"Is he reading?"
Why is it Liest er instead of Er Liest? Asking because in english "Reading" is the second part of the phrase
It is a way to ask a question. It is the same thing in English using the progressive and emphatic tenses. DO I read? ... I DO read. ... Am-I reading? ... I AM reading.
In English all of those would be acceptable answers. You could have "I do read?" as well as "do I read?" - although you might use it in fewer circumstances it'd still be correct.
Is the same not the case for German? Is there no case in which "Er liest?" would work?
Oops. Is there a native speaker who can say if 'Er liest?' is possible? In English we can say 'he's reading?' and it's perfectly fine - does this translate to German?
You can say it in some cases. Like when you’re suprised someone’s actually reading. Like „you’re telling me he reads?“ would be „du sagst mir dass er liest?“ But usually ist would be liest er
In a German question, the subjects come first. For example if you asked if a man came from Germany, youd say "Kommst der Mann aus Deutschland?" In this sentence, "Kommst and der Mann are both the subjects, and go first in the beginning.
You made a small fault actually. It’s „kommt der Mann aus Deutschland?“ not kommst. Believe; I’m german and the only reason I’m here is boredom and probs helping ppl
It is the verb that comes first, I believe the commenter above mistakenly typed "subject".
Yes I meant verb. Sorry still new to this also and thought I knew it enough to help
You're still a good lad for helping but that would complicate things for others. I'm just saying.
Yeah that caught me out as well, from the hints I thought it was "Macht er lese".
I believe that the verb lesen in german already means 'to be reading' or 'to read'. So 'er liest' means 'he reads' and 'he is reading'. Adding 'ist' would make it 'is he is reading'. Someone with much better grasp of languages will be able to explain with all the applicable grammatical terminology about tenses.
So I‘m a native and I’ve come to inform you! There is in fact another way to say someone is doing something. You can say they’re „am“ and then the infinitive of the verb. So for example: „Er ist am lesen.“ that actually means „he is reading.“ yet; this is usually used as an explaination for why someone can’t do something else. So if someone asks for help you can say „Ich bin am lesen“ to use it as an excuse for not helping them. It is also sometimes used casually in other kinds of situations but I think it’s less common than just saying „ich lese“. Yet; I’m quite disappointed Duo doesn’t accept the „am“-Version...
'Reading he' would never be said in English. maybe 'Reading ?' but not 'Reading is he' or Reading he' !
I definitely say 'reading, is he?', like when you've just found out some useful information. But it's more rhetorical, I suppose