"Sie lesen die Zeitung."
Translation:They read the newspaper.
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There's somewhat of a chart for this:<pre>
Nominativ Akkusativ Dativ</pre>
Masculine der den dem Feminine die die der Neutral das das dem
Nominativ is when the noun in question is the subject. Let's take the following sentence as an example: the man walks. "Der" is the word you would use preceding "Mann," so this would be "Der Mann spaziert."
Akkusative is when the noun is the direct object. Let's use the man again: A woman calls the man. "Die Frau ruft DEN Mann an." This time, the woman is the subject, the man is the object. Therefore, "der" becomes "den."
Dativ is when the noun is the indirect object. Let's take the following example: I give the man the ball. "Ich gebe DEM Mann den Ball." I am the object, the ball is the direct object (it's what I'm using) and the man is the indirect object (the receiver). Therefore, "der Mann" becomes "dem Mann" in this example. Notice how "der Ball" becomes "den Ball" because it is the direct object.
There are some exceptions to this, and some verbs always use either akkusative or dativ, but the chart above is the basics.
Whats the differnece between "den Apfel" and "die Zeitung"?
Apfel is an apple -- something to eat.
Zeitung is a newspaper -- something to read.
Completely different meanings.
As for the grammar: Apfel is masculine, Zeitung is feminine.
So in the accusative case, we have den Apfel for "the apple" (masculine accusative den) but die Zeitung for "the newspaper" (feminine accusative die).
There are actually two translations to this: 1) They read the newspaper. They is "sie" (lowercase s), and uses the verb form "lesen." 2) You read the newspaper (formal). The formal way of saying "you" is Sie (yes, with the capital S).
This can never be interpreted as "she reads". Although she also uses "sie" (lowercase s), the verb form would be "liest." Since this uses "lesen," "she reads the newspaper" would be incorrect.