"I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper."
Translation:Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest eine Zeitung.
Buch is a neuter noun and Zeitung is a feminine noun. Indefinite articles for neuter and feminine nouns do not change in the accusative case. However, for masculine nouns the indefinite article does change from ein to einen for the accusative case.
The simple answer is that die Zeitung becomes eine Zeitung. Whenever the noun (die Zeitung) has "die" as its article (when it's the subject or direct object), the "ein" form is eine.
Please do not have such blatant run-on sentences. A comma here is incorrect in standard, written English without a conjunction. It needs a semicolon.
Yeah but no one follows that in standard English and Duolingo isn't teaching us to be Shakespeare.
You will be pressed to find any published book that punctuates like that, nor would any college professor or editor accept such in a written report.
Only masculine words have a separate form in the accusative case -- neuter and feminine words look the same in the nominative case and the accusative case.
So if you have der Artikel, die Zeitung, das Buch, you would say ich lese einen Artikel, du liest eine Zeitung, er liest ein Buch, with einen - eine - ein depending on the gender of the word.
Because that's just not how it works. It's like asking why "I read" and not 'I reads'?
Why does the 'i' get inserted for the liest form? As in why is it not just lest? Also why is it bucher instead of buch? Thanks.
Why does the 'i' get inserted for the liest form? As in why is it not just lest?
Some verbs just change their vowel in the du and er, sie, es forms -- usually from e to i or ie or from a(u) to ä(u).
You can't predict which ones do this; it's just something you have to learn.
For example, geben has du gibst but leben has du lebst (you give, you live).
Because the form for 1st pers. sing. pres. tense is lese (and for 2nd pers. sing. it is liest). German verbs conjugate much more than English ones, cf. http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-lesen.html .
This is a comma splice error in both English and German. They should not do this because it makes it seem like two independent clauses can be separated by a comma in German. That's not true. In both languages, these need a coordinating conjuction (in this case "und") or semi-colon or to be separated into two sentences. I've seen several of these errors, and it's not great.
I'm thoroughly confused and this is my major hangup. I've downloaded conjugation tables and Case explanations but still don't get when "ein" or "eine" or "einen" is used!
In this case, Das Buch and Die Zeitung are direct objects, they receive the main action of you reading them, "What do i read? -> the book, and the newspaper", which means they're in Accusative case. Furthermore, we know that Buch is neuter and Zeitung is feminine, so the indefinite article in front of them, "ein", requires sufixes for the gender and number they are.
If you look in the chart i linked down below, you will see that the Neuter, Singular in Akkusative has no sufix, while the Feminine, Singular in Akkusative has an -e suffix.
You used the sie/Sie form "lesen" instead of the er/sie/es form "liest". Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest eine Zeitung.
How do i tell the difference if Sie is lesen und liest and can liest be used for du liest?
How do i tell the difference if Sie is lesen und liest
sie lesen means "they read; they are reading"
sie liest means "she reads; she is reading"
In this case, you are asked to translate "she is reading" and so you need the -t form of the verb, not the -en form that goes with the sie that means "they".
can liest be used for du liest?
Yes. du liest "should be" du liesst (the typical ending for du is -st), but after the -s of lies-, the ending is simplified and you have just du liest with just one s.
The question I am going to ask might seem a bit silly at the beginning, but please, can someone explain me how are we going to understand at the first sight that the sentence will require an accusative case ?
how come i'm not allowed to say "ich lese eine buch, er liest eine zeitung"? i switched "sie" with "er" because i thought it meant it/he/she
- Buch and Zeitung are nouns, so they have to be capitalised
- Buch is a neuter noun, not a feminine one, so as the direct object it has to be ein Buch, not eine Buch
- er means "he" (or sometimes "it" if it refers to something that's grammaticaly masculine), but not "she"
Buch is neuter, not masculine. (And it's a noun, so it always has to be capitalised.)
einen is used for masculine nouns in the accusative case.
Here, you need the neuter accusative form, which is ein. (Same as the neuter nominative form, as always with neuter words in Indo-European languages.)
It must't be "Ich lese einen Buch..." It isn't the accusative form here? Thank you.
It must't be "Ich lese einen Buch..."
It isn't the accusative form here?
Yes, it is, but Buch is neuter and einen is masculine accusative.
You need the neuter accusative form, which is ein.
(Only masculine words look different in the accusative case; neuter, feminine, and plural words look the same in nominative and accusative, e.g. ein Buch, eine Frau, keine Männer.)
English is not a code for German, so you can't say that one word in English am always translate the same way into German.
Just as you can't say "English are" or "one word am", even though in Danish "am, is, are" are all the same word.
English has its own rules. German has its own rules. Danish has its own rules.
If you speak English, you have to pay attention to the subject when choosing the verb form -- you can't say "I are, you are, he are" (jeg er, du er, han er).
If you speak German, you have to pay attention to the gender when choosing the article -- you can't say ein Hund, ein Katze, ein Pferd just because in English "a dog, a cat, a horse" all have the same article.