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Den Vogel isst die Katze

How do you know it's the cat eating the bird, and not the bird eating the cat? Other than guessing from the context I mean, as most birds usually don't eat cats...

August 26, 2012



In this case you are lucky. Der Vogel >den Vogel is Akkusativ. As there must be a subject (in Nominativ) the only candidate is die Katze. In this way Germans can change the word order without losing the content. Normal would be: "Die Katze isst den Vogel." Just imagine a phrase like: "Das Schaf isst die Falke" Neuter and feminine have an identical Nominativ and Akkusativ. You would have to realize the whole content and then know that a sheep is not a carnivore.... By putting the object first you give it a lot more stress than normal.


"den Vogel" is the accusative form of "der Vogel", so you know that is the object of the sentence, and therefore the cat is the subject (who eats the object)

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