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  5. "Wir essen Obst."

"Wir essen Obst."

Translation:We eat fruit.

March 15, 2013

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulioFdez-Prada

Again! How do you know when fruit is plural or singular?


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

"Obst" is uncountable singular


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

That it only true for German language, but in English you normally say "to eat fruits" (plural). DL is currntly considering "we eat fruits" as a mistake, but this is wrong. The plural form "fruits" in English must be accepted as a valid translation.


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

In English you don't say "to eat fruits", although i don't think it's incorrect to say it like that, just unusual. When you have an uncounted amount of fruit it's "fruit" in the plural, and "piece of fruit" in the singular.

"I am eating a bowl of fruit."

"I am eating a piece of fruit." (Can be a divided piece of one fruit, or one whole fruit.)

"They are having a sale on fruit at the market."

"I got this piece of fruit on sale at the market."

However "There are four fruits in my bag" is correct, and "There are four fruit in my bag" is not.


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

Thanks for your remarks, fully agree. I was thinking of a following situation:

-Q: do you ever eat fruits?

-A: yes, of course. Actually I eat fruits practically every day.


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

margusoja, in both these examples of yours I would argue that singular 'fruit' sound more natural than 'fruits'. Do you ever eat fruit? Yes, I eat fruit every day. Unless you wanted to be very specific: Yes, I eat at least five different fruits a day.


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

@elardus: thanks for the comment!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P.A.Moreira

I agreee with you. My native language is Portuguese and for me is strange only singular fruit. In Portuguese I would say "I like fruits" instead if "I like fruit", so I presumed it would be the same in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmericanDr2

Oh, I was wondering about the same...in my language "fruit" can be singular and plural...just like in English


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

It's mostly used like a plural since it's a mass noun like butter. If you want to use it in singular you would need to clarify in the fashion of "I eat a/one piece of fruit". Therefore the translation here maybe grammatically correct but a little bit missleading.


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

In another discussion, I explained the difference between "Obst", "Frucht", and "Früchte": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5999950. Hopefully this will clear up all of your questions.


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

we have to use "vegetables" and in this case we have to use "fruit" not "fruits" !! why?


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

That's because the English "vegetables" and "fruit" describe a general class of nouns while "fruits" is plural. You would say "Eat some vegetables." instead of "Eat some vegetable.", or "Eat some fruit." instead of "Eat some fruits." English is a funny language like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmericanDr2

But then it is same in German, for an exception of "fruit"/"fruits"! Like in German only possible to say "Obst"as "Fruit" , referring also on plural, if there, but English allow to use both" fruit"and "fruits" ...do I get it right? P.S. I am beginner here to my excuse )


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

You will be okay never saying the word "fruits". It can or does not have to be used at all. No worries. The only problem is if you say "too many fruit". You should say "too much fruit"/"too many fruits".


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

"We are eating fruit" and "We eat fruit" are both correct translations but have entirely different meanings. The first means that we are actively now eating some fruit. The second is a statement of policy or behavior. How are these ideas distinguished in German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OldMate2

You're not going to like this. Context.

Many other languages don't worry about a simple vs continuous tense. They let the context make it clear. If there aren't any time phrases like "every Monday" or "right now", then you should be free to use either from German to English


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

I have the same question, and some additional information in case a native or advanced German speaker decides to tackle this question.

  • We eat fruit = simple present = we have the habit of eating fruit
  • We are eating fruit = continous present = the action we are doing now, eating fruit

Also, in English some verbs are stative and do not use the continuous present. e.g. I need some fruit, NOT I am needing some fruit.

Some verbs are stative or dynamic, depending upon context. e.g. The food tastes good NOT The food is tasting good. BUT: Right now I am tasting the food (continuous present), and next I will taste the wine (future simple).


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

'Fruits' will be written as ....?


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

"Früchte" is one way to write "Fruits"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madhukar595972

"We are eating fruit" makes sense?


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

"We are eating fruit" makes sense?

Yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dunstjac000

What Is the difference berween isst and esst (I understand the endings, just now when to use it )


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

isst is for du (singular you) and esst is for ihr. (plural you)


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

You isst Y'all esst


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew82126

Is there a rule to identify the exceptions the rule that if two or more consonants follows a vowel then the vowel is short? Exception like in 'obst', why is this vowel long?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krish989986

We are eating fruit is also correct right


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

I am a bit confused! How can we turn this into a negative sentence? Is it" Wir essen Obst nicht" or "Wir essen nicht Obst". Danke!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raunak2000

Wir essen kein obst


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

I tought that in english you always need an article in front of a singular noun such as ''fruit''. Can someone explain me why ''We are eating fruit'' is a correct answer ?


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

Compare these two sentences:

  • We are eating (some) fruit = some non-specific fruit is being eaten, a generic statement on the type of food being eaten
  • We are eating the fruit = refers to a specific piece of fruit or a specific bowl of fruit

Note, "fruit" is usually a collective noun that takes a singular verb:

  • Fruit is tasty. = a general statement about fruit
  • The fruit in that store is expensive. = specific fruit is expensive

The plural "fruits" exists. It is not used much except when referring to species/varieties.

  • The citrus family (Rutaceae) is the source of many edible fruits.
  • Botanists collect flowers and fruits in order to study them.
  • slices of various citrus fruits

You can say:

  • I am eating a piece of fruit, NOT I am eating a fruit.
  • I am eating a vegetable.
  • I am eating (some) vegetables.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/harshitjai442806

I didnt get how to pronounce 'wir essen obst'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blake7187

If 'fruit' is supposed to be singular here, shouldn't it have the article written before it?


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

No.

It's used as a mass noun here, which is uncountable and so does not need an article.

It is like other mass nouns such as "rice" or "water" or "sand" where we do not say "We are eating a rice and drinking a water". We simply "eat rice" and "drink water" and can also "eat fruit".

The German word Obst is similarly a mass noun and so does not take an indefinite article.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James_h1023

I put "we are eating a fruit" but incorrect. Why?


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

Because Obst is "fruit" (in the general sense), not "a fruit" (one single, countable fruit = eine Frucht).

For example, if you ate three strawberries and half a pear, you have "eaten fruit" (Obst gegessen) but not "eaten a fruit".


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

i just said friut instead of fruit, duolingo, i'm tring to learn german, not english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arun8288

Why is it not we are eating fruits?


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

Why is it not we are eating fruits?

Because Obst is "fruit" in general -- the "substance". Not necessarily individual, complete fruits (= Früchte).

For example, if you have eaten half an apple and a quarter of a pear, you have "eaten fruit" but you have not "eaten fruits" (because you did not consume a whole apple nor a whole pear).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myrtille107621

it's kind complicated, 'cause in french we tend to translate it (we ALWAYS do) into "fruits" (plural).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Racova1

I think is fruits. We are eating fruits should also be right


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

We are eating fruits should also be right

No. This has been explained before on this page.

Obst is "fruit" (uncountable), not "fruits" (countable plural).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Franco210

Fruits is usually plural in English


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

Obst =fruit/s. In this context is not defined as a singular or plural. In english The most comun expresion is fruits, as a general. If specific, there is fruit. Both translations should be accepte!


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

How do you know the difference between I am eating and I eat.. How do you know if it's present simple or present continuous and why is it we are eating fruit wrong and we eat fruit correct? Is there present simple and present continuous in german language at all?


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

How do you know the difference between I am eating and I eat.

Without any time expression such as "every day" or "right now", you can't tell the difference -- German doesn't make this distinction grammatically.

Both translations are thus generally accepted.

why is it we are eating fruit wrong

It isn't wrong.

Do you have any evidence that that translation is rejected by Duolingo? A screenshot, for example?


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

I didn't take a screenshot but I wrote "we are eating fruit" and it said it was wrong and the correct answer was "we eat fruit"


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

I didn't take a screenshot

Then we will never know exactly what happened.

My guess, though, was that you had a listening exercise ("Type what you hear", i.e. in German) and that you translated into English instead.

And that Duo did not say that

the correct answer was "we eat fruit"

but instead that the correct answer was Wir essen Obst., which can be translated as "we eat fruit".


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

I keep getting confused. Ill type i am eatinv fruit instead of i eat fruit. How would the previous be arittin in deutsch? Danke


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

In German you would say: "Wir essen Obst." or "Wir essen Früchte." That's why I think, "We eat fruits." should be right.


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

In German you would say: "Wir essen Obst." or "Wir essen Früchte."

Both sentences are possible, but they mean different things.

  • Wir essen Obst. = We are eating fruit. You are using "fruit" as an uncountable noun, as a kind of "material". It could be chopped-up fruits or whole fruits or anything.
  • Wir essen Früchte. = We are eating fruits. You are using "fruits" as a countable noun: individual entire fruits. For example, one whole apple and two whole pears.

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

Aha, but in this sentence it is not necessary to know that "we" eat something countable or not. The correct meaning of the sentence is important. You can't just translate languages, you also have to interpret them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RubMacJr86

Ah man... "we eat" ou "we are eating"...?!


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

"we eat" ou "we are eating"...?

That's right. Both translations are possible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian562838

The translation in english is wrong.


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

When reporting an error, it's best if you

  • quote the entire sentence you are referring to (nearly all sentences have multiple accepted translations, so talking about "the translation" is not specific enough)
  • say which part of it is wrong
  • say why that is wrong
  • say what it should be instead

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnirbanDha2

I assume that we are eating fruit can also be correct .. don't know why it shows incorrect

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