"I am reading a book, she is reading a newspaper."
Translation:Ich lese ein Buch, sie liest eine Zeitung.
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.
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 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).
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 .
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 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.
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.
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.
- 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?
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???
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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?