1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Sie essen Tomaten."

"Sie essen Tomaten."

Translation:They are eating tomatoes.

May 14, 2013

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liminal

Why is 'she' eats tomatoes not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

The verb would be conjugated differently.
I suspect you know about capitalization of "sie/Sie" already, but I'll include it in case other readers aren't aware.

Sie essen - you (formal) eat -----> Sie is always capitalized
Sie essen - they eat -----> Sie is only capitalized at the start of a sentence
Sie isst - she eats -----> Sie is only capitalized at the start of a sentence

Hope that helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zakabk

Ok, but still Er/sie/es verbs ends with -t so why does it end with - en here? its almost as its formal Sie, i can't understand this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laura-deutsch

Because this particular form of "sie" is referring to more than one person, so it is plural. sie (small s) means SHE, Sie with a capital S means YOU in formal German direct conversation, and sie with a small s, again, can also mean THEY - plural. You know if it is the plural form because verb ends with 'en' - like in this case :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vlad279128

Your exaplanation should be added to the long one above. Many thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liminal

You can't start a sentence with 'You'? - seems I just did.. now im confused, as if you did how would you know if was formal or not


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

I don't know what you mean by "You can't start a sentence with You", and I think we might both be misunderstanding each other. So I'll try again...

sie (small letter "s") = they or she
Sie (capital letter "s") = you (formal, singular or plural)

sie isst Tomaten = she eats tomatoes
sie essen Tomaten = they eat tomatoes
Sie essen Tomaten = you eat (formal, singular or plural) tomatoes

At the start of a sentence you need a capital letter, so if the sentence starts with "Sie" you would not be able to tell if "Sie" was you/they/she by the letter "s" alone. So, you look at the verb conjugation.

Sie isst Tomaten. = She eats tomatoes.
Sie essen Tomaten. = They eat tomatoes or You eat tomatoes.

For "Sie essen" at the start of a sentence you need context to tell if it is you (formal) or they. Almost all of the Duo sentences that start with "Sie" and have a verb conjugated ending in -en (like "Sie essen") accept both "You eat" and "They eat" because there is no way to tell without context. Does this help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laura-deutsch

That is a really helpful explanation!! Thank you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bryce702531

This one. This is the actual useful answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hummus.yumm

The conjugation of eat is plural, not third person singular. If it was "she eats" it would be "Sie isst." Since it is "They eat", it is conjugated as "Sie essen". Much like "Wir essen", because theyre both plural. Hope this helps


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

Much like "Wir essen", because theyre both plural.

That's a bit of a red herring, because ihr esst is also plural but does not end in -en.

Don't confuse people into thinking that there's "a plural ending for verbs" in German. Far too many learners already believe that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Holta1111

Because it depends on the verb. If you have "sie essen" you can not translate it "she eats" because "essen" is refering the plural "sie" not the singular one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nilay_S

For 'She' word conjugation for essen verb is isst. Sie isst Tomaten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ldbowman12

"You (formal plural) are eating tomatoes" is also correct. It didn't accept my answer, however, and I can't "report" it because there are only three options listed to report (unlike some of the other languages I've studied at Duo). You can report (1) that the audio is bad, (2) the German is unnatural or incorrect, or (3) the "correct solution" is unnatural or incorrect. The correct solution Duo uses (they) is fine, it just happens to be one of two possible ways to translate "Sie essen Tomaten." When the pronoun is at the beginning of the sentence, it erases the capitalization distinction between "sie essen" and "Sie essen." Without more information to provide context, both translations should be counted as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeeganBrus

it sounds like the person says sie ist toma


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil375709

Could this not be the formal version of "You eat tomatoes", as well as plural? I would normally put "They eat tomatoes" but I went for formal "you" for a change and to see if it would accept it but it marked it wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emma912777

I am so confused about this sentence, how they say it. So weird, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolluxTheCat

The tomaten part sounds like just toma. Is this a normal way to say it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaumyaTewa1

What is difference between essen and fressen?


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

Humans essen.

Animals fressen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matejdro

"They eat tomatoes" was rejected. I thought german does not distinguish between "eat" and "are eating"?


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

"They eat tomatoes" was rejected.

For a translation exercise? Are you sure you didn't have a listening exercise, perhaps, where you're supposed to "type what you hear" rather than translate?

Do you have a screenshot of that answer being rejected?

I thought german does not distinguish between "eat" and "are eating"?

That is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matejdro

It was probably that yeah. Can't remember of the top of my head. No screenshot, sorry. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kayla734699

I thought sie ment she not they?


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

It means both of those.

The verb forms are different, though: sie isst "she is eating" versus sie essen "they are eating".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sanket2302

How to know "Sie" is used as "they" or "she" ?


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

You can look at the verb ending, which will almost always be -t when sie means "she" and -en when sie means "they".

For example, sie isst = she eats, sie essen = they eat. sie trinkt = she drinks, sie trinken = the drink.

The forms for "to be" are irregular: sie ist = she is, sie sind = they are.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lee102609

I put they are eating and it said it was wrong. Im confused.


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

It has to be "They are eating tomatoes."

Not just "they are eating".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony292055

I got this wrong as I entered the answer, "correctly" but in English. But for this I am happy as to me it seems I might finally be getting it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dberachah

when is "sie" singular and when it is plural


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

when is "sie" singular and when it is plural

sie "she" has verb forms ending in -t

sie "they" has verb forms ending in -en


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryjaneSt12

They're eating tomatoes is the same thing as they are eating tomatoes.


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

They're eating tomatoes is the same thing as they are eating tomatoes.

Of course, and both are accepted answers for a translation exercise.

(If you have a screenshot showing either of those sentences being rejected, please upload it to a website somewhere - e.g. imgur - and tell us the URL to the image.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toasterbox

She eats tomatoes, they eat tomatoes, you eat tomatoes- eh, tomato tomahto


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

sie essen can never mean "she eats".

"she" verb forms end in -t, as in sie isst.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElsieBontr

I was using the speaker and it didn't work right I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterRicha627267

I got this one right but only by listening to the slow version. Wir and Sie sound the same!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeopardQueen

I don't understand why "sie" cannot be used as "she" because if it is a capital, you can't tell.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laura-deutsch

but you can tell by the following word, if it was 'she is eating' then it would say sie 'isst'. But because it says is 'essen' you know that it isn't talking about a single female.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nilay_S

Sie cannot be used as She because it is essen in the sentence.

If sie is she, then there must be isst.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.