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  5. "Er isst eine Banane."

"Er isst eine Banane."

Translation:He eats a banana.

October 12, 2015



I thought, "He is a banana."


When spoken, the two sentences sound identical, but they are spelled differently: ist vs. isst.


I was wondering how to distinguish when listening. So I guess it's just based on context. Thanks!


Especially confusing when it just gave me "I am a banana" in German to translate.


If I am a banana, and he eats a banana... he is committing murder!


No, I am committing cannibalism


You probably can't distinguish them on Duolingo, but I believe that in real life, 'ist' would be very short and unstressed, said with a lower pitch than the subject ('er', in this case); while 'isst' would receive a slightly stronger stress than the subject. Of course, this is only true for simple factual statements, and, as in English, practically any word in the sentence could receive a stronger stress in order to emphasize something or show a contrast. Can any native speakers confirm this?

Edit: I just noticed that mizinamo's response to R.White's question below already explains this, but I'll keep what I wrote, since it's in response to a currently more highly-voted question, and therefore easier to see.


Well no one can be a banana, unless you dress up, so it would have to be isst, not ist


Except that, right before this one, I was given "I am a banana" to be translated into German. :P


How do i know the differnece between 'is eating' and 'eats'


How do i know the differnece between 'is eating' and 'eats'

They're both said the same way in standard German. Without context, either translation may be plausible and then both will be accepted.


What about bananas in pajamas? Great show when i was growing up and the two main characters are a couple of bananas


No, you are, nogaleast, :)


Exactly. Is there any way to distinguish between ist and isst while listening??



"ist" tends to be less stressed and "isst" tends to be a bit more stressed, but there are sentences where either of them could be stressed or unstressed depending on what you are emphasising.

And if you ignore sentence stress, the words themselves sound completely identical.

It's a bit like trying to distinguish between "She dyed" and "She died", or "They raised a house" and "They razed a house".


Fortunately for English speakers, it's very uncommon to hear "She dyed" or "They razed a house" without context.


And fortunately for German speakers, it's very uncommon to hear "He is a banana" without context.

So it all works out most of the time :)


Is there any pattern to which fruit/food is male/female/neutral? Banana is female, apple is male, fruit is neutral. Do you just have to memorise them all?


Not as far as I can tell. As with all German nouns, it is easier to learn the article with the noun than attempt to divine or derive a rule for which you would also have to learn the exceptions.


When do you say isst instead essen? i am just really confused(-:

And sorry for my bad english, i am froom Denmark


The verb changes depending on the subject:

  • ich esse (jeg spiser)
  • du isst (du spiser)
  • er isst - sie isst - es isst (han/hun/det/den spiser)
  • wir essen (vi spiser)
  • ihr esst (I spiser)
  • sie essen - Sie essen (de/De spiser)


Oh thank you verry much


Holy you have that many languages learned?


Only the ones with the big numbers :) Level 6 or less is more "tasted" - I wouldn't call it even beginner level.

Missing: Japanese, Greek, Slovak, Cornish, Klingon.

I'm not fluent in all of them, but those are the ones I can at least do simple tourist conversation in.


I want to ask: What are Cornish and Klingon? Where are they spoken?

PS: Try Greek. Greek words sound s good in your mouth!


Answered on your stream :)


And Greek food in your mouth is even better!


And where is your Swedish?


Men jag kan inte talar svensk :) Och jag har inte lärat mig den her på Duolingo, så jag tänkar att dette är fuldständigt forkert :D


This is good enough to be understod!! So I think that you will be able to earn some Swedish points to all your other languages


why is "banane" considered a fem word making "ein" "eine"??? if anything it should be a mask word because the person eating it was "er" = "he"


Say what?

Nouns have an inherent gender; the gender does not depend on whether it is eating something or being eaten, whether it is being eaten by a man, a woman, an animal, or a group of intelligent towels. (If I, a man, love Mary, a woman, I don't say "I love him" with masculine "him" because the person loving is masculine!)

And the gender is there for historical reasons -- we say eine Banane, feminine gender, because our parents did so, and their parents, and so on.

There's usually no good "reason" one can point to for a given noun having a certain gender.

That's why you have to learn the gender of a noun along with the noun itself (and with the plural) -- as you can't usually guess those things from the shape or meaning of the noun.


So I thought it was "He is eating a banana." It told me I was wrong, is there a seperate way of communicating a present tense chow down?


So I thought it was "He is eating a banana."

Yes, that's also a perfectly fine translation.

It told me I was wrong

Do you have a screenshot of Duo rejecting that sentence? Then perhaps we can tell what might have happened.

Did you have a listening exercise, perhaps, instead of a translation exercise?

is there a seperate way of communicating a present tense chow down?

No. If the time is important, you can add an adverb such as gerade "right now", but there's no special verb form for "right now" versus "in general".


Sounded same like 'ihr isst eine banane'..how do i differentiate between the sounds


why its not " he is eating a banana"? im confused O.o


It should be, duo is wrong to not accept it.


How do I say "I am a bananna" in German?


Ich bin eine Banane.


Unless you are a professional banana, in which case Du bist Banane/Bananerin :D


I think they prefer the term "professional bananoid", to avoid offending all the plantains.

[deactivated user]

    Is Banane Feminine?


    Yes, the word Banane is feminine in German, so it's die Banane, eine Banane etc.

    [deactivated user]


      Anytime a sentence says something about a banana, I come to the comment section just to see if anyone said something about Onision. XD im such a loser


      Wait, it says a banana is feminine?


      The German word Banane is feminine.


      I hear erst eine banane. Is it common in German to run two words together like that?


      "Er" is completely lost to my hearing. You can only hear it in slo-mo :)


      I couldn't hear the "Er" at normal speed. Could others?

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