No, it's not incorrect, just a little misleading. The construction with "es" in the sentence Es wird gegessen means that some people are eating or going to eat here. It could describe someone else, for exampe when you describe a situation (in a picture, etc.) but It can also be interpreted as "we", for example when you are with a group of people, telling them what's going to happen.
Thank you for the explanation. If I understand correctly, there may not be a close (i.e., passive voice) equivalent in English, so I may have to struggle with this a bit. Do I understand correctly that "Es wird wieder gegessen" could mean "We eat again" or "They are eating again"?
gvaley, your translation makes sense to me. For example, if there has been a famine/lack of food you could declare: “There will be eating again”. However, I am struggling with all of this post. The contribution by az-p was helpful because it distinguishes between future and passive and future passive. So maybe “there will be eating again” is future passive case? How about “There is eating again”?
Yes. "Es wird gegessen" is (literally) "It is eaten". I believe "It will be eaten" would be "Es wird gegessen werden".
That's just the literal meaning, mind you, and it's pretty clear from what others are saying that the actual meaning is more general. My comment was mostly aimed just at clarifying the tense of the verb.
Isn't "It is eaten again" is a valid translation? I can't think of many times it would be used. Maybe if you asked someone if the leftover food would be thrown out, you could reply, "No, It is eaten again." I'm just wondering if this sentence is an example of the passive voice in German or if this is the way a German would actually say, "We eat again". Duolingo seems to have a lot of sentences that are theoretically correct, but you'd never actually hear.
I.e if you just ate two hours ago and say at the table "Es wird wieder gegessen", would everyone say "Ja" or would they look at you like you are odd since you'd say "Wir essen wieder"?
It is eaten again: Dieses Gemüse war lange unbeliebt, aber jetzt wird es wieder gegessen.
Some people eat again: Der Schreck ist vorbei, die Party geht weiter, es wird wieder getanzt, es wird gelacht, es wird wieder gegessen, es wird geredet, es wird wieder gefeiert..... bis es wieder regnet
That's actually a better translation. The present indicative “We eat again.”, indicating habitual action or the narrative present, seems less plausible than the present progressive describing a current or near-future action. Please report it using the ‘Report a Problem.’ button.
Careful about confusing future tense and passive voice. They both use werden as the helping verb, but the main verb is in a different form ('infinitive' for future tense i.e. essen and 'past participle' for passive voice i.e. gegessen). For future passive you need two helping verbs:
"It will be eaten again" = Es wird wieder gegessen werden
However, as mentioned in other comments, there is also a form of passive voice in German that does not have a grammatical equivalent in English: Es wird [past participle verb]. This roughly translates as "There is [verb] going on" or "[Verb] is happening". The 'best translation' here is highly contextual, so not well-suited for Duolingo (which is doomed to either suggest overly-specific translations like "We are eating again", or leave out many possible alternatives).
So yeah, there are several ways that ambiguity can exist in German, even with all that grammar...
Why is this limited to "we"? There is no "wir" in the sentence. Shouldn't I/You/He/She/It/You all/They/You eat again all be acceptable answers? Plus, why is there a wierd "es" in the sentence? Cuz the sentence literally translates to what Zavosh wrote i.e. "It is being eaten again". Secondly, gegessen is past whereas the translation suggests a present tense. I would think that we eat again should be something like "Wir essen wieder". Am I wrong? Why is this not a more appropriate and sensible way to say it?
Just thought I'd post a couple links about this sort of construction, since it's clearly a cause for grief for many:
What is not matching between passive voice in English and German?
Es wird wieder gegessen. -> It is (being) eaten again. (This makes perfect sense in English, even if the situation is very specific.)
Wir essen wieder. -> We eat / are eating again.
Translating the passive voice into active sort of contradicts the theme of the lesson.
If there is a special construction in German like:
There is eating going on again. / Es wird ...
Like in French: On mange. (Not I, not you, not him, a secretive subject/person = just eating is happening in general.)
Then how do you distinguish this situation (with cryptic subject) from just regular present tense passive voice?
Eating is happening. vs It is being eaten. (Like: Predators have killed the prey. Then they went away. Then they returned. The prey (piece of meat) is now being eaten again.")
Again, why on Earth absolutely no "tips" section with grammar were offered (since around level 7)?
I have been discussing this with my German source and here's what he tells me:
Specifically the "es wird + participle" construction - not other forms of the passive voice - triggers the expectation of this entirely other meaning (sorry, stress mine, in both senses). And it doesn't get mixed up with the apparent (to us) ordinary passive meaning.
For example, I asked him, What if you are talking about a thing that happens to be of the neuter gender - ein Haus - and you want to say, "it is being painted". Would that not be "Es wird gemalt", and can't that also mean, per the discussion we're having here, "Painting is happening", or "There is painting going on"?
And he says that Germans don't use "es" very often to mean "it", and they are much more likely in the above case to say, "Das wird gemalt" to mean "It is being painted". Unless (uh-oh) you had just before mentioned the house, in which case, "Ja, das ist mein Haus, es wird gemalt" would be ok. Sigh.
So, my takeaway from this is that, if I see "es wird + participle" I will expect it to NOT be regular passive but this odd other thing. But retain the possibility of regular passive, maybe, sometimes. Ack.
My response, "It will be eaten again" was marked correct. In American English this sentence would make no sense without additional context. Imagine saying to your spouse or host or mom after a delicious meal they prepared, "It will be eaten again!" I'm wondering, for the native German speakers, whether the meaning of this construction could be rendered (with additional context): "I assure you, my host (or, mom), this meal will be eaten again in our house!"
The confusion is that es in this sentence (or in this construction) does not refer to what will be eaten. The sentence simply means that there is or will be eating going on. Compare with "es wird gefeiert!" or "es wird getanzt!", which are common phrases you may find in a birthday party invitation (since there is no one-to-one construction in English, the closest you can get is "we will celbrate!", and "there will be dancing going on [at the party]").
As a passive construction, the subject of the sentence is not important. However, in German the verb must be in the second position. For that reason, they simply stick an es in there to make the verb happy, but it has no function or meaning here other than to let the verb be where it needs to be. That's why it's referred to as a null subject (meaning no subject, or the "no-subject" subject)
You put that very nicely! I was thinking more of a sarcastic "it will be eaten again" meaning it will repeat on me! After trying to understand how this can possibly mean what it does, I tried "it's eating time again", but that wasn't accepted, unsurprisingly. In England we also have some strange constructions, such as "I've got the munchies" (I want to eat), which would be equally hard to translate!