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  5. "Der Junge isst den Apfel."

"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?


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 ;)


I am also confused in this


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


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.


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.


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".



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


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


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"?


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!


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.


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.


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


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"!


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


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


Similar to ein : einen?


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


Why is it den Apfel instead of der Apfel?

[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.


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


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


    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.


    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.

    [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.


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

      [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.

        [deactivated user]

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


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

          [deactivated user]

            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.


            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.

            [deactivated user]

              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."


              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.


              I think das Kind is a child.

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