"The pigs are eating the noodles."
Translation:Die Schweine fressen die Nudeln.
As Jake already said 'Fressen' is used for animals and 'Essen' for humans. I would like to add, that the word 'Fressen', if used for a human is seen as disrespectful (e.g.: Friss vom Boden! Er frisst wie ein Schwein! (Eat from the ground! He eats like a pig). This is an important difference, because you could be perceived as rude or as if you are joking. We also use the word 'Essen' very often for our pets to whom we are usually attached.
"Nudeln" is a plural word, like English "noodles". "Nudeln" can be translated as either "noodles" or "pasta". The singular is "die Nudel" ("the noodle"/"the piece of pasta") but we're not likely to come across it much.
Giving them an "-n" or "-en" ending is the way to make many feminine nouns plural, thus: (singular) "die Nudel" -> (plural) "die Nudeln"
It might help to think of it that way. Think of "essen" and "fressen" as meaning both "to eat" and "to be eating". Because English has both a simple present tense and a continuous present tense and German has only a simple present tense, "sie essen" can be thought of as including "are".
"Die Schweine fressen die Nudeln" translates to both "the pigs eat the noodles" and "the pigs are eating the noodles".
There's really nothing for it but to learn the plural of each word as you go along. It's "das Schwein" plural "die Schweine".
There aren't really any rules for constructing plurals. For example, "das Gebaeude" ("the building") stays the same in its plural of "die Gebaeude". You have to rely on the "the" to tell you if it's "the building" or "the buildings".
Similarly, many feminine words add "-en" or "-n" for their plural, especially ones that end in "-e" in their singular, but many don't, e.g. "die Maus" ("the mouse") -> "die Maeuse".
(We haven't reached the dative case yet, but "Schweinen" is dative plural.)
It was hard for me too, at first. So basically, German "the" goes by gender. "Der" is used when you say male, and "die" is used when you say female. However, if the word ends it "chen", "the" is "das" instead of "die". "Das" is also used when the "thing" is not really a gender, I guess. It is kinda weird though, how (i think) "dog" has "der", because for some reason they identify it as male. For more info, go to tips for lesson "the." Hope this helped :)
Hi, Prat0001. To go off topic with you, my secondary school made me take French along with German and I would rather have taken just the one language and been able to really get to grips with it. I'm catching up now. :-)
I think those of us who grow up speaking only English find it "weird", to use Emily's word, that nouns have genders, but English nouns used to have genders too. Some people still refer to a ship as "she". Clearly long ago there was an English noun that was feminine meaning "ship".
To answer your question, "the" is "die" when in front of a plural noun that is the subject or object of the sentence or clause. That is so for all plural nouns - the gender doesn't matter.