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.
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.
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.)
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.
It's accusative case, masculine.
"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.
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"?)
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.)
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,
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.
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.
How can you tell?
The verb essen requires a direct object in the accusative case, so Ihr esst ... Apfel has to be accusative: einen
On the other hand, sein (to be) joins a subject to a predicate in the nominative case, so Das ist ... Apfel has to be nominative: ein.
second person plural and third person singular both have the ending -t, so they usually look the same.
However, there are some verbs that change their vowel in the second and third person singular: from e to i or ie, from a to ä, or from au to äu.
Since this vowel change, in the verbs where it occurs, only affects the singular, the third person singular and the second person plural will look different -- they will have the same ending but different vowels.
Thus er lebt, ihr lebt but er gibt, ihr gebt; er sagt, ihr sagt but er trägt, ihr tragt; er geht, ihr geht but er sieht, ihr seht; er kauft, ihr kauft but er läuft, ihr lauft.
Whether a verb changes the vowel (and in the case of e, whether it goes to i or to ie) is something you have to learn individually for each verb.
I was under the impression that 'Ihr' was an informal plural of you
That is correct.
if thats the case why are they eating a single apple?
It's called "sharing".
Perhaps they are three small children; you cut an apple into little slices and handed each child two or three slices for a little snack.
"Du esst eine apfel" is also correct for "You are eating an apple",right?
- The subject and the verb don't match -- either du isst if you are talking to one person or ihr esst if you are talking to several people, but never du esst
- Apfel is a noun and so it has to be capitalised (unfortunately, Duolingo doesn't check this)
- Apfel is masculine, so you need the masculine accusative einen before it, not feminine accusative eine
in Deutsch is the same "einen"
Er, what? No, it isn't.
You are eating an apple. = Du isst einen Apfel.
You are eating the apple. = Du isst den Apfel.
ein, eine is the indefinite article -- like "a, an".
der, die, das is the definite article -- like "the".
Sometimes, German uses a definite article where English uses no article, or English uses an indefinite article where German uses no article, or other exceptions -- but most of the time, the usage is very similar in both languages.
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.
- 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.].
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.
Isst is are eating and esst is eat
No. That's not how it works.
isst is the form for du and for er/sie/es -- du isst = you [one person] eat, you are eating; er isst = he eats, he is eating; etc.
esst is the form for ihr -- ihr esst = you [several people] eat, you are eating.
i think ihr isst einen apfel is correct
It is not. ihr goes with esst.
And Apfel has to be capitalised.
The infinitive (dictionary form) is essen.
Some verbs - including this one - change the vowel in the du and er/sie/es forms; thus we have du isst, du gibst, du siehst, du läufst, etc. from essen, geben, sehen, laufen, etc.
But there is no vowel change for any of the other forms (ich, wir, ihr, sie). Thus ihr esst with e- as in essen.
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.)
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.
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.