"Wir essen den Apfel."

Translation:We are eating the apple.

5 years ago

158 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/Stu-H

Is it simply because it is too early to bring in plurals that this sentence is so weird? I can't help but think "We are eating the apples" would make more sense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbxf
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It's not a plural, it's a different case. Hohenems already pointed out that "den Apfel" is accusative case. The plural you were looking for is "die Äpfel". Notice the umlaut.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adit_uti

you means in plural, apple (apples) become feminine? coz you said [The plural you were looking for is "die Äpfel"].

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Genders do NOT change when they are in the plural. The definite articles in nominative case are: masculine - der, feminine - die, neuter - das, plural - die.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalimaLama

thanks so much Danke ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jesus829157

Who's Danke?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HalimaLama

Danke = Thanks

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Micah394471

Or you could say Vielen Dank=Thanks so much.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Poorva02

Thank you. This helped a lot

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adit_uti

I got it. In plural, both normative and accusative use "die".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbxf
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exactly. (No, it does not become feminine. We Germans just use the same determiner for plurals and for feminine nouns.)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iman.gh92
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I love your german language...I'm trying to learn it so maybe one day i could read "thus spoke zarthustra" from "fredriech nietsche" in original german language

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kajoshi

As i Die kritik der reinen vernunft :).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FelixArba

I think he actually meant WIR , so that would literally translate to We are eating the apple , which he find confusing .

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/redtrauma

That is what I found confusing. Can someone explain in simple terms?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cathall145

Just imagine that someone's sliced an apple up and is sharing it with other people

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Why are "we are eating the apple" be confusing????

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Suhaib_Ahmad

yes of course

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucyShanghai

Die is also used for plural. Like die Männer (men)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmarEncina3

Ich will dich fikken shlompe fontze lucy

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucyShanghai

It is possible that some people share one big apple.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gustavu85

After reading all the comments it made me more confused.... I thought it was der apfel, not den apfel...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashleywinn28

Der changes to den in the accusative case. I wish Duolingo were better at explaining that kind of thing. Here's a link to what article you use depending on the case: http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa033098.htm

and here's a link explaining how to determine if it's in Nominative, Accusative or Dative case: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/nomakkdatexpl.html

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ms_REDACTE

They maybe cut it into slices?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SexasaurusRex

Yes. Plurals is a later lesson. One one hand it is possible that multiple people are eating the same apple as unorthodox as it might seem.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Why would it be unorthodox for two people to share an apple???

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Exoool
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I guess he means it is not a common scene in his daily life, uncommon probably.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LordeTouca

Yeah I think so thanks for pointing that out. =)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FaZeNolly

agree homie

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdmouse

What's the difference between den Apfel with der Apfel?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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den Apfel = accusative case
der Apfel = nominative case

http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum.htm

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rosentone

Der apfel-> the Apple is the subject. Den apfel-> the Apple is the object.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

den Apfel is the DIRECT object

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Scott.Davies

Just so I'm clear does that translate in English to THE (pronounced Thee) Apple vs The apple.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maryyphelan

I still don't get this. Whats the difference ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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I don't know how to explain it better than what's already been said in this thread and in the link I provided. rosentone summed it up nicely:
"Der Apfel- the apple is the subject. Den Apfel- the apple is the object."

The apple is red = apple is the subject = Der Apfel ist rot
I eat the apple = apple is the object (I am the subject) = Ich esse den Apfel

Maybe this other link will help more? http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/cas_01.html
For more in depth information at that link, you can hover over "Cases" in the bar at the top of the screen. You'll get a drop down menu and can then read more on nominative and accusative cases.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maryyphelan

Oh thank you =] I didn't think anyone would comment haha. Danke =]

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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No problem. Any closer to getting a handle on it? It might seem tricky now, but you'll get used to it quick enough if you keep at it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iman.gh92
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Wow thanks..this helped a lot

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

There is no objective case in German. "Den Apfel" would be in the accusative case which is the direct object.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maryyphelan

Yeah Im getting it now. Im learning German only for like 6 months and im struggling on the verbs

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MohammedYo6

I can't open the link

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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https://www.duolingo.com/elkalbouz

If I want to say >> Who eats this apple ?? >>> Wer isst den Apfel ??

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

Correct. Also it may be translated to "Who eats the apple?" If you want to stress that it is this apple (you are pointing at it) you could also say "Wer isst diesen Apfel?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adem564031

Eating the Apple

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edem777
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I have read the comments above but i have to ask: why is "Wir essen DER Apfel" not correct? However "Wir essen DAS Brot" is correct. I think the sentences are the same. Could a native german speaker explain this to me?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rock5758

I m confused too

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Das is das in accusative. The only definite article ("der" word) to change in accusative is the masculine "der". Have a peak here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Definite_articles.5B1.5D

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edem777
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It seems there are still many things to learn :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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When in doubt, keep asking!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akki248

why is it not "an apple"; its a vowel right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akki248

why is it not "an apple"; its a vowel right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akki248

why is it not "an apple"; its a vowel right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akki248

why is it not "an apple"; its a vowel right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Grass-roots

This might sound a bit daft, but just to be sure: what's the difference between nominative and accusative?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VoidPointer2005

Nominative case is the subject of a sentence. Accusative is the object. In English and German, the subject generally comes at the beginning of a sentence, and the object is generally at the end. However, English has no nominative or accusative case for most words, the only real exception being some pronouns. "She" vs. "her" is an example. "She" is nominative, "her" is accusative.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Accusative is the direct object.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krayzerr

Why "den" and not "das" ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

It could never be "das". Apple is masculine and in accusative case.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebalon1

Need to point at one fact. When translating to English it says often that there is another correct answer. For example: I drink; I am drinking seem to be the same in German. Does that mean that "I drink" in English which is used to announce that I drink in general (every now and then, because its needed to live ect.) and "I am drinking" which means literally drinking now, at this moment, when its said, in German has no time of doing it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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You are correct. There is no present continuous in German "(I am verb -ing"). You would know if they meant "I drink", or "I am drinking" based on context (in the real world...not in Duo as no context is provided). If you want to stress that you're drinking right now, you could add "gerade" after the verb.

  • Ich trinke gerade
  • Ich esse gerade Käse
  • Sie spielt gerade Fußball
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeevanjacobjohn

When do we use "die Apfel"? Is it when you are referring to more than one apple?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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In nominative and accusative case, all definite articles (der/den, die, das) change to "die" for plural.
Apfel (apple) changes to Äpfel (apples) for plural (note the umlaut).

Check out this link for definite articles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Definite_articles.5B1.5D

And this link for Apfel http://www.canoo.net/inflection/apfel:N:M

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/midhun007

is the pronunciation of ihr and wir kinda similar... coz i am finding it very confusing

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tesstarosa

They do rhyme. Ihr sounds like ear and wir sounds like veer. You should hear a vee sound in wir.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bestmedever

why "den" & not "der" or "das"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tesstarosa

Because of it is an object and Apfel (a masculine noun) changes to "den." "Das" would never be correct. (Although, I'm sure a German speaker would understand what you mean.)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

It is a direct object.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mosquiller

So because "apfel" is a masculine noun, in some cases, as mentioned, one should use der/die/den. But is this also true about "wasser"? or because it's neutral we should always use das?!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

One could never use "die" with Apfel.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mosquiller

How to make "Apfel" plural then? and also "Wasser"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

I think sweilan1 was talking about the singular. Apfel is masculine therefore you would use der if it is the subject and den if it is the direct object. For Wasser it is even easier. It is neuter so in both cases das is the right article.

In plural all nouns have the article die in both cases, but often (mostly?) the noun changes too. der Apfel becomes die Äpfel and das Wasser becomes die Wasser or die Wässer (although Water is not really a countable noun. It then refers to a number of glasses/bottles of water, e.g. in a restaurant).

That is the reason why you could never use Apfel with die, but only Äpfel

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

You are correct, karlchen123. Die Äpfel, but never, ever die Apfel.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mosquiller

Oh thank you very much!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabeCundari

okay what i would like to understand is why in Wir essen den Apfel but in wir essen das Brot why are there two different the? they are both talking about how we are eating

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Case and gender.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vintagedesigner

Ihr and Wir sound the same

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

They sound similar, but definitely do not sound the same.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gpctrica

Why it couldn't be "We are eating apple"? without "the"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Dropping the article from the German sentence changes the meaning of the English sentence. "We are eating apple" has a different meaning than "we are eating the apple".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

That isn't how we speak in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Inteligencija2

We use 'den' when the noun isn't a subject in sentance and only when it is masculine... :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Not quite correct. "Den" is used for accusative case masculine nouns. For dative-case masculine nouns, "dem" is used. And for genitive-case masculine nouns, "des" is used.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Scott.Davies

What is accusative case - is there an equivalent in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Accusative case is used for (most) direct objects and for some prepositions. English does not have accusative, dative, or genitive cases; however, English uses the objective case for direct objects, indirect objects, and for prepositions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GwendolenCE

It didn't accept 'We eat the apple"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Could you have had a spelling mistake?
I just checked the incubator, and "We [eat/are eating/are having] [the/this/that] apple." is in the accepted translations list.

Edit: If you reported it, I see a user-suggested translation that is "we eatthe apple". (with a missing space)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GwendolenCE

No, I definitlely wrote "We eat the apple

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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I don't know what to tell you. Maybe a one time glitch?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s0na
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I have a problm....this is my 2nd day in german-self-learning class. I want to know the diffetence between esse and essen

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faranak_fst

Why don't we say "wir trinken den Wasser"? because water is the object and as far as I know "den" is used when we have an object. plz help me and correct me if I am wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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Wasser has a neuter gender (das Wasser). The only definite article ("der" word) to change in accusative is the masculine "der". Have a peak here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Definite_articles.5B1.5D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faranak_fst

gatta. tnx a lot

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Water isn't "the object", it is "the direct object".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sabine_wren

esse and essen sound so much alike!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keyurvinchhi

what is correct - den apfel or einen apfel? when to use what?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

den is the definite article and einen is the indefinite article.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aszanti

i have no idea why once i have to use "the" and another "that" it's blow my mind

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ms_Strong

what is the difference between isst, esst and essen?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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Conjugation - who is doing the action of eating (whether it's I, you, she, they, etc.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gracel768

Couldn't it still be an apple

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

no.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NatasaSkrbic

what is the difference between putting einen an den with Apfel? they are both masculine and using when word is in acusative, but which when?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kelvisleung

Impossible sentence. How can a group of people eat one apple together? Lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Two people could slice the apple and share it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nasty_bantik

Why its "den" and not "die"??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitul2001

Whats the difference between esse and essen?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KaityWalk

Yep we're all eating one apple.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph146266

Does this sentence mean ''we eat the apple'' or ''we are eating the apple''?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeishaCook

Does the w make the v sound

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KakNieke

Please correct me if im wrong.

Nomative (subject): das (neutral), der (masculine), die (feminine).

Accusative (object): das, der, den.

Wir trinken das Wasser Wir essen den Apfel.

Right?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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Nominative you have correct, but accusative is Das, den, die.

If you add the article for plurals, it's die in both cases as well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janakirama1

What is accusative and normative? What is the difference between den apfel and das apfel?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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There are several comments discussing this already, but I'll try to explain accusative and nominative here. First of all, the article for Apfel is never 'das', but is instead 'der' in the nominative case, as it is grammatically masculine.

Nominative case: When the noun is the subject of the sentence, meaning it is the thing doing the action. In the sentence, "The girl eats the apple", the subject is 'the girl', so the article will take the nominative case.

For the nominative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, der is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns.

Accusative case: When the noun is the direct object of the sentence, meaning it receives the action. In the earlier sentence, 'the apple' is the direct object, so it will take on the accusative case.

For the accusative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, den is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns, meaning the only change is der goes to den.

"Das Mädchen isst den Apfel" and "Den Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The girl eats the apple", as the article 'den' implies that the apple is the direct object of the sentence.

"Das Mädchen isst der Apfel" and "Der Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The apple eats the girl", as the article 'der' implies that the apple is the subject of the sentence.

Hope this helps!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emo_potato

Please explaine the difference between "den" and the other "the" words... i understand that die and der match up with feminin and masculine words but the rest is kinda confusing...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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Nominative case: When the noun is the subject of the sentence, meaning it is the thing doing the action. In the sentence, "The girl eats the apple", the subject is 'the girl', so the article will take the nominative case.

For the nominative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, der is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns.

Accusative case: When the noun is the direct object of the sentence, meaning it receives the action. In the earlier sentence, 'the apple' is the direct object, so it will take on the accusative case.

For the accusative case, die is for feminine and plural nouns, den is for masculine nouns, and das is for neuter nouns, meaning the only change is der goes to den.

"Das Mädchen isst den Apfel" and "Den Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The girl eats the apple", as the article 'den' implies that the apple is the direct object of the sentence.

"Das Mädchen isst der Apfel" and "Der Apfel isst das Mädchen" BOTH mean "The apple eats the girl", as the article 'der' implies that the apple is the subject of the sentence.

There are two other cases, dative and genitive (indirect object and possessive), but I wouldn't worry about them just yet.

Hope this helps!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brayden926863

when does der change to den, and why did they use den apfel and not die Äpfel?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
Mod
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der changes to den because the apple is the direct object of eating, so it's placed in the accusative case.

Masculine nouns are the only ones that have an accusative case that looks different from the nominative case -- e.g. the definite article is den rather than *der.

die Äpfel would be plural (the apples).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CabiriaSingt

Isn't the die to der conversion in the dative case, not the accusative? I don't think this is a mistake, I am probably just not getting something. Thanks!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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There is nothing in the sentence that is feminine. Apfel is masculine. Der Apfel. However, to answer your question, die does switch to der in dative and genitive.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RDunks
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Interesting that we have den explained here when we've been using it for at least one other lesson. But I guess it all works together!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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I haven't done the earlier lessons in a while, but I think that there is a "tips" option in the top right corner while doing the lessons. When in doubt, check that (if it's there).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/islamooo

When do we use den, die, Der?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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This is covered in the introduction to the very first lesson, "Basics 1":

Generally speaking, the definite article "die" (the) and the indefinite article "eine" (a/an) are used for feminine nouns, "der" and "ein" for masculine nouns, and "das" and "ein" for neuter nouns. For example, it is "die Frau," "der Mann," and "das Kind." However, later you will see that this changes depending on something called the "case of the noun."

Taken from here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielaPe619047

Can anyone give me a quick explanation to whats the difference between acusative case and normative? Feel kinda dumb asking this but grammar has never been my strong suit

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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This isn't very quick, but hopefully it will help.

Nominative case: The subject of the sentence takes on this case. The subject is the person doing the action in the sentence. In English, we determine the subject through the order of the words in the sentence.

"The girl eats the apple" and "the apple eats the girl" mean two different things. In the first sentence, the girl is the subject, and the apple is in the second sentence. They will take on nominative cases, and thus these articles:

Der - masculine Die - feminine Das - neuter

Accusative case: In those sentences, the direct object, which takes on the accusative case, is the thing the action is being done to. The first sentence's object is the apple, and the second sentence's object is the girl. In the accusative case, these are the articles used:

Den - masculine Die - feminine Das - neuter

In this case, as apple is masculine, you can determine whether it is the subject or the direct object by its article, and thus sentence order doesn't matter.

"Das Mädchen isst den Apfel" and "Den Apfel isst das Mädchen" both mean "The girl eats the apple."

"Der Apfel isst das Mädchen" and "Das Mädchen isst der Apfel" both mean "The apple eats the girl."

NOTE: There is a huge and very common exception to the accusative case. When using the verb 'to be' (sein, sind, bin, ist, seid), both sides of the sentence take the NOMINATIVE case. (Also, I know my examples don't make sense, but they get the point across.)

"The girl is the apple" "Das Mädchen ist der Apfel." "Der Apfel ist das Mädchen."

Hope this helps!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buse450295

How can you make it accusative with das and der?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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It stays the same. It's still in the accusative case, it's just that there is no change.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kedarkulka3

Why den? I think about das or der.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Reetika10

Den? :/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaThomps13

I don't think my Texas accent works too well with the voice deal. I can set in Germany several times and it like let's try again .

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaThomps13

sorry if I repeat this. I'm having trouble when you have to do the voice deal. tell me several times to do it over. I guess it's my Texas accent. lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaThomps13

Avoid heard English is the hardest language to learn. I'm having trouble with the voice deal it tells me to repeat in German several times. I guess it's my Texas accent. lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaThomps13

I met an older woman from Germany as you did not like being called a Nazi . he escaped from Germany when Hitler was in office during WWII Said he was a very cruel and mean man.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BleonaMorina

Why is it Den ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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This has already been answered in this thread, but it's because the apple is the direct object of the subject and thus takes the accusative case, in which the article "der" changes to "den".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/siddhardha_mjm

Why is it called Den Apfel instead of Der Apfel ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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This has already been answered in this thread, but it's because the apple is the direct object of the subject and thus takes the accusative case, in which the article "der" changes to "den".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AliKhoshnazar

Why not der Apfel? Why they use den Apfel??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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This has already been answered in this thread, but it's because the apple is the direct object of the subject and thus takes the accusative case, in which the article "der" changes to "den".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranklinPAlmeida

I didn't understand when to use der, den or das, could some one please explain one more time? Is it correct that we use die just for plural?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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In addition to all the links and comments here, maybe this table will help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Definite_articles.5B1.5D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maryyphelan

ooh thats really helpful !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Valomaki

This stuff should be on Duolingo too I get that they try keeping it simple but for some additional info would be welcome

4 years ago
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