"He is eating cake."
Translation:Er isst Kuchen.
To DuoLingo: I love this app including the rewards, leagues, immediate feedback, colours etc. I would like to request an addition to the answers screens. At the moment, it is red for a correction and that certainly grabs my attention. When I get it right, green for go and I click on to the next one.
Sometimes, though, I miss a spelling or umlaut or do the wrong 2ord ending (like here I did Kuche rather than Kuchen). Thanks for giving me a free pass - which is perfect for a typo - but I've found I tend to click on for the green automatically and miss the chance to learn from my errors. Could you colour these mauve, or blue, or amber or something, so we are alerted to check the message please ?
This is called "Nullartikel". It is used, among other things, when refering to uncountable nouns or an undefined number of countable nouns.
Kuchen is a special case, as it can be considered countable or uncountable. So this sentence could mean "He eats some (amount of) cake" (uncountable) or "He eats (an unknown number of) cakes (countable).
It also works with other words
Er isst Äpfel - He eats apples (countable but undefined)
Er trinkt Wasser - He drinks water (uncountable)
You may use Torte for a certain kind of cake. According to https://www.proflowers.com › blog "Tortes, by definition, are a type of cake. ... Ingredients Difference – A traditional cake is made with ingredients mainly consisting of sugar, eggs, butter and flour. A torte, however, calls for little to no flour and the use of ground nuts or breadcrumbs in its place. 25 Aug 2016"