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  5. "Das Mädchen isst Obst."

"Das Mädchen isst Obst."

Translation:The girl eats fruit.

February 12, 2013



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. :-)


If "Ich bin eine Banane" is possible then I totally agree with you on "Das Mädchen ist Obst"


No way to tell difference by hearing; so honestly it's just context, which Duolingo makes a game out of as we can see with THIS example...


I don't think there is a way to tell the difference by hearing


I think it's a matter of context clues. There's no way that someone would assume that some girl is fruit if someone else said "das Mädchen isst Obst".


I guess Duo is ok with us laughing at ourself... I am a fruit, but does not want to teach us to say that to other people


Why obst and not frucht?


Obst is the most common mass noun for "fruit (in general)", when you are not counting out individual fruits.


Why not "the girl is eating fruit" or "the girl's eating fruit"?


I answered "The girl eats fruit". Duolingo responded that my answer was wrong and the answer is "The girl is having fruit". I don't get it.


The could be more the one girl eating fruit.There is not enough information to tell me otherwise :) So why did I get it wrong and how can I tell the difference?


It's about articles and verb forms is German. When we talk about "girls" there is Die Madchen, not Das. Also verb in plural case will be "essen" ([many people] are eating), not "isst" ([he/she/it] eats).


So, is there a plural form of "Öbst" in German?


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...


7heo, i think that in English we can't say "i eat fruit"! but "a fruit" or "fruits". It is what i always read in the Turkish course.


Mariane, in English it is normal and mosts common to say "I eat fruit". To say "I eat a fruit" sounds very unnatural. You would name the fruit (I eat an apple). To say "I eat fruits" implies more that you eat a variety of different fruits.


jess1camar, i realize that it's because in French we don't say "elle mange DU fruit"="she eats fruit" in the same way as we say "elle mange DE la viande"="she eats meat". I think it is an exception.


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.


Obst (without the umlaut) does not have a plural form. Here's a link with a very good explanation. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3915467


Why not " Das Mädchen ist Obst "


Because the girl isn't fruit. She eats it.


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.

[deactivated user]

    Wow, she was just eating rice in the last exercise!


    i wrote "the girl is eating fruits" and it was incorrect. does obst have a plural form?


    could "isst" be spelled with the duoble "s" sign? just wandering.


    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.


    Wouldn't another word for fruit be "Früchte"? What's the difference between Obst and Früchte?


    What is the plural form of obst?


    There isn't one. Das Obst refers to fruit in general, so it does not have a plural form, just like English 'produce' does not.


    Chssh you can get me the money


    I fully underwrite the confusion, did I have it wrong for not having the umlaut on my keyboard? Or omitting the capital letter "O" for Obst??


    I answered as "The girls eat fruit" and it said the correct answer would be "The girl is having fruit" I don't understand.


    "Das Mädchen" is "the girl". "The girls" would be "die Mädchen". In English "having fruit" and "eating fruit" are roughly equivalent. Does that help at all?


    So what if the sentence isnt tlking about a female or a male whay the would you use


    Why "The girl eats fruits" is considered wrong answer? When Obst means fruits in general?


    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 word ist sounds similar so how do you differentiate between isst and ist by sound especially when you talk faster


    Most of the time the context will make it really clear. If there's food involved, it's almost certainly going to be 'isst'. If there's an adjective, or other likely something to be, it'll be 'ist'.


    Is it the same when I answer the girl is eating the fruit?


    Yes, the German present tense (isst) conveys both present (eats) and present progressive (is eating) in English.


    Why is the girl is eating fruits wrong? Is it cause obst only means a single fruit?


    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".


    i wrote "the girl eats the fruit" because in proper translation, "the girl eats fruit" doenst make sense in singular form...but waa tild i'm wrong so how do we translate


    "The girl eats fruit" is absolutely a natural and correct English sentence. Less common, I think, would be "the girl eats the fruit", unless you have already specified the fruit. I eat fruit every day. I eat the fruit in my fruit basket.


    the girl eats fruits , incorrect


    Why is the girl eats fruits wrong ?


    It should be just "fruit". Take a look through the discussion board - this question has been asked and answered a lot!


    Why cant the translation be The girl is eating fruits ?


    It should be just "fruit". Take a look through the discussion board - this question has been asked and answered a lot!


    In German we don't have present simple and continuous, so both forms should be good, isn't it?


    Yes, either "eats" or "is eating" does the trick!


    The "correct answer" offered is not good English.


    Why do you feel that way? "The girl eats fruit." is a natural and correct English sentence.


    The girls eat fruit, not eating fruit- makes no sense in English.


    Das Mädchen is singular. The girl is eating fruit makes perfect sense in English.


    wstockall is correct. In addition, whether the subject is singular or plural, both the present (eats) and present progressive/continuous (is eating) are both correct translations of the German present tense 'isst'.


    Sorry, my answer is correct. Is eating or eats is about present tense.


    If Duo marks your answer wrong and you have questions for the forum, it is helpful to include a screenshot, or at least copy and paste your full answer so there is some reference. There is also the option to report a problem with an exercise.


    I wrote "The girl is eating fruits" and it gave wrong answer. Can anyone tell what i am missing?


    I wrote "The girl is eating fruits" and it gave wrong answer. Can anyone tell what i am missing?


    It should just be 'fruit', since it is being used as a general non-quantifiable term.


    There was no distinction between 'ist' and 'isst ' in Deutschland till the Romans brought in the Roman script. I recollect the history by reading between these words.


    Why it can't be 'the girl eats fruits'?


    That's not a natural English sentence. You might say that the girl eats a variety of fruits, but we don't talk about eating 'fruits'.


    Why it can't be'the girl is eating fruits'?


    'Fruits' as a plural refers to different types of fruit. Examples: I eat tropical fruits, my friend avoids red fruits, etc. But if I just have a healthy diet that includes lots of produce, I say I have fruit for breakfast, not 'fruits' (even if I may have a variety in my fruit bowl).


    I can certainly imageine contexts for "Das Madchen ist Obst" !!!


    Why "fruit" not "fruits" ?


    This comes up again and again on this discussion board. 'Fruit' is the standard, and only in rare cases do you use a plural 'fruits'. "Many fruits are red", for example, is talking about quantifiable objects. However, I eat fruit for breakfast, or I always have two pieces of fruit before dinner, etc.

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