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  5. "Er isst seinen Apfel."

"Er isst seinen Apfel."

Translation:He eats his apple.

March 15, 2013

105 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felizce

Does this mean he is eating his own apple, or that he is eating another man's apple?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatriciaJH

Yes, but if it's someone else's apple, there's probably a lot of emphasis and indignant pointing involved.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lydiaoxenstierna

You're posting this because of sin/hans, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lydiaoxenstierna

It's a feature of the Swedish language, mainly used to avoid conflict :) 'Han äter sin äpple' means 'he eats his (own) apple' while 'han äter hans äpple' means that he is eating someone else's apple, and probably shouldn't be!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siren964

Russian language has it better. Possessive pronoun Свой m (своя f/своё n/свои pl) means his/her/its/their own, so it's same word for each gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brittalexiswm

If only all languages had the sin/han thing!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Senseimatt

Italian has it as well, eventhough not everybody uses them both: that'll be "(il/la) proprio/a" (his/her own) and "(il/la) suo/a" (belonging to someone else). In commonly spoken language people tend to only use "suo/a" because you can put a lot of context in your sentence, but it is nevertheless more correct to make the distinction :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brittalexiswm

Great to know, since I've been dying to learn italian! I think these kind of distinctions make a language take longer to learn but at the same time are easier! Thanks for the info :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mamnoon

Er and ihr sound so similar !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hstar99

ihr sounds like "ear" and er sounds like "air"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlonsoAria2

I do not understand why is seinen, and not seine. what is the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanCastt13

Because its an akkusative form. in nominative apple (Masculine) would be "ein" (a) so, in this case the nominative would be "einen" (a) so the action affects the "thing" which is the apple. it can not be seine because in that case the gender of the word has to be a feminine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chris.beaton3

Why is "he is eating its apple" incorrect? What if he took an apple from a donkey and was eating it? In English, we would then use an impersonal pronoun to talk about the donkey.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPablo001

Exactly, i wrote it like that just to see if it would be accepted, seems to me it should be ok....deutsche sprache schwere sprache


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luancarvalho

it should apply for "her" too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MitchL2idi

Yup. I was marked wrong for that also.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BekahBelle

Can anybody explain why it isn't "her" please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

The owner of "seinen (his) Apfel" is a male person, while "ihren (her) Apfel" would be of a female person.
Er isst seinen Apfel. = He eats his apple.
Er isst ihren Apfel. = He eats her apple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

Gern geschehen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelGrueneich

I always get questions similar to this wrong, I don't know anything about which words are feminine or masculine or neuter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarkRaven5

so if Apfel was feminen would it be Er isst seine Apfel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alek_bn

Exactly, since the accusative only gives change to masculine pronouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoussefLeo

The word deine is both accusative and possessive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, deine is an accusative form of a possessive word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Santosh8055

seinen also work for neutral( i.e it) so is it correct " He is eating its apple"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmrGne

What's the difference between sein and seinen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyPyrope

It's sein when it's followed by a neuter word, it's seinen when it's followed by a masculine one. This, however, is applied only in the akkusative (which is kind of when it describes an object instead of a subject)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kwetla

Could this not also be 'Ihr' isst? It sounds a bit like it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germandy

It sounds quite right to me. Other parts of the sentence reveal that it has to be "er":
Er isst seinen Apfel / Ihr esst euren Apfel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/terra

So in that vein, Er isst ihren Apfel & Sie isst seinen Apfel would be his eating her apple and her eating his apple?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parnal2

Yes it seems correct to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamalkhali2

Yes,,,this is my qu.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abakusgt

Germandy is right. It is not possible the combination "Ihr isst", in that case would be, "Ihr esst". besides there´s a noticeable way to pronunciate each one.
Er = (E like Elephant and, A like Apple, "EA") Ihr = ( I like Inside, and A, like Apple, "IA")

http://www.vocabulix.com/conjugation/essen.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duomail

is "seinen" used for "his" before masculine German nouns only in the accusative case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germandy

Yep. If it's not accusative but nominative, "his apple" is sein Apfel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuTze

I beg to differ: Er isst SEINEN APFEL. Wen oder Was isst er? Seinen Apfel. Hence Akkusativ. Alltough SEINEN is Genitiv: Wessen Apfel isst er? Seinen. You can always find out by asking this questions:

Nominativ: Wer oder Was? (Who or What?) Genitiv: Wessen? (Whose?) Dativ: Wem? (Whom?) Akkusativ: Wen oder Was? (Who or What?)

Apparently the questions for Nominativ and Akkusativ are the same in English.

Hope it still helps


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/feverforce

Thanks man, this helps me a lot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axel591520

"Seinen" is not a genitive. It is a possessive pronoun and matches the case of the object possessed.

The genitive form would be "seines" for a male owner and a male or neuter object owned, and "seiner" for a female object owned.

One of the few verbs in German that use the genitive is "gedenken" (to commemorate).

Er gedenkt seines Vaters.
Er gedenkt seiner Frau.
Er gedenkt seines Kindes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Your examples still do not use the genitive form of a pronoun -- they're just using the possessive adjective.

The pronoun would be Er gedenkt seiner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axel591520

Yes, my examples do use the genitive form of the possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns are declinated like adjectives in German to match the case of the object owned.

Your example contains a pronoun and it is the genitive form of the pronoun, but It is not a possessive pronoun at all. It is the genitive of the personal pronoun "he".

Nom.: Er ist hier. (He is here.)
Gen.: Ich gedenke seiner.
(I commemorate him.)
Dat.: Ich gab ihm das Buch.
(I gave him the book.)
Akk.: Ich sehe ihn. (I see him.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

We may be using different vocabulary.

For me, there is a distinction between "possessive pronoun" (which is a pronoun and stands instead of a noun) and "possessive adjective" or "possessive determiner" (which stands before/together with a noun).

For example, "my book" uses the possessive adjective "my", while "your book is blue but mine is black" uses the possessive pronoun "mine".

Or in German, mein versus meins.

Your examples are not pronouns because they occur together with a noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axel591520

Now I understand. It actually is a difference in vocabulary. What's called a "possessive adjective" in English is called a "Possessivpronomen" in German. We usually do not make this distinction between "mein" and "meins" as in your example, both are called Possessivpronomen. In German we consider "mein/dein/sein/ihr..." as pronouns as they stand for the owner (the king's speech/his speech). Sometimes "Possessivartikel" is used for this usage of the Possessivpronomen.

Please compare: https://www.deutschplus.net/pages/Possessivpronomen
https://study.com/academy/lesson/german-possessive-pronouns.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benyapa.ms

So does nominative pronoun always come first when forming a sentence, since it acts like a subject of the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatriciaJH

No, it can get shuffled around for emphasis, because the articles tell us what's subject, and what's object. So "Der Mann beißt den Hund" is unexpected, but "Den Mann beißt der Hund" happens all the time.

Beginners like us should probably not do this, though. For one thing, even if we get it right, native speakers are likely to figure we got it wrong, and go with the word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Burand

How can you tell its not Äpfel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patti410

Äpfel is pronounced "Ape-full" while Apfel is pronounced "App-full" I hope I helped!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StarSaber3

Wait, i thought "Ä" was pronounced like the "E" in "Bed."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zoo_station

The easiest way to remember how to pronounce a vowel with an umlaut is to curve your lips as if you are saying the oo in "cook." So to say Äpfel, begin by saying "A" as in "ape", but curve your lips. The sound you end up with is how to pronounce it the Ä.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatriciaJH

That would be "seine Äpfel", because it's plural accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBaconDood

Äpfel means "apples." Apfel means "apple."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buckbee

I have a very hard time differentiating Ihr from Er when the robot lady speaks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ih10

How would you say "He eats her apple." ? Er isst ihren Apfel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

That's correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarkatiHin

Sein or seinen ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hechap

How would you say "He eats her apple as well!" Er isst ihren Apfel auch!"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

The correct way to say it is: Er isst auch ihren Apfel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuvalPlg

Why not "ihr" instead of seinen? Like in the "die Katze trinkt ihr wasser" case? I'm so confused!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

Ihr is used for her, seinen is used for its, the "en" is added because it is an accusative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScarlettBunting

This example/question is not testing the right case that we are supposed to be learning. This is a genitive "his" for possession. As a direct object, the accusative case should be asking us to label the apple as "the" or "an".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephK.Ge

Why not seine Apfel ,, or sinen Äpfel ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

seine Apfel is the correct form but not in this accusative case. The "en" is added when the noun is masculine. And Äpfel is plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azngirl

Why don't you use ''sein'' here? What do we use ''seinen''? What's the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamalkhali2

What is the different between ....Ihr and Er....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

Ihr means you (you guys) Er means He


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValerieBrewer

Why is it "seinen" which seems plural with a singular noun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

It is not plural, it means that the sentence is in an accusative form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mekidaa

I don't understand why 'isst' is used in some cases and 'Essen' is used in others?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

Verb conjugation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JapanJeff

Essen with a capital E, used as a noun, means "food". "Isst" is the conjugation of the verb essen, meaning "to eat", for the 3rd person (he/she/it or er/sie/es).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tisrandi

Can someone please explain the difference between Sein and Seine/Seinen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rackpc93

Sein is neutre and masculine means his or its, seine is feminine and means her and seinen is sein in masculine in accusative cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KseniyaPre

why not ihn Apfel, ihn is also in Acc. Case


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

ihn = "him"; seinen = "his".

It's not "him apple" but "his apple".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenni7771

Seinen Apfel seems new...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmadMukhtar0

why "seinen" instead of "deine" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flyiron2

What is the difference in pronunciation between “ist” and “isst”?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No difference in pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IchBinMike

So, i think that i get it - the accusative of this would be "einen Apfel", so therefore, to make it his, it is changed to 'seinen'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vuleticsv

Could you say, "Seinen Apfel isst er?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

When you want to emphasize that he eats an apple and not an orange, or that he eats his apple and not hers, then you can say it this way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ore-ofeSmi

Why can I not say "Er isst sein Apfel"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the apple is the direct object and so has to be in the accusative case.

And Apfel is masculine, so you need the masculine accusative form of the possessive -- which is seinen.

sein would be either masculine nominative (e.g. sein Apfel ist rot "his apple is red") or neuter nominative or accusative. Er isst sein Brot would be correct, for example, since Brot is neuter and so the correct accusative form here would be sein.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelissaMil981126

Its apple. A non human's apple?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDreRock

Question: when listening to this sentence, it sounds more like "Er isst einen Apfel." It is hard to hear or notice the s in seinen in this sentence. Is there a way to know for sure whether someone's saying einen or seinen, or does it purely depend on context if their pronunciation isn't extremely specific?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dazzleDoll

Can't it be " he is eating their apple"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No. "their apple" would be ihren Apfel; seinen Apfel is "his apple" or (possibly) "its apple".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clara349533

Why the sentence in English is at present simple instead o present continuous?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No particular reason. Both are possible translations.

"What does Billy do at school during the first recess every day? He eats his apple."

"What is Billy doing right now? He's eating his apple."

Both would be the same in German:

Was macht Billy in der Schule jeden Tag in der ersten Pause? Er isst seinen Apfel.

Was macht Billy gerade? Er isst seinen Apfel.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChronosLicht

What does 'accusative' and
'nominative' mean? So clueless


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

There are 4 cases in German: Nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. Depending on what function a noun or a pronoun has in the sentence it is set in one of these 4 cases.

The accusative is also called direct object in other languages; the dative is called indirect object.

Here are links for:
direct object (accusative): www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/direct_object.htm
nominative: http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/nominative_case.htm
indirect object (dative): http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/indirect_object.htm
and genitive: http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/genitive_case.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oscar924530

Please why seinen instead of sein


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1746

Because "Apfel" is in the accusative case.

The suject of a sentence is in the nominative case. It says what somebody or what something is doing.
The accusative case shows who or what is receiving the action of the subject.

In the sentence: "Sein Vater isst seinen Apfel." you have twice the possesive "sein", the first in the nominative form (question: Wer isst? Answer: sein Vater isst), the second in the accusative form (question: Was isst sein Vater? Answer: seinen Apfel).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaVardan

What's the difference between isst and frisst?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Please re-read the lesson notes where this is explained: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Animals-1

The lesson notes are on the website for nearly every new unit -- please read them before starting a new one.

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