"I am eating an apple."
Translation:Ich esse einen Apfel.
Because Apfel in is accusative case in this sentence. I eat what? - an apple. Masculine indefinite article for accusative is einen. Here's more on cases and an article on declension:
Hope that helps.
There is no plural "a" in English or plural "ein" in German. Look at the links I posted.
isnt this jumping the gun a little? i'm on the fourth lesson, I havent been told about accusative case yet! no fair!
You have to learn it. If they ask you to translate an English word to German and you don't know the gender, look it up in a dictionary. And when you learn a new word in German, don't just learn the word, you must learn the gender. The best way to do this is to learn the nominative definite article that goes with the noun (der, die, das). So for apple (if this is your first time learning the word), don't learn "Apfel", learn "der Apfel". A feminine noun like Forelle (trout) learn "die Forelle". A neuter noun like Brot (bread), learn "das Brot". There are some general rules to help you guess or remember some genders. If you search in the discussions or maybe even Google you can find some hints and tips.
Hope that helps, best of luck!
Argh! This is a big jump from the other stuff. I don't know the subject/object stuff in English let alone German.
That is what I would like to know. I can't figure out when to use esse and when to use isst.
German (and many other languages) do more conjugating than English. "I eat" but "she eats". "Ich esse" aber "sie isst". Here is the conjugation table for "essen": http://www.canoo.net/inflection/essen:V:haben
For now, just focus on the first column on the left (present - indicative) and ignore for now the forms in that column that use an eszett "ß". You may come across those forms in old books, but modern spelling for those words (in this case, not all cases) is the double "s"...esst and isst.
Don't get overwhelmed looking at the tables, just focus on the one I pointed out for now. Hope that helps!
The endings go.... Ich esse-i eat du isst-you eat er/sie/es isst- he/she/it eats so the endings to the verbs are e, st, t
If you can ask "wen oder was....(who or what... do you eat)" then it's accusative, if you can ask "mit wem oder womit... (with whom or with what.... do you play)", then it is dativ. Was ist du? Ich esse eineN Apfel. Womit spielst du? Mit eineM Apfel. Very difficult even for many German speaking people;)
http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa042098.htm is a good summary. When I learnt German though, nobody told me (until much later in my studies, at which point, I knew them anyway) about a GREAT tip to not have to remember the gender of many words ending in a similar fashion... I explain badly, but basically, here is an explanatory table: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Gender/Gender.html (I particularly like the end of this article where it mentions how articles influence how you 'feel' about words. I'm a native French speaker and definitely found it hard to switch to the German way of thinking -for me, a table is definitely feminine, but the German der Tisch made me switch my brain into thinking of it as masculine!) :)
Why is it 'esse' instead of 'isst'? I can't grasp the difference between the two >.<
Try first to put the sentence in not-ing form: "I am eating" = "I eat", "he is eating" = "he eats". Whenever you have the -s in English you use -t in German.
That would be a question. "Esse ich einen Apfel?" And the answer is: "Ja, ich esse einen Apfel!" Subject - verb - object
The "I am _ing" form of expressing things in English is called the continuous aspect. It doesn't exist in standard German. There are some dialects that do use it on occasion with certain verbs in certain contexts. Both the English "I am eating" and "I eat" are translated to "Ich esse" in German (and vice versa). Hope that helps.
Click on the "cases overview" link, then go back to the original link, click on "nominative case", then do the same for accusative (and the other cases if you're interested, but maybe wait until you get a handle on the accusative).
Short version, nominative case is the subject, accusative is the direct object.
I am eating an apple. I am eating = nominative, an apple = accusative. The accusative answers the question "what?". I am eating what? An apple. An apple is accusative.
When you read the accusative link at the website I am sending you to up there ^ pay attention to the verbs that are followed by nominative. These will trip you up later on.
Hope that helps!
Ok, i understand why in this sentence 'ich esse einen Apfel', Apfel is accusative but for example here: 'Ich bin ein Mann' Mann also responds to the question 'what?' So why isn't it 'einen Mann' ?
Never mind, I found the answer hehe
For those interested:
The nominative case is also used to describe predicate nouns (i.e., nouns that are on the other side of verbs such as sein, bleiben, heißen, werden, scheinen from the main subject): Die Prinzessin ist und bleibt die schönste Frau, die die Zwerge sich vorstellen können. The princess is and remains the most beautiful woman that the dwarves can imagine.
I am confused about ein, eine and einen; and der and die!! The problem here is that we can not guess the gender of some words!!
In Duolingo, if you hover your pointer over a word in German, it shows some possible translations. If it's a noun, it also shows the gender. I noticed that in this lesson.
here is a general guess that I used when learning French, which applies nicely to German - if it seems feminine in English, it IS feminine in German. With that in mind, you just need to remember the few exceptions. (such as trout being feminine although we can't tell in English)
Infinitive = essen, Singular 1. ich esse, 2. du isst, 3. er/sie isst, Plural 1. wir essen, 2. ihr esst, 3. sie essen
You (all) are eating an apple = Ihr esst einen Apfel.
So essen is the base Esse for Ich (I) Isst for du,er,sie,es(you,he,she,it) Essen for Sie,sie(they),wir Esst for ihr
It is definitely wrong, you can not translate the English form "to be" + ...ing directly to German. "Ich bin" needs an adjective or subject, but never a verb.
why "i am eating an apple: ich esse einEN Apfel" but "i am reading a newspaper: ich lese einE Zeitung" ?
i thought the end are both accusative?
That's right, they are both in the accusative tense.
Apfel is masculine and so it takes the indefinite article einen in the accusative case; Zeitung is feminine and so it takes the indefinite article eine in the accusative case.
"I am riding a horse" would be Ich reite ein Pferd with the indefinite article ein in the accusative case because Pferd is neuter.