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  5. "A duck is a bird."

"A duck is a bird."

Translation:Eine Ente ist ein Vogel.

March 5, 2013

79 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psydocm

I'm confused about when to use Ein verses Eine. Any suggestions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silviurusu

You use ein for der, das and eine for die


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IncensedPanther1

Are there any exceptions to this rule?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshnaSingh15

Yes, it depends on the case. In German, you have four cases, Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genative :) A chart can help explain this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria061202

No Not as long as it is used as an article


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MonicaJugd

Eine is feminine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

'Sein' never takes the accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuqingyou

why not “enien Vogel ” ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
  • 2551

@fuqingyou : This sentence uses the nominative case: duck = bird. When 'something equals something else' then you know it's nominative. der Vogel, ein Vogel
See this link for the inflection of ein: http://canoo.net/inflection/ein:Art:Indef:SG


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/varun3232

Levi I faced a question today, where I was asked to translate "The cat is eating a bird". When I answered, "die Katze isst einen Vogel" it told me I am wrong and that the right answer should be "die Katze isst ein Vogel". Could you explain this case? I think I should have reported it, but alas I did not. Maybe I am just wrong here!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Levi
  • 2551

@varpande : You were right, it should definitely be "Die Katze isst einen Vogel." (or "Die Katze frisst einen Vogel.")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jelena.queen

Yes it would be einen because then it would be accusative


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacquifm

Thanks! There are a lot of rules to remember with these cases. Ugh!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agentner

@Levi : Danke! Your link was very helpful!!! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mauropnn

it's an inference, not an equality, 'cause "bird" and "duck" aren't interchangeable words. "every duck is a bird" is true, but the inverse, "every bird is a duck", isn't necessarily true.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EliaYen

Just to confirm, "A duck is a bird" should be translated to "Eine Ente ist Ein Vogel“?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gdionelli

I'm not sure how I was supposed to know this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wahyuprata2

New rules. Danke Schön!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Regar

I find it interesting that Ente being feminine and Vogel being masculine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soumya213

It shud be "Eine Ente ist einen Vogel", am i wrong!!!?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oli0808

Unfortunately yes. 'Ist' only requires the nominative, not the accusation. If the duck had a bird then it would be 'hat' which requires the accusative. Eine Ente hat einen Vogel obwohl eine Ente ist ein Vogel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FahadBinEm

"Eine Ente hat einen Vogel obwohl eine Ente ein Vogel ist "


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mumin525847

Please explain difference between der die das den der


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JiveshM

While speaking, how can you distinguish 'isst' from 'ist'? For example, if a person interprets "Hitler ist ein Mann" as "Hitler isst ein Mann", the meaning changes a lot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/courtpit

Why do you have to use the word Hitler? ._.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamFlood1

Because he isn't Voldemort... he can't send Death Eaters after you so calm down. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axolartl

Because unfortunately the comments section for the German course seems to be crawling with people who haven't figured out that if they go to Germany and pull that Nazi dogwhistle stuff they WILL be punished to the fullest extent of German law, and duolingo as far as I know has no way of reporting such people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

There is no difference in pronunciation. In your particular example you would know as you eat "einen Mann" but you are "ein Mann".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eplus17

A better example might be "Hilde ist/isst eine Ente." A person by the name of Hilde might be eating a duck, or you might have a pet duck named Hilde. And yes, there would be no difference in pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oli0808

In the real-world would you say the sentence differently to avoid confusion?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

I would only if I had a friend named Hilde who likes to eat duck and at the same time a pet of the same name and I sort of managed to talk about both of them on the last five minutes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria061202

The same problem appears with “hast“ (have) and “hasst“ (hate)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor_Sushi

Is there any phonetic difference between ist and isst? For example, "Eine Ente isst eine Katze" vs "Eine Ente ist eine Katze" but with nouns that mak more sense :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Is there any phonetic difference between ist and isst?

No, none.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarrettPlays

why is it not der ente ist ein vogel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oli0808

Because it is 'A duck', rather than 'The duck' :) Also if it was 'The duck' it would be 'Die Ente' as it is feminine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikaelkallin

How come Die Ente ist ein Vogel is wrong? The duck (as a species) is a bird?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oli0808

It is a duck, not the duck. Ist es eine Ente, nicht die Ente.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valentinus14

Is the articel of Vogel der? or das?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NanakoAC

I answered "Eine Ente ist ein Vogel" and the site tells me that i'm wrong, and says that the correct answer is "Die Ente ist ein Vogel"

How can that be correct? It's A duck, not THE duck. i don't see how die makes sense here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oddish001

i did what u did but the correct solution was what i wrote


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oddish001

do u have to put the letters in capital to get it correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FasihZ

No, but it's good practice if you do so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Izzie_Davis

It would be einen instead of ein because it is dative. Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It would be einen instead of ein because it is dative. Right?

No. einen would be masculine accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OceanKek

it showed "DIe Ente..." they accidently capitalized the i in "Die"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/basset1022

Someone please tell me When you use akkusativ Is it always or just sometimes with some verbes !! Und danke schön


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FasihZ

By definition, Akkusativ is when there's something being done to someone i.e., some action being performed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parth670698

What is the meaning of Nominative and Accusative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parth670698

Shouldn't Bird be considered a neuter noun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Shouldn't Bird be considered a neuter noun?

There is no "should" with grammatical gender. It's arbitrary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eternalinstant

Why is duck, Ente, female and bird, Vogel, male?

Is there a quick way to look at the shape of a word and determine if male or female, ie does end in vowel equal female word and consonent end of word mean male word?

I do not understand word genders.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why is duck, Ente, female and bird, Vogel, male?

No reason. Grammatical gender does not follow logic.

Is there a quick way to look at the shape of a word and determine if male or female, ie does end in vowel equal female word and consonent end of word mean male word?

Not in general, unfortunately.

There are some suffixes that will tell you the gender (e.g. -schaft, -heit, -keit, -ung on abstract nouns are feminine) and some tendencies (e.g. words in -e are often feminine), but in general, you just have to look it up in a dictionary and memorise it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Huracan505243

There was not an option to choose Ente


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elediossar

What is the nominative and the akusative of Vogel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What is the nominative and the akusative of Vogel?

They're both Vogel.

Most German nouns don't change much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ludwig831091

One of the answers has a capital i in 'die', as in DIe


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/21aardvark12

Can anyone explain exactly why 'The' and 'A' (amongst many others) actually change? I know the 'Falls' (Wemfall, Wesfall, etc), but am interested in how this case stuff all came about, when in English we have 'the', and it never changes, although it means word order is important. And why do words have to have a gender?! It makes life so difficult! When a new item is invented or discovered, who decides what gender it will be? Is there a committee?! Just wondered!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SiemAndom

It is really confusing when to use ein and eine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oateasse

Why doesn't DL accept 'ducken'? Just curious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eternalinstant

...well duck is in english for one.

And en is pluralification in german for two.

I think you mean ducks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Why doesn't DL accept 'ducken'? Just curious.

ducken is a verb, meaning "to duck", i.e. to crouch down, usually in order to avoid something.

But this sentence is about "a duck" -- the word "duck" is used as a noun here (a kind of bird), so you need the word Ente.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thatfancykid

Nooooo, you need to learn when and what of these you are going to use: ein, eine, einen, einem, einer, eines


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eternalinstant

Those mean what.

A(m), A(f), one, einem, einer, eines

I translated the ones I think I know. I have no idea what the other three are meant to be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thepetar

So, it is ok to say both "Die Ente ist einen Vogel" and "Die Ente ist ein Vogel"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

No, you must use nominative for both. It is called predicate nominative (it exists in English). The same goes for werden (when used as the main verb, meaning to become). I don't know if there are more.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchnapsHexe

It exists in English, but most speakers don't follow that rule, except in certain social situations. Example: (Answering the phone) "It's I", "This is she," etc. (Pointing to a photo) "That's me", "It's her," etc.

Note that this latter example isn't correct, it's just what people do. The correct form would be the predicate nominative: (Pointing to a photo) "That's I", "It's she," etc.

Some people manage to pull off the correct forms without sounding like asses, but to most people it sounds awkward. I've notices that Germans tend to use the proper forms more than Americans. (I didn't know about the Swedes.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/littleclaude

How do you know the difference between nom. and acc.? no one has answered my question or is not able.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

It depends on what you mean. If it is written, then some words change following the case, but not always. The easiest way to see the grammatical case is when the article changes (der - den or ein - einen). If what you want is to know which one to use, then you must understand the grammatical function you want to convey. In practice you may learn by repeating, after all, most Germans do not think which grammatical case to use, it is just natural.

Example:

"The boy eats the apple" can be written both "der Junge isst den Apfel" or "den Apfel isst der Junge". "The apple eats the boy" (yeah I know it sounds funny) would be "der Apfel isst den Junge" or "den Junge isst der Apfel".

Note that the accusative is used in other cases as well, for example with some prepositions ("ohne den Schlüssel", "für dich") or with expressions of time ("den ganzen Tag", "jedes Jahr"). I suppose you will see these later. The nominative, on the other hand, is always used to indicate the subject of the action. As I pointed out in another comment, with some verbs you use always nominative for both the subject and the object (like with "to be").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wavier

There are more: sein, werden, heißen, scheinen (zu sein), bleiben, gelten (als), (sich) fühlen (als), (sich) dünken (als), (sich) erweisen (als), (sich) entpuppen (als), sich glauben (als).

See http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominativ#Der_Gleichsetzungsnominativ_.28Pr.C3.A4dikatsnominativ.29

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