Translation:I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper.
Hopefully everyone can read this, my boyfriend is German and taught me this trick when he saw I was learning this. When talking about yourself the word will end in e, so Ich lese. When you're talking directly to or about a person it ends with a t. So Er liest, sie leist, du leist, etc. When you're talking to or about multiple people it ends with an en so it would be Sie lesen, Wir lesen. I remember he said this doesn't apply to every verb though
Focus on the verb that comes after. All regular verbs have specific endings for each pronoun. Eg. Ich -e (lese), du -st (liest), er/sie/es -t (liest), wir -en (lesen), ihr -t (liest), sie(they) -en (lesen).
Knowing this helps with using the correct conjunction of verbs you dont know, as well as differentiating between she and they.
This question seems broken to me.
I first tried "I read a book and she reads a newspaper". Got counted wrong, maybe the simple present isn't acceptable here?"
Next, I tried "I'm reading a book and she's reading a newspaper" Got counted wrong again for using contractions?
I have to type EXACTLY what it wants me to in order to get it right, just seems weird.
Actually, I tried "I read a book, she reads a newspaper" and it got counted wrong (The correction underlined "read" and "reads" and suggested "am reading" and "is reading"
Now I am really confused about why I couldn't use simple present in this one. Can someone clarify me? thanks
Actually, I tried "I read a book, she reads a newspaper" and it got counted wrong
I'm not sure what might have happened -- "I read a book, she reads a newspaper" is one of the accepted sentences.
And unfortunately, the location of the underline is not always reliable.
Could you make a screenshot the next time this happens?
why is not accepted second part "she reads"?
The two parts are parallel, so they should have the same tense -- if you have "I am reading..." in the first part, it should be "she is reading..." in the second part, while if you have "I read..." in the first part, it should be "she reads..." in the second part.
What was your entire answer?
Well, if one says "I read..., she reads...", in English that means it's a habitual or routine action. "Every week at the laundromat, I read a book and she reads a newspaper." If we are talking about an action taking place now, or in the moment, we need to use present continuous.
Yes, ein Buch is accusative.
Only masculine nouns and pronouns have distinct accusative forms -- neuter and feminine words, as well as all plural ones, have an accusative form that is identical to their nominative form.
das Buch is neuter, and so its (indefinite) accusative ein Buch looks like its nominative ein Buch.
Without having any further clarification on your question, I would say; when there is further information to be imparted by a conjunction.
Two examples spring to mind, and they translate quite nicely to English:
„Ich lese ein Buch und sie liest eine Zeitung.“
"I'm reading a book and she's reading a newspaper."
„Ich lese ein Buch, während sie eine Zeitung liest.“
"I'm reading a book whilst she reads a newspaper."
If that doesn't properly answer your question, would you mind rephrasing it?
They are both forms of the same verb -- like "am, is, are" in English.
You have to pick the form that matches the subject:
- ich lese
- du liest
- er liest, sie liest, es liest
- wir lesen
- ihr lest
- sie lesen
Just as you can't say "he am" or "you is" in English, so you cannot say ich liest or du lese in German.
The word Buch is neuter (so "the book" is das Buch), while the word Zeitung is feminine (so "the newspaper" is die Zeitung).
The gender of each noun is simply something you have to learn, memorise, and know. You usually can't tell the gender of a word just by looking at it.
The indefinite article ein is used before masculine and neuter nouns, the indefinite article eine before feminine nouns.
(To be more specific, ein is used before masculine nouns in the nominative case, e.g. when they are the subject of a verb. In the accusative case, e.g. when they are the object of a verb, it's einen. But neuter and feminine words articles look the same in nominative and accusative, so even when nouns are in the accusative case, as here, it'll be ein for neuter and eine for feminine.)
So since Buch is neuter, you get ein Buch, and since Zeitung is feminine, you get eine Zeitung.
Because we can see from the verb ending that it has to mean "she" in this sentence.
sie liest has a verb form ending in -t so it is "she is reading".
sie lesen has a verb form ending in -en so it is "they are reading".
Pay attention to the verb in order to tell apart "she" from "they".
liest can bei either from du liest (= you read) or er liest, sie liest (= he reads, she reads).
In either case, it is in the present tense.
Since the subject here is sie liest, the translation has to be "she reads".
So the entire sentence would be "I read a book, she reads a newspaper."
An alternative translation is "I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper."
(German doesn't make a distinction between present simple for repeated or habitual actions on the one hand and present continuous for actions taking place right now on the other.)
When they are the subject: look at the verb.
sie "she" verb forms usually end in -t (in the present tense); sie "they" verb forms usually in -en.
For example, sie liest "she reads" versus sie lesen "they read".
When they are the object -- only context can make clear whether it is "her" or "them".
It's related to grammatical gender, not to natural gender or sex.
Buch "book" is grammatically neuter, Zeitung "newspaper" is grammatically feminine, Artikel "article" is grammatically masculine, for example.
So it would be Ich lese ein Buch und eine Zeitung und einen Artikel -- the form of ein- depends on the grammatical gender of the following noun.
Note that all nouns are capitalised in German. There is no word zeitung in German.
The word "sie" itself, with no other context, can't tell you if "she" or "they" is meant. But the verb ending does.
In the present tense, if the verb ends in -t: "sie" = "she" - so "sie liest" = "SHE is reading". If the verb ends in -en: "sie" = "they" - so "sie lesen" = "THEY are reading".
And there is also formal "Sie" referring to "you" (either singular or plural); the verb ending for that is also -en.
how does one determine this for objects?
You look it up in the dictionary.
Grammatical gender is essentially arbitrary, and even different languages that have gender don't agree on the same gender -- for a German, der Tisch is clearly masculine while for a Frenchman, la table is just as clearly feminine.
It's just something you have to memorise. Like irregular verbs in English or something. ("Why do we say I live now and I lived yesterday but not I give now and I gived yesterday?")
does it mean that the newspaper is feminine?
das Buch is neuter, die Zeitung is feminine.
the kind of flags u are having alongside ur name..does it mean you know all these languages..?
No; it just means that I've taken the courses on Duolingo ... for different lengths of time. Some only for a day, some only for a week. So I'm not equally good at all of those languages. And some languages I took four years ago and have mostly forgotten.
How could I identify you are talking in present or present continuous? It seems to write by the same way.
Yes, German does not make this distinction, so either translation will usually be accepted unless there is some time marker (e.g. "right now" or "every day") that forces one particular tense in English.
Why translation "I read a book and she read a newspaper" is incorrect as per Duo only "I am reading a book and she is reading a newspaper" is correct?
Technically both are correct.
No; neither are correct, because there is no und in the German sentence you are being asked to translate.
Also, "she read" is not correct English; it would have to be "she reads".
Use ein with masculine and neuter nouns; use eine with feminine nouns.
(If you’re in level 10, you would have seen that in the first four or five skills in the tree, so to get more clear on genders and articles you might want to go back and review from the beginning— I know this is covered earlier).
There is no difference. German has one present tense (Present simple) while English has two: present simple and present continuous.
To know which way to translate the German sentence, you need to decide when the action occurs. If it happens usually, regularly, or habitually, use present tense (I
read the news every day); if it seems to be something that is going on “now”, or in the present moment of speaking, use present continuous (I
am reading a magazine).
I don't see any reason why "I read a book, she read a newspaper" isn't correct. I'm a native English speaker. In English there is a slightly different meaning between "reads" and "is reading", but I believe the two are written the same in German. In English, "is reading" implies that she is doing it now, whereas "reads" implies that reading is something she does, no time factor implicated.
'I read a book, she reads a newspaper' is equally valid yet it gets a red cross. Why?
I don't know -- that should be accepted.
If you have a screenshot of that sentence being rejected, please upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL.
Then perhaps someone can figure out what went wrong for you.
I thought that I had posted a correction to my original, but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. It wasn't my use of 'read' as opposed to 'am reading' which was incorrect. It was that I had misread 'sie' as 'du' - same verb ending - and therefore translated the incorrect pronoun in my answer. Entschuldigung vielmals!
can't I use either "I read" or "I am reading" for Ich lese, as well as for "You read" or "You are reading" to Du lest, as well as She reads and She is reading to Sie liest?
Yes, if the resulting sentence makes sense in English. (Note that it's du liest with ie.)
For example, "I read a book, she reads a newspaper." and "I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper." are both reasonable translations for Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest eine Zeitung.
But "I read a book, she is reading a newspaper" and "I am reading a book, she reads a newspaper" are not natural things to say -- why would you change tense in the middle of the sentence?
How do you know if Sie means you, she, or they?
In the middle of a sentence, capitalised Sie can only mean "you", while lowercase sie can only mean "she, her, they, them". It's only when sie is the first word of a sentence that it looks like Sie.
As the subject of a verb, you can tell the difference by the verb ending; please see the other comments on this page, where this has been explained several times.
why don't the Germans invent a couple of new words to clarify this ambiguity?
Because it's not considered a problem by native speakers.
(Why don't the English invent a couple of new words to clarify whether "you" means du or dich or ihr or euch? Sure, some have a separate plural form but nobody ever bothered to distinguish subject from object forms?)
The "sie" is not capitalized so it should be they correct?
No. The verb liest ends in -t, not in -en, and so sie liest can only mean "she reads".
"They read" would be sie lesen with a verb form ending in -en.
If they intend it to be "she" they should have made it Sie
No. "she" and "they" are both lowercase sie.
Uppercase Sie is the formal "you".
(At the beginning of a sentence, you can't tell the difference, of course.)