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  5. "That is an orange."

"That is an orange."

Translation:Das ist eine Orange.

November 17, 2017



orange is feminine


Orange is feminine. Ein is for neuter and masculine, eine is for feminine


How do you pronounce 'orange'? It doesn't sound like the english way to say it.


You're right, it doesn't. I don't know a good way to spell it phonetically, but if it helps at all, in German "Orange" is a loanword from French.


Maybe try it this way: Or on jaw. Then say it all at once Oronjaw


Why not die for that?


It is due to a grammatical 'structure' called Nominativ and correlates to what question a certain sentence answers.


Kindly elaborate. Usually we put it as- sie isst die Orange


In "Das ist eine Orange" something is being identified and in the process is allocated a noun with gender and number (by which I mean singular or plural). Whatever-it-is has not featured in the conversation up to this point and so can't be referred to by a gender- and number-specific pronoun. In such a situation German falls back on using the singular neuter pronoun "das" ("that"). "Dies" ("this") could also be used but is less common. "Das" or "dies" are used even when the objects being identified are plural, e.g. "Das/dies sind Orangen" ("Those/these are oranges").

Once a noun has been allocated to it if the people go on talking about whatever-it-is they immediately go over to using gender- and number-specific pronouns.

Imagine three people entering a dimly-lit kitchen. Someone sees a shape and asks, "Was ist das?" Another answers, "Das ist eine Orange". The third person says, "Sie ist meine Orange" ("It's my orange") - a pronoun is now used that agrees with "Orange".


Besides "die Orange" there is another word for "orange", "die Apfelsine", which is used in northern parts of Germany. Dutch has a similar word. Does anyone know its etymology? The "-sine" part makes me think of China. When oranges were first imported from China did people call these novelty fruits "Chinese apples"? The Dutch "sinaasappel" especially sounds like "Chinese apple" I think.


What is the difference between 'das' and 'dass'?


"das" means "the" (neuter), and "dass" means "that"


"Das" as a determiner before a noun means both "the" and "that", e.g. "das Buch" means both "the book" and "that book". "Das" is used before singular neuter nouns that are the subject or direct object of their sentence or clause. "Die" and "der" etc. also mean both "the" and "that"/"those".

(If you were using "der", "die" or "das", etc. in speech and you meant to convey the sense of "that" you would put a bit of stress on the word, but if you meant "the" you wouldn't.)

"Der", "die" and "das", etc. are also pronouns meaning "that thing", and in the plural "die" etc. means "those things".

An example is this sentence, "Das ist eine Orange" ("That's an orange"), or, in the plural, "Das sind Orangen" ("Those are oranges"). In such sentences where something is being identified the neuter singular "that" is always used whatever the gender and number.

"Dass" is a conjunction meaning "that", e.g. "Er sagt, dass ..." ("He says that...").


Doesn't we use "Einen" for "an" and "Eine" for "a"?

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