"Sie isst den Apfel."

Translation:She eats the apple.

January 10, 2013

This discussion is locked.


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


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'.


I don't understand! :(


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?


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?


You made me laugh so hard.


Very correct corax...it is very confusing


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.


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


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


OMG That's hilarious XD


This has to be the funniest thing I've ever read in Duolingo forums


I have studied German and that is correct :)


Thank you for that very comprehensive explanation!


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


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.


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


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?


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.


Thanks for that beautiful explanation. Danke!!


Wow you made things so much easier, thanks


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?


Ahh that makes much more sense, danke


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.


Good to know, thank you


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


brilliant tip. danke


"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.


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


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


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.'


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


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 :))


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


thanks for your help


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.


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


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


why we use die with milk but den with apple?


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.


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?


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.


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


i was too distracted by her perfect skin O_O


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


You can click on words you don't know for their translations. But unless you do all of one section at a time (ex. All of food before moving on to animals) it has been at least touched on. I've even had is in this section before.


Ich really learning fast.. Danke


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


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


thank you, that was very helpful


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


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


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


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


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.


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:)


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


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.


Thanks Shirlgirl007


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


Why not "You eat the apple"?


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.


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


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.


Milch is considered as a feminine noun.


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


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...


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


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


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 !


I wish conjugation came first :(


Danke Schön, Ich verstehe


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


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


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


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


Sie isst den Apfel.


An must come before apple. Since its a vowel


Why we use "den" not "das" ?


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


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


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


Eine means AN why the hell it is still showing THE


Danke Duolingo Danke!


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


Why is den and not just Der


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


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


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


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


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


Er trinkt Wasser


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


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


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


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


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


thanks so much


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


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 ...


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.


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


"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


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.


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


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)


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


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?


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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)


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?


She speaks WAYYYY to fast


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


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!


Why they put den?


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


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


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


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

[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 ...


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


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


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


    It should be "an apple" in translation not "the apple"


    Why ,,she eats the apple " is wrong? German does not have continuous form so unless i say ,,jetz" it should be ok.


    Why she eats the apple is wrong?


    I'm not able to read this whole discussion, but did anyone notice that also "She is eating an apple" should be accepted, because in German there's no such thing as "present continuous" and "present simple" ("I eat" vs. "I'm eating"). I strongly disagree that my answer wasn't accepted. I answered "She is eating an apple" and this wasn't accepted as correct.


    Whats the difference between is eating and eats


    Why is it "she eats an apple.", and not "she is eating an apple."?


    I thought that "Sie" with the letter "S" in caps is the formal form for you?

    While "sie" could mean "she" or "they" depending on the form of verb succeeding it.


    Why is it sometimes "eats" or "is eating"??


    Why is this wrong - "She is eating an apple" ?


    What is isst in germany? I thinked that see but instead i must be e. Le eat


    How would you know if "sie" was "she" or "they" in this context?


    How do you know if it's "She eats an apple" or "She is eating an apple"?


    If ein becomes einen in accusative, why der becomes den? Why not deren ?


    Can someone tell me why it is "den Apfel" instead of "die Apfel " or "die Apfel".



    I am so confused. My head is getting all muddled. Please bear with me.


    I am so confused. Please clarify more. Bear with me .


    Pretty much.... Der is used when talking about something like an object. For example, there is an apple on that table. See now the apple is just there but its not moving or anything. Den is used when something is in action. In this case, the apple is being eaten by the girl.


    how to know sie for "she" and sie for "they"?


    What would is the difference between "She is eating the apple" vs. "She eats the apple"?


    Really hard to spell right German word so I can't mimick it for the first words :)."information", "Rejewski", "Podolski", " Bastian Baker", "Apfel", "Wasser", "Angela Merkel" :) So..please show me your way(s)


    Why don't we say "She is eating the apple" ?


    doesn't sie isst den apfel mean "she is eating an apple" too? how to differentiate if the sentence is saying "is eating" or" eats"


    eats or eating should be ok, but you cannot change the article from definite(the) to indefinite(an).


    Why is "she's eating an apple" wrong


    Because that would be using the indefinite article to mean that it could be any apple really. The apple she ate was a specific one (maybe the one she left on the counter) so it requires the definite article.

    In that case we need to use the accusative since "the apple" is the direct object in the sentence. So now because it said "den Apfel", it means that it can't be an apple. She eat's an apple would be: Sie isst einen Apfel.

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