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  5. "A duck is a bird."

"A duck is a bird."

Translation:Eine Ente ist ein Vogel.

March 5, 2013



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


You use ein for der, das and eine for die


Are there any exceptions to this rule?


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


No Not as long as it is used as an article


Eine is feminine


'Sein' never takes the accusative.


why not “enien Vogel ” ?

  • 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


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!

  • 2551

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


Yes it would be einen because then it would be accusative


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


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


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.


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


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


New rules. Danke Schön!!


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


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


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.


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


Please explain difference between der die das den der


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!


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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 :)


Is there any phonetic difference between ist and isst?

No, none.


why is it not der ente ist ein vogel


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


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


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


Is the articel of Vogel der? or das?


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


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


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


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


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


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

No. einen would be masculine accusative.


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


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


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


What is the meaning of Nominative and Accusative?


Shouldn't Bird be considered a neuter noun?


Shouldn't Bird be considered a neuter noun?

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


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.


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.


There was not an option to choose Ente


What is the nominative and the akusative of Vogel?


What is the nominative and the akusative of Vogel?

They're both Vogel.

Most German nouns don't change much.


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


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!


It is really confusing when to use ein and eine


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


...well duck is in english for one.

And en is pluralification in german for two.

I think you mean ducks.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.)


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


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.


"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").


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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