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der is a nomativ [aka subject] article, den is an akkusativ [aka direct object] article. This is the apple = Dies ist der Apfel, or The apple is pretty = Der Apfel ist schön; Then there is: I am eating the apple = Ich esse den Apfel, or I cut the apple = Ich schneide den Apfel.
If you pronounce them with an American accent, you're doing it wrong. The last sound in "er" and "ihr" is actually a vowel, not a consonant. So imagine saying "air" and "ear" with a British/RP accent.
Ihr is just the plural form of "you" in german. For example if you're talking to two people you would use ihr in german, where as in english we would say "both of you" or "all of you" or informally "y'all".
In modern english we don't have an equivalent to ihr. In old english "ye" would have been equivalent ("Hear ye! Hear ye!" is what a town crier would have used when directly addressing a group of people.) The closest that we have today is "y'all" and that is generally considered to be improper in english.
In the case of this sentence it is like saying "Both of you are eating the apple." Which I'm sure we can both agree that a single apple sliced up can be enjoyed by more than one person.
Just about every region has devised some way to express "all of you" or "both of "you". The lack of any proper word to express the second person plural is a deficit of the English language. Funny that we make up words every day (we have over a million in the English language) but we can't agree on one for this important purpose, insisting that every regional invention is "improper". We should accept one. What about "Youn" - has anyone denounced it? Maybe we can start a new English trend, right here on DL.
That's some interesting language history. Maybe we should strive to resurrect "thou" for the singular and use "you" for plural only. According to Wikipedia, they still use "thee" and "thou" in Scotland. Perhaps we could spread the words to the rest of the English-speaking world.
In German word order matters less than in English. Instead what matters more is the case of the article (der/die/das). In this sentence ihr = plural you (You all, or all of you, or y'all), esst = essen conjugated for ihr, and the den in den Apfel indicates the apple is the direct object (aka accusative case) where der becomes den.
In English we pretty much have to say "Y'all eat the apple" and that means all the people you are talking to are eating the apple (sliced up of course!) But in English you can't change the order of the words and have it mean the same thing. For example in English you can't say "The apple eat y'all". Right? I mean, that'd be a true tragedy if an apple ate everybody you were talking with!
But in German you could say "Den Apfel esst ihr" or "Ihr esst den Apfel" and they would both mean the same thing, it isn't the order, instead it is the fact that der is in the form of den that tells the listener that the Apple is the direct object (because der becomes den in accusative.) Also the conjugation of essen to esst tells the listener that ihr is the subject.
Here is the tragic english sentence from above where the apple eats everybody you are talking to: Der Apfel isst euch (The apple eats y'all) In this case "der" indicates that the apple is the subject. Essen is conjugated for er/sie/es, which in the case of essen is an irregular conjugation and essen becomes isst. The accusative form of ihr is euch.
"Euch isst der Apfel" is still the same tragic sentence of an apple devouring the people you are speaking to. (Despite the word order being different.)
I hope this helps!
"Ihr" is "you", plural form, in the Nominative case (used as a subject, or predicate nominative after the verb to be) and "her " in the Dative case (used for indirect object and required by certain verbs and prepositions) and "her " in the Genitive case (used for possessive), as well as formal version of "your " in the Genitive case for "Sie". (That "Ihr" is always capitalized as are all forms for "Sie" which is the formal version of "you".) Ihr is never "she " which would be "sie ". The verb is also conjugated for 2nd person plural, present, indicative mood. If you mean "Sie" which is always capitalized, the formal version of "you" takes 3rd person plural conjugation "essen" and so would not be confused with "she" which takes 3rd person singular conjugation "isst". It could be confused with "they" which is also "sie" and takes the 3rd person plural conjugation also. http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum2.htm http://www.canoo.net/inflection/essen:V:haben http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/Germanyou.htm
sie/Sie = they, formal you or plural you; ihr = informal you (plural)
You are eating the apple. vs. You are eating an apple. There are subtle differences between the meanings of those two sentences, in the first it is a specific apple that the person you are talking to is aware of, and in the second it can be any apple, you may or may not know what one.
Some German verbs have irregular conjugations in the du, and er/sie/es forms. Essen is one of those verbs. It goes to isst in those forms. When a verb is irregular it is called a "strong verb". (think of it as though the verb is strong enough to undergo a change and yet still work.)
Other German words off the top of my head with irregular conjugations: schlafen (sleep) lesen (read) fahren (ride/drive)
You just have to memorize them as you come across them. I found that writing out short sentences a couple times a day with all the forms helped with memorization.
On the web if you go to verbix you can get the conjugations for verbs.
In the Nominative case (used as a subject or predicate nominative) "ihr" means "you" in the plural familiar form. In the Dative case (used for indirect objects and after certain verbs and certain prepositions) "ihr" means "her". In the Genitive case (used for possessive) "ihr" means "her" and "Ihr" with the 'i' always capital means "your" in the formal singular and plural forms.
"ihre" is found in the Genitive case to mean "their" or "theirs".
Yes, not only are verbs conjugated, but pronouns are declined and so change form for different cases.
Genitive is the worst yet, because as a possessive if modifying or referring to a noun the possessive pronoun "their" must change to "ihres" for masculine or neuter nouns and "ihrer" for feminine or plural nouns.
Use den in Accusative case, Yes all of them mean "the". http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/DefiniteArticles.htm
"Ihr" is informal/familiar you: http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang02.htm
In German the verb changes form for different pronouns. Just like in English we change the verb for the 3rd person singular "he eats " "she eats " or less commonly "it eats " which is different from "I eat ", only in German more of the pronouns have their own form. The German verb "essen" is irregular and really changes "Ich esse, du isst, er/sie/es isst, wir essen, ihr esst, sie/Sie essen"
We are not used to that for the verb "to eat ", but "to be " is also irregular in English "I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are " So in German there are more changes "Ich bin, du bist, er/sie/es ist, wir sind, ihr seid, sie/Sie sind" In English our form "you are" stays the same in singular and plural, but in German there are more forms "du bist" which is the familiar singular version, "ihr seid" which is the familiar plural version, "Sie sind" which is the formal version and does not change from singular to plural. Here is a site that talks about the forms of "you" in German.:
What we have forgotten is that in Old English there were more forms "thou art " which was singular and "Ye " (Okay, I am not sure what that verb form looked like.), but you only see these in old songs and prayers now.
So, here is a website in which you can type in the name of a verb (infinitive form) and press "Suchen" which means "Search" then go to the verb form (in case this word is also a noun or other part of speech) then choose "Wortformen" to see it conjugated (to show the different forms for the different pronouns).
In the accusative case you use Den instead of Der. For Die, and Das there is no change in the accusative.
In german there are four cases: nominativ, akkusativ, dativ, and genetiv.
Nominativ is the subject of a sentence. "You eat an apple" in that case You is the nominative noun.. Akkusative is the thing the subject is manipulatiing with a verb. So, in the "You eat an apple" sentence the apple is being eating by the subject, so it is accusative. Dativ is the reciever of an action. In the sentence "I give him an apple" I am the subject, give is the verb, the apple is the accusative item that is being manipulated by me, and "him" is the dative object receiving the thing I am manipulating. "Ich gebe ihm einen Apfel" (In accusative ein pics up the en ending from den, ie der Apfel.)
Definite article forms: Nom: Der Die Das Akk: Den Die Das Dat: Dem Der Dem
Yes, "ihr" is plural but the verb form is different than for singular "du" : "du trinkst", but "ihr trinkt" and "Sie trinken" is another form of you formally used and is for both singular and plural
Train your ears at this site with native speaker recordings: http://www.forvo.com/search-de/er%20ihr%20isst%20esst/
"du" is singular and "ihr" is plural familiar forms. There is another form "Sie" (always capitalized) for formal use that is for singular and plural. http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang02.htm
The plural "the" in the Accusative case would be "die" and Apfel would change to Äpfel. This sentence is clearly requesting the singular with "den Apfel" (Masculine in Accusative changes from "der" to "den".) It is not necessary in English to indicate that "you" is plural, as it is more often than not. Apples are often shared amongst two people. Scroll down for all the information at these sites. http://german.about.com/library/blcase_acc.htm http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/anglais-allemand/apples