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  5. "I am reading a book, she is …

"I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper."

Translation:Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest eine Zeitung.

January 29, 2018



Why ein buch and 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.


You're a lifesaver


but you just said is neuter not masculine


"Buch" is a neuter noun. When it's the subject of the sentence it is "ein Buch"/"das Buch". When it's the object of the sentence it is still "ein Buch"/"das Buch".


You explained good thing


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.


Because the article for Buch is das and the article for the Zeitung is die , and when an Ein is added to the die article it changes to eine We say der Mann , das buch , die Zeitung , but Ein Mann , Ein Buch , Eine Zeitung .


This is confusing they both are exapable


That's right.

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.


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.


It's not true that no one follows this. This is a blatant comma splice error that is basic English. Every 5th grader could fix this. It's not a good idea to teach incorrect grammar. If people want to use it, fine, but it should be taught correctly.


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.


I agree that Duo should be encouraging good English and these run-on sentences are not considered correct in English. Very young people and people who speak English as a second language are using Duo and it's helpful to them if the rules of English are followed - otherwise it wouldn't matter much. In the English version of the sentence above a semi-colon should have been used.

I suppose this has arisen because having two independent clauses with no conjunction and separated only by a comma is acceptable in German, at least according to the ThoughtCo website.


Why "ich lese" and not "ich liest"?


Because that's just not how it works. It's like asking why "I read" and not 'I reads'?

ich lese
du liest
er/sie/es liest
ihr lest
sie/wir/Sie lesen


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).


There are so many Sie so can you tell me which Sie is which


Hallo, you can understand that by the verb infront, sie liest is fem/sing, Sie lesen is plural. Bit confusing but i am sure you ll be used to it.


Hi, SomaSilver. As Melanie said, you know "sie" meaning "she" from "sie" meaning "they" by the form the verb has taken.

To that I have to add there's "Sie" meaning "you" (both singular and plural) when you're being formal; the form of the verb with "Sie" meaning "you" is the same as for "sie" meaning "they" so you go by the capital letter given to "Sie". German pronouns are hard, I think, but you've had a few months to learn them.


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 .


Danke! It helped me to understand when to use which tense!


How do I know if its a masculine or femenine noun? I had trouble with ein and eine in the sentence but don't know for certain which to use in general


How do I know if its a masculine or femenine noun?

You have to look it up in a dictionary and memorise it.


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.



How can you know when a noun is neuter?


You look it up in the dictionary.

In general, there's no way to guess the gender of a noun.


When do I use ein and when do I use eine? I'm confused.


You use ein for masculine and neutral words, and eine for feminine words.


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.


Why "Ich bin ein buch lesen, sie ist eine Zeitung lesen" is incorrect?


Because the present tense is ich lese and sie liest in German -- we don't need a helping verb such as bin, ist to form the present tense, and adding one simply makes no grammatical sense.


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 ?


Reading is an action that takes an object -- you do something to (say) a book: you read it.

Such direct objects are almost always in the accusative case.


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've reported this also, but, as usual, it has been ignored.


In German you can run two independent clauses together without a conjunction, and separate them only by a comma whereas in English we would need to use a semi-colon; or at least that's so according to www.thoughtco.com in their German grammar section under the subsection punctuation.


Thank you for confirming that this is okay punctuation in German. At least there is that.


Same in Spanish...


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"


Why sometimes das buch ,and sometimes ein buch?


Buch is a noun and therefore has to be capitalised.

das Buch = the book

ein Buch = a book

One is definite, the other is indefinite.

So it depends on whether you are talking about a particular book that the listener knows about or not.


Why liest and not lesen


Because sie lesen would mean "they are reading" and not "she is reading".

"she" verb forms end in -t. "they" verb forms end in -en.


Why is ein not einen even though it's accusative?


Why is ein not einen even though it's accusative?

einen is masculine accusative.

Neither Buch nor Zeitung are masculine.

It's ein Buch (neuter accusative) and eine Zeitung (feminine accusative).


Are all the nouns capitalized in German?


Why ein buch not einen buch


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.)


I did everything right, why it says that ia wrong???


I did everything right, why it says that ia wrong???

Nobody can answer that since nobody can see what you wrote.

Do you have a screenshot showing the question and your answer? If so, please upload the screenshot to a website somewhere and then paste the URL into a comment here.


So I just did an exercise that had "An apple" as "Ein Apfel". A different sentence, "The woman eats an apple" translated to "Die Frau isst einen Apfel". If Buch and Apfel are both masculine, why aren't they both used with "einen" in a sentence?


Buch is neuter, not masculine (das Buch vs. der Apfel). In the accusative case for neuter nouns you need to use ein.


Hello . To add an and by mistake between two parts of a sentence in a translation should not be a reason for making the whole sentence wrong . For instance if the sentence is Ich esse , sie trinkt , and you translate : I eat and she drinks , should you count this as a mistake , to me it does not sound logical because the sentence has both I eat and she drinks .


I sympathise with your viewpoint. In everyday life it wouldn't matter if you added an "and" between two independent clauses because it wouldn't change the meaning, but if you were sitting a language exam it would matter. Your translation would no longer be accurate. It's one of the reasons I've always hated exams.


What is the difference between 'lese' and 'Liest' ? Just want a general answer please :)


What is the difference between 'lese' and 'Liest' ?

  • ich lese
  • du liest
  • er/sie/es liest


"Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest Zeitung." was not accepted. I believe the indefinite article (unlike a definite one) is not needed in this case, since the second part is a standard composition.


I'm just not getting it , if the subject is neutral does that mean ein precedes eine ?


The choice of ein/eine/einen depends on the gender (and case) of the following noun and is completely unrelated to the subject.

Buch is neuter and is the object of the verb lesen and thus in the accusative case. So you need neuter accusative ein before it.

Zeitung is feminine and is also in the accusative case here, so you need feminine accusative eine before it.

If someone had been reading an article, then you would have used Artikel which is masculine, which would hav required the masculine accusative einen before it -- regardless of whether I am reading the article or he or she or it or anyone else.

[deactivated user]

    the hints say eine Buch!! Please fix this error!!


    the hints say eine Buch!

    I cannot see any hint that says eine Buch (those two words together in one hint). Could you provide a screenshot of what you saw, please? (Upload it to a website somewhere and tell us the URL of the image.)

    The English sentence contains the word "a" twice -- once in "a book" and once in "a newspaper".

    "a book" has to be translated as ein Buch and "a newspaper" as eine Zeitung.

    So I would instead expect that the hint for "a" contains both ein and eine, and possibly other translations as well.

    The complete list of hints for "a" is quite a lot longer and contains, among other options, ein, eine, einem, eins, pro, in der, einer, einem.

    Each of them only makes sense in a specific context, of course. Duolingo tries to sort and prioritise them by only showing three or so hints, and with the ones most likely to apply to the current sentence to be near the top. So I would expect the top two hints for "a" to be ein and eine in some order.

    Duolingo isn't smart enough to know which "a" goes with ein and which one goes with eine, so it will show the same hints in the same order for both the "a" of "a book" and the "a" of "a newspaper".

    The learner will then remember that Buch is neuter and Zeitung is feminine (or look up the gender in a dictionary), and choose the correct ones -- ein Buch, eine Zeitung.

    (Which form goes with which gender is described in the tips and notes for the very first lesson unit, https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1/tips-and-notes , which every learner will hopefully have read. Those who use a mobile app, where tips and notes are unfortunately not easy to get to, I would recommend tos switch to the website https://www.duolingo.com/ instead.)

    Someone who simply always takes the topmost hint and treats it as an "answer" or "recommendation", on the other hand, will make mistakes in this kind of sentence. That's not what the hints are for.

    If that describes you, the "error" would be at your end, and you would have to be the one to make the "fix": please do not treat the hints as "suggestions", "recommendations", or "answers", or try to use "but the hints told me to write ..." as an argument.


    Is the word sie in this sentence in the dative case


    Is the word sie in this sentence in the dative case

    No. It's the subject of the verb and therefore in the nominative case.

    sie is never a dative case form; it can be nominative or accusative but never dative.


    when do we use liest lese and eine ein


    lese for: -ich liest for: -du/er/sie/es


    Is there any easy way to tell if a word is masculine, feminine, or neuter? For example, in Spanish, most of the time masculine nouns end in O and feminine nouns end in A.

    Even though we're only dealing with a handful of nouns so far in these lessons, I'm having trouble remembering which are which.



    Is there any easy way to tell if a word is masculine, feminine, or neuter?

    Unfortunately not -- at least not in general.


    It would be nice for the Accusative case practice, to actually have accusative cases in the practice.


    It would be nice for the Accusative case practice, to actually have accusative cases in the practice.

    Eh? There are two nouns in the accusative case in this sentence -- neuter accusative ein Buch and feminine accusative eine Zeitung.


    Hello. Ich lebe or Ich lese? How can I understand that? Can anyone help me about this? Thank you


    Ich lebe or Ich lese

    • ich lebe = I live; I am alive
    • ich lese = I read; I am reading


    even though I write the correct answer it says wrong !


    it says wrong

    Then you probably made a mistake.

    Do you have a screenshot of the question with your rejected answer?

    Could you share it with us, please? Upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL. Thank you!


    What we say for I'm reading??? You have given both ich liest ein buch and ich lesse ein buch, what is the correct one???


    You have given both ich liest ein buch and ich lesse ein buch, what is the correct one?

    Neither is correct.

    Buch always has to be capitalised (since it's a noun).

    And the verb form is ich lese.

    The -e ending is typical for ich verb forms.

    lesse is not a German word.

    And liest is the verb form for du liest (you - one person) and er/sie/es liest (he/she/it).


    When I have to choose the verb liest or lesen, and the pronoun is sie, how do I know if it's she or they?


    When I have to choose the verb liest or lesen, and the pronoun is sie, how do I know if it's she or they?

    What kind of exercise was this? Please share a screenshot that shows the exact question asked -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL.

    If you are simply given a sentence Sie ... eine Zeitung and have to choose between liest or lesen without being told the meaning of the sentence in English, that's impossible to guess, so that would be a bad exercise.

    Was there really no English translation? Or was perhaps one of the options lest rather than liest?


    Why ein buch comes here? Why not eine buch?

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