"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?

March 30, 2018


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.

July 11, 2018


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.

May 8, 2018


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.

April 15, 2018


Yeah but no one follows that in standard English and Duolingo isn't teaching us to be Shakespeare.

October 13, 2018


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.

February 28, 2019


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.

October 13, 2018


eine not einen?

May 21, 2018


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.

December 6, 2018


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

January 29, 2018


    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

    January 29, 2018



    August 23, 2018


    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.

    October 5, 2018


    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).

    December 6, 2018



    February 28, 2019


    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 .

    January 29, 2018


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

    May 24, 2018


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

    May 22, 2018


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

    May 31, 2018


    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.

    February 28, 2019


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

    February 28, 2019


    How can you know when a noun is neuter?

    April 10, 2019


    You look it up in the dictionary.

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

    April 10, 2019


    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!

    October 2, 2018


    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.


    October 12, 2018


    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?

    November 27, 2018


    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.

    December 6, 2018


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

    January 5, 2019


    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.

    January 6, 2019


    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 ?

    January 23, 2019


    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.

    January 23, 2019


    Thank you :)

    January 23, 2019


    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

    February 28, 2019

    • 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"
    February 28, 2019


    Why sometimes das buch ,and sometimes ein buch?

    March 31, 2019


    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.

    March 31, 2019


    Why ein buch not einen buch

    May 7, 2019


    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.)

    May 8, 2019


    Why liest and not lesen

    July 29, 2019


    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.

    July 29, 2019


    It must't be "Ich lese einen Buch..." It isn't the accusative form here? Thank you.

    August 11, 2019


    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.)

    August 11, 2019


    Are all the nouns capitalized in German?

    September 3, 2018



    September 3, 2018


    Unbelievable. Why? Ein and eine are still a stupid A

    September 24, 2018


    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.

    December 6, 2018
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