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  5. "Eine Frau isst einen Apfel."

"Eine Frau isst einen Apfel."

Translation:A woman is eating an apple.

March 18, 2013



German has cases, so the articles (der/die/das und ein/eine) change form depending on what is being done to the object. I think this is genetive, but I'm not sure. It's something we should learn about later.


Somebody later in the comments mentioned accusative, so I put the wrong cas sorry.


How about pronouncation between 'ist' (sein) and 'isst' (eats ) correctly?


How can we know the difference between Eine: A and Eine: One?


In English the "a" can be replaced with one without changing the meaning.' She eats one apple' and 'she eats an apple' mean essentially the same thing, it's just when you want to put emphasis on 'one'. You can put emphasis with which word you stress in german. 'Sie isst einen Apfel' 'Sie ist EINEN Apfel'


Context; if you can't figure it out from context, you've got much bigger problems.


why is it not den Apfel over here? Its masculine, so shouldn't it be den? or is den only for plurals? Oh god all these rules are confusing damn


the = definite article

You're being asked to translate an indefinite article (a/an).

If the English sentence was "A woman is eating the apple", then you would be right; it would be "Eine Frau isst den Apfel".


Can I say "Ein Frau isst einen Apfel"? or do I have to add a "E" to the "Ein"? which will make it "Eine".


You need the e on the end.


Why is A woman eats an apple wrong?


Why is A woman eats an apple wrong?

"A woman eats an apple" is also a correct translation.


Why is it "...einen Apfel" instead of "eine Apfel". (She is eating an apple)


The word Apfel is grammatically masculine.

It's also the direct object of the verb "eat", so it has to be in the accusative case.

The masculine accusative form of ein is einen.

That is why it is einen Apfel.

eine would be feminine -- for example, if she were eating a tomato (eine Tomate).

For a neuter noun, it would be ein -- for example, if she were eating a horse (ein Pferd).


can i say? eine frau isst ein apfel because apfel neuter


can i say? eine frau isst ein apfel because apfel neuter

No. Apfel is masculine, not neuter.

And Frau and Apfel are nouns, and thus have to be capitalised.


Anyone else read this as a Woman is an Apple?


Only those who haven't learned the difference between ist and isst yet.


Esst means eating and ist means is. So is isst a mix of both words?


Esst means eating and ist means is.

"means" is not really a good word in this context -- German is not a code for English, where each German word means (replaces) exactly one English word in all of its uses.

Rather, German grammar is different from English grammar, so you may have to add or remove words, or use different translations for one word depending on the situation.

For example, "is" can be translated as ist when it is a copula or linking verb, linking a subject to a predicate (typical an adjective, as in "the cow is big", or a noun, as in "this person is my sister").

But when "is" is used as a helping verb (auxiliary verb), it may have to be translated differently, or not at all. For example, "is" is used in English to form the present continuous tense of verbs, as in "John is eating". German does not use a helping verb for this purpose, so you would not translate "is" separately -- you would translate the whole verb form "is eating" as one piece, into the appropriate German verb form.

Also, as you know if you have been reading the tips and notes (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1/tips-and-notes , final section "no continuous aspect"), standard German does not distinguish present continuous and present simple in its grammar -- and so "John eats bread" (e.g. every day) and "John is eating bread" (i.e. right now) would be translated the same way: as John isst Brot.

Conversely, you could translate John isst Brot. as either "John eats bread." or as "John is eating bread." You can't say that isst "means" only one or the other -- it can be translated as either, unless there is context which would narrow down the use of a specific verb form in English.

So you have

  • ich esse = I eat / I am eating
  • du isst = you eat / you are eating (speaking to one person informally)
  • er isst = he eats / he is eating
  • sie isst = she eats / she is eating
  • es isst = it eats / it is eating
  • wir essen = we eat / we are eating
  • ihr esst = you eat / you are eating (speaking to two or more people informally)
  • sie essen = they eat / they are eating
  • Sie essen = you eat / you are eating (speaking formally, whether to one person or to several at once)


I really didn't undersntant this ! Eine Frau - one woman ; einen Apfel - one apple . Why my answer is wrong ?! That say me is like " A woman ; a apple"


Why my answer is wrong ?

What was your entire answer?

"A woman is eating an apple" is a correct translation, but "One woman is eating one apple" is also a correct translation.


Why is it isst and not esst. I fhought esst is for He, She, It and isst is for you or du?


Verbs that change their vowel do so in both du and er/sie/es forms.

Thus du isst and er/sie/es isst.

But ihr esst without vowel change.


Why can't the sentence be - "A women eats an apple"??


Why can't the sentence be - "A women eats an apple"??

Because "a women" is incorrect English. ("ek aurten"??)

You can't use "a" with a plural noun such as "women".

It has to be "a woman".


My answer was counted as being wrong, but it was correct...


My answer was counted as being wrong

Then I'm going to bet 50 lingots that it was indeed wrong.

If you have a screenshot showing the exercise and your answer, please show it to us -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image.

If the mistake is on Duolingo's end, I'll give you 50 lingots.


Why do they put isst not esst ???


Eine Frau = a woman

When a woman (eine Frau) is the subject, the verb gets conjugated the same as though he/she/it (er/sie/es) was the subject.

The conjugation of the verb essen for er/sie/es is "isst".
Er isst.
Sie isst.
Es isst.

"Esst" is the conjugation for the subject "ihr" (you, informal, plural).
See this conjugation chart:


when i use a insted of an it says i'm wrong when a is a choice


An is used before words which are pronounced with a vowel and a before words which are pronounced with thw consonant.


What does this have to do with the genitive case?


Simple: nothing. There's none, and no one mentioned the genitive case before you asked. "Eine Frau" is nominative (genitive would be: "einer Frau"), and "einen Apfel" is accusative (genitive: "eines Apfels").


I think I asked about the genitive case because it was a genitive lesson and this non-genitive sentence appeared out of nowhere.


Ah, I see. Well, Duo is doing that quite frequently. Don't worry. :)


What's the difference between " Die Frau isst einen Apfel" and Eine Frau isst einen Apfel ". Why " eats " and " is eating " ?


Die Frau = The woman (definite) / Eine Frau = a woman (indefinite). Both "eats" and "is eating" are valid translations of "isst" because in German there is no continuous form.


Geez how to pronounce apfel? Help


Hey, a woman eat an apple is the same as a woman is eating an apple, no difference on it. Eine Frau isst einen apfel


Dude, you got the sentence wrong.


How do you differentiate between isst(2nd person singular) and isst(3rd person singular)?


You can't if you're looking at the verb only. The subject makes the difference. If there's a "du" then it's 2nd person singular, otherwise it's 3rd person singular. There are more verbs like this: vergessen, *fressen, hassen, *lassen, prassen, *fassen, *passen, hissen, *missen, *pissen (vulgar!), *beißen, *heißen, *reißen, *scheißen (vulgar!), spleißen, *gießen, *schießen, *schließen, genießen, niesen, vermiesen, *reisen, *preisen, *weisen. But not: wissen, müssen (they're irregular: du weißt, er/sie weiß etc.) Does anybody have more of these?


I wrote A woman eats an apple But Duolingo said it is incorrect ... Why is it so??


It doesn't have an "eats" ,it has an "eat" option , so you have to choose the other form of present :"is eating" .


I didn't have a choice. I had to type my answer in and it was still marked incorrect.


In the word box, there isn't "eating" choice, so this is wrong,


why cant I say a apple why do I have to say "1" apple? whats the difference?


Instead of "a apple", you should write "an apple".

Words that start with a vowel sound (such as "apple") take the indefinite article "an" in English.

Unfortunately, Duo's corrections are not always as good as a human's in terms of finding "what the learner probably meant".


Eine as in one and eine as in a is super confusing!


it said a instead of an


Tell me when we use "ein Apfel" and when we use "einen Apfel "


The short answer:

  • ein Apfel when it's the subject (the thing that is or does something)
  • einen Apfel when it's the direct object (the thing that gets something done to it)


My anwser to this question was: A woman is eating an apple. But he says its wrong?


Why isn't it "Eine Frau isst ein Apfel?"

I don't get why in some sentences it's "ein Apfel" and in some sentences it's "einen Apfel?"


When the apple is doing something (Der/ein Apfel fällt - The apple falls) then you use der (the) or ein (a/an). When something is being done to the apple (Er isst den/einen Apfel He eats/is eating the/an apple) then you use den/einen. When words do different things in a sentence (acting, being acted on, receiving actions, owning things) they are said to be in different "cases" in German.

The man eats (The man is doing the action: Nominative Case - Der Mann. Der Mann isst.

I eat the man (the man is being acted on: Accusative Case - den Mann . Ich esse den Mann.

I gave it to the man (the man is the indirect recipient of whatever "it" is: Dative Case - dem Mann) Ich gab es dem Mann.

The man's hat (the man possesses/owns something: Genitive Case - des Mannes) Der Hut des Mannes.

In time you will learn what function a word performs in the sentence, and will know which "case" to use.


the woman is an apple!


It says isst not ist, and einen Apfel not ein Apfel


i know, it's just funny how it sounds the same


except for the ein/einen apfel


And even that sounds pretty similar in spoken German. (And many Germans who are not good at grammar will get it wrong in writing.)


Difference between is eating and eats?


In English, we use present continuous (e.g. "she is eating") for an action that is happening now, and the present simple (e.g. "she eats") for a repeated or habitual action.

Standard German does not make this distinction and would use sie isst in both cases.




Because Apfel is masculine and because it's the direct object of the verb essen (to eat), so it's in the accusative case.

einen is the masculine accusative form of the indefinite article, so that's the form we need in this sentence.


Why is eating instead of eats


Why is eating instead of eats

Both translations are possible.


Why 'isst' and not 'esst'? Isn't the german of 'eats' should be 'esst'? Because 'eat' is esse. Someone pls help.


Why 'isst' and not 'esst'?

Some German verbs change their vowel in the du and er/sie/es forms -- from e to i or ie, from a to ä, or from au to äu.

essen is one of them, and so it is du isst and er/sie/es isst -- but ich esse, wir essen, ihr esst, sie essen with unchanged vowel.


I put the correct answer and you are marking it incorrect???


Can you show us a screenshot?

(Upload it to a website and paste the URL here.)


at first i put "a woman is an apple" because i forgot that there is actually a difference between 'ist' and 'isst' lol


I put in a woman eats an apple and that was right now it wants me to put in the woman eats that apple


Oh god why not: "Eine Frau isst den Apfel"? All these rules!


definite articles v.s. indefinite articles
"der" words v.s. "ein" words
the v.s. a/an

You translated wrong, that's all. "den" is "the". "A/an" (einen) is not the same as "the" (den). If it helps, your sentence would be correct if the English was "A woman is eating the apple".


yeah, actually it's THE SAME thing as Enligh "eating an apple" and "eating the apple"


Not exactly. "The apple" is more specific. Like if there was only one apple: "Who ate the apple?" compared to there being multiple apples: "Who ate an apple?"


Nope – it is exactly as specific in German as it is in English: "den Apfel" if a specific apple was eaten, "einen Apfel" if it does not matter which apple from a given choice (including 'any apple in the world') was eaten.

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