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Esse vs Isst - question regarding why the spelling changes.

Hey Guys

I am curious to know why the spelling changes when you use the word esse and isst?

I am sure this question has been asked before but i would just like simple explanation. I understand how to use the verbs, so not asking specifically how to say i eat vs we eat (ich esse, wir essen).

For Example:

I eat, Ich Esse (First Person, Singular) you Eat, Du Isst (Second Person, Singular)

I just get why letters change when the "Person" of the sentence changes.



March 18, 2018



You might have better luck if you post this in the German forum. You can change it in the upper left.


essen is an irregular verb. There is no rule why we do that, maybe our ancestors decided that 'du esst' doesn't sound as badass as 'du isst'.

It gets even weirder when you come to the Präteritum tense, when we somehow decide that it is "du aßt". Even as a native speaker I think that sounds wrong. Maybe the verb is cursed.


Is your questions just about spelling? Because then the answer is simple: the spelling follows the pronunciation. In the second and third person singular the verb "essen" changes its beginning sound. Why? Don't know. But we really do talk like this :)

  • 1783

essen is an irregular verb. That is why "spelling" changes in some forms, it's not just spelling it's actually the verb form behaving different than you would expect. More about the verb essen here: https://www.germanveryeasy.com/essen

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