"fressen" is used for animals or humans eating in an animalistic way; "essen" is used for humans (and maybe pets).
I strongly recommend beginners read the Tips and Notes to the Animals unit. Fressen and essen are explained in great detail and it emphasizes that to use fressen in reference to people is offensive.
On the phone app there is no tips and notes section, no hovering over a word, no hearts and no giving lingots. We're pretty much on our iwn to deduce meanings, sometimes after many mistakes. Btw, what do people use lingots for anyway, everyone seems to live them. I have about 600. What good are thet?
Although the tips cease pretty early as you advance in your tree, they help SO Much. Mistakes are inherent to the immersion process, but without any guidance it certainly would result in many mistakes. As to Lingots, many members like to buy the Streak Freeze. And then they buy another Freeze immediately after they have used the one in place. I'm pretty sure you can only buy one at a time (and you might have to do a lesson the next day before being protected by a Freeze. I have never bought one. But I have lost streaks! Another good buy is a test, although I have only taken three tests and I've been a member for 3+ years. I think it costs 25 Lingots per test. Once you start the test, you can't stop; I believe it takes 20 minutes. As you take it, it really let's you realize what you don't know very well or at all! You only receive a percentage score and you're not advised on what sentences you missed so you can't study them for another test, but I imagine it would be a different test anyway. One member suggested taking the test every two weeks.
Ah, I see. On my phone app there is no option for a test. I could see the value in that. Thanks for answering, it's the first answer I've ever gotten, and a good one too. I'd give you lingits if I could
A lingot [ling-guht] is the Duolingo virtual currency. The more you learn on Duolingo, the more lingots you'll receive and be able to use in the store! you can buy things like power ups and special skills like flirting.
To read the tips on your phone open your browser and set it as view as desktop. Then go to Duolingo on that browser. Click on a lesson and scroll down. The tips can be an incredible help.
It makes absolutely no sense to me why they aren't on the app.
"Danke vielmals" (a bit stilted) or "Vielen Dank", "Vielen, vielen Dank". :)
So If I wanted it to be correct I'd use Vielen in the phrase? Or is it just wrong in the word order?
So do I have to use "frisst" when talking about an animal eating, or would it be okay to use "isst"?
You should use "fressen". Some people use "essen" with pets (cat, dog, ...), and children sometimes use "essen" for animals.
Is "fressen" an insult or a descriptor? For example, in English there is "wolf down" when referring to eating ravenously. If I was super hungry would it be acceptable to say "Ich fresse?"
you'd have to feast wild like an animal, somehow, according to another informed comment. :)
fressen is an irregular verb. Is there a way to know an irregular verb when you come across a new word?
I don't know if this is a linguistic rule, but I think in general you can expect a verb to be irregular if it is a very old/basic verb. Just like in English (compare verbs like e.g. to be => he is, to eat => I ate, to see => she saw etc.). Essen/fressen are very old/basic verbs, so there is a good chance that they are irregular. Newer/more complex verbs like e.g. surfen (to surf) or verhindern (to prevent) are more likely to be regular. There might be exceptions though as some irregular verbs were turned into regular verbs (e.g. bellen (to bark). Until the 19th century, we would have said "der Hund boll" (the dog... bork :D). Today, we say "der Hund bellte" (the dog barked)).
Shouldn't Frisst then be "devours"? It's the closest in English to the word "Frisst". Some languages do have a specific word for animal eating mannerisms, or otherwise if used to describe people it is considered condescending.
I second this idea. Devours should at least be accepted, in order to help differentiate.
The difference between ESSEN for people and FRESSEN for animals is not completely foreign to English speakers. We "eat", but animals "feed" - however, Duo objected to my using "feed" intransitively to convey that idea.
Not to be too technical, but I think that only cattle feed. We wouldn't say, "Oh, my cat is feeding right now."
No we would say 'my cat eats' because they are part of the family and anthropomorphised. When you cat drags in a mouse and starts to devour it messily on the sofa, you probably won't use the word 'eat' and will probably use some choice words duolingo won't teach you. That said, eat could be used when talking about wild animals in a way I assume is wrong in German. Lions devour prey in English but gentle mice eat or nibble cheese. German would use frisst for both of those right? Feed and devour should be allowed, assuming German does not have equivalent words, because they are both primarily used for animals. Devour (it accepts devour!) should be favoured over feed because you also feed children and other dependants but fressen should not be used in this context. Devour can be used in an insulting manner in English and most of its usage regarding people is insulting unless you're talking about devouring something you can't eat (books or a TV show) or talking about eating food jokingly to someone you know well in which case it denotes enthusiastic consumption. The latter is less common with 'wolfed down' being the more common idiomatic phrase, at least in British English. On that note, how insulting is fressen? Could you say something like 'Du frisst das! Ist es gut?' in German to mean something like the English 'You wolfed that down! Is it good?' or would it be rude to use fressen in this way?
EDIT: specifically for feed. To feed can mean:
to give food as in feeding children, pets, patients or any other dependant.
to eat used for animals or to imply animalistic, specifically predatory, qualities of a person eg. 'he fed on other people's weakness' means he exploits the weaknesses of others and implies he derives some kind enjoyment or other kind of strength/nourishment from it as you would get from food. The example of the nasty man kinda combines two senses of feed and we will get to the other later.
To be given as food to another eg. we feed fish to the dolphins or the fish was fed to the dolpin.
to give to a machine for processing eg. we fed garden waste/paper into the shedder.
To graze, though graze is more typically used in this sense. The example of this provided by Wiktionary is 'If grain is too forward in autumn, feed it with sheep'.
to supply with something such as 'the river feeds the lake (with water)'.
To satisfy or to gratify or to minister to. This is entirely Wiktionary too and I get what they mean but minister to is a little tricky if you are not a native/highly fluent speaker. Minister, when used as a verb, means to attend to the needs of a person (pretty much always a person). You may nurse or care for a dog but you wouldn't minister it, partly because minister typically implies more than just physical care. It can also mean to act as a minister or priest of a religion. Consider a sentence like 'sorrow and loss fed his pain'. Here the man's pain is made stronger by his sorrow and loss. This use is tricky and highly idiomatic so if you're not absolutely confident use another word instead. English will almost certainly have one that works as well or better somewhere! :P
Then it can also be used as a noun:
Animal fodder. Specifically animal fodder. You would not normally call human food feed and it would usually be insulting to do so much like the word 'slop'. Can refer to animal food more generally but it is usually used for herbivorous domesticated animals food. In other words, fodder.
Something supplied in a continuous manner typically something audiovisual eg. video feed or satalite feed.
A part of a machine that inputs (usually actively) materials for processing by the machine such as the paper feed on a printer.
Related to 2. Feed is used to refer to continuously or frequently updated online sources of information or links that one can usually subscribe to such as your Facebook feed or a RSS feed.
"fressen" combined with a human implies "greedily" and/or "hasty". This is not the case when "fressen" is used for animals! E.g. Guck mal, das hübsche Eichhörnchen. Es frisst gerade eine Haselnuss - ist das nicht possierlich?
Thank you very much for this detailed explanation!
Although we germans commonly don't use "essen" with animals and our pets, the anthropomorphisation of pets is not unknown to germans as well.
The distinction of the lion devouring his prey and the mouse nibbling the cheese exists in the german language, too. I'd translate devouring with "verschlingen" or "schlingen". A little mouse "knabbert" the cheese. Also a rabbit can "knabbern" or "mümmeln" (That's only commonly used with rabbits and guinea pigs as far as I know.).
"Schlingen" is also the word you can use for a person who eats very fast and carelessly. A mother's typical warning is "Schling nicht so, sonst erstickst du noch!"(- Don't eat like that or you'll choke!)
Wow, "You wolved that down." is an expression I never heard before! There are several possibilities to express that in german: "Du hast das runtergeschlungen.", "Du hast das weggeputzt." or "Du hast ganz schön reingehauen." and possibly many others I can't recall at the moment.
"runtergeschlungen haben" consists of "runter" (down) and "geschlungen haben" ("Perfekt" of "schlingen").
"weggeputzt haben" consists of "weg" (away) and "geputzt haben" ("Perfekt" of "putzen" ((to) clean; if you eat everything the plate may look clean afterwards - that's the idea behind that)).
"reingehauen haben" shouldn't be seperated since "hauen" only has the meanng of "(to) hit" but the verb "reinhauen" also has the second meaning of eating a lot (in a short time).
Perhaps "runterschlingen" or "schlingen" in general best approaches the meaning of "wolving sth. down". (At least if I could get the meaning right.)
The meaning of "etw. wegputzen" is a little bit nicer and cuter, often used for children or even pets (after they are finished with eating); the meaning of "etw. reinhauen" on the other hand tends to be even ruder than "schlingen" (which is already rude enough, IMO) and is therefore not uncommonly used to insult or to reprimand someone.
Now we get to the verb 'feed':
In the cases 1, 3 and 4 the best translation is the verb "füttern".
1.: "Kinder, Haustiere oder Patienten füttern",
3.: You can say "Wir füttern den Delfin mit Fisch." but that's not as common as using "verfüttern" -> "Wir verfüttern Fische an den Delfin."
and 4.: Here it is the other way round to 3., "füttern" is more common than "verfüttern" and this use is very colloquial and never used in serious contexts.
For 2. a) eating of animals is called "fressen" as you already know. for b) the metaphorical use "sich am Leid anderer nähren." the verb is "sich nähren". This is used metaphorical and for fantasy creatures like vampires for example. (an older expression would be "sich an etwas laben" in the metaphorical context.)
5. here you'd use "grasen" - only used with animals which eat "Grass"<->"grass".
6. the verb "speisen" : "Der Fluss speist den See (mit Wasser)."
To number 7: Is it in between or the combination of taking care for someone and serve someone? "(to) take care for s.o." = "jemanden betreuen" and "(to) serve s.o." = "jemandem dienen". But I'm not really sure what it is exactly and how to translate it. So, help would be appreciated here! ^^
Let's continue with the noun 'feed':
For 1. we use the word "das Futter" which is the corresponding noun to "füttern". In German it is also derogatory to use the noun "Futter" for human food.
For the technical usage of "Feed" (2. and 4.) we commonly use "feed", too. :)
3. The paper feed of a printer is called "Papiereinzug" in german. This word can be seperated in three parts: "das Papier" (the paper), "ein-" (in, into) and the verb "ziehen" ((to) pull). So it is the part of the printer which it uses to pull the paper in. (These are the moments when I really love my language. ;-) )
What is the point of conjugating for animals? Like you wouldn't need to say "ich" when referring to an animal.
What about the new movie that just came out, which is I think called "The secret life of dogs?" If the dog in the story or some animated animal were telling the story, then you would need the first person conjugation.
Besides, dictionaries always show all conjugations, whether they are likely to be used or not. Same with declensions, as far as I know.