1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Was ist es?"

"Was ist es?"

Translation:What is it?

February 4, 2014

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vignedev

It shows me that the second option is What is wrong, but then it shows me that it is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamanthaCruz4

It shoes me that as the first option, and I thought that sentence was the same thing basically.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/makstephens

I wrote "What's the matter?" and it marked that wrong, too. It seems to me that "What's the matter?" captures the essence of the "Was ist es?" translation, no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barnonahill

It's a context thing. We could have spotted a bird we had never seen before and I could point at it saying "Was ist es?" Meaning, literally, what is it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andie38

'Look up in the sky! It's a bird...or a plane!' - like in the Brains - Superheroes lyrics. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/requin230

"What's the matter" would be "Was ist das problem" "What is it" is "Was ist es"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SommerDavid

I have the same issue. I don't understand it at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LittleDino

Could this sentence be used when you're inquiring about an object, instead of questioning a worried person?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluthund

You can only use it to ask what a specific object is. It does not mean "What is wrong?" or "What's the matter?" like in English. That would be "Was ist los?" in German (among many other options).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kosashi

In some questions "es" means "that" but not "it", and in some it's the opposite. Sometimes both get accepted. Is there a pattern?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShariniSen

'Das' generally denotes 'that', and 'es' denotes it. This is the widely accepted translation, but sometimes the other form can be used where the interchange does not really change the meaning:

"Das ist nicht richtig" (That is not right) and "Es ist nicht richtig" (It is not right)

However you should stick to:

Das: That/This(in some instances)

Es: It

I have not come across any instance where 'es' did not mean 'it' and 'das' could not have been translated as 'that'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barmaleykin

In what difference: "Was ist ES?" vs "Was ist DAS?" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Sapphira-
  1. Was ist es? = What is it?
  2. Was ist das? = What is that?

The first could mean "What's wrong?" The second could mean "What is that?" (meaning an object somewhere).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluthund

"Was ist es?" does not mean "what's wrong?" in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nadiros2
  1. "What is it?" = what is that thing?
  2. "What is it?" = what do you want/say what you want to say. Is it the same case in German?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melihaimen

Can we say: What does it istead of What is it? for Was ist es?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaniEvitts

"What does it?" is not a full question, so no.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabrinaWal5

why "what is this" is not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ericzhenzhen

what is the difference between es and das? My tutor told me one can refer to what was mentioned before, but another one cannot. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SRihani

it can be both and should be considered. if you follow the translation your provide it says both so both should be considered correct....I would love to see consistency


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arely559800

I am so good at learning my German!!! Yay!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sanja610986

It said type what you hear, I heard "Was ist es", typed that and it was wrong, but the correct answer says "Was ist es"... whaaaat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimpleDeve

For me it sounds like : Was isst esse ? (Logically incorrect) But, how can I differentiate between both sounds ? Danke


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewJoh278917

I've not seen one before, no one has. But I'm guessing, it's a white hole.

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