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  5. The woman IS drinking.


The woman IS drinking.

So at one point in basic 1 lvl 3 : Duolinguo asks you to translate the phrase " the woman is drinking" . The answer is: Die frau trinkt. Now what I'm how come the they exclude is. Why isn't the answer : Die frau ist trinkt? For that matter how would you translate " the woman drinks"? Thanks

May 31, 2017



There is only the simple present in German.

'Die Frau trinkt' can translate as 'The woman drinks' (simple present) 'The woman is drinking' (present progressive) 'The woman does drink' (present emphatic)

Or rather all of these English sentences would translate as 'Die Frau trinkt'.


The only way to get a present progressive in German is with sentence constructions like this: Die trinkende Frau. But be careful, this is not a complete sentence, but rather the subject of a sentence. A complete sentence using a present progressive would be: Die trinkende Frau schaut zu mir.

While this is called "Gerundium" in German, like in English it explains being in the state of doing something.


There's another way to get present progressive that's rather colloquial, I believe. At least, it's something I learned from my mother, and it's hard to get her to stick to just Hochdeutsch. The construct is sein (conjugated) + am or beim (i'm not entirely sure about the difference between the two, but my mom pretty much always uses am, so that's probably regional) + infinitive (capitalized because it's acting as a noun). So, Die Frau ist am Trinken. I learned this because I once noticed that it was raining, turned to my mother and said "Hey, es regnet." and she responded with "Nein, es ist am Regnen." and I, as a German 1 student at the time, was confused and upset.


you have to remember this is another language therefore not all grammatical rules translate over exactly to German.

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