"Birds" in English is a General name of a category and we have to drop the definite article. Examples: 1- Birds eat bread. The word Birds here means the birds in general and we have to drop the definite article.But in 2- the birds in this garden eat Bread we have to maintain the definite article because it is a specified cluster of birds which doesn't include the whole category
To feed someone as in giving food to them is füttern: Die Mutter füttert ihre Kinder.
Though that implies that she takes a spoon and puts the food straight into the child's mouth.
If she just feeds them by cooking food and placing it on the table, but the children eat by themselves, then Die Mutter gibt ihren Kindern (etwas) zu essen. would be better.
The correct pronunciation has a /f/ sound at the beginning.
Vogel is a native German word, not a borrowed one, and in native German words the letter V (almost?) always stands for the /f/ sound.
For example: vor, Vater, Vogel, verstehen.
By contrast, in words borrowed from other languages (e.g. Latin, French, English), the letter V usually stands for the /v/ sound.
For example: Vitamin, Veranda, Villa, Vase, Vene.
"are eating" is the present continuous form of the verb "eat".
German doesn't have a present continuous form. It just has one present tense.
So whether the birds are eating something right now (where English uses present continuous) or whether the birds eat something every day (where English uses present simple), both would translate into the same German present tense - die Vögel fressen.
And when translating the other way around, you may have to turn German grammar (present tense) into English grammar (present continuous) -- in which case you may have to add a word such as "are" because of the rules of English grammar, rather than because it corresponds to a particular word in the German sentence.
Similarly, if you are asking a question -- Fressen Vögel Brot? -- you would have to ask "Do birds eat bread?". The "do" does not come from anything in the German sentence, but from the rules of English grammar, which require "do" in this kind of question.
It’s got little to do with singular and plural.
Generally, each subject takes a different verb form.
Those for du usually end in -st; after /s/ sounds, this gets simplified, so you have du frisst “you eat; you are eating”.
Those for er, sie, es have -t, so it’s es frisst “it eats; it is eating”, for example.
And those for ihr end in -t as well: ihr fresst “you eat; you are eating”.
As you can see, the vowel change only affects the du and er, sie, es forms - so er frisst and ihr fresst have a different vowel and look different even though the -t ending is the same.
Here, though, the subject is die Vögel, which is third person plural, like sie “they” — that subject has verbs ending in -en, as in die Vögel fressen.
I think The birds eat bread is also acceptable.
It is, of course.
The course does not agree to ackowledge it as an alternative
Do you have any proof of that? A screenshot, for example, that you can upload to a website somewhere and then paste the URL into a comment here?
"essen" is used for humans.
"fressen" is used for animals - or colloquially for humans who are very hungry and are digging in huge amounts.
While English distinguishes only "eat" and "he/she/it eats"; some other languages (like German or Spanish) do that for every single pronoun:
ich esse - du isst - er/sie/es isst (I eat - you (one person) eat - he/she/it eats)
wir essen - ihr esst - sie essen (we eat - you (more than one) eat - they eat)
Same with fressen:
ich fresse - du frisst - er/sie/es frisst
wir fressen - ihr fresst - sie fressen