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  5. "Wir essen den Apfel."

"Wir essen den Apfel."

Translation:We are eating the apple.

March 18, 2013

158 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbxf

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adit_uti

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalimaLama

thanks so much Danke ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Micah394471

Or you could say Vielen Dank=Thanks so much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poorva02

Thank you. This helped a lot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adit_uti

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbxf

exactly. (No, it does not become feminine. We Germans just use the same determiner for plurals and for feminine nouns.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iman.gh92

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kajoshi

As i Die kritik der reinen vernunft :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelixArba

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redtrauma

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cathall145

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucyShanghai

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmarEncina3

Ich will dich fikken shlompe fontze lucy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucyShanghai

It is possible that some people share one big apple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gustavu85

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ms_REDACTE

They maybe cut it into slices?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Exoool

I guess he means it is not a common scene in his daily life, uncommon probably.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordeTouca

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cdmouse

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


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

den Apfel = accusative case
der Apfel = nominative case

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosentone

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

den Apfel is the DIRECT object


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maryyphelan

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


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maryyphelan

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


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iman.gh92

Wow thanks..this helped a lot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maryyphelan

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohammedYo6

I can't open the link


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edem777

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rock5758

I m confused too


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edem777

It seems there are still many things to learn :)


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

When in doubt, keep asking!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akki248

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akki248

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akki248

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akki248

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

Accusative is the direct object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


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

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krayzerr

Why "den" and not "das" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelvisleung

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

Two people could slice the apple and share it.


[deactivated user]

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


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

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/midhun007

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tesstarosa

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bestmedever

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

    It is a direct object.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/islamooo

    When do we use den, die, Der?


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

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

    One could never use "die" with Apfel.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mosquiller

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mosquiller

    Oh thank you very much!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

    Case and gender.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vintagedesigner

    Ihr and Wir sound the same


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gpctrica

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


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

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

    That isn't how we speak in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Inteligencija2

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GwendolenCE

    It didn't accept 'We eat the apple"


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

    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)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GwendolenCE

    No, I definitlely wrote "We eat the apple


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

    I don't know what to tell you. Maybe a one time glitch?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s0na

    I have a problm....this is my 2nd day in german-self-learning class. I want to know the diffetence between esse and essen


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


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

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sabine_wren

    esse and essen sound so much alike!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keyurvinchhi

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aszanti

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ms_Strong

    what is the difference between isst, esst and essen?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    Conjugation - who is doing the action of eating (whether it's I, you, she, they, etc.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gracel768

    Couldn't it still be an apple


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nasty_bantik

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitul2001

    Whats the difference between esse and essen?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaityWalk

    Yep we're all eating one apple.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph146266

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeishaCook

    Does the w make the v sound


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janakirama1

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brayden926863

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    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).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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!


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RDunks

    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!


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

    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).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buse450295

    How can you make it accusative with das and der?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    It stays the same. It's still in the accusative case, it's just that there is no change.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kedarkulka3

    Why den? I think about das or der.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 .


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/siddhardha_mjm

    Why is it called Den Apfel instead of Der Apfel ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliKhoshnazar

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtalinaDove

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


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

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maryyphelan

    ooh thats really helpful !


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Valomaki

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

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