1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "It is a newspaper."

"It is a newspaper."

Translation:Es ist eine Zeitung.

January 18, 2013

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roy8045

How come newspaper is considered feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xinvoker

I wrote the correct answer at first, but then I though maybe I am meant to write "Sie ist eine Zeitung". But no. Am I correct to assume that "es" is used because the spentence specified something of originally unknown gender?


[deactivated user]

    "Sie ist eine Zeitung" means "She is a newspaper". Er - He, Sie - she, Es - it. The neutral gender of Zeitung appeares in "eine". (I'm not a native speaker, please somebody verify this comment)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsa

    I am also beginner at German, but two notes. First, "Zeitung" is feminine, that's why "eine Zeitung". "Es" or "Das" has a different role at the beginning of the sentence, not an article 'a/an' here. Though I'm also struggling with "Es/Das" distinction.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Live4Christ

    In such a case "It is a newspaper" translates to "Es ist eine Zeitung", because the newspaper was not directly referenced before hand. But say you had referenced the newspaper already, and wanted to continue talking about it but didn't want to continue say "the newspaper". For example you said "I am reading a newspaper. It is boring." This can translate to "Ich lese eine Zeitung. Sie ist langweilig." You can use "sie" instead of "es" because "the newspaper" is feminine, "die Zeitung." Because everyone already knows what you are referencing "sie" can become the feminine form of "it".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xikketa

    Das ist eine Zeitung?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregTrotter

    That means "That is a newspaper" so close, but technically not correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    It's depending on the context. In some cases, 'das' would be more appropriate in german, where I would use 'it' in english. Two examples:

    Pointing at something on the table - Q: Was ist das? A: Das ist eine Zeitung. Opening an envelope - Q: Was ist es? A: Es ist eine Zeitung

    I would translate both to 'It's a newspaper'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Live4Christ

    In the end this was asking for the translation of "It is a newspaper" not "That is a newspaper". No matter if you take both the same. In reality "es" translates to "it", and "das" translates to "that" (unless it is part of a noun such as "das M├Ądchen" in which case it is "the" for "the girl".)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    In reality, the most literal translation is not always the most suitable either.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RymeLegis

    But that doesn't matter, because this is Duolingo. You give it what it asks for exactly, not what you think might be a fitting or acceptable alternative in the real world.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    Should be right, too, in my opinion. It might be less literal, but still fitting.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wing_hun

    In this case, is "eine Zeitung" accusative or nominative? Not clear yet.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    Should be nominative. As a trick, young Germans are trained to use interrogatives to find the right case. accusative = Wen? Wen ist es makes no sense, though, neither does Wem? (dative). Was (nominative) ist es? does: Es ist eine Zeitung.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wing_hun

    Thanks! Then it is similar to my native tounge, yay.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    I've found this, too, maybe it helps you or just anyone else with the same questions: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/nomakkdatexpl.html


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wing_hun

    Thanks, it is indeed helpful!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChanderG

    Should'nt it be passive a and not active a?That is here subject is 'it' and object is 'newspaper'?I know that 'ein' becomes 'einen'.So is passive of 'eine' , 'eine' itself or is it that active 'a' is used here ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickInduni

    The being verb sein takes the nominative, not the accusative. In other words, there is no object, only a subject predicate.

    In other other words, even though "eine" is still the accusative form of "eine", it doesn't matter since you're using nominative here.

    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.