"I eat bread."
Translation:Ich esse Brot.
"isst" is for third person and for second person as well. "esst" is for second person plural. When you scroll over each word, you can see the definition hints and for verbs also a blue tab with a "c" on it which you can click on to see the conjugation of this verb in present tense. As you learn more, past and future tenses will be added.
Ich esse I eat
du isst You eat (singular)
er/sie/es isst He, she, it eats (the only one changing in English)
wir essen We eat
ihr esst You eat (plural)
sie/Sie essen They eat , you eat (capital 'S' for formal German you)
Here are some helpful sites: http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang02.htm http://en.pons.com/translate?q=issel=deenin=delf=de
Must one always include the pronoun (ich)? Is it not sufficient to use the conjugated verb "esse" as it is the first person, singular, present, indicative, active? Or, is the verb form ambiguous so that the subject needs to be specifically expressed (i.e., the form might also be the third person form)? Please pardon my ignorance; I am new to both the language and this very nice website.
I know in Spanish the pronouns are often not included, but German seems to prefer to have a subject, as in English. Don't forget that "isst" is the same for "du", "er", "sie" and "es" and "essen" is the same for "wir", "sie" and "Sie". See above for more information. http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa032700a.htm
You actually always say "ich; du ; er; wir; ihr; sie" because that's proper German. If you say "esse gerade brot" it's colloquial. But would make perfect sense. Maybe you want to leanr colloquial German. Then you could even say "ess grad brot". That's how we teens talk haha. But just use ich, etc. cause then you can't do anything wrong and you use proper German. Greets from the native ;)
CutterL, allintolearning gave a good explanation above. Verbs conjugate differently depending on the subject.
For both of the following links look at the top left list of words (present indicative) and compare them:
In German there are 4 ways to say "to eat" in the regular present tense: esse, isst, essen, and esst. Each pronoun uses a specific variant. In English there are two ways to say "to eat" in the regular present tense: eat and eats. I eat, you eat, he eats, she eats, John eats, the animals eat, etc... In English, verbs have less variants between the different pronouns, so we don't always notice them. However the verb "to be" has 4 variants in the present indicative: http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/English/be.html