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  5. "Ich lese ein Buch."

"Ich lese ein Buch."

Translation:I am reading a book.

May 4, 2013

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Why is this 'ein' not 'einen' ?


Buch is neuter - das Buch. The accusative neuter form of ein is ein, while the masculine is einen. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_article


Thanks. I thought "Buch" is masculine. It's difficult to me to learn the gender of the objets in other languages.

Then is "ein Buch", not "einen Buch".

Again, thanks... :D


Thanks, Selphie.. Though the link is somewhat moved. :D I found the other one here "http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum.htm" :)


Is there any obvious rule to understand that?


What's the difference between liest and lese?


"lese" is for "Ich" and "liest" is for "du".


so basically i (am) you (are)


That's the idea, but literally:

I (read / am reading)
You (read / are reading)

Verbix is an excellent website for showing you all these variations.


I was thinking that "liest" is for "Er" & "Sie"(she)


Indeed: "du liest" and "er/sie/es liest".

Usually the 3.Person singular and 2.Person plural are similar.

What would a language be without irregular forms ;-)


I'm a newbie so I'm curious of how do you determine if a noun is a masculine or a feminine? In my language, which is Filipino, we don't have genders for objects so I'm having a hard time learning about the masculine, feminine and neuter words. It would be a big help to me :)


I'm also new to German, but I've heard there is no rule, and no way to tell what gender a noun will be. So every learner is in the same boat. Gender is something you have to learn with memory, which you will only be able to do by learning noun and gender together, for example, don't limit yourself to just 'Buch'. You should aim to remember 'das Buch'. Therefore, helping you to remember that it is neuter.


That's such a good idea! Remembered the noun and the appropriate "the" instead of just learning the word for the noun! O:


A general question (perhaps trivial) that is not specific to the meaning of the sentence: Her pronunciation of "ch" shifts between a "sh" sound (e.g., Ich = Ish) to a "kh" sound (Buch = Boookh). Learning German many years ago we were taught to use "kh" consistently (Ich = Ikh). Is this a dialect/regional variation or is "Ish" the correct pronunciation of "Ich?"


'Ich' can be pronounced as 'Ihk' or 'Ish'. I believe that 'Ihk' is the High German pronunciation (the kind of German you were likely taught those years ago) while 'Ish' is more regional. I grew up saying 'Ish' and I refuse to change to 'Ikh'! :P However Buch is always 'Boookh', never 'booosh'.


I have not yet understand the difference between ein eine or einen, can someone please explain it to me? Thank you. Also I am a spanish native speaker, I can help with spanish.


When the noun is in Nominative case, i.e. they are the subjects of the sentences, you use "ein" for masculine nouns and "eine" for feminine nouns. For example, "Ein Männ isst Brot." which means "A man is eating bread." If you wanted to write "A woman is eating bread." , you would have written "Eine Frau isst Brot." However, when the nouns are in Accusative case (they are the objects in the sentences; the action is being performed on them), only for masculine nouns, "ein" transforms into "einen". For feminine nouns, it remains "eine" and for neuter nouns it remains "ein". Remember this: only masculine nouns suffer this transformation in the accusative. Yeah, I know. Being a male is tough. :P


If you're a Spanish native speaker then it's like the difference between "un" and "una", the first one for masculine nouns, the other one for feminine ones.

Then, have a look to 'declention' in German anywhere.

Nominative: "ein" for maculine and neuter nouns, "eine" for feminine ones.

Accusative: when the noun is masculine, "ein" becomes "einen".

Dative and genitive forms are a little bit differents but it follows the same principle.


Any tips on how to pronounce some of these words? I can't seem to pronounce the Ich well or the Buch, but any help would be much appreciated :)


Here is a YouTube playlist about German pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8345BD873EEE18F4


What does neuter mean exactly? I'm trying to figure out the masculine and feminine thing for objects too... It's getting difficult!


This is a tricky question. As we know, there are three genders- masculine, feminine, and neuter. The genders actually don't have much to do with the word itself. You might have 'die Frau' which is feminine, but then 'das Madchen', which is neuter, even though a Madchen is a girl. Just because something seems like it should be masculine or feminine, doesn't mean it will be! The easiest way to learn genders is to learn the gender with the word. Work on memorising 'die Frau' rather than 'Frau', 'das Buch' rather than 'Buch', etc.


Any word that ends in "chen" is a "das" word. For example, "Das Kaninchen" (the rabbit) or "Das Mädchen".


Hi, I'm not quite sure how I should be pronouncing Buch ?


It sounds like "Boo-h". The "C" is prettt much silent.


Forvo is a helpful website that lets you listen to recordings of native-speakers saying individual words. Hearing a couple of those will help you understand the sound you should be making.


Any general tricks or materials out there that can show me how to know / learn genders of nouns in German? I'm a Spanish / Port guy and this is another element for me. Danke!


If you speak Spanish and Portuguese, you're alreday used to grammatical genders and you should know that's something completely illogical. The only tips I can give you is that some endings can show the grammtical gender of nouns, like -tion, -ung = always feminine. -chen = always neuter (that's why "Mädchen" is a neuter word).


Danke. Yeah, I already love German, but I think some of these basics will be a challenge to master and just simply take time and exposure. ;)


Don't know if you are still learning German, Levi_Flint. From your activity feed, it looks as if you moved on to French long ago. Nevertheless, if you ever want to take up German again (or for others reading this post), here's something that might be helpful:

Gender Rules (how to work out which gender)

I have especially found that the advice to guess that the gender is male is very good. It doesn't work every time, but I have gotten more words right than wrong by just guessing that the gender is male.

As for the link in the post by Lua_Amadeu above, I have done little more than glance at it, but it looks worth reading. So, that may also be of some help to you.


I recently came upon some information that made me want to add a bit more to my advice to guess that the gender is masculine (if you don't remember the gender or any pertinent rule). I recently came across some contradictory information on the topic. On the page at the link below:

Some Hints on How to Guess Gender

under "Fun Facts," you will see the following:

Of the nouns with a unique gender, 46% are feminine, 34% masculine, and 20% neuter. So, if in doubt about the gender of a noun, guess "die" :)

Since this contradicted what I had already learned about the gender distribution in German, I decided to see what others had to say. Very quickly, I stumbled upon a pretty reputable source -- the StackExchange for the German Language. Below is a link to the thread I found:

What is the gender distribution of nouns in the German language?

I haven't done the research myself, but based off of previous experience, I'm inclined to take more stock into what was reported at StackExchange. It tells me that the gender distribution reported isn't quite as heavily weighted toward the masculine gender as I had previously thought. (I think I read somewhere that 60 percent of German nouns were masculine!) However, in the absence of any other rules you may or may not remember, I still think the odds are more in your favor if you guess that the gender is masculine.

Despite the discrepancy in numbers, however you want to guess a noun's gender when in doubt is up to you, but you may want to read the Fun Facts at the web page I refer to earlier just the same ("Some Hints on How to Guess Gender"). It contains some interesting information on how gender affects the way we think about things and includes a link to a fuller article on the topic.


would it be correct to also say "ich bin lese ein Buch" ?


No, if this should be a try to translate "i am reading a book" word by word, it does not work. In German there exists no special continuous form. You have to translate the meaning by using other words.

For instance "ich lese im Moment ein Buch" = "in the Moment i read a book"

Or instead of "im Moment" you can use "gerade", which has in this context the same meaning: "Ich lese gerade ein Buch."

Or the extended infinitve with "zu": "Ich bin dabei, ein Buch zu lesen"

Or a substantivation: "Ich bin am Buchlesen" or "Ich bin beim Buchlesen". But this form sounds a bit overblown ;-)


Ich esse einen Apfel ... is it correct? If so then is apple masculine in German?


Absolutely right :-)


wI thought that the accusative case calls for the article "Einen?"


It does, for the male indefinite article! It changes from nominative "ein" to accusative "einen".

For the female it remains like nominative: "eine"

Same for the neutrale one, which remains "ein".

And the the german word " Buch" is neutral.


How do we translate' I read a book' in german?


Ich lese ein Buch.

In German "I read a book" and "I'm reading a book" Are the exact same thing.


Did you mean to ask about the past tense (which has the same spelling in English)? Ich habe ein Buch gelesen or Ich las ein Buch (more formal).


(Ein Buch) (Ein) once i typed it (a) but it says that i am wrong and the right word is (one) , so i tried again and this time i typed (Ein=one like what the program told me last time ) .. but this time it says (Ein=a) so why is that?and is it the both (a,one) work here ?


Ein- means "a/an/one", but whichever you choose should also make sense in English (you can't say "a apple" or "an book").


einen is masculine, right?


Einen is the indefinite article for masculine nouns in accusative case, yes.


So this verb would be ich lese, du list, er/sie leset(?) Wir lesen, ihr leset, sie lesen One who know can corect or aprove me?


Almost :-)

ich lese

du liest

er / sie / es liest

wir lesen

ihr lest

sie lesen

lesen is an irregular verb or as we say in german "starkes Verb".


How do you find a distinction between "am reading" and "read?"


In English, "I am reading" would be used about something that is happening now, at the moment when you are speaking, while "I read" would be used when you talk about something that happens repeatedly -- a habit or a regular action. (For example, "Every evening after I come home from work, I read a nice book for an hour.")

In German, both of those are the same -- there is just one present tense and no distinction between present simple and present continuous.


Why is it lese rather than lieser


Verb forms for ich usually end in -e, not -er.

And the verb is lesen with -e- in the stem.

This changes to -ie- for the du and er, sie, es forms but not for ich or plural subjects.

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