When I mouse over "Ei" it said: egg, ovum, ball. Yet when I tried "He has a ball" it was wrong. How do I know whether "Ei" is egg or ball?
But it would be too unfortunate if he only had one testicle, so I guess "egg" would be more appropriate here.
Most other languages don't distinguish between a/an. Both are used for the masculine gender; einen is used for the accusative case (the direct sentence of the object) and ein the nominative.
Nominative is the subject of the sentence, and accusative is the direct receiver. (eg. The dog sees the man = der Hund sieht den Mann; the dog = nom, the man = acc). We change the article (the = der, die, das, den, dem...) to reflect the case.
I think this site explains it pretty well: http://german.speak7.com/german_cases.htm
schatzie: Exactly, except that 'Ei' is not masculine. It is 'das Ei', not 'der Ei'.
I keep reading "einen" and want to write "an", too. I know why it's "einen", but I still accidentally type "an" on occasion, and then Duolingo yells at me
Why is this wrong? "It has an egg." I thought Er can mean "It" as well.
Yes, ‘er’ can mean ‘it’, when referring to an inanimate object of masculine grammatical gender. The verb ‘haben’=“to have” in this sentence indicates possession, which in German requires an animate possessor unless the object is an inalienable possession. Since an egg is an independent entity, it's difficult to conjure a situation in which it would be an inalienable possession of an inanimate object. For example, in English, one can say “The basket has an egg.”, but the literal German translation *‘Der Korb hat ein Ei.’ implies that the basket is magically alive. Instead, one would say ‘Es ist ein Ei im Korb.’ = “There's an egg in the basket.”.
Why it is only in Nominativ case? I feel like it should be Genitiv though it hasn't been taught yet.
What do you mean by "it"? Genitive case is used for possessives, like the sentence "the egg of the man" (das Ei des Mannes). "He has an egg" and "his egg" are different sentences.
Although ‘er’=“he” is indeed a possessor here, it's the subject of the sentence, so it's in the nominative case. If the egg were the subject, then ‘er’ would be in something like the genitive case: ‘Ein Ei ist seins.’ = “One egg is his.”, although actually ‘seins’=“his” is a possessive pronoun.
That implies that he's eating an egg, which would be incorrect. In English, the only meaning that correctly corresponds to this sentence is "He has an egg."
So almost like he owns or possesses it but not having it as in English 'having it' for eating.
Because the correct is not in the past, I think. Have is not the same of had. Have means he still owns it. Had means he owned it sometime, but it's not guarantee he still have it now.
Hello, Ayia0. Just go back to Basics 2 and read the Tips and Notes section! I hope this helps...
ihr vs er If you're new to German, ihr and er may sound exactly same, but there is actually a difference. ihr sounds similar to the English word ear, and er sounds similar to the English word air (imagine a British/RP accent). Don't worry if you can't pick up on the difference at first. You may need some more listening practice before you can tell them apart. Also, try using headphones instead of speakers. Even if this doesn't seem to help, knowing your conjugation tables will greatly reduce the amount of ambiguity.
Thank you, comparing them to the English words was very helpful! I must have missed the Tips and Advice part in Basic 2 (or forgotten it lol). The conjugation always helps but I suppose hearing the difference comes with time and practise :)
Is the pause in the pronunciation between "ein" and "Ei" natural or should I pronounce the words together?
why does it mean "he has an egg" and not "he has one egg"? Ein means one, doesn't it?
I am confused! Shouldn't this be: 'Er hat eine Ei' ??
I understand that its das Ei and all but isn't this an Accusative Case?
Also I came accross the following sentence in this Food exercise only:
The man has a fish. The translation for which was given as: Der Mann hat einen Fisch.
Is my understanding that this is an accusative case wrong? If so then how is the translation of second example wrong? Where am I going wrong? Please help!
Rupam, the accustive case only influences the article of masculine words. Nominative 'das Ei' and 'ein Ei' therefore stay as they are in the accusative. It is correct that nominative 'der Fisch' (and 'ein Fisch') become 'den Fisch' and 'einen Fisch' in the accusative. (BTW - You can't have 'eine Ei' in any case as 'Ei' is not a feminine noun).
Can 'hat' in German mean 'eat' the way 'is having' does in English? If so, 'he is having an egg' should be accepted.