Hallo Leute, these are my thoughts
esse - this is used for first person "Ich".
Remember "Ich" takes this form e.g ich lerne, ich esse(eat), ich habe, ich fahre... Etc
essen - used for first person plural "Wir" and second person formal "Sie" or 'you' and third person plural 'they' that is "sie".
So in short verbs for first person plural, we, "wir" and second person formal "Sie" and third person plural "sie" take this form...
Wir und Sie/sie > essen, haben, tanzen, spielen, wollen..... Etc
esst - used for "ihr" for the plural form of second person. E.g ihr esst
I used to think that it was strange that 'sie' is used for both 'she' and 'they', but in Old English the forms are 'heo' (survived in dialects as hoo) and 'hie', which was eventually replaced by the Norse 'þeir' as 'they' (cognate with archaic plural article 'tho' like German 'die'), but the original object case 'hem' survives as 'em (which doesn't derive from them).
So with 'heo' and 'hie' in Old English, 'sie' and 'sie' isn't that strange.
"Trinkt" is the 3rd person singular conjugation, so "sie trinkt" can only mean "she drinks/is drinking."
"You drink" would require the 2nd person conjugation. So, if you wanted to use "Sie" (note the capital S - will always be capitalized for the formal "You"), you would have to use the formal 2nd person singular conjugation, which is "trinken". i.e. "Sie trinken"
Why is it that for "drink" that.. "Er/sie/es trinkt" "Ihr trinkt" spell the same but for "eat" it's... "Er/sie/es isst" "Ihr esst" I thought there may be some consistency in the endings between verbs but maybe not?
The endings are the same: they're both -t.
What happens is that some verbs change the stem vowel: from -e- to -i- or -ie-, from -a- to -ä-, or from -au- to -äu-.
It's unpredictable which verbs do so -- you can have two verbs that look very similar but one of them changes its vowel and the other one does not. For example, leben has er lebt but geben has er gibt.
But those that do change the vowel do so only in the du and the er/sie/es forms.
Another wrinkle is that the du ending (usually -st) merges with a preceding "s" sound (spelled s ss ß x z).
So for example reisen (to travel) has du reist and not du reisst; similarly, hassen has du hasst (not du hassst), heißen has du heißt (not du heißst), boxen has du boxt (not du boxst), tanzen has du tanzt (not du tanzst).
This means that the er/sie/es form may look like the ihr form or it may look like the du form or both or neither:
- du trinkst, er trinkt, ihr trinkt -- er = ihr (this is the regular form: no vowel change, verb stem not in -s sound)
- du liest, er liest, ihr lest -- er = du (vowel change, verb stem ends in -s sound)
- du gibst, er gibt, ihr gebt -- all three forms distinct (vowel change, verb stem not in -s sound)
- du heißt, er heißt, ihr heißt -- er = du = ihr (no vowel change, verb stem ends in -s sound)
With essen you have a verb stem ending in -ss and vowel change, and so it's du isst and er isst but ihr esst.