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  5. "Ihr esst einen Apfel."

"Ihr esst einen Apfel."

Translation:You are eating an apple.

May 23, 2016



This doesn't really make sense; how can more than one person (ihr = plural you) be eating a singular (einen) apple?


If you say "Ihr esst einen Apfel." it is implied that each person eats an apple, not that some people eat one single apple. That's how we say it, it makes perfect sense in German.


And how would that contrast with "Ihr isst Äpfel" ? Would that sentence imply then that each person eats multiple apples?


If you use the correct conjugation for "ihr" (2nd pers. plural): "Ihr esst Äpfel." then it would quite probably imply that each person (or at least some of them) eat(s) more than one apple.


:) Touché. Yes. Esst. But the question still stands: Is there a contrast in meaning between the singular and plural objects in this sentence?


Yes, there is. As I said using "Äpfel" it can mean that each person eats multiple apples (more exactly: one or more than one), while "Ihr esst einen Apfel." means that everybody eats one apple each.


You actually helped me a lot with this. I also for got all about air vs ear


air vs ear hahaha, I was so confused for a second.


But does it make perfect sense in English too, or should "Ihr esst einen apfel" be translated to "You're eating apples" instead?


Can somebody please explain du vs ihr? Danke in advance mates


It's singular vs. plural.
"Du" is used when you are talking to one person: Du isst einen Apfel. - You [one person] are eating an apple.
"Ihr" is used when you are talking to a group of people: Ihr esst einen Apfel: You [all] are eating an apple.


I thought when you are talking to a group of people (second person plural) you used Sie, the same as the second person singular formal version. I'm so confused between Sie and Ihr.

And if Ihr is spoken to multiple people, wouldn't the verb be the second person plural form ("ihr essen") rather than the second person singular form (du isst)? So I'm also confused there.


du isst = 2nd pers. sing. = talking informally to one person
ihr esst = 2nd pers. pl. = talking informally to more than one person
Sie essen = talking formally to one or more person(s) = 3rd pers. pl. conjugation


what's the difference between esst, essen, and isst?


isst goes with the third person singular (er, sie es). essen goes with the first person plural and third person plural (wir, sie). [It also goes with the second person formal singular and plural, but that hasn't come up yet.] esst goes with the second person informal singular and plural (du, ihr). These last two wouldn't normally use the same verb form, but they coincidentally do here.


ihr esst is correct but it is du isst, not du esst.

If the vowel changes (here: from "e" to "i"), then it does so for both du and er, sie, es forms.


Thanks for the correction!


Why do I keep hearing "Er" as "Ihr"?


If you listen closely, "er" sounds like "air" and "ihr" sounds like "ear", hope it'll help


So in this case einen is used intead of ein because Apfel is accusative and it is a masculine word right? So if Apfel was replaced with Banane, which is feminine, it would be eine correct?


Exactly, everything you say is correct.


Please excuse my question, but what if I want to say the same thing in Past tense. You ate an apple


Singular: Du aßt einen Apfel. (Präteritum); Du hast einen Apfel gegessen. (Perfekt, often preferred over Präteritum in spoken language)
Plural (i.e. you all): Ihr aßt einen Apfel. (Präteritum); Ihr habt einen Apfel gegessen. (Perfekt).


what's the difference between esst and isst? I'm guessing esst is for Ihr and isst is for Er


Perfectly correct! esst is for ihr and isst is for er/sie/es/man.


isst is also for du.


When does " ihr esst" mean "is eating" and when mean "eat"?


It could mean both (though it would be "are eating", as "ihr esst" is plural), German does not distinguish here.
When I started learning English it was very strange for me that I had to distinguish between simple and progressive forms, as German does not know this concept.


can someone exolaiin ein, eine, einen?


Ein means "a" for masculine and neuter forms where the noun is the subject of the sentence. Eine means "a" for feminine forms where the noun is the subject of the sentence. Einen means "a" for masculine forms where the noun is the OBJECT of the sentence.

So you would say Ein Mädchen isst einen Apfel. (A girl is eating an apple.)


How would you say this phrase but with "you're" in German?


It would be the same - there is no present progressive in German. Maybe you could add the little word gerade (at the moment) in order to emphasize that it is happening right now (Ihr esst gerade einen Apfel.).


What's the difference between Du and Ihr?


The difference between you and you (plural) a.k.a. you all.


What is the difference between eine Apfle and einen Apfle?? Are both correct or I'm missing something??


When "Apfel" is the SUBJECT of the sentence, the correct indefinite article would be "ein".

When "Apfel" is the OBJECT of the sentence, the correct indefinite article would be "einen".

So, "Ein Apfel ist lecker," while "Du isst einen Apfel."


You must use accusative case here. As "Apfel" (not "Apfle"!) is masculine, it's "einen Apfel". "Eine" would be correct for a feminine noun: "Ihr esst eine Orange".


Why is it einen??while the one sentence before this one
Was ein apfel??


I suppose in the sentence before, Apfel was the subject of the sentence, hence in nominative case. Here it's the direct object, hence in accusative case, therefore it's einen.
See e.g.:


What is the difference between Ihr esst and Ihr isst


"ihr isst" is not correct (wrong combination of pronoun and conjuation).


Duolingo actually gave me a "correct" answer as "Ihr isst" when I thought the correct answer was "Er isst"; that's why I was getting so confused about "ihr". I always thought "ihr" was a possessive pronoun (their), not a nominative pronoun (you).


"ihr" is both, a personal pronoun (ihr esst = you [all] eat) and a possessive pronoun (das ist ihr Haus = that is her house / that is their house)


Why is it einen apfel and not ein apfel?


Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought "ihr" meant "their" in english.


"ihr" can mean different things.

  • personal pronoun "you" (plural): ihr esst - you [all] eat (2nd person plural)
  • possessive pronoun "her": Das ist ihr Auto. That is her car.
  • possessive pronoun "their": Das ist ihr Auto. That is their car.

Usually it is clear from context, wich function "ihr" has.


THANK YOU!!! I have been so incredibly confused by "ihr" in Duolingo. I studied German in school decades ago and only remembered "ihr" as "their".


Gern geschehen sounds like more old style of past centuries


It isn't, it's just a bit more formal than "bitte".


Der Mann jagt den Elefanten, weil er seinen Schlafanzug gestohlen hat!


Does anyone else have problems telling the difference between 'ihr' and 'er' on the audio? Or is is a problem with my speaker.


I sometimes have trouble with that, but it's much clearer when I click the turtle button (for a slower pronunciation of the audio).


Einen is used for the Accusativ case/object case?


Only if the noun is masculine, like Apfel. Otherwise it would be eine (feminine) or ein (neuter).


Stupid me is struggling with why du and ihr both mean you. I thought du was you are and irh was i am. Can someone simplify this for me please.


"du" means "you" (talking to one person)
"ihr" means "you all" (talking two or more people)


I wonder how multiple people are eating a apple

(Since like "Ihr" is plural and "einen" suggests one apple. Right?)


How do multiple people eat one apple? An interesting sight.


Take a knife and cut it in pieces.
By the way, the German sentence can mean that each one of the people eats one apple each.


why "einen" not "eine"? apfel is on singular


Yes, singular, masculine, accusative -- therefore einen.

eine would be appropriate for a feminine singular noun, which Apfel is not.


According to me, here it should be Ihr essen einen Apfel. I don't understand how it used esst instead of essen. Can anyone explain?


No, ihr essen is not correct -- the correct verb form for ihr is ihr esst.

Perhaps you are making the mistake of thinking essen is "the plural form" of the verb.

But that would be a bit like like thinking that "eats" is "the singular form" of the verb in English -- true, it is used only in the singular, but not for all persons of the singular: "he eats" is correct but "I eats" is not correct.

Similarly in German, wir essen and sie essen (we eat, they eat) is correct but for "you" (plural) it is ihr esst. So there is no "plural form" for all plural subjects, nor is there one single translation into German of "are eating" -- you have to look at the subject and determine whether it is wir or ihr or sie, then choose the correct verb form.

(Is English your native language? If not, does your native language use the same verb form for "you (all) are eating" as it does for "we are eating" or "they are eating"?)


I speak three languages. Marathi, Hindi, and English. I thought, "Essen" is a plural form of the verb.

Thank you.


Why 'esst' ? Why not 'isst' ?


Because the verb form for ihr does not change the vowel of the stem, unlike the verb forms for du and er, sie, es.

Thus er isst and du isst, but ihr esst with the same vowel as the dictionary form essen.


Hello, can someone explain something for me? I'm a bit confused, because I've heard two things about 'ihr' one is that it can be used as an informal word for you like 'sie'. However my German teacher said it means 'Y'all' or 'you all' it seems there is some truth to both? sorry, I am still a bit confused on it. Und viel danke!


English “you” can correspond to one of three German words:

  • du when speaking to one person whom you know well
  • ihr when speaking to several people whom you know well (some English speakers use “y’all” for this)
  • Sie (always capitalised) when speaking to one or more people whom you do not know well

(Well, since “you” can also be used as an object in English, it can also be translated as dir, dich, euch, Ihnen, which are forms of du, ihr, Sie.)


Viel Danke! Yeah, I've also seen 'Man' used as 'you, one' but I think these words are used contextually different than they would be in English. I appreciate the reply!


I'm so confused, why does it matter what eat you put in there, dont they all mean the same thing?


In the sense that “am, is, are” all “mean the same thing”. They’d all translate into the same word in Esperanto or Danish, for example.

But it still “matters” in the sense that you can’t say “I is hungry” or “She are hungry” or “You am hungry” (Danish: Jeg er sulten, hun er sulten, du er sulten.)

You have to use the verb form that matches the subject,


When to use esst and isst?


Look at the subject.

du isst (you eat: speaking to one person) and er isst, sie isst, es isst as well as der Mann isst, die Frau isst, das Kind isst

ihr esst (you eat: speaking to several people)


Why not "She eats an apple" ?

How do you know when Ihr means you, she, or them?


As a subject of a sentence, not before a noun, ihr means "you".

"she eats an apple" would be sie isst einen Apfel.


How do you know wether to say "they eat" or "they are eating"?


In the absence of context, either is usually accepted. (Standard) German does not make a distinction.

If there is a time expression such as "every day" or "right now", then that may dictate the tense to use in English.


I wrote in the past tense does it change??

they said its wrong


The German sentence is present tense.

Translating it with the past tense would not be correct.


Why is ein sometimes used before the word Apfel and then einen is also used? I know it has to do with the rest of the sentence but I just don't know the scenario in which I would use which one.


You plurual needs to be "you guys" or "you all" its not just you


You plurual needs to be "you guys" or "you all" its not just you

There is no universally-accepted specifically-plural form of "you" in English -- some use "y'all", some use "all y'all", some use "yinz", ....

The standard English version is simply "you", and does not let you distinguish between singular and plural.

"you guys" and "you all" are often accepted in translations, but will not be displayed by Duolingo in sentences to translate.


when does "ihr" mean "i" and "you"?


when does "ihr" mean "i" and "you"?

"I" is ich.

"you (several people)" is ihr

Same first letter, and they both have an h in their spelling, but otherwise quite different.


Why did it mark me wrong for saying "eat" rather than "are eating" for esst?


Why did it mark me wrong for saying "eat" rather than "are eating" for esst?

What was your entire sentence?

Do you have a screenshot showing your answer and the error message that you can upload to a website somewhere, then paste the URL in a comment here?


What is the difference between "du" and "ihr"? Are theese singular and plural?


Yep - see other comments.


Ihr isst einen Apfel can mean 'you are eating an apple' or 'you eat an apple'. Why was I marked wrong for choosing one form over the other?


Ihr isst einen Apfel

is a wrong sentence. It has to be Ihr esst einen Apfel.

can mean 'you are eating an apple' or 'you eat an apple'.


Why was I marked wrong

Impossible to say from the information you have provided. Do you have a screenshot?

The most common causes are small typos, or translating the sentence into English rather than writing it down in German when you have a listening exercise.


When to use "einen" and when "ein" with "apfel"


Ya'll needs to be accepted. It's in the dictionary and is 100% grammatically correct!


As long as it's correctly spelled: y'all (you all) :)


I know ihr means you (multiple people) so how can multiple people eat one apple


If you say "Frank und Peter essen einen Apfel" (i.e. multiple people, but Apfel being used in its singular form and with singular indef. article einen) in German this means: each one of these people is eating one apple.


Ihr esst einen Apfel "You eat 1 apple." makes no sense "einen" is masculine accusative a i can put up with being felted with an even though as a native english speaker i rarely use an but 1 thats to much of a imposition see i used a instead of an


Literally can never tell the difference between: ein, eine, and einen when they speak.


What diffrents between esst and isst


Du isst = 1 person. Ihe esst = 2+ people


Question... for saying The Apple, It is "Der Apfel" (male) so why an apple is Eiene Apfel (female) ???


It does not say eiene Apfel (eiene is not even a word) but rather einen Apfel, which is not feminine at all -- it is the masculine accusative form.

Feminine nouns would use eine for the nominative or accusative cases; for example, ihr esst eine Banane.


What is the difference between "du" and "ihr"? Both mean "you" and I don't know how to use them


Use du when speaking to one person whom you know well (or to a child).

Use ihr when speaking to several people whom you know well (or to several children).

It's like the difference between "I" and "we", or between "he" and "they".


Can somebody explain to me why it is einen Apfel and not ein Apfel?


Why sometimes say "ein" and sometimes say "einen " for apfel ?


ein Apfel is the nominative case -- used when it's the subject, among other things.

einen Apfel is the accusative case, -- used when it's the direct object of a verb, among other things.

It's like the difference between "he" and "him", or "I" and "me".

You can't say "The lion is eating I", nor can you say "Me am eating the lion." -- the form to use depends on whether it's the subject or object.

Also, apfel is always wrong. The correct spelling is Apfel.


Ein Apfel or Einen Apfel? What's the difference please!


Why are we using einen instead of ein



  • it's the direct object (the thing "undergoing" the eating), so it should be in the accusative case
  • Apfel is masculine
  • einen is the masculine accusative form of the indefinite article

Note that only masculine words change form in the accusative case. Feminine, neuter, and plural words are the same in the nominative and accusative.

For example: Der Mann isst einen Apfel [masc.] und eine Banane [fem.] und ein Ei [neut.], aber er isst keine Tomaten [pl.].


Why not you eat an apple??


What is the difference between "ein Apfel" and "einen Apfel"? How do you know what to use?


ein Apfel is the nominative case. You use it when ein Apfel is the subject of the verb.

einen Apfel is the accusative case. You use it when einen Apfel is the direct object of the verb, or after certain prepositions such as für.

Because Apfel is masculine, the accusative case looks different from the nominative case.

For all other genders (feminine, neuter, plural), the accusative looks the same as the nominative, e.g. eine Banane, ein Pferd, die Kinder.


When do you use ' ein apfel' and 'einen apfel' ?


Why is it 'Ihr esst' and not 'du esst'?


Why is it 'Ihr esst' and not 'du esst'?

ihr esst is the form you use when speaking to several people at once.

du isst is the form you use when speaking to one person.

du esst is simply wrong.


whats the difference between esst, isst, and essen?


I am confused with isst and esst. Can someone please explain the difference.


Please read the existing comments. This very question has already been answered.


That sounded like er ist einen apfel, and hete I was thinking he was a banana!


The audio sounds ok (Ihr esst).


One clue is that einen indicates Apfel is a direct object, and that wouldn't happen if the verb were a form of "to be" (in this case, "ist"--"is"). "Ist" and "isst" are homonyms, so you really have to go by the context of the sentence if you're only hearing it. (Er ist ein Apfel=he is an apple; er isst einen Apfel=he is eating an apple.)


I put You are eating A Apple it said You are eating an apple


In English "a" becomes "an" if the following letter is a vowel sound.


I cannot distinguish the TTS's "er isst" and "ihr esst". And given there's no other context clues in this sentence I have a 50/50 chance of getting it wrong. Feels a little unfair if you ask me.


They pronounce er as "air" and ihr as "ear".


People keep saying that. I don't have an accent where "ear" and "air" don't sound identical. Trying to imagine how someone with a different accent says those words and then comparing that to the TTS's pronunciation is too hard.


My mother was from West Virginia and had trouble differentiating some vowel sounds that are phonetically different; to her, "pen" and "pin" were homonyms. Since I was born and raised in Upstate New York, that never made sense to me until I considered that she still "heard" with her WV accent, even though by the time I came along, she had largely lost her WV accent when she spoke (unless she was talking on the phone to one of my aunts, and then her WV accent was quite evident). But then, when I visit Boston, my R's start dropping left and right! LOL

Basically, keep in mind that regional dialects exist in every language, including German.



Press the "Listen" button on the English side :-)


I get this completely. My husband has tried to teach me some Tamil phrases and is always complaining about my vowels. It's hard to explain to him that I can't even hear the differences, much less reproduce them. You might just have to accept that you will have difficulty here. With context, you'd be fine.




Yes, "a apple" is not correct English and "A APPLE" is even worse.

Please use regular English spelling, including mixed upper and lower case, on Duolingo.


Whays the difference between ihr and du?


Please read the existing comments on this page. This question has been asked (and answered) several times already.


Ihr is t. Du is St. Ich is E.

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