"Sie isst den Apfel."

Translation:She eats the apple.

January 10, 2013



Why "den"? It's now right to say "Sie isst der Apfel"? or both of them mean the same thing?

January 10, 2013


It's wrong to use 'der Apfel'. Both mean the same thing, but you need 'den' here, because 'der Apfel' is the object in this sentence and therefor needs to be conjuncted accordingly. Since it's accusative, you need to use 'den'.

January 10, 2013


I don't understand! :(

January 11, 2013


sie = pronoun = she Let's change sie into a noun subject - Das Madchen

Das Madchen isst den Apfel = the girl eats the apple

Das Madchen is the subject that does that action, and den Apfel is the object that recieves the action.

For the subject, the article is Der For the object, the article is Den

That's why German is more "flexible" than English in the way that

Das Madchen hat den Apfel = Den Apfel hat das Madchen

They are both grammatically correct in German, just switched around but makes sense because you know Madchen with das in front is the subject and Apfel with the den in the front is the subject.

I figured this out by the Tips&Hints that Duolingo provides (very helpful)

Does anyone with fluent German want to make sure this is correct?

January 26, 2013


So if I say «Die Frau isst der Apfel» you can't know if the woman eats the apple or if the apple eats the woman?

June 11, 2014


You made me laugh so hard.

July 26, 2014


Very correct corax...it is very confusing

October 11, 2014


No, because den preceeds apfel, apfel is the object being acted upon. This is what is different from English. In English, the location in the sentence dictates which word is the object. In German, it's the accusative word, like den.

Die madchen hat den apfel is the same as den apfel hat die madchen.

January 6, 2015


i don't think so...because ou had to write <<Die Frau isst den Apfel>> I guess

December 19, 2014


Hahahaha.. Very funny but an excellent question.. Context comes into play here, and it still could only mean one thing (in reality)

June 3, 2016


OMG That's hilarious XD

August 5, 2016


Bu çocuğu not alın

September 25, 2015


Hahahahahahahahahhahhaaahahahaaahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa thats halarious :) but tru:o

May 19, 2015


I have studied German and that is correct :)

July 25, 2013


Thank you for that very comprehensive explanation!

September 28, 2013


did you mean (Apfel with the den in the front is the subject) object in stead of subject here?

October 15, 2013


Thanks for that beautiful explanation. Danke!!

July 23, 2014


Well done, it's about it! It could have also been die or das, it depends on gender (masculine, feminine or neutral). When the noun is masculine, der changes to den in accusative case, while das and die are the same.

For more on declination/cases, it is worthwhile to do a liitle search on the internet just for the sake of not getting too curious, but understanding comes with practice.

October 3, 2015


Oh, so how come accusative only changes for the masculine?

January 11, 2016



February 14, 2014


Where did you find Chinese, I have been looking for it on DL?

January 11, 2016


Wow you made things so much easier, thanks

October 23, 2014


Thank you!

November 20, 2014


I want to try this and see if I get it right but I don´t know enough German yet.. haha ugh. So the same thing for bread or any other noun?

August 30, 2016



October 14, 2016


Very good explanation!, although I have a doubt, in masculine tense, it changes to den, but in the other two genders ti doesn't, so how do you make the distinction in the other genders?

July 17, 2018


Masculine tense??

The definite articles in nominative case are der, die, das, and die (for plural).

The definite articles in accusative case are den, die, das, and die (pluaral). The only article which changes is den.

If one still doubts this is accurate, one could simply use google to verify the accuracy of the statement.

July 18, 2018



May 31, 2015


Great explaination

October 18, 2014


I agree

April 19, 2015



May 31, 2015


This explanation is very unhelpful, mostly because the punctuation makes it SO hard to read. Better read the clues provided by Duolingo. Click on 'Tips and Notes' on the top right hand corner, to the left of the 'Hearts'.

February 23, 2013


It's because word order in german is looser than in english. The den let's you know what us being talked about. You could write den apfel isst die frau and it would mean the same thing. Den let's you know that the apple is the object of the sentence, the thing that is being eaten by the subject, the woman.

August 12, 2015


في الالماني الأداة "der" لو وقعت Akusative به تتحول ل "den " في أحيان تانية بتتحول ل "dem" لو كانت Dative

October 6, 2014


nein nein nein

June 2, 2014


Hüseyin orda mısın lan

September 25, 2015


Good to know, thank you

November 4, 2015


I am still learning German, but think of 'den Apfel' as 'that apple'

May 17, 2013


brilliant tip. danke

August 30, 2014


"Sie isst den Apfel" is right, because "Apfel" is the accusative object in this sentence. Accusative objects declinated with "den" or "einen" by masculin. Trust me I am german.

November 15, 2015


because of the german "der die das" table if it is feminine it is either die or der you have to get the correct grammar

March 20, 2015


Because it's the object

October 25, 2014


Dativ form

December 6, 2014


I think Der is used at the beginning of a sentence and den is uses in the middle.. Seems legit? Check your other exercises it makes sense

December 17, 2014


"She has eating the apple." was listed as a correct but it's bad English.

April 9, 2013


Really? 'She is eating the apple' makes sense but not 'She has eating the apple.' 'She has eaten the apple' would be better translated as 'Sie hat den Apfel gegessen.'

December 1, 2013


No hay

May 9, 2014


thats because german will never translate into perfect english thats why its a different language

October 21, 2013


nein nein nein

June 2, 2014


Explain me please, why "Der Mann isst EINEN Apfel", but "Sie isst DEN Apfel". It depends of who - she or he - eats this apple? My German level is very low, I'm just starting, but I want to understand, not to guess :))

January 29, 2014


Good question. 'Einen Apfel'='an apple' and 'den Apfel'='the apple.'

January 29, 2014


Danke schon!

January 30, 2014


thanks for your help

October 13, 2014


I really dont think that 'an apple' or 'the apple' depends on the gender of the Subject in the sentence. It is about indefinite article(used when casually referring to any apple) resulting to the use of 'an apple' or 'Einen apple' . But when you are reffering to a particular apple it becomes 'Den Apfel'. Now in both the cases there is a change in the conjugation of the verb, because in German the article is changed for the noun in Akkusativ case.

January 5, 2015


I dont understand the translation. Why is it the apple and not an apple?

June 14, 2013


if it was an apple it'd be ''einen Apfel'', the and a/an is used differently just like in English

November 3, 2013


why we use die with milk but den with apple?

November 23, 2013


Because Milch is a feminine noun and Apfel is a masculine noun. (I know it sounds crazy for a native English speaker, but it's something you'll need to get used to if you are going to learn German. Other languages have nouns of different genders requiring different articles as well, which is one of the things that I find interesting about them.

December 1, 2013


How do you know which noun is feminine/masculine? Like in spanish "a" ex: la manzana. Is there ending that makes it one or other?

November 5, 2014


I don't know if you're still awaiting an answer but there are no 100% rules. Like in Spanish where you have words like 'problema' and 'planeta' which are masculine despite their endings.

Remember that in German we have der/die/das for masculine/feminine/neuter. The "rules" however are way too complicated to write them down here so you have to do the research yourself.

November 9, 2014


I found Learn German- Episode 5 which covers the subject very well for us beginners: (I hope this is not against the rules) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNA3YSRGXoI&list=PLDl7JofqmDnFUntEd_2CUr5Rbekvfx7px

May 27, 2015


i was too distracted by her perfect skin O_O

May 3, 2017


it never even tought me this word and just expected me to know it lol

October 7, 2013


Why is "the" before Apfel sometimes "der" sometimes "den"?

March 27, 2014


In the accusative case, masculine nouns (like Apfel) take den. In the dative case, they take yet another article, 'dem.' If you Google 'German articles' you'll find charts and descriptions of all this

March 27, 2014


thank you, that was very helpful

March 27, 2014


No problem. I made a typo regarding the article used for the dative case which I just corrected.

March 28, 2014


Ahhhhh, I'm very confused with der/das/die/den. What's the diffenrence between them?

October 23, 2014


der is masucline 'the' das is neutral 'the' die is feminine 'the' den is that

October 23, 2014


Sorry just to add. Apfel is a masculine word so the Der changed to den (masucline.) When verb (action) acts on a noun it changed the article of the noun from a der to a den!! Hope that helps

October 23, 2014


Oh how sweet you are. It really helps a lot. :D So only when verb acts on a masculine noun (Apfel), DER changed to DEN. But when it happens on a feminine or neuter noun, DIE/DAS is still DIE/DAS. Is that right? P.S. Where can I know a noun is mascukine, feminine or neuter? I couldn't find that in the dictionary. Thank you very much.

October 23, 2014


It is very important to learn the gender of the noun because it affects so many words in a sentence. When you hover over a word on dulingo it has the meaning of the word. Underneath that it has the gender. Write that down next to the word in your notes. Apparently many people say try and learn the gender with the word because it will make your life easier. There is no logic to the genders as well. Glad i could help:)

October 23, 2014


Ich really learning fast.. Danke

December 29, 2014


Why not "You eat the apple"?

October 17, 2013


From what i've learned, Sie is also the formal "you." If we use the formal "you" isst will become essen. So -

Sie isst den Apfel = She eats the apple Sie essen den Apfel = You eat the apple

That's why we will know if Sie is "she" or the formal "you" based on the verb conjugation. I hope i made it clear.

October 30, 2013


'Sie essen den Apfel' can also mean 'They eat the apple,' because 'Sie' the first word of the sentence and will capitalized.

December 1, 2013


After going through the comments...THE APPLE here is the object..in accusative case..so although being a masculine word we use DEN instead of DER...

December 24, 2014


How do we get to know "Den Apfel" means "an apple or the apple"

July 18, 2015


It could never be "an apple". Den is the definite article, einen is the indefinite article.

August 17, 2015


She is eating the apple. How would you translate this in German ?

July 25, 2015


Sie isst den Apfel.

August 17, 2015


Why we use "den" not "das" ?

August 25, 2015


It could never be "das Apfel". Apfel is masculine.

August 25, 2015


Is it necessary to pronounce both the T and D in "...isst den Apfel"?

December 31, 2015


how can if the sie in sie isst den apfel means she or they becase i know sie can mean both

July 16, 2016


In the sentence "sie isst den Apfel", sie could only mean "she".

July 16, 2016


yeah but I'm asking how do you know that i don't understand

July 17, 2016


The verb conjugation. "sie isst" - "she eats" or "she is eating"; "sie essen" = "they eat" or "they are eating".

July 17, 2016


thanks so much

July 18, 2016


I thought that 'the' could only be die, das, der. I am so confused!?! Where is the den coming from?!?

January 1, 2017


Is there something in the tips and notes which states 'the' could only be die, das, or der?

January 1, 2017


sweilan, if you don't really want to try to answer a question, better to remain silent, as your post takes up a lot of people's time to read it, and clearly you did not want to give an answer to the above post...This is a learning environment, and some are just not as far along the road, as you are...

January 1, 2017


shirlgirl007, I guess the answer is "no".

January 2, 2017


This is for iphigenieceleste...You might not have reached the point in your studies yet where it is explained about the four German cases. Der, die and das are indeed the, but specifically in the nominative case. Which is the subject of the sentence. There are various changes in each of the three other cases, for these same words. In the above sentence, den has appeared because Apfel is masculine, der Apfel. In the second German case, accusative, der changes to den with a masculine noun. Accusative case applies as the direct object of the sentence. I hope this helps, it is a bit complicated, with these changes.

January 1, 2017


Thanks Shirlgirl007

May 5, 2017


It does help!

May 5, 2017


This might sound ridiculous, but is there a way of knowing which nouns are masculine/feminine? I'm struggling with determining the gender of the milk.

May 30, 2014


Milch is considered as a feminine noun.

July 19, 2014


die, das, der, den, OMG! I lost!!!

November 20, 2014


Why can't I say "She eats an apple?" Rather than "...the apple?" Is it due to the specification?

December 15, 2014


What will be German translation of 'The girls eat the apples' ?

December 27, 2014


why does this have to be said like this GOSH!!!!!!

April 6, 2015


Well, GRAMMATICALLY speaking German Genders change their forms in Accusative form and Dativ Form. When a sentence will have "TWO NOUNS" in it, in such a way that One noun is doing action (subject) and the second Noun receives an action (Object) then the article ending of Object Noun will change as Der = Den... Ein = Einen...

Sarah (1st Noun) beats Jeremy (2nd Noun, Male and Object) Sarah schlägt DEN Jeremy.

The Dog (1st Noun doing action) bites the man (2nd Noun and Object, receives action) Der Hund Beisst DEN Mann.

I hope it helps !

April 14, 2015


Thank you all

April 15, 2015



April 15, 2015


Thanks @yannibal

May 6, 2015


I wish conjugation came first :(

June 12, 2015


Danke Schön, Ich verstehe

June 16, 2015



June 26, 2015


so use "DEN" if the noun is the direct object? Meaning "ISST" is a transitive verb. Right?

July 1, 2015


An must come before apple. Since its a vowel

August 16, 2015


I dont understand the indefinite and definite thing. Can someone please explain it to me?

September 4, 2015


Lol it was easy

September 18, 2015



September 23, 2015


Ya ne oluyo ya

September 25, 2015


I put she is eating and its say i got it right then puts she eats the apple????

October 1, 2015


Eine means AN why the hell it is still showing THE

October 8, 2015


Its perfact

October 9, 2015


Danke Duolingo Danke!

December 9, 2015


Why is den and not just Der

January 3, 2016


Accusative case. It can't be "der" - have you ever seen an apple eat something?

January 3, 2016


den is used right if you are not in Germany like others and are learning for fun then you know nothing :)

January 24, 2016


why do we use 'den" to say "the apple"?

May 3, 2016


so i put ate instead of eats? it marked me as wrong so...

May 14, 2016


Where is the German of "He drinks water."?

June 25, 2016


Er trinkt Wasser

June 25, 2016


Ok. So now Der, Die, Das and Den has "The" same meaning.. o_O

July 13, 2016


can't understand what the guys says when he's talking, it's like he's licking the microphone

July 28, 2016


So "Apfel" is a masculine word... it doesn't read "Sie isst der Apfel" because of an "Acusativ case" rule... The "der" gets changed to "den"????? If that's true what made the sentence "Acusativ"? I really just want to understand how you can tell which "case rule" will be used by the nouns your using to speak... I honesty just confused myself more ...

September 4, 2016


Sentences don't have case.

It can't be "der Apfel". Have you ever seen an apple eat something? It has to be "den Apfel" because the apple is being eaten.

September 5, 2016



September 9, 2016



September 9, 2016


I'm confused... how do you know if "Sie" is used as "she" or "they"

October 24, 2016


"sie isst" - she eats/she is eating, "sie essen" - they eat/they are eating

Conjugation of the verb is different.. Third person singular vs third person plural

October 24, 2016


Can anyone please tell me why it is "Uber den Dachern" . Why den? Sorry, I don't know where to get help with this question and am really puzzled.

October 24, 2016


Can anyone please tell me why it is "uber den Dachern". Why den in this sentence?

October 24, 2016


You use "den" because the case is dative.. Definite articles for the dative are "dem", "der", "dem" and "den" (plural)

The preposition "über" takes the dative case and in the dative, the plural nouns take an 'n' unless they already end in 'n'.. So "das Dach" (nominative singular) becomes "die Dächer" (nominative plural) but in the dative would effectively become "dem Dach" (dative singular) and "den Dächern" (dative plural)

October 24, 2016



October 26, 2016


Gern geschehen

October 26, 2016


Have you read through the entire thread here? If you do, you should find your answer.

October 24, 2016


I know that sie isst means she, but can't it also be the formal you? I wrote "you eat the apple" just to see if it would accept it but it didn't, it's technically correct though right?

December 25, 2016


I dont get how this is she ate the apple and not they ate the apple is it because it uses isst instead of? essen

January 12, 2017


How do you know if 'Sie' is 'She' or 'They'?

January 14, 2017


Could "Sie" in this context be you (formal) or would "isst" be a different conjugation?

January 16, 2017


So actually i spoke with someone who lives in germany the Context its written in to how its spoken is slightly different. The Capitalization is important here in some cases . Sie Would mean She More formal but more profound in a sense. How ever If it were Lower case it would not apply . sie Would turn into They. Sie isst den apfel = She eats the apple . or sie essen den apfel = they eat the apple. Though there is not really any emphasis on sie when spoken it sounds exaclty the same.

January 17, 2017


When do you use "Sie" as she or they?

January 24, 2017



January 25, 2017


Why is "Sie isst den Apfel" suddenly "She eats the Apple." and not "They eat the apple."

I swear the meaning up these words just changes whenever it feels like it.

February 6, 2017


It can't be "they" - we don't say "They eats the apple" or "They is eating the apple" in English.

February 6, 2017


To anyone new to Duolingo or those utterly confused about ''Die, Der, Das, Den, Ein, Eine, Einen, Isst, Esst, Ist, Esse, Essen, Sie, Sie, sie, Nominitive, Accusative, Definite, Indefinete etc.

Here's a couple of tips about using Duolingo. Read/Skim the Tips and Notes a couple of times before you start a lesson. When you see an unfamiliar word, read ALL of the comments. If your question wasn't answered, THEN you can ask it yourself.

I know it sounds a bit excessive but, most of us here are Learning languages on our own. So, we will need as much practice as we can get. :)

Plus, native speakers/Moderators are Always on hand. They are the ones who should know the most details about whichever topic you want to learn about. Also, you may find that informational comments with two or more lingots are usually accuarate. With such a popular language like German, unasked questions are answered fairly quickly.

One more thing. Use more than just Duolingo if you want to become truely conversational/fluent in a language. A key phrase for achieving this is Multiple Sources

(Forgive me if my tone sounded angry. But, I've seen the same questions asked five times each, in the first half of these comments. Moreover, by carefully comparing the 'pronouns, to verbs, to articles' letter by letter in all of the Tips and Notes charts , I'd argue about 90% of your questions have already been answerd, before you could even take the Course)

February 9, 2017


I put "She is eating an apple" which was wrong, but it told me the correct translation was "She is eating this apple." I am confused, shouldn't the correct translation be "She is eating the apple." Can someone help?

June 7, 2017


She speaks WAYYYY to fast

March 14, 2018


How come on take the translation for "eat" or "is eating" for isst

August 5, 2018


How do I know this should be "She eats the apple", and not "They eat the apple"?

I am learning disabled, so the easier the explanation is to understand, the better. Thanks!

August 6, 2018


Why they put den?

August 25, 2018


Because the apple is being eaten. They couldn't use "der" because the apple isn't eating.

August 25, 2018


Why sometimes 'isst' is translated with 'eats' and sometimes with 'is eating'?

August 29, 2018


How is Sie they and she? sometimes it says Sie is "she" sometimes it says it's "they"

December 30, 2018


Why the translation is not 'She is eating the apple'?

January 2, 2019

[deactivated user]

    Can anyone please explain why 'She eats an apple' (present simple tense in English) is correct and 'She is eating an apple' (present continuous tense in English) is incorrect. As far as I can see, the German phrases are identical. Or is this purely an American thing, and we're expected to use US grammar in order to benefit from it? Cf UK usage: 'I've already eaten' (past perfect) versus US usage: 'I ate already (past simple). From a British returner to German finding it very frustrating ...

    January 2, 2019


    Can I get an easy explanation that uses easy words, of why its using den and not der?

    January 5, 2019


    What is the difference between is eating and eats in german? How to write them?

    June 8, 2019


    How to write eats and is eating/are eating in german

    June 8, 2019


    Should`nt it be she eats an apple? Am I missing some thing here ? Do we use the apple in German ?

    June 1, 2013


    I believe its not the same to say an apple than the apple, like if there was only one apple and she ate that exactly one. They are just examples to use a/an and the

    September 25, 2013


    Love from colombia

    September 13, 2014


    Cannot we say "das Apfel" ?

    October 1, 2014


    It can never be das Apfel.

    August 17, 2015


    Das = The, and That, But when talking about a noun Depending on Weather It is Feminem or Masculine . The world Apfel is Masculine And uses Den Instead of das because Den applies to a Direct Object. The Direct object here is Apfel=Apple. So it will simply not be das ever due to it being Masculine and The fact that it is a Direct Object. Hope this helps Happy Learning guys.

    January 17, 2017


    Why it is not das Apfel?

    December 29, 2014


    I totally confused when to use "der", "das" , "die" to the things

    December 29, 2014


    why do you write "he eats" er isst in german with 2 ss instead of the proper writing with sz?

    May 25, 2016


    Then why in previous sentence it came like "Die Frau isst einen Apfel"

    June 27, 2013


    einen Apfel = an apple den Apfel = the apple

    August 19, 2013


    When you hover over 'Den' it says this at the bottom, but if you get it wrong it tells you that "she is eating 'that' apple". So which is it? This and that cannot be the same can they?

    August 30, 2013


    duo explains "den" as : (Masculine words that receive the action have special articles. The man eats the apple = Der Mann isst den Apfel.). If this is true why are we using "den" with Sie ?

    October 20, 2013


    'Den' has nothing to do with 'sie' here. It is the direct article for 'Apfel,' since it is a masculine noun in the accusative case in this sentence.

    December 1, 2013


    Definition is the but said it was wrong because I didnt say that

    February 6, 2014


    I dont understand. Sie also means they? Am I wrong? Why it doesnt accept they eat apple?

    September 14, 2014


    Which one makes more sense she is eating or they is eating?

    January 5, 2019


    Isst vs esst difference anyone please help

    September 30, 2014


    So she/they/you eats the apple are all correct? For sie

    September 30, 2014


    Oh No Bro!!! Really thought I had his one!!! Ö

    October 9, 2014


    What is wrong if i say she is eating the apple?

    October 11, 2014


    Ain't ein used for masculine nouns?

    October 22, 2014


    Why "den"? It's now right to say "Sie isst der Apfel"? or both of them mean the same thing?

    October 29, 2014


    That Yay Yay

    November 1, 2014


    Whats the difference between das din and die?

    November 22, 2014


    When you tap on "den" it shows "you", "the one who", and "this". Why does it then say the correct translation is "that"?

    November 27, 2014


    I am German.

    January 25, 2014


    Hi .why we use( den apfel) I can not understand

    January 15, 2015


    "den" is just like "the" or "a" just different forms of words.

    October 24, 2015


    Den never means "a" or "an" - those are indefinite articles. Den is a definite article.

    October 24, 2015


    sorry about that. I didn't think for a second. it is just "the". like "the apple" my mistake;)

    October 25, 2015



    September 2, 2014



    November 14, 2014
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