Tiere: essen oder fressen?
I remember learning at school that the verb 'fressen' is used when talking about animals eating, not 'essen'. That's obviously not true, as 'essen' is used in these lessons.
I thought the same thing too but after some research it appears that you should really use "fressen" when referring to animals eating but you may use "essen" if they are particularly cute animals or eating very delicately (ie. a kitten). This thread was really helpful. http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1255927
I'm enjoying duolingo but there are a few things that are not quite right if you have prior knowledge of German / know slang German.
I think "fressen" is closer to our word for "feeding." As in, the cat is feeding on some dead thing.
My Oma made fun of me when I said "essen" in reference to a dog. So use it at your own risk with animals.
It seems your Grandma was an educated German speaker. Some others are not.
All beeings eat. Germans transferred eating, "essen", to be the eating with fork, knife, spoon. To seperate that "dining" from the raw act of eating, they added "fr" to "essen" for all animals.
"Fressen" is also used if someone's eating like an animal or very hungry.
That's not the proper etymology. The root of this word existed in Germanic languages mother of the German too.
They didn't add anything to «essen», that's a separate root, with a different meaning. https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/german-fressen.3290846/
No, you are right. If you say "ein Mensch frisst" it is meant as an isult (p.e. for bad table manners) and animals do normally "fressen" although "essen" may also be used for animals. The lessons are a bit loose at times...
Halt die Fresse for example is an insult, the same than "halts maul", it's like shut up. In spanish it would be like "el animal está hartando" or "cerra el ocico".
No, that's not true, it's an insult only when applied to humans. For animal, it's the normal verb. It's only like «el animal está comiendo».
Fressen is 'eating like a pig' (wel at least it is in Dutch, so I supose it means something like that in German too)