Unlike English, German has two similar but different verbs for to eat: essen and fressen. The latter is the standard way of expressing that an animal is eating something. Be careful not to use fressen to refer to humans – this would be a serious insult. Assuming you care about politeness, we will not accept your solutions if you use fressen with human subjects.
The most common way to express that a human being is eating something is the verb essen. It is not wrong to use it for animals as well, so we will accept both solutions. But we strongly recommend you accustom yourself to the distinction between essen and fressen.
Fortunately, both verbs are conjugated very similarly:
essen fressen (for animals) ich esse ich fresse du isst du frisst er/sie/es isst er/sie/es frisst wir essen wir fressen ihr esst ihr fresst sie/Sie essen sie/Sie fressen
Because "bird" is an "object" in this sentence (in other words, it suffers the action). In this case, "der Vogel" becomes "den Vogel", as below: Der Hund frisst den Vogel.
If the "bird" was the "subject" (in other words, if it was executing the action), then you would use "der": Der Vogel frisst den Käfer.
because DEN is the ACCUSATIVE form of DER which means THE in masculine. the sentence is : THE DOG EATS THE BIRD, where the subject of the sentence is THE DOG ( DER HUND auf German), then the verb FRISST then the DIRECT OBJECT of the sentence, i.e. the dog eats WHAT ? this correspond to ACCUSATIVE in inflexed languages like German,,Russian etc. the declention of DER IS AS FOLLOWS : Nominative ( subject) DER - GENITIVE ( possession case) DES - INDIRECT OBJECT ( DATIVE ) : DEM - Direct object ( ACCUSATIVE : DEN.. In plural it is : DIE - DER - DEN - DIE.in the same order. NOw, the three genders : Masculine-Feminine-Neuter, are different and must be learned by heart. It is NOT difficult. I learned all this when I was 10 and we started with the obligatory study of German ( I am a French speaking SWISS). and we have to learn German, just like the Swiss Germans have to learn French. It is obligatory for them also.
I tried translating "hund" as "hound" this time. In Portuguese we don't have a different translation for "hound", so both "dog" and "hound" are the same. Now I want to understand why "hound" was a wrong translation for "hund", specially when there's an obvious etymological relation.
It is a valid translation, according to Langenscheit, an authority on the German language It lists "feed on" and "feed" as acceptable translations. Fressen when used to mean sich ernähren von can be translated "feed on".
You can use it with persons but you have to be very careful with whom ! You can say, for instance, DU FRISSTS WIE EIN SCHWEIN, You eat like a pig ! to your children or to some very good friends who are really eating like that. But is is really restricted to a very very close group of friends or family members. who will not take it as an insult.
I am having no problem translating the written German into my language, but I honestly cannot tell what they are saying when they speak. Is there a way to just learn to be able to read and translate the written word? I'm having a ball with that. Is it possible to leave the spoken for a later time
It is extremely useful if you are in academia (higher education) because sometimes the sources you must use in your research are not in your native language.
Also having a reading knowledge of a language enables you to correspond (letters, email etc.) with someone even if you could not hold a face-to-face conversation.
It also allows you to read web pages. Yes, I know you could use Google Translate, but it is better to know the language than to rely on Google's machine translation. It's always better to have an ability rather than rely on a machine. (I could rely on GPS, but I am glad I know how to read a map to find my way in a new city.)
I have a reading knowledge of French that I had to acquire in graduate school (although now my ability is a bit rusty from lack of use). I am glad to have it.