"Du liest ein Buch."

Translation:You read a book.

April 9, 2013

132 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/simonca98

why is ti ein and not einen?

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fordhogan

"Buch" is neuter (Das Buch) and "einen" is the accusative case which only affects masculine nouns.

June 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/keepoceansblue

i thought einen was for feminine nouns? ö correct me if i'm wrong, please!

March 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

No. Einen belongs to masculine nouns. It is the indefinite article when the noun is used as an direct object (called Akkusativ in German).

Ein Mann liest ein Buch (Mann is subject (Nominativ) hence ein)

Sie hat einen Mann (Mann is direct object ein --> einen)

March 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/keepoceansblue

ah! i got mixed up with eine and einen. thanks!

March 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NithinShaju

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.

  1. 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.

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/baugher

Im confused. Yes I'm a bigginer and thought ein was a and einen was an. Einen Apfel?? An apple or no.

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/abhinav4848

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

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/blobfish201

That confuses me too, which is why it sometimes take me longer to finish it.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WilderUhl1

Thanks for that bit of info

May 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fGVd3

Oh ok know i get it. danke Karlchen123

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_LONGbow46_

No. Feminine for ^a^ is eine

March 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nopthank

Danke schon

November 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ErdnaGoogl

What do you mean only affects masculine nouns? Where did you get it? In the table of indefinite articles, neutral is the same as masculine.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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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.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gaviota2229

Wait!! can you say Das Apfel or do you have to say Der Apfel because its masculine?

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

It's der Apfel when it is the subject and den Apfel when it is the direct object. das Apfel is not possible.

June 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gaviota2229

thank you

June 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/__Zara__

Why not?

June 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

The gender of Apfel is not neuter. It's masculine.

June 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/abhinav4848

das Apfel is possible when its in genetive case, though!

Edit: As per karlchen123, Yes, its des Apfels in genetive case. My bad.

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

No. It would be des Apfels

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lrbryan

@abhinav4848 That wouldn't necessarily work, because ANYONE can change Wikipedia if they have an account.

June 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rationaloptimist

Wait, so i should know this, but das = neuter, die =fem and der = masc?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

yes

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Vintagedesigner

I thought die was plural?

July 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Multatula

It is as well feminine as plural.

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fordhogan

Presumably this is the same as "you are reading a book", correct?

May 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/NovKF

Yes. "Du liest ein Buch" can mean both "you read a book" and "you are reading a book."

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Coffeeshop_Bum

Im confused. In english "you read (pronounced "red")" implies a past action, but isn't "Du liest" a present action ?

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NovKF

I was referring to read in the present tense.

February 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Coffeeshop_Bum

Thank you that clears everything up !

February 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TechRitz

Du liest ein buch - You are reading a book or You are reading one book or You read a book. can someone explain me on the above.

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/arcanafifteen

all of them are correct, you cant distinct whether "you are reading" or "you are read". For the "one or a", i think there's no difference between them in that word. correct me if i'm wrong.

April 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mhvr28

How do you decide between Du and Ihr?

November 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

Are you speaking to one person or more than one.....

April 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoeBrennan2

Is this past tense or present? I want to think its a stern command to read a book now.

July 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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Present. Commands use a different conjugation and sentence structure, called the 'imperative mood'.

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Edd194665

I am having so much trouble understanding all the different accusative case words and how to use them.

December 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

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.

December 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/shafa.rmdhn

I still didn't understand about ein and einen..

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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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.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/brooke.deveson

what is the difference between eine, ein and einen?

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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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:

The

Masculine - der, Feminine - die, Neuter - das, Plural - die

A

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:

The

Masculine - den, Feminine - die, Neuter - das, Plural - die

A

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:

The

Masculine - dem, Feminine - der, Neuter - dem, Plural - den

A

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!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_grammar#Cases

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/brooke.deveson

thanksssss

May 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jayconyc

Is there an easy way to tell the gender of the word?

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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Unfortunately not, most of the time :( You just need to remember it when you learn the word!

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaant

Can we use 'Lesen' instead of 'liest' here?

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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As in du lesen ein Buch ? No.

du goes with liest.

lesen would be appropriate for one of wir, sie, Sie as the subject.

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeremy785745

I thought ein was the number one and that Eine was a.

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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No. ein, eine are used for both "one" and "a, an".

And which one of ein, eine to use depends on the grammatical gender of the following word.

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeremy785745

Thanks, after I thought about it a bit more, it made sense.

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/darkauron

The verb read isnt "lesen"? And thus isnt it "Du lest"?

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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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.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Azamatto1

why not "liesst" instead of "liest"?

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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Because that would be wrong.

First, you can't have ss after a diphthong such as ie, and second, the verb is lesen with an -s- and not leßen or lessen with -ß- or -ss-.

Compare essen: er isst where the verb stem already has -ss-.

August 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ElibeyElili

If you read grammar carefully you don't need to discuss here((

May 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LisaCF
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Is there no distinction between the present tenses 'I eat' and 'I am eating' in German?

September 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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There is no distinction. Both "I eat" and "I'm eating" translate to "ich esse".

September 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Juanlo.oS.

There is... Ich esse gerade, but it's unusual. Actually, I wouldn't use it.

April 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

I would use it for example when someone calls while I am eating dinner. I would say Ich esse gerade. Kann ich dich später zurückrufen? (I am eating (right now). Can I call you back later?)

April 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zskandarany

In which case we use Du or Ihr to say you

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/potcfansyd

Ihr translates better into "you all." So it is plural while Du is singular

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/brickviking

What's a subject, and what's a direct object in "The man eats an apple"? I'm confused, and my English lessons have clearly slipped. I don't even know what the dative is (indirect object).

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Niara7
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"Man" is the subject. The man is who is doing the action. "Apple" is the direct object. It is receiving the action (being eaten).

February 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HpWz1

Thanks

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AbigailBuc1

I heard "Du isst ein Brot" i feel dumb now lol

June 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/scarletingx

Why isn't it "You are reading a book"? What's the difference between "you read" and "you are reading"?

June 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisJohan3

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

June 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alter_Freund

So what's the difference between using "liest" and "lesen"?

May 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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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.

June 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/karen477561

why is eine a or one how do you know

July 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod
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You just need to decide what sounds best based on the context. Usually that will be "a/an".

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Beavis18

do you pronounce "Buch" like book or with a silent h?

March 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
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Bookmark this site. It has recordings from native-speakers for nearly every word:

https://forvo.com/word/buch/#de

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/akshaya489699

Why is it not "eine buch"?

March 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/az_p
Mod
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Because Buch is a neuter noun, not a feminine noun. Why is it neuter? No idea. There usually isn't a reason beyond "that's just how the language developed".

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielJReynolds

My baby brother says "dough east hine fook"

May 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BabaTova1

Is there a way to do only those tasks? I find them the ones i learn the most from.

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EdenHart3

I don't get how it is "ein" not "eine". Don't they both mean "a"?

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sweilan1

It could never be "eine Buch" because das Buch is neuter.

If you are using the PC version, make sure to always read the Tips and Notes.

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EdenHart3

thanks!

February 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AdonKent

Forcefull if you add exclamation mark "DU LIEST EIN BUCH!

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NguThMnTrn

Ah! I got mixed up with wine and einen

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kleidi15
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when we say 'you are reading a book'

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/waweeerosli

Why not use " lese? "

July 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
Mod
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Because the subject is not ich but rather du.

Much as you can't say "I are reading a book" or "You am reading a book" -- you have to pick the verb form that matches the subject.

ich lese but du liest.

July 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tereza705728

I translated it you are reading a book

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/trolles

How do you know if a sustantive is either neutral or masculine/femenine?

June 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fordhogan

There is no way to work it out, you just have to learn them!

June 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/trolles

Ouch, that's hard work! Even harder when they are the opposite in my mother tongue :).

Thanks!

June 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/fordhogan

You're welcome! It becomes somewhat second-nature though, so don't be put off! :)

June 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_Rhodes

Because when you learn the substantive, you learn the article ¸der", ¸die" or ¸das" that goes with it… really, there's no simpler way.

July 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sofus.
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Most of the words that end on an 'e' are feminine' but there are a lot of exceptions. I also think that most fruits are feminine. And i think most animals are masculine. But those aren't really rules theyr'e just guidelines :)

April 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Swanninen

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...

August 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Juanlo.oS.

Most of the words ending with "er" are masculine. All the words ending with "ung" are femenine. There are some rules.

April 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelRey246545

What is tge difference between du snd ihr?

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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Ihr is for when you say you but are talking to multiple people. Du is for when you say you but are talking to one person

May 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CaioFranca2
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In the akkusativ the article "der" becomes "den" and the other articles are not changed.

October 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/blobfish201

I searched this sentence on Google Translate and it doesn't say "You are reading a book" it say "You read a book". I honestly can't wait to be able to learn Japanese.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexa543590

How do you know the difference between the 3 if them? Im in 9th grade and im so lost...

September 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaters

I keep getting questions like this wrong for switching the "i" and "e". How am I so posed to know where the i and e go short of memorizing each word? Is there a rule like in English like I before E except . . . ?

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptnRis

They are pronounced differently. 'ie' is pronounced like the e ib 'be'. 'ei' is pronounced like the y in 'by'.

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/atreyarc

When do we use liest and when do we use lese?

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

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/

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jannaaayy

Whats the difference between ein and eine?

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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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!

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shamimahamed365

why we are using "liest" instead of "lesst"??

June 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/VikingsFan4Life

I don:t understand why they mark things wrong is you say the instead of a, can someone please explain?

September 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Micah757

i said you reads a book so it could say i got a typo but it said incorrect you used the wrong word please leave a thumbs down because this comment is lame unless you like it

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisJohan3

I cannot hear the subject "du." It is cut off.

February 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zakarya0

you read a book

June 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/lrbryan

Watch me go to Germany and end up saying something stupid and have everyone there stare at me like I just offended them all that has to do with WW1 or 2.

June 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NehalArifen

Book is neuter. But then why is newspaper feminine?

September 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BHESHAJTAK

Pronunciation of buch is like boo. Please tell me whats the correct Pronunciation of buch and if boo then whats the ch means

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreaElen3

The ch is pronounced like the spanish 'J'... Like PAJA, JUEGO. English does not have this sound, it is produced at the back near the throat and it is fricative, voiceless. Like when you try to.expell mucus from your throat. Lol

March 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vitormfc

Actually it isn't. That's a common mistake. There's a video on youtube that explains the correct way of saying the ch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39iHNFLrWQI

July 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjuliana

How can I know with the noun is masculine or neutral???

July 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AtalinaDove
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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).

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/lanNicholas

Apfel is also a nature one but why it goes like: einen Apfel?

August 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Joutsenpoika

Did you mean "neuter"? "Apfel" is masculine: "der Apfel".

August 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/siddharth21

so, is ein : neutral , eine : feminine and einen : masculine ?

July 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AishaNoor

ein goes with both neuter and masculine nouns. einen is for accusative masculine only, I think.

November 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisJohan3
  • 'ein' goes for neuter and masculine nouns in nominative (subject) case and accusative (direct object) case
  • 'einen' goes for masculine nouns in accusative (subject) case and also plural nouns in dative case (indirect object) case
April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/caraciolo89

You are right!

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Bharen

I believe so. I wish this was sorta covered at the same time.

July 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sathishreddy3583

I did not understand the tenses in german...will some please let me know about present tense and past tense with example...it will be a great help for me!

December 10, 2014
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