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  5. "Es wird wieder gegessen."

"Es wird wieder gegessen."

Translation:We eat again.

March 21, 2013

89 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zavosh

Is "It is being eaten again" wrong? Note: I don't know the answer. I'm asking a question, not trying to report a mistake. Please don't be mean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

That's grammatically correct, but has a different and rather unlikely meaning, such as when a chick eats food regurgitated by its parent, a big fish eats little fish that's just eaten a still-smaller fish, or a rabbit eats its own cecotropes…


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bella1089

It is being eaten again. Is correct and accepted...there is another interptetation for this sentence...lets say something was off the menu because of contamination etc....and now it is okay ..to being eaten again..:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeltingPsychic

A casserole that had only been partially finished the previous night, so it will be eaten again tonight?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrnpcFTMarkRMOwl

Right. That's a good one. I was thinking, "We're eating this kind of food (e.g. Chinese) again." Not sure who has experience with the usage here in the comments, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliT.Firefly

It does make you think of what they say about Thames Water, though ... ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

Is this translation correct? I would've said "It was eaten again," a potentially unpleasant prospect though, I thought, closer to the German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germandy

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

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"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KMosuzu

I understand this explanation very well but 'They eat again' is marked wrong by DL. ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphathon

That being the case, to what or whom does the es refer (or is it just a placeholder as is so often the case)? I'm having real trouble wrapping my head around this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Yes, the ‘es’ in this sentence is just a dummy subject, just like the “it” in the English “It is raining.” (or the ‘es’ in the corresponding German ‘Es regnet.’).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germandy

Yes, you figured it out already. In this sentence the "es" does not refer to any person or thing in particular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sethalious

For some reason I am still entirely clueless after your explanation. Can someone please try and again explain why "es" means "we" in this sentence?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nova46
  • 2514

"Es" does not mean "we" in this sentence. The literal translation would be "It will be eaten again," The "we" comes from the meaning conveyed in the complete sentence. See above comments from Germandy and AndreasWitnstein.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gvaley

There might be a closer English translation: "There will be eating again" or "Here comes the eating again". Does is make a better sense now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

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”?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenHueb

So how does "gegessen" figure into the statement? Can any participle be substituted in this sentence to indicate that the activity related to that participle is happening again?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

I'm not fluent, but, according to the post from az_p from October 2016, on this page, yes!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

“It was eaten again.” would be ‘Es wurde wieder gegessen.’, which is ambiguous in German, and could also be interpreted as the dynamic passive infinitive to mean “{People|We|They} were eating again.”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soglio

Thanks. That makes more sense--and is less, um, distasteful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelcioTJ

Literally (and accepted by Duo as a valid translation):

"It is being eaten again."

(Not "It was eaten again".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raycknight

"It will be eaten again", was also accepted as a translation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynneo

"It was eaten again" was marked correctly for me today, 6 April 2020. Hopefully this refers to eating leftovers, as HappyEvilSlosh suggested!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mungo2k

Seems like the "es wird" is a bit like "es gibt", where the "es" doesn't refer to anything.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bibeaults

It is really correct to translate this from passive voice to active?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Since English has no passive construction capable of conveying the meaning of this sentence, there's no choice. Even the impersonal “Eating is recommencing.” is active.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bibeaults

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"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

The form ‘wird gegessen’ is dynamic passive, whereas “is eaten” is stative passive. See the discussion under Zavosh's question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/metasj

I think "Eating will resume" is as close as you can get to idiomatic use. With "It is being eaten again", &c. as the rarer literal interpretation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KesGrelly

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesnel

Frustrating: i wrote "we are eating again" and it was marked wrong. The correct choices were: "people are eating again" and "we eat again"...... It is very easy to make this type of alleged "error" three times in one session and then have to repeat the whole section. Grr!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GraemeJeal

I am no clearer after reading all the comments. The construction seems convoluted and not in the passive voice. Why not simply "wir essen wieder"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FreekVerkerk

"One is eating again". Is that also a good translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liliththecat

How exactly do you distinguish between "It will be eaten again" and "we eat again?" in this case both sound a little... awkward and have very different meanings.

It just seems a little imprecise, for German, anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonardSch3

The translation given is : 'We eat again' The German translation of that is ::Wir essen wieder. The sentence given is in the passive form. The translation is not!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleema-Imran

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Please read the post from artischocke from April of 2019. This is a construction in German that does not translate literally into English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artischocke

Just thought I'd post a couple links about this sort of construction, since it's clearly a cause for grief for many:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bella1089

I disagree...we are eating again....would translate to....wir essen wieder...not to es wird wieder gegessen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Yes, but the same is true of Duolingo's supposedly correct translation “We eat again.”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonVBlack

We eat again == We are eating again


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vickikn

"It is being eaten again" was marked correct (as in casserole leftovers?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LudevinaSa

"It is being eaten again" is the correct answer.. why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lewis_731

It is eaten again. Accepted, lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oyoyo4
  • 1095

I understand the concept of this sentence (I think...) but Is it wrong to say, 'We eat IT again'? or this emphasises the action of eating, rather than we are eating 'it' ? If someone can help me to understand this, it would be super helpful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve34747

Doesn't that literally mean "It will be eaten again"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Literally, yes, but actually, no.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZlyPes

1.

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.

2.

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)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulMcCann6

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this summary: it's really helpful, even if a little deflating for us newbies!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

German is good at that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/canongigue

It could be other people saying this sentence, I, you, he, she, it, not just 'we'. The default translation should be changed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cburrey

I got this right but don't quite understand what is passive about this sentence. How is this different than wir essen wieder?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

This has been discussed at some length in this forum, with some useful input from German-speakers and some helpful links. Have a look.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phylliswri9

What a strange translation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FerBound

The closest meaning to this is "It is being eaten".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimBrozovi

How do we get we out of it? This translation makes no sense to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilCenters

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!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artischocke

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benmaja

Great explanation artischocke, many thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marian150342

Yes, great explanation, things are starting to make sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benmaja

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FXS13
  • 1078

"Wir essen wieder" ist die exakte Übersetzung!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonVBlack

Idc what the mods say

Es wird wieder gegessen = It is eaten again

Wir essen wieder = We eat again

This will save me so much confusion


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Great. Now all you have to do is get Germans to remember to use only those forms in your presence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bernd_das__Brot

The translation "We eat again" is not correct. There is no "We" or anything in this sentence that denotes the eater. So the correct translation is "It is being eaten again".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

Are you German? Because more than one German here has gone to some trouble to explain this construction, and it seems they disagree with you. Sometimes a literal translation is just not correct, or doesn't convey the usual actual meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sushil_k

shouldn't it be werden if the subject is plural we?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

They're a bit head-spinning, but explanations have been posted on this page. Have a look.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sushil_k

ok. thanks. Its "wird" because in a German impersonal passive sentence the verb conjugation is always "third person singular" irrespective of "we" or "there is" at the beginning of English translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohsenRahn

The transition isn't correct. It should be passive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerZorz

This unity is confusing me a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcusFriedel364

The translator willt instead of wird


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/melvinandrew

I think DL should stick to straightforward grammar for the sake of those who are not German-speaking.

Leave this complicated grammar to the linguists.

Communication is complicated enough without complex grammar...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artischocke

This is a fairly standard construction in everyday German, so by no means something that should be left to linguists.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amybythway

Oh man I hate this lessen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick_Block

"Let's eat again." should also be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

It's not imperative: "Essen wir wieder"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DasLamm_

That would be "Lass uns wieder essen."

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