"He reads the newspaper."

Translation:Er liest die Zeitung.

February 24, 2013

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why didn't we us den here? is there an easy way to remember this?


Because the feminine accusative article is "die". All German nouns with suffix ~ung are feminine.


Thanks! I was wondering when to use "die" and "der" and "den".


Why do you use liest instead of other two


Its a matter of conjugation that follows the stated subject. For example, the subject 'ich' will usually follow with verbs that ends with -e and 'du' will follow verbs that ends with -st


But it starts with 'er' and -t is used for 'er',right?


In the case of "trinkst" 2nd person plural and 3rd person plural have same forms "trinkt". But for "liest" its the 2nd person singular and 3rd person singular that have the same forms: liest. How messed up!


In the case of "trinkst" 2nd person plural and 3rd person plural have same forms "trinkt".

No, they don't.

2nd person plural ends in -t: ihr trinkt

3rd person plural ends in -en: sie trinken

3rd person singular ends in -t: er trinkt, sie trinkt, es trinkt

But for "liest" its the 2nd person singular and 3rd person singular that have the same forms: liest.

A combination of two things:

  • The stem les- ends in -s, so the 2nd person singular ending is just -t and not -st. This is regular for stems ending in a /s/ sound (-s -ss -ß -x -z).
  • Some verbs change their vowel in the 2nd and 3rd person singular: from -e- to -i- or -ie, from -a- to -ä-, or from -au- to -äu-

So depending on whether one, both, or neither apply, the 3rd person singular may look like the 2nd person singular or plural or neither.

  • trinken: du trinkst, er trinkt, ihr trinkt (most basic/regular form: 3sg = 2pl)
  • tragen: du trägst, er trägt, ihr tragt (vowel change; 2sg, 3sg, 2pl all distinct)
  • reisen: du reist, er reist, ihr reist (verb in -s: 2sg = 3sg = 2pl)
  • lesen: du liest, er liest, ihr lest (vowel change and -s: 2sg = 3sg)


why is "er liest die nachrichten" incorrect? thanks ;)


die Nachrichten is "the news".

You might read the news on your smartphone. That's "the news", but it's not a newspaper.

die Zeitung is "the newspaper".


How do we distinguish gender for the word The in german?


You look it up in the dictionary and memorise it.

Sometimes, you can guess (with Zeitung, since words with the ending -ung are feminine), but mostly, you can't -- you just have to remember.


Is there an easy way remember the spelling with words ie and ei in German ? In english I was taught Alice rule. C succeeds with ei (receive, perceive) and l succeeds with ie (believe , relieve) etc.


Is there an easy way remember the spelling with words ie and ei in German ?

Sure -- they're pronounced completely differently.

Some people use the mnemonic "when two vowels go a-walking, the second does the talking" to remember that in German, ie sounds like English "long e" as in "beet", while ei sounds like English "long i" as in "bite".

So for example, leider (unfortunately) and Lieder (songs) are written differently because they're pronounced differently. Similarly with dien! (serve!) and dein (your), sied! (boil!) and seid (are), hießt (were called - past) and heißt (are called - present).

Once you know the pronunciation, you'll remember the spelling easily.

In english I was taught Alice rule.

also known as "i before e, except after c", sometimes extended to ", except when it sounds like ay, as in neighbor and weigh -- and weird is just weird".

Completely irrelevant to German.

Note also that "receive" and "believe" rhyme exactly; in English ie and ei usually represent the same sound. Not so in German at all, where they represent two different sounds; German children don't mix them up any more than English schoolchildren mix up, say, "pan" and "pen" -- since those words sound differently, and the "short a" sound is regularly written with the letter a and the "short e" sound regularly with the letter e. So also in German: the "ei" sound is regularly written ei. (But the "long i" sound can be written i or ie or even ieh; gibt used to be giebt, for example. The spelling here is convention.)


Why did we use die here ?


Because the equivalent word for the article ' the' in "the newspaper " in german is "die" as " die Zeitung ".

Remember, newspaper in german is of feminine. So we use its gender specific article.

Incase of apple (Apfel) in german it is masculine. So " the apple" will be "Der Apfel".


Remember, newspaper in german is of feminine.

Careful: grammatical gender is attached to a German word, not to a concept or an English word.

For example, "the city center" could be die Innenstadt (feminine) or das Stadtzentrum (neuter).

So please don't say things such as "newspaper in German is feminine" -- the feminine gender belongs to the German word Zeitung, not to the English word "newspaper" or to the idea of a newspaper. Instead, say, "Zeitung is feminine".


Ok., ok., I got it.
Thank you.


How can I chat with u? If it's possible


Duolingo does not offer any direct messaging feature, and it counsels against providing email addresses or other contact details.


Why isnt isnt it "Er liest der Zeitung"?


Why isnt isnt it "Er liest der Zeitung"?

lesen is a normal transitive verb -- it takes a direct object in the accusative case.

And die Zeitung is feminine.

Thus you need feminine accusative die here, not feminine dative/genitive der.

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