1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Der Mann isst Bananen."

"Der Mann isst Bananen."

Translation:The man is eating bananas.

May 10, 2016



Take out one 's', and it translates nicely to: The man is bananas. That may be me if German DL continues its obsession with insects and spiders.


ikr I'll probably never hear the difference between ist and isst, which both mean very different things


    There's no difference in pronunciation. But you can usually tell from the context (although it might be able to be exploited for jokes).


    I thought "st" made a "zt" sound and "sst" made an "st" sound. I thought I was only having trouble noticing the difference because English never uses "zt".


    I thought "st" made a "zt" sound and "sst" made an "st" sound.

    Perhaps theoretically, but consonants assimilate in voicing -- for example, ihr habt is pronounced as if it were written ihr hapt (the voiced /b/ gets devoiced before the voiceless /t/ following it).

    So phonemic /zt/ would sound like [st] anyway.

    Compare English, which has distinctive voiced and voiceless final consonants (e.g. "bed/bet" and "buzz/bus") but has voicing assimilation in the past-tense marker -ed and the plural marker -s: "dogs" sounds like "dogz" and not like "dog-ss", while "kicked" sounds like "kict" and not like "kick-dd".


    I thought the "isst" was "is," and so said "the man is bananas."-- a not uncommon type of Duo sentence.


    Oops I accidentally typed "The man is bananas". I have to listen more carefully. : )


    Listening more carefully won't help; isst and ist are pronounced identically.


    You and me both, pal. "Die Spinnen trinken" was considerably the worst so far.


    Amen. "Die Spinnen fressen Insekten" is another I just got. I may already be Bananen.


    At first I was in English mode, and that's what i saw.


    If it were "Der Mann ist Bananen.", would it mean "The man is crazy." like English's "The man is bananas.", or would it just be nonsensical?


      It would be nonsensical. German has many other phrases to express this concept, though, some of which sound delightfully silly in English if translated literally :)


      I'd love to read some examples of those German phrases! ;)


      Late to the party, but here goes (with the literal translation in parenthesis):

      Der Mann hat einen Vogel. ("The man has a bird")

      Der Mann ist verrückt. ("The man is crazy")

      Der Mann hat nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank. ("The man doesn't have all of his cups left in the cupboard")

      Der Mann hat eine Mattscheibe. ("The man has a diffusing screen")

      Der Mann hat einen an der Marmel. ("The man has one on the marble")

      Der Mann hat nicht mehr alle beisammen. ("The man hasn't got all of his stuff together")

      I'm sure there are many many more.


      Der Mann hat einen an der Marmel. ("The man has one on the marble")

      I hadn't heard that one; where I'm from, he has one "at the waffle" instead (Er hat einen an der Waffel.) :D


      Yes, Waffel is another good one. :D

      Maybe my mom is the only one to use "Marmel". In my region, we usually use "Murmel" for those little glass balls instead.


      "The man's eating bananas" is perfectly acceptable English. Why is it marked as wrong?


        I find Duolingo works best when you avoid using English contractions.


        Man's is possessive i.e. the man's bananas, not the man is


        When people are speaking, how would you tell the difference between "isst" and "ist"?


        Context. Like raising/razing a house in English.


        Why was 'the man eats bananas" marked as wrong? Surely it means the same as the man is eating bananas?


        Why was 'the man eats bananas" marked as wrong?

        Impossible to say without seeing what you saw. If you have a screenshot of that sentence being rejected, please upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL to the image.

        Typical errors:

        • unnoticed typos
        • translating into English even though it was a "type what you hear" exercise where the answer is expected to be in German
        • it wasn't an error; the system told you that you were right and gave you "another correct answer"


        When I hear ist or isst I always have in mind ist first, and these sentences always make me laugh.


        How do you know if someone is saying "the man eats bananas" or "the man is bananas"


        the man is bananas would be 'ist'

        if he ate bananas it would be 'isst'


        I'm asking how you tell the difference in speech.


          From the context. Bananas being a food, any German would interpret it as "eats" without even thinking. The pronunciation is identical.


          Why we can't say "eats" in instead of "is eating" ? It is exactly the same, but I got it wrong...


          Manchmal ist es "is", manchmal "are". Was ist der Unterschied?


          Manchmal ist es "is", manchmal "are". Was ist der Unterschied?

          • I am
          • you are
          • he is, she is, it is; the man is, the woman is, the stone is
          • we are
          • you are
          • they are; the men are, the women are, the stones are

          "is" ist dritte Person Einzahl (er/sie/es oder Substantive in der Einzahl)

          "are" ist zweite Person Einzahl (du) oder alles in der Mehrzahl (wir, ihr, sie; Substantive in der Mehrzahl).


          How do I know which to use: eats or is eating? The man eats bananas was marked wrong, but there is no indication weather he is doing it right now or every day.


          The man eats bananas was marked wrong

          In a translation exercise?

          That shouldn't have happened.

          Do you have a screenshot of that answer being rejected?

          there is no indication weather he is doing it right now or every day.

          That's exactly why both are accepted.


          German puns must be great


          I'm still back on how to tell the difference between the Man eats bananas and the man is eating bananas..i know the meanings are different,i just don't know the pattern for each way yet. Help! I might join that man who IS bananas!


          how to tell the difference between the Man eats bananas and the man is eating bananas.

          You can't -- they are both expressed the same way in standard German: der Mann isst Bananen.

          So you can choose either of those translations -- both will be accepted.

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