Oh, yes, you are right! But what I was trying to ask was something different. Since the verb "essen" needs acusative, wouldn't "Er isst jemand" be incorrect, and therefore not an acceptable answer? The fact that Erikman said that Duolingo accepted "Er isst jemand" is what bothers me.
According to the major German dictionary Duden (https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/jemand), via Google translate:
- means a certain person known to the person speaking but not described in detail by him; or
- means a certain person not known to the person speaking; or
- means an indefinite individual person who is seen in a certain context; any human being; one"
(In other words, it doesn't seem like it has that connotation, no. In English you can also say that someone is a somebody or nobody, so that might be another avenue to look down to find a translation for this sense.)
In general, "jemand" means "somebody"; that should be your go-to translation. However, "anybody" might also work in the sentence to mean exactly the same thing, often if it's in a question.
- "Er ist jemand" -> "He is somebody"
- "Ist er jemand?" -> "Is he somebody/anybody?" (Both mean just about the same thing)
- "Ich kenne jemand, der einen Hund hat" -> "I know someone who has a dog"
- "Kennst du jemand, der einen Hund hat?" -> "Do you know someone/anyone who has a dog?" (No difference in meaning)
"It belongs to somebody" does not mean the same as "It belongs to anybody"
I don't think "It belongs to anybody" makes any sense in the first place. What do you mean by that sentence?
I left some food out on the table, for anybody who wants some to partake. "The food is for anybody". But I also left a plate of pie for somebody in particular. Question: "Is that pie for somebody, or is it for anybody?" Answer: "No, it's not for anybody. I left it for somebody, but he's not here yet. He'll arrive shortly. Leave it for him, please"
It seems to me that perhaps German does not make that lexical distinction.
Somebody, please sing this: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Smash-Mouth/All-Star/translation/german
I would say that "jemand" can pretty much always be translated as "somebody/someone," but sometimes "anybody/anyone" sounds better in English. Essentially, you should default to "somebody," but if "anybody" sounds better, then use that instead.
If you want a rule, I would say that a non-hypothetical statement needs to use "somebody," whereas a question or a hypothetical sentence could use either.
So "Jemand hat meine Jacke" would be "Somebody has my jacket" ("anybody" would not make sense), but "Hat jemand meine Jacke?" could be either. For questions and hypotheticals, which one you use varies widely depending on the sentence and how specific or hypothetical the person is.
So "Wenn jemand meine Jacke will, kann er es haben" sounds a little better to me with "anybody" (since I don't know if someone wants it), but either works. But "Wenn jemand meine Jacke hat, werde ich wütend sein" sounds better to me with "somebody" (since I actually suspect someone has it), but again "anybody" doesn't sound wrong.
As far as the tips attached with this lesson is concerned, dies, jed and manch are prefixes for this/these, every and some, respectively.
With this in mind, "jemand" meaning "everyone" would have made perfect sense, despite a missing d (pardon!).
Ah well, perhaps subjects of nature that make no sense are the ones worth learning... Quantum mechanics comes to mind.
Okay, what was I posting about again! :3