Okay, so the question we all are making here is basically: when do we know if it's feminine, masculine or neuter? And it's specially hard considering it doesn't follow a biological order. Though the same occurs in portuguese, we don't have the neuter gender, wich is what really confuses me. Help!
There are three noun genders in German- Neuter, feminine, and masculine. Wasser is a neuter noun, so its article will always be "das".
Not to confuse you but if Wasser was a countable noun (e.g. der Mann), when talked about in plural its article would change to "die" (which is not only for feminine but also for every plural), e.g.: die Männer.
Correct- this is true of all verbs in the present (perhaps there are exceptions, but I'm not aware of them).
'Ich renne' - 'I run' OR 'I am running'
'Wir spielen' - 'we play' OR 'we are playing'
And so on. German doesn't distinguish except through context, so you can use the one German phrase to represent either English phrase. Hope that helps. :)
Du is you (singular) used when you're talking to a person, while ihr is you (plural) used when you're talking to a group of people.
Bist and sind are both forms of the verb 'to be'. Bist is used for du (example: Du bist ein Mann - you are a man) and sind is used for wir(we), sie(they) and Sie(formal you), (example: Wir sind Männer - we are men).
In English, "The woman drinks the water." has a very different meaning from "The woman drinks water." The former implies that the water is special, unique in some way, the only water within the domain of discourse.
Auf Deutsch, "Die Frau trinkt das Wasser." also is different in meaning from "Die Frau trinkt Wasser. ", is it not? What is the difference? Or is the latter simply grammatically incorrect?
Can we reorder the sentence to emphasize "das Wasser"? So it would look like: "Das Wasser trinkt die Frau."
Because I have seen some similar example regarding to the accusative case to emphasize the object receiving the action.
"Der Mann isst den Apfel." becomes "den Apfel isst der Mann.".
If you meant the change in ending... in this case -t, then it is due to the person/number of the subject-noun. "Die Frau" is third person/singular.
The conjugation of trinken in the present indicative are: Ich trinke, du trinkst, er/sie/es trinkt, wir trinken, ihr trinkt, sie/Sie trinken
Grammatical gender has nothing to do with biological gender in German. There is also no consideration for animacy - a word representing a biological entity can still take the neuter gender. 'Mädchen', the German word for 'girl', takes the neuter gender - 'das Mädchen'. Do not think of it as the entity's gender, but the word's gender.
It's similar to French. Imagine making a "z" sound a the back of your throat. All languages are a little lazy in normal speech, which means that you'll notice some sounds getting shortened, changed, or eliminated. Think of the word "butter" in English. Do you rwally pronounce those "t"s? Or is it more of a "d"? Thats because ita easier to pronounce a "d" in that context. Its also why we have words like "know" with silent "k" - over time we decided that it was easier to eliminate the "k" sound.
Yes. The difference is the same in English as in German: 'Die Frau trinkt Wasser' is a general statement, simply telling us that she drinks water at some time or another. 'Die Frau trinkt das Wasser' is more specific in scope - it tells us that she is drinking from a particular supply of water.
Why even have different articles, though? Couldn't all Germans vote which one to pick, and afterwards, people would only say (e.g.) 'das Apfel, 'das Mädchen', 'das Wasser', etc? Seems a whole lot easier to foreigners, which can only be a good thing because more people will learn your country's language, giving it more global influence.
Good luck getting 95 million people to forego their innate language habits and one of the fundamental aspects of their language because of a vote. Hell, look at English - its spelling is ridiculous from an objective point of view in terms of how it relates to the sounds it represents. Yet, imagine trying to have a vote on not only whether to reform it in the first place (for the sake of people whose language it isn't), then having to agree on how the reforms should represent the language. And then imagine the fuss that would occur as people with a sentimental attachment to how their language is traditionally used (as many people tend to have with their language) refuse to take up the new conventions.
A spelling reform would drastically simplify one of the (perhaps the?) biggest headaches for foreign learners of English. But really, language belongs to its native speakers and molds to their tendencies.
It's really not that hard to get the hang of the articles anyway. Just keep at it. :P
So... Vanity over expedience. Story of humanity. -.-
I don't understand how grammatical gender evolved in the first place, though? If it's wholly arbitrary (as is the case for most things, such as apples), how did it come about? I suppose it's to do with Latin somehow, as Spanish is a Romance language...