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  5. "Du isst einen Apfel."

"Du isst einen Apfel."

Translation:You are eating an apple.

February 4, 2013



does ein turn into einen because apple gets the action and it is masculine? just like with den(the) except its ein(a)


Can someone please explain to me in plain english (no fancy words) Why ein turns to einen and der turns to den and dem? This page doesn't explain it enough to me.


In German there are four cases. We call these nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. Now the nominative case is used when the noun is the subject. The accusative when the noun is a direct object, dative when indirect and genitive is used for possessions. What I find really helps is a case table you can find one on this link: http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum.htm


Thank you. Your explanation and the table were very helpful.


Apple is doing the fonction of acusative or Objet and in German you must decline the articles


Friend einen means "an" and den means "the"


how can you know apple gets the action


Because "Du" is giving the action of eating. What's being eaten? The apple, so it's the direct object.


The action is "eating" ... you can ask yourself "Is the apple doing it?" In this case, it's not.

Also, in the real world, apples rarely eat ... but if you wanted to say "An apple eats a man" it would be Ein Apfel isst einen Mann.


Why is "Du ist einen Apfel" accepted?


It should not. It's an error.


I wrote "Du isst einen Apfel." Is it rite or wrong?


Thanks a lot. I am a new German Language learner from Bangladesh. Could you some help me, if you do not mind?


I regularly check the forums for questions. Just ask.


Do you pronouce the f in apfel?


Why it's "einen"?


You are eating what? An apple. Apfel is accusative in this sentence. The masculine indefinite article in the accusative case is "einen".


So the article changes based on whether the described noun is an object or not? Nice.


I'm confused between Den Apfel and Einen Apfel would it be corret to say: "Du isst den Apfel" ?


Yes, if the phrase was "you eat the apple". Note that a/an = ein/einen (nominative/accusative) and the = der/den (nominative/accusative).


Can someone explain how to differ between eats and is eating or reads and is reading? I can't seem to figjre it out.


Right. Absolut right. You can not figure it out, because in German there is no continuous at all. :D It does not exist. We just use all time:

  • Ich esse. = I eat. ; Ich bin groß.= I am tall.; Ich springe.= I jump.

In case a German person really wants to tell you he is doing something right now, he will use the word "gerade"(~now) or another time word.

  • Ich springe gerade.= I am jumping (~right now).


what is the difference between esse and isst?


Esse = Ich, Wir, Ihr, Sie, sie. Isst = Du, Er, Sie, Es.


Why is it "You are eating one apple" instead of "You are eating the/an apple"?


No reason, that's just what the sentence is.


The German sentence "Du isst einen Apfel" can be translated as "You eat an apple" or "You eat one apple" or "You are eating an apple" or "You are eating one apple." The indefinite article "ein" can mean "a" or "one" and the verb "isst" can mean "eat" or "is eating." It cannot translate to "You are eating the apple" because "the" is a definite article and the German definite article is "der" not "ein". The German sentence "Du isst den Apfel" would translate to "You eat the apple" or "You are eating the apple."


Can someone explain it to me, very simply, why is "einen" used with "du"?


Because "einen" isn't conditional on the subject (du). "You are eating an apple". I am eating what? An apple. Apple is the direct object and therefore it switches from ein Apfel to einen Apfel. If you said He is eating an apple or We are eating an apple you would still use "einen".

Also, cases can be a tricky thing to understand if your native language doesn't have them. I suggest you find another source online that explains it in detail.


Why is "isst" correct for both "Sie isst..." (3rd person) and "Du isst..." (2nd person) both correct?


Because that's the way the verb is conjugated. Ich esse, Du isst, Er/Sie/Es isst, Wir essen Ihr esst, Sie essen.


Gooddog123, here is a website where you can check the conjugation of all the verbs. http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-essen.html

You will not learn "why" from Duolingo. DL will teach you some vocabulary and let you practice reading, writing, speaking and listening. If you want to learn why something is said the way it is (which I do), you will need to go to other sources. If you are in a country that allows access to the Internet, then you can usually type your question in the Google search bar and find an answer. There are many good web sites that will teach you everything about grammar.


There's is no '-ing' format in German, I was told about it so many times and I've learned it. However, why are they keep on translating with '-ing' such sentences? In english it should be 'You EAT an apple'. It's so frustrating for learners.


Are you referring to the progressive tense (I am eating vs I eat)? In German, it is ambiguous as to whether you are talking about simple present or present progressive (unless you have context, of course), but there are informal ways of forcing progressive.


In a previous one, I seem to recall it saying that der becomes den because apple is masculine, however other sites I see have einen being the neutral form. Am I confused in some part here?


Two questions that I didn't really get out of the questions below... (not good with words lawl)

  1. Is it only masculine whose articles change in situation like these, or do nueter and feminine also change?
  2. So, is it safe to say that ein changes to einen when the article comes after the verb? Or is it more complicated than that?

Thanks, sorry if this is cluttery...


That's not the right way to think about it. In German there are four cases: nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. Nouns, adjectives and articles change according to which case they are in. So, how do you know which case to use? Certain verbs trigger certain cases, e.g. "jemandes gedenken" triggers the genitive, "jemandem danken" triggers the dative and "jemanden grüßen" the accusative. Certain linking verbs (most notably "sein" and "werden") are followed by the nominative if they are used as a kind of equal sign.

The situation becomes even more interesting since prepositions do trigger certain cases, too: "wegen" is a genitive preposition, "mit" is a dative preposition and "für" triggers the accusative. There are also two-way prepositions like "auf" that can be followed either by dative or by accusative. In these cases, the meaning changes according to which preposition you use.

If you have figured out what case to use, you can refer to the tables Hohenems linked to, to get the correct form of the articles.


Ok got it, thanks.


I really can't understand the role of einen and den in here.could somebody help me?


Ein, eine, einen, einem, einer are all forms of the indefinite article - which translates to "a" or "an" or "one" in English. Der, das, dem, den, die are all forms of the definite article - which translates to "the" in English. You must memorize a German declension chart and pick the correct word from the chart, depending on a combination of the gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) of the word that follows the article and how the word is used in the sentence (nominative, dative, accusative). If you don't already have some understanding of these cases, then you will need to study at other websites to become familiar with the parts of speech. Once you learn to recognize the parts of speech in German, you will find learning all languages much easier, including English.

Here are a couple of good sites: http://german.about.com/library/blgramglosD.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_articles

Search for "German declension" on the Internet for additional sites.


Why we use einen instead of den?


Den means the, einen means a/an.


Why der Apfel and das Wasser? They are both nueter nouns.


No, Wasser is neuter; Apfel is masculine. Learn the gender with every noun, it's arbitrary.


I thought isst was to drink and esst was to eat.


No, not at all. Isst and esst are the same verb (look up the verb essen. To drink would be trinken.


And you wouldnt 'drink' an apple, yes?


Right, we would drink apple juice but not the hard apple.


Is there any difference between the sound of :"Isst" and "Ist"?


Not really, therefore it makes fun to say: Er ist, was er ist. or Er isst, was er isst. or Er isst, was er ist. or Er ist, was er isst.

The "ss" in "isst" can pronounce longer than in "ist" to make it clearer but normally you will not hear a difference.


How is it "you are?" I thought it was "You eating an apple."


You need an auxiliary verb to form the present progressive tense.

  • I am eating an apple.
  • You are watching TV.
  • He is running around the house.
  • We are singing a song.




First of all, going into what the kids these days call "rage-mode" doesn't solve anything. Anyway, to answer your question: Have you ever heard native English-speakers say "a apple" in regular conversation? Exactly. That's why the answer is an apple.


This is probably a stupid question. Can Sie isst einen apfel mean both "you eat/are eating..." (formal) as well as the obvious "she eats/is eating..."?

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