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 :)
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.
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")
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
"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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
indirect object (dative): http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/indirect_object.htm
and genitive: http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/genitive_case.htm
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).