"Es ist ein Apfel."

Translation:It is an apple.

March 6, 2013

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SirTBubs

how can we audibaly recognize if "it is an apple" or "it eats an apple" apart from real life context?

April 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AgenTsi

The "an apple" in "it is an apple" takes the article ein because the verb "to be" equates two things. In this sentence, both "it" and "apple" are nominative case. "It is an apple" = "Es ist ein Apfel."

The "an apple" in "it eats an apple" takes the article einen because the apple can receive the action "eat." In other words, "apple" is accusative case here and the article changes. "It is an apple" = "Es ist einen Apfel."

Tl;dr - ist and isst is pronounced the same way. If the object is masculine singular, the article attached to it should be able to let you know if the verb is ist or isst. If the object is feminine, neuter or plural, context is the only way to tell the difference.

April 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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You have a mistake in your post (your mind must have wandered while you were typing).

Second paragraph:
"It is an apple" = "Es ist einen Apfel."

This should read "It eats an apple" = "Es isst einen Apfel."

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaVrbaki

Es ist ein Apfel - it is Nominative, "It is an apple"

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/koursk
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Danke agenTsi merci

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ozzy24

how will I know when to use ein Apfel and einen Apfel?

July 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/TimothyGeek

"Einen" if the subject is doing something to the apple - "Ich esse einen Apfel." "Die Frau isst einen Apfel."

"Ein" otherwise - "Das ist ein Apfel." "Es ist ein Apfel."

August 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Gayathri530866

Thanks a lot......

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/rozieland

Vielen dank!

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tiboprea
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Danke!

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RebornBeetle

If the apple does the action it is ein if something is doing the action TO the apple it is einen

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/shieldgenerator7

So I typed "Es isst ein Apfel" and it translated it as "It is an apple" But isn't "isst" the he/she form of "to eat"?

August 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BWLove
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The way I get it: To be: sie/er/es ist ein apfel To eat: sie/er/es isst einen apfel

February 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidRobin9

makes sense

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fmittica
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I did the same thing! I am also interested in the difference.

November 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sunam8888

For me too and it even said correct! Probably should report problem?

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/chris133

Dear Hohenems... The link you provided has been checked by me, but you still please need to move from technical terms at this point in time to more simpler terms for me... My question therefore is: Why not "einen Apfel"? If you say it's in the nominative form, what is in the nominative form, "Es" or "Ist"? and how and why is it in the nominative form? Cheers

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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Here's another way to think about it. The subject of the sentence, "es," is in the nominative case. The subject of a sentence--that is, the thing that "acts," is always nominative--thus, der, die, das.

In this case, "Es ist ein Apfel" means Es = "Apfel"; the sentence essentially says the two things are the same thing, so they're also both the same case--which means the Apfel is also nominative case.

(In case you're interested--in English, "ein Apfel" in this sentence would be called a predicate nominative, which means that it's the same thing that the subject of the sentence is.)

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Hey Chris, I wrote up a nice long paragraph to help you, then accidentally hit the "back" button and lost it. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to write up a "discussion" detailing my process for answering the questions I had when I first started learning German with Duo. Then I'll post the discussion in the German forum, complete with links and step by step instructions. Then I'll come back here and give you the link to my discussion. The discussion will be a general "how to", but I'll use the sentence "Es ist ein Apfel" as an example, and hopefully I address all your questions and other people's questions too. I will not explain what "nominative case" is but I will point you in the right direction. Also, I know that when I ask questions sometimes the person answering starts using terms that I don't understand (and never learned in school), so I'll do what I can to keep it simple. This might take me an hour or so, but it is a slow day at my work today, so I'll enjoy doing it. ;) Cheers.

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chris133

Cheers then.. l'll check back in a bit.

(Please note: I've also been doing my research. By research, I mean the LINKS you and the other experienced DUO staff members or personnel or moderators provide to us individuals (WE BEGINNERS), and I must say that the LINKS basically move on to websites with more complex topics about the German Language. The LINKS sometimes take you to pages that have little English translations of the German words, so how then does one take the time to learn that (I cant use the German-English dictionary to translate a website page because that simply takes me from learning the initial German word which I was initially seeking; in this case: Einen Apfel or Ein Apfel, to a more advanced form of other German languages, which I cant possibly know right away - The reason why? Because I'm still a BEGINNER - please note that).

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Here you go:
http://duolingo.com/#comment/370405

All links should be English (unless I copied one wrong). I tried to explain things step by step in a simple style that hopefully non-English natives can also follow and get a use out of (I tried to imagine if I was a French speaker trying to learn German through English...). Hopefully this helps you and answers the "ein" or "einen" question. As always, if you have anymore questions just ask (either myself or other Duo members).

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vadimptu

"an apple" shold be "einen Apfel" , isnt it???

September 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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All forms of "ein" mean a/an/one. There is no rule in German like the English "an" before a vowel.

September 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian11e
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can someone please tell me the difference between ein and einen?thanks

September 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Same word, same meaning. The difference is the case. For masculine nouns in nominative case it is "ein". For masculine nouns in accusative case it is "einen". Any follow up questions can probably be answered here: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/370405

There is probably info there that you don't need, but there are several links that should be helpful.

September 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BenjaminSa31

Can i translate This into "This is an apple" ?

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Gaynor516252

I am having difficulty hearing the difference between ist and isst. Are they pronounced the same?

May 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alex763475

Es ist or es isst ?

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwenn112543

Wouldn't it be das ist ein apfel vs. es ist ein apfel? The current learning objectives are isst, esse, esst, essen, not es or ist - so possibly there is a mistake?

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CenkHan6

In pronunciation questions, most of the time I feel I'm totally correct but it does keep making me wrong. Sometimes I go crazy. Am I the only one here with this problem? Somebody help, pls!

September 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/nasim648744

einen apfel

October 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AleksSchein

why this cannot mean "this is an apple"? or "that is an apple"?

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AleksSchein

this is an apple, or that is an apple are correct too, are they not?

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/brianna.backus

Why doesn't 'this is' work for 'es ist?'

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/THEBOBERT1

They sound exactly the same

January 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KarinnaFairbanks

How can we tell ist and isst apart!?!

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Filip745150

This was a tricky one, i enjoyed it because it forced me to think for a second. Most questions i can respond to almost without thinking :)

February 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/koursk
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Merci agentTsi danke

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/shreya.ad08

"an apple" shold be "einen Apfel" , isnt it???

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Read through the discussion thread. Your answer is listed at least twice. Hope that helps!

June 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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only it it's having something done to it - that is, it's the object of an action (verb) by an subject

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/richardchyan

So the act of "being" is not conjugated in German?

August 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/VincenKing

I almost got this wrong. The error i made was "It is a apple", instead of "an" apple. This is confusing as i thought "an" was "einen". Can someone help me out?

August 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Ein and all of its forms mean a/an/one. The reason for the difference in spelling is due to gender and case. See this chart... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_articles

August 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Soglio
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In English, a = an, but "an" is used before a noun that begins with a vowel: an apple an orange an elephant BUT a banana a carrot a dog

August 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/silvat48

No

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilzurmi

Why "ein apfel" not "einen apfel"?

September 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Shubham1912

Shudnt it be einen apfel?

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rhiaevelyn

Bla bla

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Neipp

Sometimes it is EIN APFEL, sometimes it is EINEN APFEL... damn good how am I supposed to know the fricking difference?

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Barmaleykin

see here:

ein Apfel liegt an der Tisch (...lie on the table)

Du isst einen Apfel (you eat an Apple)

September 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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It's einen if the apple (or any other masculine word) is having something done to it. For example if it's being eaten... "er isst einen Apfel".

If it just "is" (e.g. das ist ein Apfel), then it's "ein". If it's doing something to something else (I'm struggling to think of an example of that!) then it's also ein.

September 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RAG

Why not 'eine Apfel' ?

March 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Apfel is masculine - der Apfel, ein Apfel

March 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alisawera
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Why not EINEN Apfel? I've met such a construction before at this site

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Because it is in nominative form. You are right though that usually it would be "einen" and accusative form, but "ist" shows you that you are describing a predicate noun. This link should help you (second paragraph):
http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/cas_02.html

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ishygddt

It would never be "eine Apfel" because Apfel is masculine, der Apfel. It is only feminine in it's plural form, "die Äpfel"

April 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AgenTsi

Äpfel, the plural of Apfel, is still a masculine noun O_o

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ich-vergesse

it must be "es ist einen Apfel." why is it "ein Apfel" ?

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Hi there xyxross! This question was answered in the thread already. In the future, please read through threads prior to asking your question. There is a good chance it was already asked and answered.
Read through the thread and/or read this link for your answer:
http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/cas_02.html

May 18, 2013
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