"It is a girl."
Translation:Es ist ein Mädchen.
"Einen" is the accusative for of the masculine article. Mädchen is neuter, not masculine. BUT, also: in equative sentences like "X is Y", Y is a subject attribute, not an object complement. So it takes nomivative and not accusative anyway. "Er ist ein Mann", not "Er ist einen Mann".
To be honest, yeah, the rule is kinda annoying. But that's just how languages are. English has stupid rules as well, but it doesn't seem stupid to English natives, because they've grown up with them. Why does 'PH' make 'f'? Why are infinitive verbs sometimes more than one word 'to have, to go'? Why do we split these two words up, despite them making up one verb? English is just as stupid as German if you put it that way. Germans can deal with it. So can we.
If a word is masculine gender (grammatical, not biological), then it is "ein" when it is the subject of a sentence, and "einen" when it is the object. None of that is relevant to Mädchen, because that word is not masculine, but neuter (and, no, not feminine), and it is "ein" in either case.
On my phone (iphone) the umlauts are accessible by holding down the letter, the umlauts, along with others pop up. The same holds true for holding down the "s" to get ß. Also, on a computer, ß = alt + 225 ä = alt + 132 Ä = alt + 142 ö = alt + 148 Ö = alt + 153 ü = alt + 129 Ü = alt + 154
No that's not right. The indefinite article "einen" is used instead of ein (masculine) when the noun is used as direct object. Mädchen is neuter, so it goes with the article "ein" and it remains "ein" in its accusative form. It has nothing to do with "a" or "an", it depends on whether the noun is femenine, masculine or neuter.
I assumed that 'Mädchen' was a feminine noun, but it is described as a neuter noun. How can that be, and how would it be conjugated? "eine Mädchen" or "ein Mädchen"
A bit confusing, eh?
For people, usually the gender reflects what the word actually is, but not in the case of Mädchen. This is one you just need to learn (protip: words ending in -chen are always neutral). The word itself does not get conjugated. So you can have das Mädchen - The girl, or die Mädchen - the girls.
As others pointed out, "chen" itself doesn't really mean anything, exept that it signals a diminutive. Although I believe that everything with a "chen" in the end would automatically be of a neutral gender. (I am a native speaker, this is more of an assumption based on my "feel" for the language, there might be an exeption for that, but I can't think of one right now)
"-chen" signals the diminutive form of the noun it's added to, meaning it's a small form of something (which isn't valid for "Mädchen" in this case). "Mädchen" can also be used for a small maggot ("Made" -> "Mädchen"), but is seldomly used in that sense.
"Diminutive" doesn't necessarily mean "small" when used in this way. It implies a sense of familiarity, rather than anything to do with size. So, a diminutive can be, for example, a nickname - Charlie for Charles, Jack for John, Harry for Henry, even Jenny for Jane and Polly for Mary (no, really).
As for "Mädchen", as I understand it, it comes from an older German word, "Magd", meaning a girl or a lass (Kuhmagd - milkmaid). So, Magd+chen = Mädchen.
And for all other forms: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/M%C3%A4dchen#Declension
Hope that helps.
That is not at all necessary. If you are working from the app, I understand you can just hold down the key (a, o, u) and you will get a choice of accented versions, including the letter with umlaut. (Also, holding down s will give you ß). If you are working on the computer version, the accented letters are available just below the box in which you are typing your answer. Just click on the one you need.
You can hear any German word pronounced by human voices (as opposed to the robot voices used by Duo and a lot of other applications) at dict.cc - a very good, free site (no, I have no connection with anyone there!): https://www.dict.cc/?s=%C3%84pfel. Just click on the loudspeaker button to the right of each German word in the list. Usually, you get a choice of several different voices.
Yes, masculine, feminine and neuter. Please review the Tips for the Basics 1 skill level.
Oh, wait. That will be the Tips on the website. On the app, there is less - a little bit on the "The" skill level. Suffice it to say that Mann is a masculine noun, Frau is a feminine noun, and Mädchen is a neuter noun. In this case, both masculine and neuter nouns use the same word, "ein" for "a" or "one", while feminine nouns use "eine".
Please understand that grammatical gender has no particular relationship to biological gender, so there is no use complaining about "girl" being neuter. Ha. :-)
There are in fact three grammatical genders in German. "Mädchen" is neither masculine nor feminine, it is a neuter noun.
Please note that grammatical gender is simply not connected to the biological gender of the person, creature, or thing described. While it is true that most nouns describing humans and animals reflect their biological gender (der Mann, die Kuh [cow], der Hahn [rooster]), it isn't invariable. Besides "das Mädchen" there is also, for example, "die Person" - a feminine noun, regardless of the gender of the person.
I hope that helps.
ä transcribes as "ae", ö as "oe", and ü as "ue". To type it on a U.S. (or probably most) keyboards without the proper keys, you can use alt codes (hold alt while entering 3 digits. The codes are: ß = alt + 225 - ä = alt + 132... Ä = alt + 142... ö = alt + 148... Ö = alt + 153... ü = alt + 129... Ü = alt + 154. On some virtual keyboards, like on an iphone, you can hold the corresponding letter and an umlaut option will appear above. Likewise the ß appears above the s.
The gender of a word is something you have to learn one word at a time, I'm afraid, the same way you have to learn the meaning, the spelling, and the pronunciation. It is good practice to memorize each word with its gender from the start - not "Baum", but "der Baum", not "Zeitung", but "die Zeitung", etc.
Edit - And if you don't know/can't remember, you can look it up: https://www.wordreference.com/
There were 2 same answers
That's unlikely -- most probably, there were small differences that you did not notice.
Do you have a screenshot of what you saw? If so, please share it with -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image. Thank you!
"Mädchen" is a neuter noun - ein Mädchen - but that is not why the sentence begins with "es". It begins with "es" for the same reason the English sentence begins with "it" - essentially because until we say who "it" refers to, we don't know.
If someone knocks at your door and your roommate opens the door and you call out, "Who is it?", your roommate will say "It is a girl selling cookies", not "She...". I hope that's clear.
And you might as well start right away by learning the gender of each noun at the same time as you learn its meaning, pronunciation and spelling.
die Frau (feminine grammatical gender) - the woman
das Mädchen (neuter grammatical gender) - the girl
der Mann (masculine grammatical gender) - the man
You will learn more about grammatical gender as you continue in this course. Just be aware that all nouns have gender and that grammatical gender and biological gender are two different things.
A dictionary is a useful thing: https://www.dict.cc/?s=Frau
Use "ein" when the noun is grammatically masculine or neuter, and it is the subject of the sentence, or, as here, when it is equal to the subject (A is A; it is a girl - both halves of the statement are equal).
When the noun is the object of the sentence (A likes B; He sees a girl), then "ein" becomes "einen" but only if the noun is masculine. If the noun is grammatically neuter, such as "Mädchen", then "ein" remains "ein".
Ein is for male
ein is for grammatically masculine words and for grammatically neuter words.
Regardless of whether the word refers to a male human or not.
ein Mädchen "a girl" is neuter, so it takes ein.
eine Person "a person" is feminine, so it takes eine even if the person is male.
German nouns all have gender - masculine, feminine or neuter. Mann is a masculine noun, Frau is a feminine noun, and Mädchen is a neuter noun.
In this case, both masculine and neuter nouns use the same word, "ein" for "a" or "one", while feminine nouns use "eine".
Please understand that grammatical gender has no particular relationship to biological gender, so there is no use complaining about "girl" being neuter. Ha.
And please, in the future, read the comments already on the comment page before asking a question already asked and answered.