"Der Junge isst den Apfel."

Translation:The boy is eating the apple.

March 15, 2013

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Is there a chart or something that discusses when to use which den/ der/ die/ or das?

These cases are what I am messing up on. Is there a specific lesson about this?

June 3, 2013


I am also confused in this

March 5, 2014


die is for female things, like Frau and stuff. Der is male, and das is things without sex. when there is more then one, like females, men, iphones, it is almost always die.... that is all i know ;)

June 1, 2014


me Either. got confuse in using den,der, and die or das

August 29, 2014


den is for objects (not living things), der is for males (man, boy), die is for females (woman, girl) and das is for naturals such as child, kid, and even for girls and boys.

May 20, 2014


Please don't give false advice if you don't know exactly what you're talking about.

In German every noun has a gender, namely one of masculine, feminine or neuter. The respective definite articles in nominative (singular) for each are:

Der - masculine.

Die - feminine.

Das - neuter.

In general it is impossible to correctly guess the gender of a noun. You either know it or you don't.

Although "Mann" (man) is masculine ("der Mann") and "Frau" (woman) is feminine ("die Frau"), there are nouns like "Mädchen" (girl) that don't appear to make any sense for the beginner learning German. "Mädchen", namely, is neuter ("das Mädchen").

On top of the genders nouns have, they can appear in various - what's called - cases (or declinations).

In this particular sentence at hand, "der Junge" is the subject of the sentence, "den Apfel" is the object of the sentence. Subjects are always in nominative case, objects are always in one of the other three cases "genitive", "dative" or "accusative". Here, "Apfel" is in accusative. It is the accusative object of the sentence.

Apfel is a masculine noun; the article it appears with has to match the case it is in (here: accusative). So, the nominative "der Apfel" becomes "den Apfel" in accusative.

In most cases the case an object appears in is determined by the verb (predicate) of the sentence. For instance, whatever you "eat" ("essen") in German has to appear in accusative.

Below are examples of accusative objects in all three genders and the definite articles used with them.

Der Junge isst den Apfel. - masculine

Der Junge isst die Banane. - feminine

Der Junge isst das Sandwich. - neuter

You'll notice that the article is only different to its nominative counterpart for the masculine noun, i.e. "der" (nominative) becomes "den" in accusative. "Die" and "das" are unchanged between nominative and accusative.

May 20, 2014


So basically,

If "the X" eats "the Y"

In German, you would have these possibilities

"Der/Die/Das X" isst "Den/Die/Das Y"

In other words, you can't say "der" again if that object is being acted upon by the subject, and hence you change it to "den".


July 13, 2014


Thank you Sir! That's a great comment...

October 12, 2014



January 6, 2015


hello what do you mean by accusative? i am getting confused between die and den

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013


So, according to that article, the sentence can switch around and have the same meaning? So, would "Den Apfel isst der Junge" still translate to "The boy is eating the apple"?

August 29, 2013



August 29, 2013


Would it be common to say something like that, or is it just that it technically means the same thing? Sorry for the questions, I've only just started learning. That question is more out of interest than anything!

August 29, 2013


It's not common, but it can be correct. There's a standard order in German, roughly "subject verbs object to/for recipient", that's followed when you don't want to emphasize any noun in particular.

When you want to emphasize one of those nouns, you break that order and put it the noun you want to emphasize at the beginning of the sentence. So "Den Apfel isst der Junge" denotes the exact same thing, but with emphasis on the apple, rather than the boy.

October 22, 2013


German sentence structure is very similar to English sentence structure. So, yeah, you could say "Den Apfel isst der Junge" but that the same as saying "The apple is eaten by the boy" instead of "the boy is eating the apple." It still works, but it's awkward.

November 21, 2014


Is there any kind of explanation for this: we say, er/sie/es isst; but ihr esst?????

February 12, 2014


What is meaning of 'den'? 'The' should be 'die','der' or 'das',depending on masculine, feminine or neutral object isn't it?

March 21, 2013


no. nomative case is, der die das die accusative case is, den die das die and dative case is, dem der den den+n depends on what case the noun is in. it is accusative case, so der Apfel goes to den Apfel

April 8, 2013


Similar to ein : einen?

September 24, 2013


Junge can mean young man, too, not only boy, can't it?

October 28, 2013


Not really.

October 28, 2013


Why is it den Apfel instead of der Apfel?

January 21, 2014

[deactivated user]

    Because it's in the accusative case (because Apfel is the direct object). Der Apfel ist rot, but Er sieht DEN Apfel. I think that's what this unit is teaching.

    January 21, 2014


    Thank you. Are you saying the apple is not accusative when he sees the apple?

    January 22, 2014


    Den is actually a form of 'der' but in a different case! It is used when the object in the sentence is the direct object. If it was the subject, it would've been der, but since "der Junge" is the subject, the "der" changes to "den"!

    January 16, 2015


    is "an apple" really technically wrong? It called it an 'indefinite term" or something as opposed to "the".

    April 4, 2014


    Are the two sentences "the boy eats the apple" and "the boy eats an apple" the same? Do they have the same meaning?

    No, so , yes, technically "an apple" is different from "the apple," no matter what language you express it in.

    April 4, 2014


    Thanks for the response! I was actually just making a silly mistake, I thought the website was telling me it literally didn't understand that I typed "an" and that it was "undefined" itself lol, brain fart. Anyway, thanks again.

    April 4, 2014

    [deactivated user]

      I think "der Junge" is best translated "the Youth" ie an older boy. Boy in general is der Knabe. Junge would be about 12 to 18 years.

      November 24, 2013


      That's not true, at least for Standard German as spoken in Germany. "Knabe" is an obsolete word.

      November 24, 2013

      [deactivated user]

        Thank you. I learned German over 40 years ago and I guess "Knabe" has become obsolete in the interim. I appreciate the clarification.

        November 24, 2013


        Der Junge is also a kid ... not just a boy ...

        August 8, 2013


        No, "der Junge" is strictly "the boy." Definitely not "kid."

        August 9, 2013


        I tottaly respect your opinion, but after living in Germany for several months, and having my B2- Zertifikat ... I think that it most certainly can have the meaning of kid.

        August 9, 2013


        Opinion, huh?

        Ok, help me out with my English then, after all it is my second language. If I refer to "the kid" it could be both a girl or a boy, right?

        However, "der Junge" is strictly "the boy." there is just no way "der Junge" could mean "the girl."

        If I'm missing something in English about the meaning of "kid," please let me know, I'm curious.

        Btw, my first language is German.

        August 9, 2013


        I don't mean to insult you. Yes, your opinion. Would you "das Kind" is the only translation for Kid? Clearly no, being an incredibly smart person, you're English seems quite wonderful, you realize that there are many fine points to a translation and that there isn't a 1 to 1 equivalence for words. For example, "Ach, Du! Junge!" or "Ach, Du! Kind!" Or "Ach, Du! Bub" or ... Shall I go on? They can and often do mean the same if not functionally similar things. I don't mean to argue that "der Junge" is the best translation for "Kid" but just as words in German have multiple meanings so too do English words, and I do opine that "Kid" is an acceptable translation for "der Junge."

        August 9, 2013


        No. Der Junge has a specific meaning referring to the gender of a person, specifically a young boy. And Das Mädchen is for girl. If you are talking about a particular boy, you could either say "Das Kind" OR "Der Junge". But you can't translate "Der Junge" to "kid" because that is NOT the meaning of the word.

        March 22, 2014


        I think das Kind is a child.

        October 11, 2014

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