Well,its a bit confusing because the case and gender matters. Ill try to make it simple. I'll write how the ending of ein and der form changes.
1.Nominative - (the usual subject in a sentence) Mas-Neu-Fem(order) - ein -ein-eine, der-das-die
2.Accusative - (the object in a sentence) Mas-Neu-Fem(order) - einen-ein-eine,den-das-die
3.Dative - (the indirect object in a sentence) Mas-Neu-Fem(order) - Einem-einem-einer,dem-dem-der
4.Genitive -( sentence showing possesion) Mas-Neu-Fem(order) - Eines-eines-einer,des-des-der
Now the explanation for cases:- 1.The nominative one is just the case for subject in a sentence. I hope that wont be difficult to understand.
2.Accusative is used for the object in a sentence. In english the word order is subject verb object. And changing the word order changes the meaning of the sentence in most cases.
But in German , the word order can be changed. It is with the help of the cases. If the article used for the object is of different form which is not used for subject, one would be able to identify the object.
So Accusative case is used for object.
3.Dative is used when a sentence have indirect object. Consider the below sentence , 'boy' threw a 'ball' to a 'dog'
So clearly boy is the subject.
Object is ball.(just ask 'what' to verb to get the object of sentence) threw what? - ball
So the dog is the indirect object here. We use dative case for dog here to denote it is an indirect object.
- Genitive is used to denote possession.
Eg Lady's bag / Bag of the lady.
In English the 'of' preposition helps to understand whose object is the bag. In German the genitive case is used for 'lady' to make it understandable .
If any mistake is there in my explanation, experts,please correct it. Im also a beginner in learning German.
I shared it here hoping some will get helped by this.
Nah! Go to the 1st table on this German Wikipedia page for the conjugation table of ein. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artikel_(Wortart)#Formen_der_deutschen_Artikel
Not so easy, unfortunately. German doesn't have an a/an distinction like English does, rather they use articles to show the function of a noun in the sentence.
German has three (arguably four because of the plural) grammatical genders and four grammatical cases.
Let's take a look at these words. The masculine Junge (English: boy), the feminine Frau (English: woman), the neuter: Mädchen (English: girl), and the plural Männer (English: men). And we'll use the adjective traurig (English: sad).
The nominative case is the subject, or the actor of the sentence. It shows who performs the action of the verb. We will use the predicate sieht/sehen den Mond (English: sees/see the moon).
Using the indefinite articles (German: ein/eine; English: a/an) gives us:
Ein trauriger Junge sieht den Mond. / Eine traurige Frau sieht den Mond. / Ein trauriges Mädchen sieht den Mond. / Traurige Männer sehen den Mond.
Definite articles (German: der/die/das; English: the) gives us:
Der traurige Junge sieht den Mond. / Die traurige Frau sieht den Mond. / Das traurige Mädchen sieht den Mond. / Die traurigen Männer sehen den Mond.
The accusative case is typically the direct object. It shows who receives the action of the verb. We will use Ich liebe (English: I love)
Indefinite articles (German: einen/eine/ein) gives us:
Ich liebe einen traurigen Jungen. / Ich liebe eine traurige Frau. / Ich liebe ein trauriges Mädchen. / Ich liebe traurige Männer.
Definite articles (German: den/die/das) gives us:
Ich liebe den traurigen Jungen. / Ich liebe die traurige Frau. / Ich liebe das trauriges Mädchen. / Ich liebe die traurigen Männer.
The dative case typically shows the indirect object of a verb, that is something that does not directly receive the action of the verb, but is not the subject. It is important to note that certain verbs and prepositions demand the dative case and they may not necessarily have a reason why. Here, we will use Er geht mit (English: He goes with).
Indefinite articles (German: einem/einer) gives us:
Er geht mit einem traurigen Jungen. / Er geht mit einer traurigen Frau. / Er geht mit einem traurigen Mädchen. / Er geht mit traurigen Männern.
Definite articles (German: dem/der/den) gives us:
Er geht mit dem traurigen Jungen. / Er geht mit der traurigen Frau. / Er geht mit dem traurigen Mädchen. / Er geht mit den traurigen Männern.
The genitive case is used, in almost all circumstances, to show possession. We will use the noun Der Hund (English: the dog).
Indefinite articles (German: eines/einer) gives us:
Der Hund eines traurigen Jungen / Der Hund einer traurigen Frau / Der Hund eines traurigen Mädchens
Definite articles (des/der) gives us:
Der Hund des traurigen Jungen / Der Hund der traurigen Frau / Der Hund des traurigen Mädchens / Der Hund der traurigen Männer
Some things to keep in mind:
~Some masculine nouns (Junge is one) are called “weak nouns” and that means they will take an -n/-en ending in ever case except the nominative.
~Oftentimes, plural nouns may take an -n ending in the dative case.
~All nouns use the same articles in the plural.
~Many masculine and neuter nouns take an -s/-es ending in the genitive.
In German, only masculine (singular) words have a different form for the accusative case compared to the nominative case.
Neuter, feminine, and plural words look the same in the nominative and accusative.
I’m not sure which “the table of indefinite articles” you saw, but the masculine and neuter indefinite articles only look the same in the nominative, genitive, and dative cases — not in the accusative.
Do you mean the declensions for accusative case? If not, I have no idea what "accusative case words" are. The only difference between nominative and accusative definite articles is the masculine case where accusative is den and nominative is der. Also, the indefinite article for masculine accusative case simply has the -en suffix.
The comments have some good explanations, so please read them if you haven't already. Duolingo also has lesson tips pages too, if you use the web version and scroll down before starting the exercises. The first lesson teaches you that nouns have gender and you need to match other words to the gender. That's all you need to understand ein Buch in this sentence. Then the lesson on 'accusative case' tells you when to use einen.
Well, there are two things affecting the ending of "ein" - grammatical gender as well as case.
Each noun (if you didn't know this already) has a grammatical gender - feminine, masculine, or neuter. The definite (words like "the" - die, der, das, den, dem) and indefinite (words like "a" - ein, einen, eine, einem) articles in front of a word change due to the grammatical gender.
Each noun is also assigned a "case" in German, depending on its function in a sentence. There are four cases - nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. In English these aren't as important, but they change the articles in German.
In nominative case, where the noun is the subject of the sentence (the noun doing the action of the sentence), the articles are as follows:
Masculine - der, Feminine - die, Neuter - das, Plural - die
Masculine - ein, Feminine - eine, Neuter - ein, Plural - (k)eine (you can't have "a" before a plural noun in German, just like in English)
In accusative case, where the noun is the direct object of the sentence (the noun that the action of the sentence is being done to), the articles are like this:
Masculine - den, Feminine - die, Neuter - das, Plural - die
Masculine - einen, Feminine - eine, Neuter - ein, Plural - (k)eine
Dative case has to do with the indirect object of the sentence, which is harder to explain, and you won't need this this early on in the lessons, but here are the articles:
Masculine - dem, Feminine - der, Neuter - dem, Plural - den
Masculine - einem, Feminine - einer, Neuter - einem, Plural (k)einen
Genitive case isn't nearly as common, and is kind of like a possessive case. You can read more about it in the wikipedia article I'm linking.
Maybe this was overkill, but I hope it helps!
The verb is lesen, yes. But it's not du lest.
Some verbs change -e- to -i- or -ie- in the du and er, sie, es forms; this is one of them.
So we say du liest and er liest.
Two other common verbs that do this are geben "to give" and essen "to eat": we say du gibst and er gibt, du isst and er isst.
But the ihr form has the regular vowel -e-: ihr lest; ihr gebt; ihr esst.
There is no difference. Both are grammatically correct translations.
There is a present participle case for all verbs, including lesen "lesend." But no one would say "Du bist ein Buch lesend."
The present participles in German are used when forming adjectives and adverbs. - http://german.about.com/library/bladj_particip03.htm
The conjugation. It's like asking what the difference is between "am" and "are" in English: the answer is that they match together with different pronouns: "I am", "you are".
In German, liest matches with du (and some others). But lesen matches with wir (and some others). You can see the full list on sites like Canoo.net.
Can we replace liest with lest?
No. It's always du liest.
lest would be for ihr lest (you -- several people -- are reading).
lesen is one of those verbs where the stem vowel changes from -e- to -ie- in the du and er/sie/es verb forms:
- ich lese
- du liest
- er/sie/es liest
- wir lesen
- ihr lest
- sie/Sie lesen
Similarly with sehen - du siehst, er sieht, ihr seht, for example. And with a different vowel change: geben - du gibst, er gibt, ihr gebt.
Whether a verb changes the vowel like that is something you have to learn; you can't guess just from looking at the verb. For example, stehen has du stehst and leben has du lebst.
Because lessen means read and liest means reading.
lessen isn't a word.
The dictionary form is lesen. Which form you use in a sentence depends on the subject:
- ich lese = I read / I am reading
- du liest = you [one person] read / you [one person] are reading
- er/sie/es liest = he/she/it reads / he/she/it is reading
- wir lesen = we read / we are reading
- ihr lest = you [several people] read / you [several people] are reading
- sie lesen = they read / they are reading
Here, the subject is du and so we use du liest.
Some endings can sometimes show the grammatical gender of words. For example words ending with -ung, -heit/kein, -schaft, -tion are always feminine and words endings with -chen are neuters, even "das Mädchen" = "the girl".
Otherwise, you've got to learn the genders of nouns by heart...
Some verbs in German have a vowel shift (you have to learn which ones). There, the stem vowel changes for the 2nd and 3rd person singular for e --> i/ie and for a --> ä.
For a more detailed explanation on verb conjugation you can read this text: http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/german-conjugation-online-course/
Ein is used in the nominative case (for the subject of the sentence) for 'der' and 'das' words, while 'eine' is used in that case for 'die' words.
In the accusative case (the direct object of a sentence), ein is used for das words, eine for die words, and einen for der words.
Hope this helps!
There is no simple pattern. You just have to memorize which noun is what.
That said, you can tell that "Buch" is neutral with this sentence because it is the direct object (accusative case) and 'ein' is used rather than 'eine' (for feminine words) or 'einen' (for masculine words).