OK, this is going to sound stupid, but if this is spoken (I had an audio question) ist sounds just like isst to me. How do we know that we are supposed to use "eats" instead of "is" other than the fact that girls are not fruit? Given some of the ridiculous things you can find in the questions on DuoLingo sometimes "The girl is fruit" doesn't entirely seem out of the question. :-)
That is also a valid translation as far as I know, but some exercises only allow the use of one translation.
I was asking a friend exactly the same question. This sentence's translation is completely arbitrary and duolingo is pretty misleading on that one. As far as I have been told, "Das Mädchen isst Obst." can translate to:
- "The girl is eating fruits."
- "The girl is eating a fruit."
- "The girl generally eats fruits."
- "The girl generally eats a fruit."
depending on the context; and without any, the third option (which is incorrect according to duolingo for at least two reasons (plural vs singular and simple present vs present continuous)) is the most likely one...
jees, i'm thinking to the expression "i eat meat""i eat bread"; in this case we don't need to use an "a" before meat. But with "fruit" it is not the same. I just now ask to an English native; he said that "i eat a fruit or i eat fruits are ok, not "i eat fruit". Is "fruit" in the English sentence here is as the same level of generality as "meat" or "bread"?
Mariane, I'm not sure who you're asking, but between myself (native US-American English speaker, degree in Germanic linguistics, German teacher) and my husband (native UK-English speaker, teacher of English as a foreign language), we can assure you that "fruit" is a general term that absolutely forms like "I eat meat, I eat bread, I eat fish, etc." No one (at least no one we know or no one who presents written information) in standard American or British English says "I eat a fruit" in normal circumstances. It would be common to hear "I eat fruit" as a general statement of healthy dietary habits; "I eat a piece of fruit (as a healthy snack)" - this may often be found in the progressive "I am eating..."; "I eat a banana" - using the specific fruit one is eating.
Ist = is Isst = eats/eating
So "Das Mädchen isst Obst" would be feasibile I believe, but saying "Das Mädchen ist Obst" would change the meaning entirely (she is a fruit instead of she eats fruit.) Still grammatically correct... But it might not be what you're going for lol.
Apparently ißt is the old spelling and isst is the new spelling. What I read is that the new spelling is the more common one. Also found this https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4652875/German-eating-Why-is-isst-not-i%C3%9Ft Hope this helps.
Fruit and Obst are words, without plural markers, that work to describe a collection of things. If someone says "fruits", I understand that as a reference to various types of fruits, and in German we see "Früchte", which, again, refers usually to multiple types of fruits, rather than "fruit" as a food group.
If I like fruit in general, I like fruit/Obst. If I like some fruits, but not others, I'd go with fruits/Früchte.
The correct answer sounds entirely arbitrary and unfair. I answered "The girl eats fruits" in plural, because I knew beforehand that Obst has no plural and I had the understanding that it meant both "fruit" and "fruits". Got it wrong because of the plural for some reason.
You don't usually say someone eats "fruit", you tend to say the name of that fruit, or you use "fruits" to indicate there's more than one kind or that the kind is not specific.
I have to disagree. The English sentence "the girl eats fruits" sounds odd, probably because the plural "fruits" is used to refer to types of fruit. For example: “There are many fruits available in India which I've never seen in the US.” We do NOT use “fruits” when referring to many pieces of the same type of fruit. A barrel of apples, for example, contains fruit, not fruits.
That said, it is also possible to use “fruit” when referring to mixed types of fruit. For example: “I always have a bowl of fresh fruit on the table.” When in doubt, "fruit" is the best choice.The most common way to say this sentence is absolutely "the girl eats/is eating fruit".