difference between 'Vögel' and 'Vögeln'
Write this in German: The birds are eating bread.
I wrote: Die Vögeln fressen brot
Why is this answer wrong and whats the difference between the 2?
I couldn't more agree! I want do edit that we Germans make a lot of ambiguous jokes about 'Vögeln/vögeln'. So if you hear the word in a conversation, listen carefully! In doubt you better be quiet ;-)
No offence, just an advice
It has to do with grammatical cases: nouns in German take an additional -n in the dative plural:
Die Vögel (nom/acc)
Der Vögel (gen)
Den Vögeln (dat)
Nouns that already have an -s in the plural and noun that have an awkward ending like -s don't add an -n:
Die Hemden -> Den Hemden
Die Autos -> Den Autos
So "Vögel" and "Vögeln" both mean "birds", but "Vögeln" can only be used in the dative case, and "Die Vögeln" is not correct.
You can't use the dative case in the sentence "Die Vögel fressen Brot", but the dative case can be triggered by numerous things, for instance after prepositions like mit:
The boy is playing with the birds that are eating bread:
Der Junge spielt mit den Vögeln, die Brot fressen.
The boy gives bread to the birds:
Der Junge gibt den Vögeln Brot.
"Die Jungen helfen den Vögeln" - ( The boys help the birds)
In this case, the plural version of " der Vogel (the bird) " is " die Vögel (the birds). But in my example it fell under the Dative case, so "die" becomes "den" as an infinitive article and normaly you ad an "n" at the end of the nouns that fell under the dative case.
Thus " helfen" is a verb that trigger the dative case in.