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  5. "Wir essen Obst."

"Wir essen Obst."

Translation:We eat fruit.

March 15, 2013



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


"Obst" is uncountable singular


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.


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.


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.


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.


@elardus: thanks for the comment!


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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 )


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".


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


"Früchte" is one way to write "Fruits"


"We are eating fruit" makes sense?


"We are eating fruit" makes sense?



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


You isst Y'all esst


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


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?


We are eating fruit is also correct right


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!


Wir essen kein obst


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 ?


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.


I didnt get how to pronounce 'wir essen obst'


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



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.


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


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".


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


Why is it not we are eating fruits?


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).


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


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


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).


Fruits is usually plural in English


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!


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?


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?


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"


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".


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


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


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.


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.


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


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

That's right. Both translations are possible.


The translation in english is wrong.


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


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


Я вчу 5 мов і почну 6


why "we are eating fruits" is not right?


why "we are eating fruits" is not right?

Because the German sentence isn't talking about individual, entire fruits (= Früchte) but about "fruit" as a substance (= Obst).

For example, if you eat three apple slices and half a banana, you have eaten fruit (Obst) but you haven't eat fruits (Früchte).

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