"Das Mädchen sieht den ersten Vogel."
why isn't "the girl is seeing the first bird" correct? i'm having a lot of trouble with the verb siehe
The sentence is correct, but it has limited use. You don't often say "is seeing" in English unless you mean it in a different way than "seeing" with your eyes. Here are a few examples of using the verb "to see":
- I see the bird. <-----Natural sounding.
- I am seeing the bird. <-------- Sounds like English isn't my first language.
- I am seeing the doctor today. <--------- Natural sounding, means you have a doctor's appointment.
- I see the doctor today. <-------- Natural sounding, same as above ^
- I see her. <------- Natural sounding, you see the female person with your eyes.
- I am seeing her. <-------- Natural sounding, 99% of the time means you are dating her.
There are other examples, and exceptions too. I hope that helps a bit and I didn't make it worse for you!
What if the girl is dating the bird? I´ve seen crazier stuff on Duolingo, you must agree :))
Correct. This is because, in english, 'to see' is a non-progressive verb. This means you can't use the present continuous (seeing) to simply mean you are currently doing something. So when you translate one of these verbs into english from german, you have to be careful to choose the simple present form of the verb.
This link explains it very clearly http://www.esl.about.com/od/grammarintermediate/a/noncontinuous.htm
Can you please clarify when one uses "erste" instead of "ersten" if both mean "first?" Ersten doesn't seem to be plural in this sentence.
My guess would be the accusative case. According to this little piece of text http://www.german-grammar.de/grammar/chapter_29/29_2_1_declension_ordinals.htm they are declined just like adjectives, which makes sense since they do behave like a adjective attribute. Which we didn't learn yet, but well :) I am wondering if this declension only applies to "erste" or does it apply to all numerals? (like in my mother tongues which is Romanian and which if you tried to learn you would understand what a messed up language really looks like :))) )
Yes! What does the girl see? Der Vogel . Der Vogel in the accusative case turns den Vogel or better, den ersten Vogel.