"He is drinking."
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Both "He drinks" and "He is drinking" are good translations of "Er trinkt".
German lacks a progressive/continuous form for its verbs. Basically, you can't do something like "Er ist trinken." Some forms of German do offer a way to express the concept that there is a continuous action going on. "Er ist am trinken," is one way. "Er trinkt gerade," is another. In formal speech, I understand the first (so-called Rhinish Progressive form) is not accepted in formal situations, but if you want to make it clear that not only does the person in question drink, he is actually drinking at this moment, you can use it or the word 'gerade' which transforms 'he drinks' into 'he drinks currently', another way of saying 'he is drinking right now.'
Literally, yes it translates to "Er ist trinken" However, German grammar does not function like American grammar, so one would just say "Er trinkt." In a sense, the ist is already implied so you would not use it. When I first started learning German in 2007 it was confusing to me too, but it is actually really easy to remember when you get the hang of it :) Just keep it up and I'm sure you'll all be fine! Good luck :)
German doesn't have a continuous aspect. Both "He drinks" and "He is drinking" translate as "Er trinkt".
Basically, you don't use 'is + the -ing form' in any variant in German to express continuous action. You can say 'Er trinkt' when you mean he is a habitual drinker ("Does Bob drink?" "Yes, he drinks.") and when you mean to say he's currently drinking ("Does Bob have a beer right now?" "Yes, he is drinking it.")
If you must be absolutely clear that he's drinking right now, you can either use the Rhinish Progressive Form, which is a regional dialect that may be taking off in Germany, or you can add the word 'gerade' (means currently in this context) to the sentence. "Hat Bob ein Bier?" "Ja, er trinkt gerade."
German verbs, like English verbs, change forms to match the subject.
I drink, you drink, he/she/it drink_s_, we/you/they drink.
German's a bit more aggressive about that change, though.
Ich trink_e_, du trink_st_, er/sie/es trink_t_, wir trink_en_, ihr trink_t_, sie trink_en_.
Note that Germans have a distinct word for 'y'all', ihr, and it has its own verb form.
This is called 'conjugating' a verb, and while most verbs follow this form, a few do not and need to be learned separately.
Ich bin, du bist, er/sie/es ist, wir sind, irh seid, sie sind.
Ich habe, du hast, er/sie/est hat, wir haben, ihr habt, sie haben.
Just two examples. And misusing verb conjugations is as bad as saying 'you has' in English. I'm not sure how lolcats speak German, but we don't talk like lolcats in normal conversation in English, so please don't in German. :D