But still, am I thick or am I missing something here, how can we know if they want the plural or the singular? I have scanned all the comments and people seem to be getting it from the vaguest description, which means I must be missing something simple. Just saying its singular or plural doesn't really make a difference as far as I can see.
Only in the sense that -s (eats) indicates singular in English.
“He eats” is singular and uses -s; “I eat” is singular but does not use -s. It’s not a “mark of the singular”, since it’s used by some but not all persons in the singular.
Similarly, -en is used by some but not all persons in the plural in German: by first and third person plural (“we” and “they”) but not by second person plural (“you [all]”), which has -t instead.
Then why should we use "esst" instead of "essen"?
What do you mean with "then"?
Do you believe that there is a "plural form" in German and that all plural subjects take the same verb form?
That's no more the case than English having a "singular form" -- you can't say "I plays, you plays, he plays". "plays" is only used in the singular -- but not for all kinds of singular subjects.
Similarly, essen is only used in the plural -- but not for all kinds of plural subjects.
essen is used for wir (first person plural) and for sie (third person plural).
ihr is second person plural (you, not we or they), and takes verb forms end in -t, e.g. ihr esst.
"du esst brot" is also a correct sentence if I'm referring to just one person?
No -- that would be Du isst Brot. with the verb form isst (not esst) and with Brot capitalised.
Some verbs change their vowel in the du and er/sie/es forms, and essen is one of them. That's why it's du isst and not du esst.
I've been a resident of Western Massachusetts for almost my entire life, and I've been to all the surrounding states and also have driven back and forth from Iowa a few times fairly recently and I don't recall anyone ever saying "yous"... I would say "you guys" maybe. I THINK I MAY have heard it from from family members that live on the Mohawk reservation in Quebec next to Montreal, but I'm not really sure, and it's been like 20 years since I went up there myself, when I was still a kid.
Lol, I wrote "You are eating brot".... which is technically correct without translating the word, but it was marked wrong of course. I must be studying too hard, even in spoken English (my native language. Ich bin Amerikaner!) I catch myself almost saying German words. I'm actually spending about 2-3 hours a day on it across 4 different apps and I'm also studying along with my girlfriend.
If you want a bit of a challenge, switch to learning English for a German speaker on Duolingo. It's fun and helps you learn more about Deutsch Grammatik. I went and took the placement test and it unlocked all but the last 6 lessons and gave me 2550 xp. Heads up, it will switch the interface to German and only show the courses listed for a German speaker learning other languages. You will not lose your progress here though, you just have to add a new course and readd the course for English learning German and it will restore whatever courses you had already started.
Anyway, Ihr and Du can both be used if Duolingo asks you to translate "You are eating bread." into German. You just need to use the right form of the verb along with it.
"Du isst" und "Ihr esst"
I suggest trying to go with the one you least remember to practice it, since Duolingo accepts both anyway. Alot of people seem to try hard to figure out which forms to use based off of the English sentence that needs to be translated, but many of these sentences can actually be translated multiple ways and all are usually correct according to Duolingo. As long as you know there are a few ways to say the same thing, depending on situations not expressed on Duolingo, you're already winning! Keep up the good work!
Du is when yu are talking with/to someone you are very familiar with or that you are older than, eg your friend, child, subordinate, etc. While Ihr is for when you are talking to/with several people together (in the sentence or conversation). Eg when you referring to 'you all' and not a single person. The 3rd one: Sie (with capital S) is when you talking to an older person or a formal conversation where you show courtesy or respect to the person.
If it were "ein Brot", that would mean "a bread', which doesn't really make sense.
If the question asked you to translate "I eat the bread" then you would put das before Brot, as the definite article is included. Since the word the is missing from the sentence, though, you would not translate the sentence and add it in.
No -- forms for the subject ihr end in -t, while forms for the subject du end in -st.
They may be similar if the verb stem ends in -s, because then the ending -s-st is simplified to just -st, e.g. reisen (to travel):: du reist / ihr reist.
But otherwise, you have e.g. du trinkst but ihr trinkt.
Often, the ihr form is similar to the er, sie, es form which also ends in -, e.g. er trinkt versus ihr trinkt.
But the du and er, sie, es forms sometimes change the vowel of the verb stem, while the ihr form does not, e.g. sehen (to see) has du siehst, er sieht but ihr seht, and lesen (to read) has du liest, er liest but ihr lest.
For your other examples: ihr habt (regularly formed from the verb stem hab- of haben plus the ending -t) and ihr heißt, ihr kommt (which you guessed correctly)
There are three issues at play here:
- The regular endings are -st for du and -t for both er/sie/es and ihr.
- When the verb stem (before the -en ending of the infinitive) ends in a /s/ sound (spelled -s, -ss, -ß, -z, -x), then -st is simplified to -t: the -s- of the verb stem and the -s- of the ending merge. Thus reisen, hassen, heißen, tanzen, boxen have du reist, du hasst, du heißt, du tanzt, du boxt and not du *reisst, du *hassst, du *heißst, du *tanzst, du *boxst.
- Some verbs change the vowel of their stem -- but only in the du and ihr/sie/es forms.
2 + 3 interact in four possible ways:
- stem does not end in /s/ sound; vowel does not change (regular verbs), e.g. leben -- du lebst; er/sie/es lebt; ihr lebt. er/sie/es and ihr forms are identical here but du is different since it has -st.
- stem does not end in /s/ sound; vowel changes, e.g. geben -- du gibst; er/sie/es gibt; ihr gebt. All three forms are different: du has -st and vowel change; er/sie/es has -t and vowel change; ihr has -t but no vowel change.
- stem ends in /s/; vowel does not change, e.g. pressen -- du presst; er/sie/es presst; ihr presst. All three forms are identical.
- stem ends in /s/; vowel changes, e.g. essen -- du isst; er/sie/es isst; ihr esst. Now du and er/sie/es are identical (because the -s- of -st in the du form assimilates to the stem ess-, and both forms have a changed vowel) but ihr is different (because it doesn't have the changed vowel).
The assimilation of -st to -s- -ss- -ß- -x- -z- is regular, but whether a verb changes its stem vowel is something you have to memorise: as you can see in the examples, pairs of verbs can be very similar but one might change and the other not.
And sometimes Germans don't even all agree on whether a verb changes its vowel or not -- backen and fragen are usually regular in the standard language (er backt, er fragt), but backen can also have er bäckt with vowel change in the standard language, and regional dialects may have er frägt.
(Note that CanooNet does not mention this regional alternative with vowel change for fragen, presumably since it's non-standard; Duden mentions it as landschaftlich "regional".)
Okay, I need a bit of help here.
In German, there are apparently two ways to say her or she, sie and ihr. Can someone explain to me when to use either of them.
Also, I believe that there needs to be an article before 'Brot' in this sentence. I said 'you are eating the bread', but it counted me as wrong. From my understanding, you need the article to say that they're eating a specific piece of bread, and not to say 'they eat bread(in life in general)'.
I know I may sound fairly dumb here, but this is my second day studying German.
Okay. I'm going to do my best explaining here.
The base word for 'she' is 'sie'. When a woman is the subject OR the direct object of a sentence (nominative and accusative cases), you refer to her as 'sie'.
"Sie isst Brot." "Er kennt sie." (She eats bread and He knows her")
When the woman is the indirect object of a sentence (Dative case), meaning the action is being done to her (like you give a gift TO her), then you use 'ihr'.
"Er gibt ihr ein Geschenk." (He gives her a gift)
Now, one more usage of 'ihr' that you might run into is when you are describing something as that woman's belonging. You would only see it as "ihr" and not "ihre" or "ihren" or even "ihrem" in the nominative case for masculine and neuter nouns, and in the accusative case for neuter nouns.
"Ihr Buch" (her book) "Er hat ihr Buch" (he has her book) "Ihr Kopf" (Her head" "Ihre Hand" (her hand)
and so on.
If you need further explanation, please tell me!
Maybe this will help a bit (I did some digging around, can try to find other resources if you need). The things I always focus on (note: I'm definitely not a native speaker, but learned how to pronounce Brot when I was 12 or so and thus I remember struggling with it and later getting it at least recognizable).
Things that might help as well - you don't need to totally roll the r beautifully long like in many languages. It can be kind of short, and especially when you're saying it right after a b, don't worry about fully pronouncing it, just enough that one could understand that it was 'Brot' and not 'bot'. If you listen to the recordings I'm sending you might hear a couple roll the r clearly, but it mostly sounds almost like a guttural 'h' sound right after the b.
Also, for some other Germans saying it:
Some other words that contain a br:
Are 'Ihr' and 'Er' pronounced differently? I know there's a slight difference but I can't really hear it. Am I missing something? When I get good at recognising the words as text, I repeat the lessons but I avoid looking so I can learn the sounds. I keep messing up when it comes to 'Ihr' and 'Er'
Some verbs change their vowel in the du and er, sie, es forms -- essen is one of them, and so the ihr form (which keeps the vowel of the infinitive) is not the same as the er, sie, es form (which has a changed vowel).
Another common verb that does this is geben, which has ihr gebt but er gibt.
You would use du when speaking to one person whom you know well (or a child), and ihr when speaking to several people whom you know well (or several children).
esst and essen are different forms of the same verb -- you have to pick the right one depending on the subject. For example ihr goes with esst and wir goes with essen. It's a bit like how we say "I am, you are, he is" and can't say "I is, you am, he are".
Note that in English, "we are, you are, they are" all use the same form of the verb, but in German, only "we" and "they" share the same verb form; informal "you" (whether to one person or to many) uses a different verb form.
Not to second-guess you, but it says you're level 25 in German.
Are you saying this is the first time you've encountered this conjugation of essen? Maybe just forgot or had a brain fart? I know I don't use ihr conjugations much so it's understandable.
"a bread" sounds wrong to me in English.
In German, ein Brot is possible, meaning a loaf of bread, but that's not what this sentence says -- it has Brot without an article, treating it uncountably, the way I would expect in English: that is, an unspecified quantity of the substance "bread". (Could be a crumb, a slice, a loaf, three slices, or any other quantity.)
It's not too bad when you get the patterns down. Try to focus on learning the patterns with regular verbs.
Once you know the basics you'll be able to conjugate regular verbs you haven't seen before the same way you do in English. Finding a good table or site for conjugations helps when learning as well.
Here is the verb conjugation table for essen:
I can not understand why you cannot give conjugation of the verb in singular and in the plural.
But we do.
This sentence is part of the lesson unit "Accusative Case".
The tips and notes for this unit - https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Accusative-Case/tips - give a full conjugation for this verb, as well as general ideas on how regular verbs in German conjugate.
Please always read the tips and notes before starting a new lesson unit.
The tips and notes are not currently available on any mobile apps for the German course, as far as I know, so you will have to use a browser to visit the website https://www.duolingo.com/ .
Then click on the lightbulb icon after choosen a lesson unit:
Isnt ihr I?
No. "I" is ich.
ihr is... many things, depending on whether it's before a noun or not, and which case it is in. (See my comment https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21721534$comment_id%3D23831061 if you're interested.)
In this sentence, ihr is in the nominative case and not before a noun, so it means "you" (referring to several people at once).
Ihr is not only a plural form. Just like in Dutch it can be used as a very polite form. In English there is only 'you'. In Dutch we can say 'u/uw' when talking to for example your boss, a director... Therefore, when using it as the very polite form it is singular. But, even when using Ihr as u plural or singular form, the verb reflects the difference because: singular: er/sie/es isst, plural or polite form: Ihr Esst
Ihr is not only a plural form. Just like in Dutch it can be used as a very polite form.
That used to be the case (probably under influence of French) but it's not used like that in Germany any more.
Doing so will sound very old-fashioned.
The modern German polite form of "you" is Sie, which is inflected like the sie which means "they", e.g. Sie essen "you eat". (This polite pronoun is always capitalised.)
we went with the singular
The ihr form always ends in -t, e.g. ihr esst, ihr trinkt, ihr habt, ihr geht, ....
(Exception: ihr seid.)
The er form also ends in -t, e.g. er isst, er trinkt, er hat, er geht, ....
Sometimes, the two look the same (e.g. ihr trinkt, er trinkt) and sometimes not (e.g. ihr esst, er isst).
That doesn't mean that the ihr form is singular -- there is no "singular verb form" or "plural verb form" in German, any more than there is in English. (For example, "have" is not exclusively plural, since it's also used for "I have"; "has" is not "the singular form" since it's not used for "I". Similarly, wir haben and sie haben are both plural and both end in -en, but since ihr habt is also plural, that means that -en is not "the plural form".)
Each subject has its own particular verb form.
I always get confused by Ihr. Is it always used as a plural "you"? Or...is it ever used as a sigular "you"? Because...the "st" ending is used for...words implying to more than one person, correct? Sorry. I really want to learn. I just dont want to simply memorize the phrases. I want to understand the language too.
Because...the "st" ending is used for...words implying to more than one person, correct?
The -st ending is for du (i.e. when speaking to one person).
But the verb here is essen and the stem is ess- -- and ihr esst is ihr ess-t with the ending being only -t, not -st: the s before the t is part of the stem, not part of the ending.
ihr verbs always end in -t. (Except for ihr seid.)
du verbs always end in -st... except that if the verb stem ends in a /s/ sound (ss, ß, x, z), the -s- gets "swallowed" by the verb stem and thus essen, genießen, boxen, tanzen form du isst, du genießt, du boxt, du tanzt and not du issst, du genießst, du boxst, du tanzst.
ihr as a subject is for plural "you". (Using it as a polite singular as in French used to be common hundreds of years ago, but is pretty much obsolete now. The modern polite pronoun is Sie, which acts grammatically like sie "they".)
When ihr is not a subject, it can mean various things, e.g. "her, their, ..." -- see https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21721534$comment_id%3D23831061 .
Why we use isse for Brot
We don't. isse is not a German word.
and esse for Apfel
esse is used when the subject is ich. The object (bread, apple, cake, ...) is irrelevant.
The verb ending only depends on the subject:
- ich esse
- du isst
- er/sie/es isst
- wir essen
- ihr esst
- sie/Sie essen
That wouldn't work for me, since I've not been taught these forms at all (whatever I know of them comes from poetry and games). I'm sure many others who learned English as a second language would be in the same boat. That said, I'd love to have some kind of clue as to the plurality and formality of the 'you's.
Nobody can see what you wrote.
When you have a question about something that was not accepted, please always quote your entire answer.
References to "this" or "my answer" or the like are not helpful.
Even better: take a screenshot, upload it to a website somewhere, and include the URL to the image in your comment.
Sie is they. Sie is also She, so it depends on how you use it. Ihr is you, but like "Y'all" (you all in southern american english)... in other words, the plural form of you, and it is also informal, as is Du. Sie is also the formal version of you, both singular and plural, and it is always capitalized without exception if used that way.