"The dog drinks water."
Translation:Der Hund trinkt Wasser.
No, that's not a good idea. You will be sounding weird for native German speakers with that "simplification", because every sentence is being constructed with "help" of grammatical gender: der/die/das/den/dem, ein/eine, mein/meine, dein/deine, etc, etc. And other point is that you will remember all the nouns with the "das" article, and that later will make your "way" towards to the correct articles much harder
That is why it is important to stop thinking in other languages and start thinking in German if you really want to get far in it.
And when you learn a new noun, learn the article that goes with it instead of the noun by itself. Instead of Hund, it would be der/ein Hund. Instead of Maus, it would be die/eine Maus. das/ein Händchen instead of Händchen. That helps in figuring out whether it is Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter.
Der for masculine nominative - Der Hund trinkt Wasser Das for neuter nominative - Das Pferd is sehr frech Die for feminine nominative - Die Maus ist sehr klein Die is also used for plurals, even of neuter and masculine nouns - Die Hunde trinken Wasser
If it is in the accusative case "Die" and "Das" will stay the same but "Der" becomes "Den"
Hope this helped
I tried "Wasser trinkt der Hund", since I understand that the subject and object can be swapped (provided that e.g. "der" is still used to mark the subject), but it was marked wrong -- is it? I was hopeful because there was a similar case earlier, and duolingo mentioned as much ("Another possible translation is...")
Here's a really helpful guide for verbs, the endings indicate person and number
1st Person, Trinke 1st Person, Trinken
2nd Person, Trinkst 2nd Person, Trinke
3rd Person, Trinke 3rd Person, Trinken
Think of person as you talking to someone, for example "I" is 1st person because I'm referring to myself. 2nd person is you referring to someone else, like "You are cool". 3rd person is speaking to someone and referring to someone else, "He/She/It is cool". Plural is the same but referring to multiple people, we, you all, they.
1st "I" "We"
2nd "You" "You all" 3rd "He/She/It" "They" German endings at the end of the verb are tied to their pronoun to indicate person and number. Singular Plural 1st -e -en 2nd -et -t 3rd -t -en To answer your question, their endings have different persons and numbers