund, that's the accusative case -- used, for example, for the direct object of a verb, as in ich sehe einen Hund "I see a dog" or wir haben einen Hund "we have a dog".
"Feeds" is fine, though less common. I've provided a bit of a look at the grammar in reply to your response to another of my comments. And in the comment you were replying to, I'd already provided links to two online dictionaries, in one of which you'll find the example "cows feeding in a meadow".
It's always wise to do your research, even as a native speaker. Though as an elephant, I'm particularly familiar with feeding.