Authentic means: if you say "wir essen die Fische" others "will ask which fishes?" (need to be in a specific situation),but if you say, "Wir essen Fische" is more general and no one will ask you, which fish you mean. So again, not every sentence will makes sense, when the grammar of this sentence is right. For example: Der Hund liest. (The dog reads) grammatically perfect but not semantically.
That could be true but I wouldn't use that as the definition of the difference. I would use it almost interchangeably, although there are cases where "fishes" would be awkward.
- "We are eating fish tonight" (I'd never say "we are eating fishes tonight").
- "Look at all the fishes" (it could be a school of fish, not necessarily different kinds of fish). You could easily (probably?) use "fish" instead here.
Well, I oversimplified a little. 'Fish' is also used as a mass noun when referring to the flesh of fish used as food.
It turns out that the use of 'fishes' to refer to different species is specific to biology (I'm a biologist, so I hadn't noticed). Otherwise, 'fishes' tends to be somewhat archaic or poetic.
It is not wrong, but native English speakers would not say "We eat the fishes." We might say "He is sleeping with the fishes." You could say "The fishes were cooked" or "The fish were cooked" and in both cases it is plural. I am not sure what is the proper grammar, but in common use most people would not disagree with either form.
In "old times" fishes was correct. "Fish" is the modern form of the plural. Of course, the statement is somewhat ambiguous in English, because it could mean only one fish as well. Sometimes one fish can easily make a meal for multiple people. But in this case, it is clearly plural in German.
Yes, the definite article for plural nouns is die (in nominative and accusative cases), but you don't always use the definite article every time you have a plural noun. You can say Wir essen Fische, for example. It's a valid sentence, but it just has a different meaning than Wir essen die Fische, which is more specific about which fish we are eating.
Hi this is similar to another post but different. I understand that fisch is masculine hence Der Fisch, I aslo understand that when using the plural the gender changes to Die hence Die Fische. My problem is that in the sentence above Fishe is the accusative noun in the sentence. We were told earlier that if it is masculine noun in a plural accusatine form it should be Den, i.e Den Fische. As in Der Apfel to Den Apfel
Yeah, once you have a plural the original gender no longer matters. Plurals of masculine, feminine or neuter nouns all behave the same way. The definite articles for plural nouns in the four cases are:
You can read more about German articles on Wikipedia.
How can you know if you eat only one kind of fish
Because unless that fish was the only one of its kind, you're not eating entire species of fish.
When you eat salmon and tuna, you're not eating all the salmon in the world and all the tuna in the world, so you're not eating "fishes" (multiple species), but just "fish" (multiple animals).
Fish in plural would refer to à school of SAME specie of fish. Fishes would also be the plural form however this would be for a school of DIFFERENT species of fish. So I'm confused as to why translating "Fische" which is plural for fish in German to "fishes" is not acceptable
It looks as if you are still continuing with your study of German, though you wrote the post above quite some time ago. Your question may have since been answered, but if not, or others have this question, the following may be helpful. I've actually answered questions of this nature in other posts. A version of it tailored for this prompt is below:
English sentences are sometimes constructed with what is called an "auxiliary verb." In the sentence,
"We are eating the fish,"
the auxiliary verb is "are" (a form of "to be"). English has three main auxiliary verbs -- have, be, and do. They can be used to formulate a question, indicate passive voice, form a negative sentence, or, as in this case here show tense -- present continuous. The phrase "are eating" is an example of the use of the present continuous tense in English. Present continuous is not found in German, so you would never see a construct such as "sind essen" to convey "are eating." In German, it is expressed in other ways. For example, if you wanted to convey you are currently eating, you could add words such as "now," "right now," "this very moment," et cetera.
I highly recommend a book titled, "English Grammar for Students of German" by Cecile Zorach, but any type of book on this subject should be very helpful to any beginning student of German. If you do not want to buy the book and your library doesn't have a copy of something similar, you can also explore the web. In fact, I recently stumbled upon what might be a free online version of it. I don't know if it is exactly the same as the book by Zorach, but it may be more convenient for you to access. The link to it is here:
For more on this particular topic, the site at the link below will take you to a pretty good page on it.
I realize you are here to learn German, but the more you know and understand about your own language, the easier learning other languages will be. (Plus, this might be good for any doing the reverse course.)
Hope that helps and glad to see you are continuing your study of German here at duolingo. Keep it up. You never know how far you can go with a language unless you stick with it.
I think what might have confused haarisjam is that you wrote in a post above
"Wir essen der Fisch."
"Wir essen den Fisch."
I've read your posts, which are rather intelligently written, and can't help but notice that you are also at a Level 20 in German, so I am sure it was merely an inadvertent oversight on your part.
For the same reason that you can't say "I are" or "you is" -- the verb form does not match the subject.
isst is the verb form for du and for er, sie, es but not for wir.
English uses the same verb form for many subjects, but in German, most verb forms are distinct except for wir and sie, Sie (which are always the same). (Depending on the verb, the er, sie, es and the ihr form may be the same and, for verbs ending in s, ss, ß, x also du and er, sie, es as here: du isst and er, sie, es isst.)
Ok why is this sentance:
Wir essen die Fische > We ARE eating the fish (correct) and We are eating potatoes > Wir Essen Kartoffeln
Why does one sentence require the "Are" and the other sentence does not?
I've seen here in Duo that sometimes to get the answer right, you are required to add the "Are" when there is no sind/seid present. I cant figure out why sometimes you have to add the "are" (as in the fish example) and other times you dont.
You can't translate sentences word for word, because German is not a code for English.
"we are eating" is a form of the verb "eat" -- present continuous. The verb "are" here is a helping verb that is used for form the present continuous tense.
German doesn't have a present continuous tense -- it just has one present tense.
So "we are eating" (present continuous tense) and "we eat" (present simple tense) will both translate into German as wir essen.
When translating into English, you will have to use the rules of English to determine which words are necessary. For example, for something that is happening now, where we use the present continuous tense in English, you may have to add a form of the verb "to be" which is required by English grammar; and for a question, you may have to add a form of the verb "to do" (e.g. "did you eat?" for a question in the past, where "ate you?" is not possible in English).
No - "the fish" and "fish" are not the same.
"the fish" indicates that this is a particular amount of fish that you had been talking about before.
"fish" is generic and doesn't imply that the listener knows which quantity of fishing is being talked about (or that the speaker even has any particular quantity in mind).
But you can eat fish of several different kinds
in which case 'fishes' would be correct
No -- because you are still eating fish. You aren't eating kinds of fish.
You might be eating three salmons and four trout (seven individual fish, belonging to two kinds). But "kinds" are abstract: you can't eat them.
Why does Duolingo then teach that Fische translates to fishes?
It shouldn't. If it does, I don't know where or why.
Also Google is of the same opinion, Fische = Fishes
Don't trust Google Translate.
But here on this course, "fishes" is considered correctly only for multiple species of fish (which is not a meaning we use on this course), and "fish" as the normal plural.
Compare https://www.dictionary.com/browse/fish (top definition).
explain why "die Fische" is "the fish" in this context
Because the regular plural of "fish" in English is "fish".
So "the fish" can be either der Fisch (singular) or die Fische (plural).
ein Fisch = one fish; zwei Fische = two fish.
"fishes" is rarely used in standard English.
So how would you say this in English?
Wir essen die Fische. = "We eat the fish." or "We are eating the fish."
The usual plural of "fish" in English is "fish".
Hence you translate the German plural die Fische into the English plural "the fish".
Could somebody give an explanation about the English sentence from the English point of view?
Could you explain which part of the English sentence is unclear that you would like to have explained?
Sorry, I can't remember exactly under which thread I wanted to react, and unfortunately my answer ended up as a new thread :( .
But I think it had something to do with the difference between "Wir essen die Fische" and "Wir essen Fische" . You have explained what the difference is. And I have always assumed that you are a native German speaker (Otherwise, you still know and understand a lot more about the German language than the average native German speaker does).
So now I would like to know more about the difference between "We eat fish" and "We eat the fish". And I would like to hear that from a native English speaker. Just to get some more feel (or is it feeling? ) for the English language. (Yes, I understand that I should try the Englisch course on Duolingo, but at this moment I'm learning a lot about the German language which I somehow couldn't grasp during the past decades, so English will have to wait ...)
Over the last couple of weeks I must have given more than 10 Lingos to your excelent answers. And I know that you know a lot about the English language. But I don't know whether or not you are a native English speaker ...
So now I would like to know more about the difference between "We eat fish" and "We eat the fish".
"the fish" is definite. It refers to a particular quantity of fish that the listener can identify -- often, because you had spoken about them earlier in the conversation.
For example, "My wife has bought some fish. The fish are on the table." The second sentence has "the fish" (definite), referring back to the "some fish" which you had previously mentioned. They were indefinite in the first sentence because they are new, but definite in the second because now they are known.
"We eat fish" is indefinite. The listener is not expected to know which quantity of fish is being referred to. It's any quantity of fish.
But I don't know whether or not you are a native English speaker ...
I'm a native speaker of both English and German; my father is from England and my mother was German, and I grew up bilingually in Germany, attending an English-medium school.
What is your native language?
Thanks for (another) great explanation!
My native language is Dutch. I grew up near the German border, so I basically grew up with German television (ARD, ZDF and WDR3) until the late seventies, when Dutch television started to broadcast more often and on more channels. So for me, understanding German is very easy, speaking German is a little bit difficult (I often get the cases wrong, and I sometimes get the gender wrong), and writing German is very difficult.
In many situations (within this course), German feels just like Dutch. Sometimes English feels just like Dutch. Sometimes Dutch is the odd one out. And sometimes all three languages feel the same.
I hope to get some more feeling for the differences. (Especially the situations in which something isn't quite wrong, but simply feels unnatural ... )
Wrong. As I mentioned above, one fish can often feed a lot of people. If I bought a package of fish in the store and cooked it up for a meal, I'd say, "we're eating fish." But if someone from the family brought their catch home, and I cooked it up for a meal, I might easily say, "We're eating the fish," whether one or ten. I believe the same situation exists in the German, also - Wir essen Fisch" or "Wir essen die Fische" or "Wir essen der Fisch." All of those are equally valid, depending on what you are trying to say.
I'm not quite sure what exactly your struggle is, however, I've found a few websites that might be of help to you.
Forvo is a site that provides the audio of word pronunciations in many different languages. Of particular help is that most words have more than one pronunciation and that the origin of the speaker is noted.
The Paul Joyce German Course is a good resource! The section on pronunciation provides detailed information on how consonants, vowels and letter combinations are pronounced with audio from native German speakers as well as practice exercises.
FluentU is often a helpful site. In this article there is helpful information about speaking German.
I have found the About.com sites to be quite helpful in a variety of topics! In this instance I found several websites that are helpful with pronunciation: German for Beginners..., German Pronunciation and Listening to German.
I hope this helps! Good luck with your studies!!
"What did you do today?" "We went fishing and caught three hapuku, two trumpeter and a kingfish." "What are you having for dinner tonight?" "We're eating the fish."
It's quite natural, as long as you've already mentioned some particular fish and you're referring back to them. I believe it works the same way in German.
Correct translations should be "We are eating the fish" or "We eat the fish". It sounds fine in English and German. There's nothing better about Ich esse die Fische compared to Wir essen die Fische.
"We eat fish" is not acceptable, as it leaves out the indefinite article ("the") and changes the meaning.
If you want to refer to another comment, you should click 'Reply' on that comment directly. Making a comment like "I did the same..." without replying to anything makes your question less clear.
This has been covered several times already. "We are eating fish" would translate to "wir essen Fisch", and has a different meaning to "we are eating the fish", which is the correct translation of "wir essen die Fische". In this case, we're talking about some specific fish (that we would presumably have mentioned before) rather than fish in general.