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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?

May 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Herbstzeitlose-

Could be both.

May 19, 2013

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.

July 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markus541160

It can't be both

November 16, 2017

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

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

July 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrazyBoots114

What's sin/han?

June 2, 2016

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!

June 3, 2016

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

Sitt äpple* ;)

January 26, 2017

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.

July 25, 2017

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

If only all languages had the sin/han thing!

May 28, 2016

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 :)

January 11, 2017

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 :)

January 12, 2017

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

Eww

May 18, 2017

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

Er and ihr sound so similar !

July 2, 2014

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

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

March 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConnorBuckley42

Brilliant!

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carm3nka

ich stimme zu

September 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pedro---

Great!

October 20, 2016

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

Danke

June 17, 2017

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

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

August 21, 2014

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.

December 22, 2015

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.

September 3, 2013

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

January 17, 2014

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

it should apply for "her" too

July 16, 2013

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

Yup. I was marked wrong for that also.

August 31, 2014

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

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

July 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

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.

July 8, 2016

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

Thank you :-)

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

Gern geschehen.

July 12, 2016

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.

June 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bisera272

same..

June 21, 2016

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

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

November 28, 2013

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

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

August 30, 2015

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

The word deine is both accusative and possessive?

June 5, 2017

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

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

June 25, 2017

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

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

August 2, 2013

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

What's the difference between sein and seinen

October 11, 2015

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)

May 4, 2016

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

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

March 15, 2013

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.

March 15, 2013

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?

December 24, 2014

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

Yes it seems correct to me.

June 14, 2016

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

Yes,,,this is my qu.

April 25, 2015

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

November 23, 2013

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

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

March 21, 2013

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

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

March 21, 2013

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

June 21, 2013

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

Thanks man, this helps me a lot

July 14, 2013

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.

January 2, 2019

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.

January 3, 2019

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.)

January 3, 2019

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.

January 3, 2019

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

January 3, 2019

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?

June 4, 2013

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.

July 15, 2013

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

How can you tell its not Äpfel?

July 3, 2013

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

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

September 9, 2014

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

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

July 22, 2015

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.

August 6, 2015

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

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

July 15, 2013

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

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

December 25, 2013

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

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

July 15, 2014

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

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

February 14, 2015

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

That's correct

June 19, 2015

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

Sein or seinen ??

August 9, 2015

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

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

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

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

June 29, 2016

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!

March 27, 2014

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.

June 19, 2015

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".

July 22, 2014

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

Why not seine Apfel ,, or sinen Äpfel ?

September 26, 2014

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.

June 19, 2015

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

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

November 27, 2014

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

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

April 25, 2015

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

Ihr means you (you guys) Er means He

June 19, 2015

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

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

May 6, 2015

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

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

June 19, 2015

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

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

May 8, 2015

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

Verb conjugation

June 19, 2015

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).

August 10, 2015

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

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

May 9, 2015

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.

June 19, 2015

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

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

May 27, 2015

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

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

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

June 25, 2017

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

Seinen Apfel seems new...

October 10, 2015

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

why "seinen" instead of "deine" ?

October 12, 2015

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

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

December 8, 2015

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

No difference in pronunciation.

June 25, 2017

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'.

December 15, 2015

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

Could you say, "Seinen Apfel isst er?"

May 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

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.

June 29, 2016

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

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

December 31, 2016

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.

June 25, 2017

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

Its apple. A non human's apple?

May 12, 2017

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?

May 20, 2017

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

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

June 25, 2017

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

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

June 25, 2017

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

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

July 12, 2017

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.

July 12, 2017

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

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

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

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

July 18, 2017

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

Please why seinen instead of sein

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hedi76
  • 1401

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).

July 19, 2017

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

What's the difference between isst and frisst?

August 18, 2017

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.

August 18, 2017
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