"I eat vegetables."
「やさいは食べます」 and 「やさいを食べます」 are accepted as correct.
The first means "As for vegetables (in general) I eat" and is equivalent to 「やさいはわたしが食べます」and the second one is "As for me, I will eat vegetables (right now/this time/today)" and is equivalent to 「わたしはやさいを食べます」.
In the negative cases you are talking about 「やさいは食べません」they are using は to show that as for vegetables in general, they do not eat them. But you could use を if you just wanted to say not right now.
By way of clarification, に doesn't solely focus on time, but has more than one meaning, one of which refers to time on a clock or dates on a calendar or days of the week, etc. If you want to know more, look it up in A Basic Dictionary Of Japanese Grammar by The Japan Times (it's a yellow-cover book and has all the grammar you'd need to hold conversations with people). It explains all the different particles and the most commonly used grammar points in the language.
I agree that the course isn't very well structured, but I think the idea is that you're supposed to figure out grammar and sentence formation through these exercises. I'm sure the notes on the web version will help when they get released.
Also, there are three kinds of scripts to deal with ;) hiragana, katakana, and kanji
Grammatically, を is correct in both the positive and negative sentences. Actually, は also works for both positive and negative sentences, but is far more common in negative sentences.
The difference in choosing は over を is that it highlights the object, and therefore, in negative sentences, highlights the negative-ness associated with it.
That didn't really make sense, did it? Let me try again:
- やさいを食べません = "I don't eat vegetables." (Normal, informative, boring)
- やさいは食べません = "Vegetables, I don't eat them." (Emphasis on the exclusion of vegetables from what you eat)
So would the use of をmore express just a dislike of something while は might express more clearly a dietary restriction? Like にくは食べません, I do not eat meat, to express being a vegetarian? I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but just in trying to understand what this difference is.
Hmm, no, it's more like contextual emphasis rather than any change in meaning or degree. I'm sorry I didn't explain it very well in my previous comment, but it doesn't help that there isn't really a strict grammatical difference.
By contextual emphasis, I mean "how important is 'vegetable' to the conversation". If, for example, you were talking about salads, and someone said how they love salad so they ask you if you like salad too. If you just said "あ、食べません", by context, everyone will assume you said "Uh, I don't eat salad." If you said "あ、やさいを食べません", everyone will assume we're still talking about salads, and you just don't eat the vegetables in you salad, i.e. you only eat the croutons or (drink?) the dressing? However, if you said "あ、やさいは食べません", you elevating "vegetable" to be the topic of the conversation, so now everyone understands that you're not just talking about salads; you mean you don't eat vegetables in general (the reason for that is completely irrelevant to the fact you don't eat vegetables, which is what you stated.)
Because using は adds contextual emphasis, it tends to make the negative sentences more general. So if, in a similar scenario as above, we're talking about ordering a salad instead, when you say "あ、やさいは食べません", you're elevating "vegetable" again which makes it sound like "as a matter of principle, I don't eat vegetables". On the other hand, "あ、やさいを食べません" continues the same topic (of ordering salad), and you're simply not eating the vegetables today, though you may still order a salad.
In summary, changing from を to は can strongly imply a change in meaning or degree, but it actually only adds emphasis. How that emphasis goes on to affect the interpretation of the rest of the sentence relies completely on the context you're using the sentence. I hope you understand that it's difficult to explain this kind of thing intuitively (or succinctly), especially for beginners. Honestly, the best way to really understand it is to get exposure to lots of different sentences in lots of different situations and just get a "feel" for it.
食べ = tabe = eat, to eat. 食べます = tabemasu = will/do/can eat. 食べません = tabemasen = will not/do not/can not eat. I suppose you could leave out ます and have it be assumed, and its possible that it could be common even to do so, but just like you elementary school made you learn prooer grammar, so does this app.
There's a lot in your explanation that's simply incorrect. It saddens me that your comments have received so many upvotes.
First, 食べ on its own is nonsensical. You cannot drop the ます and have it be assumed because it's an essential part of the verb.
食べ can be used in conjunction with other nouns as a sort of prefix, like 食べ物 (tabemono = "things you eat"/"food") otherwise the ます indicates that you are using the polite present tense form of the root verb 食べる
These polite present tense forms 食べます and 食べません only describe general actions, habitual actions, or near future actions. That is to say, they mean "do/will (not) eat" but not "can (not) eat". This requires a different conjugation, called potential form.
食べ in this sentence is the verb stem which gives part of the meaning of the verb, "to eat". The rest of the verb, ます in this case, indicates that the verb is being used in the polite simple present/non-past tense.
To give an example, if you changed the verb ending to ました so you get 食べました, you're still talking about the idea of "to eat" - it just happened in the past because ました is the polite simple past tense ending. So, 野菜を食べました means "I ate vegetables".
The Kanji for vegetables is 野菜 and is pronounced やさい. On a PC you should be able to type 野菜 by entering yasai and then pressing the space bar. On a mobile device when you enter yasai you should see an option for either やさい or 野菜, both of which will be accepted in a sentence within Duolingo that speaks about vegetables.
Prime example of a previous comment i made. In this question the translation for "I eat vegetables" is "野菜を食べます". In a few different questions, the aim is to translate something similiar like "i eat (vegetables) and its given me an i correct answer for not putting "私わ野菜を食べます" Thr only difference i can guess is the formality of the sentence however duo isnt giving me a clear indication of this. I just wanna know if anyone else feels like this or if im doing smthn wrong
Yes, and no. 野菜をいただきます is a valid Japanese sentence, but it's subtly different from the English sentence "I eat vegetables."
I would say that, depending on the situation, 野菜をいただきます could mean either you are thanking someone for giving you vegetables or you are electing to receive vegetables (instead of something else). Of course, the ultimate implied intention of you receiving the vegetables is eating them, but that's not what いただきます refers to.