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  5. "Wir gehen essen."

"Wir gehen essen."

Translation:We are going to eat.

November 25, 2013



Is this interpreted as we are currently in the act of going (we're on the way to a restaurant) or is it more generally a statement about the future (later, we're going to eat)?


Swiss Guy here! "Wir gehen essen means" you are going somewhere (usually a restaurant) to perform the act of eating. The sentence is used when referring to dates and ❤❤❤❤. Otherwise (if you want to say 'We will eat') you need to say "Wir werden essen"


thumbs up to your question because someone should clarify this sentence. In English you use be+going as a future tense but this does not happen in many other languages. Has German the same English construction ?


I had the exact same question. Scrolling through the comments here, I didn't see anything that answered the question (I don't think), so I asked my German girlfriend. She said no, "wir gehen essen" could not mean "we will eat in the future", as there is apparently a different way to say that. So I think this sentence would only mean "we are [physically/geographically] going to eat".


A German girlfriend would be very helpful. I don't think my wife would approve...


Or you may help her find a German boyfriend. Hope this helps


I saw a movie which started that way :-)


Had to laugh!! me too


Kudos... You can try asking


I had a german girlfriend for two years, still we spoke in english as long as I kept trying to speak her language


Please explain why "We go eat" isn't accepted?


between two verbs there must be 'to'. there are only few verbs where this rule doesn't apply (must, e.g. must be).


The infinite form in Germen is verb-en. But to+verb in Englisch


To link 2 verbs you need "To" or "ing"

(Without counting Modal Verbs) :)


Because this is a present tense, we "are" in the act of "going" now. As mentioned previously this is not a future form or infinite form. "We go eat" assumes an infinite position, you can say "we go eat" everyday or tomorrow.


Yeah It sounds fine to a native English speaker, might be a bit informal though


Maybe it's a little colloquial? It sounds fine to this native English speaker.


"Eat"-without "to" or "ing"- is not a noun. It could be "we go eating", but Duolingo thinks thats wrong too. That sentence is messed up.


Why is "we are going eating" incorrect?


The go + gerund combination is used with leisure activities - e.g. we are going dancing/swimming/shopping

The combination is not used with competitive sports - e.g. NOT "we go baseballing" but instead "we go play baseball"

The eslcafe webpage, below, has a list of the common go + gerund combinations and special notes about exceptions


"we are going eating" actually means the same thing as the German "we are going to eat" is a future tense, besides there's no reason "eating" can't be considered a leisure activity.


In English, the go + gerund combination is frequently used with "drinking" (we are going drinking) but not "eating".

Here's another website with a list of activities that use the "go + gerund" combination:



Hey buddy, you can't put every possible use of a piece of grammar in a list. Just because it's not commonly used doesn't make it meaningless. You don't need to regurgitate the same point to me.

Also your second link says it applies to verbs without an object and changes based on tense which is exactly this case, did you even read it?


Your tone is a bit aggressive and uncalled for.

If you do an internet search you won't find "we are going eating" used as every day English because its not the convention to use the verb "eating" in the go + gerund construction.


Why not "Wir gehen zu essen"?


Because "zu" is used only between a pronoun and a verb, e.g. "etwas zu essen" = something to eat. But between two verbs it is never used.


Not completely true. There is a rule for the infinitive verbs in german. In a sentence, the first verb is conjugated (depending of the person) and the second verb uses the infinitive, in english would be: I need to swim, so, in german is: ich brauche zu schiwimmen. The exceptions to this rule applies for the next verbs, where it is not necessary to put "zu" (to): All the modal verbs: can (könen), may (Dürfen), .... Hören, Fühlen, Gehen, Kommen, Sehen, Fahren, Helfen.


Actually you would never say "Ich brauche zu schwimmen" in german. I need to swim would always be "Ich muss schwimmen". You can say "ich brauche etwas zu trinken" - I need something to drink.


Is it just not necessary, or is it wrong to put "zu" in front of gehen in that scenario? For instance, if I said "Wir brauchen zu gehen" would I get weird looks? Also is the schiwimmen some new tense I need to know or was it a typo?


I think in this case "Wir gehen essen" could be interpreted like we are going to the restaurant (or some other place outside the house) to take food


If I wanted to turn this into a question to mean "Are we going to eat?" would I say "Gehen wir essen?"


'Wir gehen essen' = 'We go out to eat'; 'Wir werden essen' = 'We will eat'


what is the main difference bw gehen vs laufen? thanks in advance


why cannot " we go for food". please explain me.


It is just different phrase constructions. "essen" here is not capitalized... So is not "Food" but the verb "to eat". In German, the infinite ends with -en... It is literally "we"+"are going"+"to eat".


This man talks so fast and unclear


Why isn't "We're going for a meal" accepted here? That's the most natural English translation of that sentence. ("We're going to eat" sounds a bit primitive.) If it's not acceptable, what is the German translation of "We're going for a meal"?


I wrote "We are going for food" and it was incorrect. Surely this isnt the case?


"Food" is a noun. In the German sentence there is essen. That's not the noun Essen (with a capital E) (food) but the verb essen (to eat). Duo wants that the translation reflects the original sentence: we are going [verb]. BTW "going for food" seems to me that you go to the store or the vegetable garden to harvest lettuce or green beans, but not that you go out to eat.


In this sentence "wir gehen essen" there are two verbs in nominative plural. Is this a valid constrct in German language or is it a special property of the verb gehen? Mostly we have had examples of verb followed by an adjective or a nominative noun.


I'm a little confused about your "verbs in the nominative plural", but I think I understand what you mean. Verbs are not in cases, but are conjugated.
The two verbs gehen and essen are not in the same "form". You can see the difference when you make the sentence singular or for another person, or present to past: e.g. Er geht essen (he is going to eat). gehen changed into geht, this verb is conjugated; essen doesn't change, this verb is in the infinitive form.


Thank you for your promt response. So I understand that the word "essen" is not connected to the subject "Wir" it would remain same irrespective of the tense of geht. It is also distinct from word "Essen" which would have meant a specific food item. Thanks. I used the wording nominative plural to denote the case of the verb corresponding to the subject "Wir". Thanks


You're welcome. The noun Essen means food, just any kind of food, not a specific food item.


Did anybody else not hear the 'wir' in the recording?


Would the 'E' in 'Essen' not be capitalised? Im confused as to when we have to capitalise words :(


All nouns are capitalised in German. In this sentence essen is not the noun Essen but the infinitive form of the verb essen.
Wir gehen essen: we are going to eat.
Ich gehe essen: I'm going to eat.
Er isst das Essen: he eats the food.


So are we talking "ich gehe, du gehst, wir/sie gehen, ihr geht"???


So are we talking "ich gehe, du gehest, wir/sie gehen, ihr gehet "???


Why would "We are going eating" be incorrect?


This is more of an english grammar problem, than a german one. There are a lot of rules and exceptions, when it comes to the -ing form. And it is often hard to grasp for not native english speakers. I guess that your sentence, would be okay, but it would probably be considered informal in the UK


Many times I've heard the phrase in the US "We go eat". Such as if you're at a wedding reception where tables are called to get food from the buffet and it is your table's turn, you might say to the person next to you "Okay, now we go eat". "We are going eating" would not be common, but "we go eat" would be. It's not accepted here though.


Ok, thanks guys


Yes definitely an ENGLISH issue. English does not really have a future tense per se like most languages have; it is constructed from scraps of verbs and odds-and-ends figures of speech, and some good old fashioned anglicization of what was once a more structured language. Sure there really are accepted norms for English future tense, but it is hard to claim there is one, sacrosanct, official way.

Btw, the future tense in german usually involves a form of "werden" and one or more other verbs. It is my best recollection that this is the standard,or official way. There could be other, informal ways as noted by some of the native speakers here. I can not aver for whether those are regional or official though, and I refuse to.


Consider, too, that this exercise first appears in "Present 1" -- I take that to be a hint that this is PRESENT tense, or a variation of present tense.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the praesens tense can be used to both mean the present and future tense right?


"We are going to eat" is future not present...


"is going to eat" has two different meanings. One is synonymous with "will eat"; the other means "is going somewhere in order to eat". The second meaning is present tense and the one we're concerned with here.


"We are" is present tense, but its used to denote the future sometimes. "We will go to eat." would be future.


No. English uses auxiliary verbs. "are going"is a more immediate equivalent of "will" "are" is not by itself.


I feel I translated well "we are going for food", it means the same as "we are going to eat", so why is it not accepted?? People would know what I was doing if I said this!


If somebody told me they were "going for food," I would assume they meant something like going to the grocery store. But if you say you are "going to eat," I would assume you were going to a restaurant or a dinner table.


Food is "Essen" with a capital; "essen" without a capital is the verb.


I put we go eat, and it was wrong. ?????


Sometimes I here "gehen" with silent "h", sometimes with pronounced "h". Which is correct?


I guess it sounds more like 'Geyen' if you to pronounce it phonetically. There is very little emphasis on the h, though


The word "essen" ends with -en because that's the "to" form of the verb, not to match the plural number of persons, right? In other words, I would say "Ich gehe essen" not "Ich gehe esse"?


Yes, and it would be "ich gehe essen".


We will go eat is also the same. Source my swiss wife


How can "we go eat" be wrong??


How would you say "we go eat" in German, if not "wir gehen essen"?


It can mean " We go to eat ( daily )"


Why is "We're getting food" incorrect?


The German word for 'to get' is 'bekommen', and 'essen' refers to food when it is 'Essen' with a capital E. Otherwise, 'essen' is a verb meaning 'to eat'.

The verb is 'gehen', that means 'to go'.


The voice stresses, "ess" and very quietly and subtly sounds "en"... If you play it on normal, it sounds like, "Beginnt essen"


Yes, I don't hear "wir" either. I wonder if it is related to this record (not the first time with weak "wir" as the first word in sentence), or "wir" is kind of omitted in any conversation.


He speaks very quick "wir gehen " . "Wir" is not omitted in any conversation.


Thanks, I understand "wir" can't be omitted in written language, my idea was about spoken language, that maybe "w" is omitted, then "i" is spoken, then "r" is silent like in French. Does this make any sense?


No, it doesn't make sense. It's just a bad recording. The r is not silent, but not such a rolling r. Maybe it is wise to listen to these words on forvo.com.


how is we are gonna eat different


I thought the right was "wir gehen zu essen"


why not wir gehen zu essen


I seem to remember seeing a similar construction with some other multi-verb sentences. But I think in this case it may be unnatural, like "We are going for to eat." Maybe a native speaker can chime in.


You dont have to use "to" as much in german as english... its generally implied


So "Wir essen" means "We eat". And adding the "gehen" changes it into simple future which is "We ARE GOING to eat"?


No, The "essen" here is not the conjugation of the verb "to eat", it is the verb itself. In German, "to eat" is "essen", the same for other verbs "to be called" as "heißen".

Gehen is the only verb conjugated here. "Wir gehen": we go/we are going... Physically going, not "simple future". All together makes Wir gehen essen : we are going to eat (physically going to, not as we will eat)


Why is "we go eat" not accepted? Can someone explain it to me in simple terms?


Shouldn't "we are eating" be correct as well. In english this can be interpreted as a future tense as well.


when you use eating it is usually something you do right in the moment or at a specific moment or an interrupted action. "We are eating" means that you are sitting at the table when you say it.


But consider this: tomorrow, we are eating chocolate for breakfast. Then we are eating is definitely a future tense right?


Yes, but you also inserted two words that indicate a specific moment: tomorrow and breakfast. In itself -ing form is usually interpreted as right now, where as the german sentence "Wir gehen essen" means that they are just about to eat. "We are eating" would just be "Wir essen" in german.


I get your point, but I'm just saying that maybe it should be added as an alternative, not saying that it is the best translation ;) Maybe the regular one as best option or something.


This is neither. Its the future imperfect tense.


Why not, we go eating?


I think because logic wise it may work but no one would actually say the sentence "we go eating"


Why we go eating is wrong?

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