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  5. "Er isst eine Kartoffel."

"Er isst eine Kartoffel."

Translation:He is eating a potato.

March 22, 2013

68 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/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

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/KatieC993112

No, I don't think it could be both, fehrerdef. I got it wrong, by writing "it is a potato". But I should have paid attention to "eine" and realised my sentence would have been "sie ist...". I hope I'm right in thinking this? Or have I made yet another mistake?


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

Of course it can be both, when you only hear it (German native speaker). "ist" and "isst" sound exactly alike.
But that would be "He is a potato", not "It is a potato". "er" is "he".
In any case it is "eine Krtoffel", because "Kartoffel" is feminine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieC993112

I apologise, Fehrerdef. My answer couldn't possibly be right, but yours could. I really must pay more attention.


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

Hallo, Katie! This one is not an easy one to figure, but for someone my generation, "he is a potato" totally makes Ross' costume in that Friend's episode spring to mind ;O)

sfuspvwf npj


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

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

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/spywilliam

No, you have to use context.


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/Craterbrain1st

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


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

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/Dusan1992

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craterbrain1st

That makes more sense.


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

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


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

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/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/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/Itsabuscus

lol he IS a potato.


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

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/lily985180

I wrote he is a potato XD


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/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

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

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/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/Laurie811

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


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

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


[deactivated user]

    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

    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

    "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/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

    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/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

    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

    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/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

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


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

    When one simple "s" can make such a big difference ! LOL


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

    It must be so hard to call someone a potato in Germany...

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