"Der Mann trinkt einen Kaffee."

Translation:The man is drinking a coffee.

May 25, 2013

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mensa42

The translation "The man is drinking a coffee" seems unnatural.

June 11, 2013

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

yeh, right i usually hear a cup of coffee or some coffee

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    It seems that this is an issue of usage between different English-speaking regions (even within the US). I for example am a native English speaker and find the sentence to be totally normal. Since Duo accepts multiple different phrasings for this translation, hopefully you can find one that sounds natural for you without changing the meaning.

    It's important to learn that - whatever the usage in your variant of English - in German the phrase ein [Kaffee/Bier/Wasser/…] is commonly used. Although mass nouns (often including liquids) are usually not countable, in the context of a drink it is interpreted to mean "one serving" or idiomatically "one cup/bottle/glass" as appropriate. Some English speakers evidently also follow this logic, others not.

    Either way, it's important in your translation to retain this meaning somehow. "The man drinks (some) coffee" loses the specific detail that he drinks one portion of it (not half, not two, not a whole pot, not necessarily regularly). If you don't like the suggested phrasing, "The man is drinking a cup of coffee" is also accepted, for example.

    November 2, 2018

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

    I tried "a cuppa" and it wasn't accepted.

    May 4, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      In colloquial British or Australian English, a "cuppa" refers to a cup of tea, not coffee.

      May 9, 2016

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

      HI I am confused by "einen Kaffee" I see below that somebody has stated it is because it is accusative. In earlier lessons Der Apfel became Den Apfel because the apple was accusative. So if it was "the coffee" would that be Den Kaffee? Would I be correct in saying that all masculine nouns become Den or einen if being used accusatively in a sentence.

      August 12, 2014

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

      I'm not sure because I'm learning German but I think like you so maybe it's right. Somebody who knows ?

      August 20, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/the-G.S

      It is correct, because in akkusativ der transorms into den, so ein transforms into einen.

      February 8, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFuchs1

      What? Never ever heard that word Before? Let alone spell it? Akkusativ. Is that German or English?

      July 4, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
      Mod

        Akkusativ is the German spelling of "accusative (case)".

        November 2, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
        Mod

          That's correct!

          November 2, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patti410

          I put "The man is drinking a cup of coffee" and Duo accepted it.

          October 25, 2014

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

          I think Duo overlooks literal translation in certain cases and gives benefit for proper usage in English.

          November 10, 2014

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phoenix8675

          But I wrote "The man drinks coffee" and it said I was wrong.

          November 5, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

          "The man drinks coffee"="Der Mann trinkt Kaffee"

          January 28, 2019

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

          "The man drinks a coffee" is accepted. Need the indefinite article to make the sentence agree. ("a" = "einen").

          March 17, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RihamEl-Helw

          Could any one explain why it's ainen kaffe or den apfel ?? I could't understand any of the previous explanations?

          September 5, 2014

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

          Einen / Den are used when Masculine Noun is the predicate of a sentence.

          The same Masculine Noun if in subject of the sentence will use Ein/Der.

          Note: In German to consider Ein = A and Einen = An is a mistake. Translation of 'Ein' can be either 'a' or 'an' depending on the English logic, ditto for Einen.

          Der Mann trinkt (einen Kaffee) --> a coffee Der Mann isst (einen Apfel) --> an Apfel

          November 10, 2014

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crasy198

          Not right it's suppose to be the man is drinking coffee

          February 16, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
          Mod

            That would be der Mann trinkt Kaffee. The German sentence is specific that he is only drinking one cup/serving/portion of it (as opposed to a whole pot, or two cups, or it just generally being a habit). That information has been lost in your translation. How would you translate it in a way that keeps this information?

            Furthermore, "The man is drinking a coffee" is also an acceptable English sentence. If you'd prefer to phrase it differently, though, ("The man is drinking a cup of coffee", for example) you can too.

            November 2, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jihane850631

            Why einen and not ein ?

            July 17, 2017

            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
            Mod

              Because of 'accusative case'. Read Duolingo's lesson tips (look for the lightbulb icon when starting a lesson). A couple of the other comments also explain what this means. Please always take some time to read the comments before writing a question - there are usually many helpful explanations!

              November 2, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jhongil15

              So "Kaffee" is countable in German?

              July 26, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
              Mod

                In German ein Kaffee is understood to mean one serving or cup of coffee. So yes, these are countable.

                November 2, 2018

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

                My answer is acceptable in English too

                October 15, 2018

                https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
                Mod

                  Good on you! I hope it was accepted. If it wasn't, you'll have to copy and paste it here (not retype it - maybe you made a typo without realising!) so we can do anything about fixing it.

                  November 2, 2018

                  https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aria.A97

                  "The man is drinking coffee" should be acceptable!

                  November 2, 2018

                  https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
                  Mod

                    That would be der Mann trinkt Kaffee. The German sentence is specific that he is only drinking one cup/serving/portion of it (as opposed to a whole pot, or two cups, or it just generally being a habit). That information has been lost in your translation. How would you translate it in a way that keeps this information?

                    November 2, 2018

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

                    Is 'einen' really needed in the sentence? Please confirm.

                    April 15, 2019

                    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ricardo966790

                    There is a mistake in the evaluation because both ways are correct

                    April 27, 2019

                    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arun8288

                    I thought wherever you use der, it's 'a' form comes like ein. Der mann trinkt ein Kaffee. Can anyone explain why is it einen?

                    July 21, 2019

                    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

                    As explained elsewhere above "ein Kaffee" becomes "einen Kaffee" because it is the accusative object. From the Tips and Notes of chapter "Accusative case": "The accusative object is the thing or person that is directly receiving the action. For example, in Der Mann sieht den Ball. (The man sees the ball.), der Mann is the (nominative) subject and den Ball is the (accusative) object."

                    July 21, 2019

                    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shadow2808

                    I typed "The man drinks a coffee" and it was not correct...any idea why? Thx

                    October 2, 2019

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

                    I would also say "The man drinks a cup coffee." I wouldn't even say "The man is drinking a coffee."

                    October 14, 2019
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