1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Wir lesen das Buch."

"Wir lesen das Buch."

Translation:We are reading the book.

July 8, 2013



I am having difficulty hearing the first german word correctly when the translator speaks. Not just this time but usually.....are others having the same problem?

July 19, 2013


I think you need to concentrate a little. I am not having any problem listening the first German word.

July 21, 2013


I also had a hard time, the verb indicated it should be "Wir" or "Sie" and "Wir" was the closest -- so I got it right. But the sound I heard was closer to "Ihr" than to "Wir"

August 12, 2013


Ihr would not be followed by "lessen". Only wir and sie :)

September 30, 2014


Many sounds are softer than their English equivalents. When I was in Germany I had a problem hearing the difference between Schüssel (bowl) and Schlüssel (key) for a while. There are a couple I still have problems with (staat vs stadt and nacht vs nakt) The latter you might hear better as that hard ch sound may exist in your native language. It doesn't in English, so I hear it as a variation of the k sound.

January 16, 2016


The "w" is supposed to sound more like a "V"

February 7, 2014


Yeah it doesn't sound like she really enunciates the "w" so it could be ihr or something.

October 30, 2013


Try using a different browser, or computer if you can, and check the quality of the sound with Duolingo. I was having difficulty until I switched to another computer.

August 27, 2013


Yup, it goes all fuzzy.

September 19, 2013


I am hearing the first word without any problems

October 24, 2014


i am.this is hard. i mean HARD

November 21, 2016


Yes and that leaves me wondering if you're supposed to speak that fast and if that's how it sounds spoken quickly.

March 9, 2019


I hate to tell you, but German is spoken just like that and is not considered to be a language that is spoke quickly. It really is somewhat slower than English and substantially slower than something like Spanish, although the study I read about fast spoken languages said that although the it was the second fastest studied after Chinese, it didn't have more information passed in the time period. I assumed that was because Spanish words tend to have more syllables, which may be another reason German seems slow to me. But with all languages you just practice listening and then one day it just begins to fall in place.

March 9, 2019


It is certainly good to know that German is not spoken quickly. My understanding is Germans really accentuate word endings. I guess Duolingo just goes fast. When given the choice I listen to the slower version. The only problem is the slower version sounds like the language Bot is drunk! When I listen to the slower version, I can picture the words in my mind easily.

March 9, 2019


Well Duolingo doesn't really speak any faster than normal speech, But listening slow is good practice. But long before you think you are ready for it, try to watch a show or a movie in German. If you get Netflix, any Netflix original will have German and many other languages. If you choose something you have watched in English, and keep listening in German, that flow of sound will both help you to understand and teach you alot about HOW the flow goes.

March 9, 2019


Well I guess I'm like other people using Duolingo who have commented they can not hear the first word clearly spoken by the Bot. I don't hear the first word spoken clearly especially Ich.

March 9, 2019


Why is it not "den Buch"

January 22, 2019


In this case, is "das" the accusative "das"?

July 16, 2014



August 27, 2014


Could it be demonstrative pronoun??

December 29, 2014


We read the book works too. Is that right?

February 14, 2018


Yes Présent tense German translates to either present tense English or present progressive. German does not have progressive tenses. But even many languages which do have a present progressive don't use it as extensively as we do, so that is actually most often the case.

February 14, 2018


Is "the book" accusative in this case?

October 27, 2013


yes it is N das Buch / G des Buches / D dem Buch / A das Buch

October 30, 2013


That book? Das Buch should be translated as "a book" not "that book" help please?

July 16, 2014


"A book" is Ein Buch. The book, or that book is das, or the indefinite pronoun.

August 27, 2014


I think what the OP is getting at is that in English the phrase "We are reading the book" would never be heard. The question is asking for a literal translation, which is cool, but speaking English we would say "We are reading a book". It's a good question to point out the differences in structure of the two languages.

October 9, 2019


People have such limited imaginations. Of course if we are just talking about what we are doing,we are likely to just say "a" book. But if someone was talking about a particular book or wanted to borrow it you might well say We are reading that book. Believe me, sentences that would actually never be said in English by native speakers are much weirder than this. And this ISN'T a difference between German and English. Germans would also most likely say ein Buch unless referring to a specific book under discussion.

October 9, 2019


a book is wrong.. Why??

September 27, 2015


I also typed we are reading a book. I assume I'm wrong, and that we are reading the book is correct. But I don't see why yet. It's still early in the class.

October 24, 2015


What about: We Are reading this book. ??

July 31, 2016


We are reading is always a possible translation for the German present tense.

July 31, 2016


Ya I got it : ) , and What about this instead of the ?

July 31, 2016


Das can be the or that, but dieses Buch is the correct form for this book.

July 31, 2016


Thanks : )..

August 1, 2016


Why sometimes "Buch" comes with "der" if it's neutral?

July 31, 2018


Why its das not die?the are using die newspaper but for book das?

August 26, 2018


There is no way to determine gender based on the type of thing you are talking about. Zeitung is feminine because it ends in ung. There are even cases of synonyms with different genders. The only way to predict gender really is based on endings (-ung feminine, - chen neuter, etc) Also if you know the word is borrowed from another language it will likely be neuter. Of course the issue there is when the word was borrowed. Older borrowed words like Koffee can be a different gender (der Koffee). Here is a link that provides some information on predicting gender.


If you memorize the ending rules then you only have to memorize the exceptions individually, but essentially you have to just memorize the gender when you learn the word.

August 26, 2018


Ahh, the Good Book

October 6, 2018


That is a slight disadvantage to capitalizing all nouns. In English if you Capitalize Book or God or President it has a special meaning. But Das Buch can be anything from Dick, Jane and Sally (if you are old enough to know what those books are), The Joy of Cooking, the Bible or anything else.

October 7, 2018


If you have background noises it messes it up

February 5, 2019


Yes. Personally I don't use the speaking exercises. They frequently mess up, sometimes reject my good answer, but even worse, they often accept it when I know I misspoke or stumbled too much.

February 5, 2019


"We read the book" is also correct! But the checker marks it as wrong!

February 19, 2019


Report it. Always remember that all accepted answers must be manually entered for each question. This means that occasionally a basic, obvious one will be missed. That is especially true with very simple questions where no one is really thinking that multiple transactions will be required.

February 19, 2019


I'm not english and i have a huge problem cause sometimes i make a typo or forget about the or other short word i don't have in my language and the program takes it as my lack of knowledge about german (hope this comment is written correctly)

July 24, 2019


How do i know when to use das instead of ein?

August 9, 2019


Das, der and die are the nominative forms that translate as the. Ein and eine are the nominative forms of a or one. Ein is both masculine and neuter.

August 9, 2019


Why not LIESEN?

October 4, 2013


"liesen" is not a German word. "lesen" has the following forms: ich lese, du liest, er/sie/es liest, wir lesen, ihr lest, sie lesen

October 22, 2013


The word"w"in German is sound like"v"in English and "v"in German is sound like "f"in English

July 12, 2014


why not Wir lese das Buch

July 30, 2015


Ich lesE; Du lieST; Er, sie, es LiesT; Wir lesEN; Ihr lesT; Sie lesEN;

September 14, 2015


Why cant it be we read the books?? I have poor grammar thats probably why it nakes sense to me

February 19, 2016


In German you need both the plural definite article (like the) and the plural form of the noun. The plural definite article in German is always "die" regardless of the gender of the noun. The plural of Buch is Bücher. So you have Das Buch- the book Die Bücher - the books

Nouns have several ways of forming plurals so you have to learn them along with the noun, especially at first.

February 19, 2016


Is it- We read the book or We are reading the book? I typed the former one and it showed it to be correct.

March 6, 2016


It is either/both. German has no progressive tense so it uses the present tense. English uses progressive tenses almost exclusively for active verbs for present action. I say active verbs because verbs like think, feel, and know are commonly used in the present. But with verbs like work, walk, and read we generally use the progressive. If you are on your way to work and somebody asks how you are getting to work you would say I am walking I am driving or I am taking the bus. But if you are asked how you routinely get to work you would say I walk I drive or I take the bus. This common use of the progressive is unusual even in languages which do have progressive forms like Spanish. English underuses the simple present so most of the time you see the present progressive you would translate to the present. Of course the past tense of the English verb to read is spelled the same although pronounced differently, but I didn't think that was your question.

March 6, 2016


Thank you for the clarification. So I cannot tell a person that we have not finished reading the book by saying Wir lesen das Buch and if a person replies by saying this than what should understand regarding if he has finished or not.

March 7, 2016


No. You misunderstood. The languages that do not have a progressive tense give a progressive meaning to the present tense. Wir lesen das book might be understood as either but the context will make it clear. Telling what you are doing now is much more common than making statements about routine actions, so mostly the correct meaning will be We are reading the book. Even in Spanish which as I said does have progressive tenses only uses them to emphasize that the action is ongoing. Normally you use the present in Spanish for the English present progressive.

March 7, 2016
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.