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  5. "Er isst eine Kartoffel."

"Er isst eine Kartoffel."

Translation:He is eating a potato.

March 22, 2013

72 Comments


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

My gut instinct told ne "he is a potato" but as duolingo was grading it... I realized I probably wasn't right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kevineaton6

she is an egg! gets me every time mate....


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

me too! I thought he was totally a potatoe, but I decided to check. it didin't seem right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Well, it could be both. Acustically you can't discriminate "ist" and "isst". Of course "isst" is much more plausible, but maybe Duo accepts "ist" as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhiannon219247

Wait do you live in germany it looks like it or you just took a photo if toring or found picture online


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilywater3

Yeah you were not right, i almost failed to then i realised the double 's' in 'isst' ,you should click the bulb and read b4 taking the lesson. It will help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R0dluvan

Is there any way to tell the difference between "ist" and "isst" here, from pronunciation?


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

Not really, unless you count the non-standard pronunciation of ist, /ɪs/. However, that is a homophone of iss, which is another form of essen. So you can't win against this homophone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Izaak384161

So you have to rely on context alone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

yes, but that shouldn't be too difficult


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

There's little context on Duo, it seems guess work to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Not necessarily. If you are presented the sentence in a written form, the distinction is obvious. And if you only hear it, then both possibilities are marked as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen479652

Fun fact, in Austria I hear they call a potato an Erdapfel (earth apple)


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

That's similar to the Dutch "aardappel" or the French "pomme de terre". Apple of the earth.


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

I de Schwiiz ischs au so, aber nid gnau so geschriibe. „Härdöpfel“ chas eigentli geschriibe si.


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

In Pennsylvania Deutsch we call it a krummBär aka crooked bear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

In some regions of Germany it is called "Krumbeere" or "Krumbiere" as well. But this has nothing to do with crooked bears or (in German) with crooked berries, as many people think. Etymologically it is derived from "die Krume" = "the ground/the soil" and "die Birne" = " the pear".


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

That makes more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dusan293510

In Serbian language we say krompir for potato, which is very similiar to this word :)


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

does anyone know what this Prochat guy is saying? Please tell me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

This is Swiss German: "In Switzerland it is like this as well, but not written the same. Actually it is written 'Härdöpfel' ".


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

That makes complete sense . Great fact.


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

Does the eine mean kartoffel is feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schlafe1

Yes it does. Die/eine/die Kartoffel. This is why you learn the nouns with their articles so you know what is Masc., Fem., and Neuter. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lily985180

I wrote he is a potato XD


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

lol he IS a potato.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

yes,if you only listen to this sentence, that may well be the meaning.


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

I really thought he was. Mann=Kartoffel. Always. It is a true fact


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexC730

soooo he is eating a hooter would also be correct?? what would that even mean?


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

No, it's not correct. The primary meaning of "Kartoffel" is "potato", but it also means "hooter" or "conk" as in a big nose.


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

Oh, thanks, I was wondering if a crude guy might comment on a girl's large Kartoffeln as in hooters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kathrin978932

I only ever heard of potato as nose when the nose is added: "Kartoffelnase" or "Nase wie eine Kartoffel". Other than that - "potato" is"Kartoffel", no other hidden meanings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e1d6h6

why here don't use einen?


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

einen is used for masculine nouns in direct object position


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

Isst/ist dont they just mean "is"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cattagirl05

No, ist=is isst=eats/is eating


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sparrow_34

I ended up getting it wrong, but it corrected it by saying "Er ist eine Kartoffel." Shouldn't it be "isst"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elsie589748

I finally learned how to spell potato.


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

I've been learning German for rather a long time, but still when I hear "Er" and "Ihr" they sound identical to me, what's the easiest way to tell them apart?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

The simple answer to this question is that "e" and "i" are definitely different vowels, so the distinction between the two words should be quite easy. The problem is that this may not help you if either (or both) of these vowels doesn't exist in your native language, as is the case for English. The German "e" corresponds to English "ee", but the German "e" doesn't have a direct correspondence. It resembles the "a" or "ai" in some respects, but it is not the same sound. In this particular case "ihr" sounds like "ear", and "er" comes rather close to "air". The best thing to train your ears is to listen to as many pairs of words as you can get hold of: "Fehl(er)"-"viel"/"fiel", "leben"/"Leben"-"lieben" and so on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kinala792913

Question! Are you German, or what? Is this how you know everything? Or are you really good at research.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

First of all I am indeed German. But I am also quite good in doing research and have some knowledge in linguistics.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pelka8

In russian potato is also картофель (kartofel'), but it's like a more official name, people commonly say картошка (kartoshka) instead


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laurie811

Isn't it "He eats" instead of "He is eating"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

both is possible. In German there is no such distinction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cameron833729

What if i want to say "He is a potato", but when i say it out loud it sounds like "He is eating a potato"? ;D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

That's life. Maybe the context could clarify the meaning. There are such pairs of sentences in every lamguage.


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

Der Mann, er ist ein (eine?) Kartoffel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

"eine". If "Kartoffel" were masculinum, the two versions would not be identical, as after "ist" a nominative ("ein") is expected, whereas after "isst" there should be an accusative ("einen").


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

I could distinguish between ist and isst... Isst being he eats that makes more sence than he is a patato. Is there a way to distinguish between Er and Ihr?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

see my answer above


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phoenixfla13

Hey check your spellings it is potato not patato and it is sense not sence LOL


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phoenixfla13

I at once wrote 'he is a potato' but obviously it was not right..... i did not even read the sentence.... i just listened to the pronunciation..... 'ist ' and 'isst' sound the same, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Yes, they do. So in principle both answers are correct, though one of them is not very probable.


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

What is the German plural for potatoes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Kartoffeln


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

I could swear it said deine and not eine!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ugur347

Why 'he eats a tomato' is unacceptable? How can we know if it is simple or continuous tense?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Your mistake is not connected to simple or progressive tenses. It is just that "Kartoffel" doesn't mean "tomato", but "potato".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamruddhiJ10

I am confused about where to use ein and where to use eine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

You have to learn the grammatical gender of all nouns. "ein" is for masculine and neuter ones, "eine" for feminine ones. But this holds only for nominative case. Here you need an accusative. masculine nouns would have "einen" then.
"Kartoffel" is feminine. So better learn "die Kartoffel".


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

"Creed is eating an apple...I found a potato".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendaHens3

I'm confused at to why it is not "einen Kartoffel". The potato is the direct object making it accusative case correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

Yes. But "Kartoffel" is feminine. "einen" is only used for masculine accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann-Marie101049

I'm Canadian and I was taught to spell "potatoe" with the "e". Does that mean each time I do so, I will be told I'm incorrect? I think Duolingo needs several fixes.


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

I'm sorry to say, but this means you don't know how to spell "potato" . In any variety of English, even in Canada, the plural is "potatoes", but the singular is "potato".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 127

It's not Duo, but you who seems to need a fix. You can look into any dictionary. "potato" is spelt without an "e" in the end, even in Canada.

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