Dies, Dieser, Diese, Dieses and Jeder, Jede
Fairly new Duolingo-er here.
I wanted to clarify my understanding of the above words (subject) if possible. I try to absolutely master a skill before moving on to the next one.
I've been having trouble figuring out when it is appropriate to choose Dies, Dieser, Diese or Dieses, but I think I may finally understand it?
Dies = this. This is used when a noun does not follow the word? Eg Dies ist toll.
Dieser = Used when immediately followed by a masculine noun. Eg Dieser Hund ist schnell.
Diese = Used when immediately followed by a feminine noun. Eg Diese Katze is schwer. However if the word Katze were placed later in the sentence, it would be Dies ist eine schwer Katze?
Dieses = Used when immediately followed by a neuter noun. Eg Dieses Obst ist lecker.
I also wanted to quickly confirm my understanding of Jeder and Jede. I think this sort of follows the same rule as above?
Jeder = Placed before a masculine (and neuter?) noun.
Jede = Placed directly in front of a feminine noun (eg Jede Frau) and when in front of a plural noun (eg Jede Jungen).
If the feminine/plural noun were later in the sentence, it would begin with Jeder, as there's not a noun straight after?
Probably something very basic but want to fully understand before moving on. :-)
Both of these words are determiners and will decline in the same way as the German articles. So, where you would use "der" you will need to use "dieser" or "jeder", where you use "das" you will use "dieses" or "jedes", and "diese" and "jede" in place of "die." But, to complicate matters, you also need to decline them properly for the grammatical function in a sentence, i.e., if you are modifying a masculine noun in accusative case, you will use "diesen" or "jeden" (where the article would be "den"), etc.
The most common way is to use "das ist" for singular ("this is...") and "das sind" for the plural ("these are..."). I know it seems like weird grammar to say "das sind" (since "das" is singular) but it's just one of those set phrases to learn. It is also fine to say "dies sind," however it's not quite as common. A google search for "das sind" has over 73 million hits, while "dies sind" has just under 7 million.
Dieser Hund (nominative, masculine noun) isst dieses Fleisch (accusative, neutral noun). Correct.
Dieser Hund (nominative, masculine noun) isst diesen Apfel (accusative, masculine noun). Also correct.
You wrote, "but for accusative..." which is confusing, as both sentences contain both the nominative and accusative cases. :-)
Also keep in mind that you can use "dies" as a demonstrative pronoun too (it is indeclinable when used this way).
Dies ist der Hund, der den Apfel gegessen hat. (edit: made a correction to the sentence)
This is the dog that has eaten the apple.
I need to dust off my German grammar book, but I think an easy way to remember this is that when there is a verb between the determiner and the noun, you do not decline the determiner (e.g. Das ist der Mann).
But when you do NOT have a verb between the determiner in the noun, you need to decline the determiner (e.g. Dieser Mann ist groß).
It makes complete sense too, because we do not need to repeat the "-er" masculine ending if it is already present (Das ist der Mann). Whereas with the other example (Dieser Mann ist groß), you have nothing to signify the gender of the noun, which is why you decline the determiner. :-)
Your instinct is correct even without dusting off your grammar book—you only decline anything (determiner, adjective, etc.) if it directly modifies a noun, i.e. directly precedes it; if they are on opposite sides of the linking verb (sein/werden/bleiben/etc.), you use the predicative form, which is the same as the "dictionary form" without extra endings. Hence why "dies ist..." "das ist..." etc. are correct, as well as sentences like "Ich bin müde" and not "ich bin müder" ;)
Thanks for adding to the discussion, Lance: I know you already know all this stuff but I figured I'd chime in again for the OP or anyone else reading this.
EDIT: P.S. I think you mean "dies ist der Hund, der den Apfel gegessen hat" (no dass) :)