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  5. "Eine Ente ist ein Vogel."

"Eine Ente ist ein Vogel."

Translation:A duck is a bird.

December 15, 2012



I had the opposite problem: I misspelled it as "isst" instead of "ist" and it accepted it without even saying I had a typo.

December 22, 2012


Same here. Maybe because it is still correct and indistinguishable from 'isst'?

December 27, 2012


Correct, "Eine Ente isst ein Vogel" is grammatically correct, and you can't hear the difference.

edit: this is incorrect, read below

January 1, 2013


Shouldn't it be "Eine Ente isst einen Vogel", since Vogel is masculine and is in the accusative case?

January 1, 2013


I didn't think about this possibility! You are right: if the bird is eating the duck, then Vogel is the nominative object (the subject) and Ente is the accusative object (the direct object); in this case, "Eine Ente isst ein Vogel." means the same thing as "Ein Vogel isst eine Ente.". (I checked this with a German teacher to be sure).

I forgot that, in German, the terms in the sentence can be reordered in such manner (ironically, in Portuguese, my native language, this is also possible). Thank you for having observed that!

January 8, 2013


Tatiane, German is more flexible than Portuguese when it comes to ordering the terms in the sentence. This happens because of its declination system, which marks the syntactic function of a noun independently of where it is placed in the sentence structure.

We can reorder terms in Portuguese sentences as well, but we rely greatly on semantic features, rather than syntactic ones, to maintain the meaning and avoid ambiguities. For example, you can change "O poeta escrevia um doce verso" into "Um doce verso escrevia o poeta", but you can't invert "A menina beijou o menino" into "O menino beijou a menina" without changing the meaning.

This happens because we don't change the articles ("o", "a", "os", "as") according to the role the following noun plays in the sentence. However, German does that, which allows us to make inversions that are impossible to be made in Portuguese without altering the meaning.

In this case, if you want to say "Um pássaro come um pato", "pássaro" is the nominative object and you should use "ein", while "pato" is the accusative object, and you should use "eine". In this case, the final German sentence can be either "Ein Vogel isst eine Ente" or "Eine Ente isst ein Vogel" and, because of the declinations, both sentences mean the same thing.

On the other hand, if you want to say "Um pato come um pássaro", than "pato" (the nominative object now) should be preceded by "eine" and "pássaro" (the accusative object now) should be preceded by "einen". Again, the final sentence can be either "Eine Ente isst einen Vogel" or "Einen Vogel isst eine Ente".

May 25, 2014


Hi Andre, sorry but I'm still confusing. Translating to Portuguese we have: Um pato come um pássaro. It's not the same that Um pássaro come um pato. Why in this case it's not required put EINEN Vogel?

May 25, 2014


Muito Obrigada Andre! Muito esclarecedor. Now I understood!!!

May 27, 2014


Just a clarification: you can rely on syntactic features for disambiguation as well. This happens, for example, when the subject is singular and the object is plural (or vice-versa). However, this is not the case here.

May 25, 2014


Crap you're right. it would be "isst einen Vogel," so it shouldn't have accepted IAmAFish's answer..

January 2, 2013


Cool, thanks for checking! German can be like a puzzle sometimes :)

January 8, 2013


that's why i like german. :)

April 27, 2013


But if the bird is eating the duck, then it's correct, isn't it? "Eine Ente" is the correct accusative case.

January 8, 2013


Wait wait no because when animals eat something you use frisst instead of isst (probably because of this confusion)

July 26, 2017


That happened to me also. I thought, "A duck is eating a bird?!" What an odd sentence, lol.

April 12, 2014


Yes, I did too. I was thinking "Duolingo animals are ALWAYS eating each other"!

June 11, 2016



August 5, 2018


I know, right? The voice is true-ly talking about "The duck is a bird." hahaha. But also thanks to everyone explaining: acc and nom. Now I know that the object could be written first than the subject. :)

July 18, 2014


I just got the sentence "Eine Ente ist ein Vogel" about 6 times in a row! I have come to the conclusion that a duck is in fact a bird.

October 18, 2013


Why is Vogel not in the accusative? Shouldn't it be einen?

January 8, 2013


Because when you use the verb sein, what follows it is in the nominative case. This is because sein is a linking verb, not an active verb (I don't know the proper German terms, but this is the idea). In this case, Vogel is a predicate noun (http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases_nominative.htm).

January 8, 2013


Thank you for that link! It makes sense now. I like the idea of replacing with an '=' sign to test.

June 13, 2013


Duolingo calls this case predicative nominative within "Tips"


March 6, 2013


I'm sorry, but this is slightly irrelevant, but ducks eat birds? Just wondering.

September 26, 2013


it's ist, not isst.

August 20, 2014



October 23, 2013


When it has something to do with animals eating something you use the verb frisst instead of isst (probably because of this haha)

July 26, 2017


The duck is a bird not the duck eats the bird

November 5, 2015


what the duck

January 3, 2016


Wow, Duolingo. Wise words

July 14, 2016


You have to be really careful to write "Ente" instead of "Schwanz"...

April 10, 2018


i left the capital letter off the front of 'Eine' and it failed me

December 15, 2012


This is the only time i have to really use the word duck. XD

May 26, 2014


i accidentally put the duck is a bird

August 24, 2015


the sense?

August 17, 2016


For a moment i read isst instead of ist... That startled me

March 26, 2019


I want to know "der Vogel" why not use "einen"?

March 10, 2013


To quote andrecunha, "when you use the verb sein, what follows it is in the nominative case. This is because sein is a linking verb, not an active verb."

July 24, 2013


What is the difference in pronunciation in isst and ist?

June 23, 2013


There is none, but as you advance your knowledge of the language you can figure out whether they're saying "isst" or "ist" via context clues (see above).

July 19, 2013


Was a little amazed when I heard that duck is eating a bird

June 26, 2013


Has anybody heard about the word that bird is the word?

October 22, 2015


Why not "the duck is a bird?"

November 7, 2015


"Eine" means "A" not "The."

January 13, 2017


I typed it correctly and then it tried to correct me with exactly what I typed...

January 15, 2016


Please... Help me. I started to learn my favourite language :german.. But It's one of my first lessons and i m already confused. In which case we use ein and eine.?

May 6, 2016


That has to do with word gender: Ente is a feminine noun, so you use "eine"; Vogel is a masculine noun, so you use "ein". This might be confusing for English speakers since English words (usually) don't have an associated gender, but words do have gender in many other languages.

May 6, 2016


What if in real life you wanted to actually say the duck eats a bird? :P

June 19, 2016


You would use "einen" instead of "ein."

January 13, 2017


And "frisst" instead of "isst." "Eine Ente frisst einen Vogel." I always thought that ducks were primarily vegetarian, occasionally eating insects. And that diving ducks eat small fish and crustaceans. But, the BBC has recently documented ducks attacking and eating small birds!

December 8, 2017


The english translation would never be used, "one duck is a bird". It is assumed that all ducks are birds, therefore no need for specifying that "one" duck is a bird.

June 30, 2016


Why one and not a

July 14, 2016


Although 'ein' can mean one, it's not a correct translation in this case.

"One duck is a bird" would imply that only one special duck is a bird, whilst "A duck is a bird" would imply that all ducks are birds.

June 3, 2017


As to a question above, we cant write Ein Ente ist einen Vogel (to make it accusative case). It is because the sentence is about the same duck. There are no 2 separate objects to name one as direct and the other as indirect object. The context is about the same one duck. Native speakers can correct me.

September 6, 2016


Wait a minute! This sentence is translated as, "A duck is a bird." There is no "isst" in the sentence. The correct word is "ist." A duck is a bird. It is not eating a bird. I am not sure that the sentence is true, but that is what it says. It is "ein Vogel" and not "einen Vogel" because with the verb "to be" it is always a predicate in the nominative case.

September 25, 2016


Respectively, 'and' and 'fugl' in Danish!

October 11, 2016


One duck is a bird doesn't seems to be correct English statement.

October 20, 2016


It didn't let me learn the new animal names in German :(

October 24, 2016


Told me One duck is a bird. Just one, no other apparently.

November 15, 2016


In German, as in many languages, there is only one word for a and one. (Sorry if it was a joke...)

November 15, 2016


Someone would tell me why "Eine Ente" and "ein Vogel"? I don't undertand the rules for the article "A/An" in German.

December 18, 2016


It has to do with the gender of the word. If the word is feminine (IE has a die article) it becomes eine, if it's masculine or neuter (der or das) it becomes ein.

Note that the above only holds true if it's in the nominative case, and that the articles start to change in the other cases.

June 3, 2017


I was confused to ,and I was not able to understand why it's not " eine Ente ist einen Vogel" instead of " Eine Ente ist ein Vogel".....i was pretty sure that Vogel it's masculine. After a half hour of searching ,i find the grammar rule that says: Predicate nominatives are nouns, following the werbs SEIN,WERDEN,Heißen,and occasionally BLEIBEN. In our case ein Vogel its the predicate nominative. That actually means that the both sides of the sentence will have the nominative case.EXAMPLES: Ich (nom) bin ein(nom)Mann. Ein(nom) essen

July 9, 2017


Im confused. Eine means "a". But i got marked wrong for putting "a". They say it should mean "one" but "one" in German is "Eines" correct?

December 24, 2016


No. "A" and "one" are the same in German, as they are in the Italic Languages. This sentence is translated to: "a duck is a bird"

December 24, 2016


I thought that "eine" meant "an" and "ein" "a". Can someone please help?

March 31, 2017


No, the distinction between "a" and "an" has nothing to do with "eine" and "ein". "a" and "an" simply differs on if the word begins with a vowel sound, while the German "ein" and "eine" depend on the gender of the noun. If the gender is feminine (die) it becomes "eine", if it's masculine or neuter (der or das) it becomes "ein".

Note that this is only in the nominative case. In the other cases you start to get things like einen, einem and einer.

June 3, 2017


i thought it translated to a duck EATS a bird LOL!

April 1, 2017


Does vogel sounds like fu-gull.?

July 20, 2017


I thought vogel meant crow in deutsch, I guess I was wrong...

July 20, 2017


"A crow" ist "eine Krähe" auf deutsch.

May 5, 2019


Here it says that the translation is ''A duck is a bird''. I wrote that and Duo corrected me that the correct translation is ''One duck is a bird''.

What is correct? Thanks for the answer.

November 2, 2017


Good question. Had to figure it out without knowing the meaning of the words. More like this please.

February 8, 2018


A Duck is a bird is a correct sentence

April 3, 2018


Said after someone suggests classifying the duck as a reptile.

July 24, 2018


Every time I think Ente is a dog or something because of the pokemon Entei.

October 7, 2018


Hm... It's a pity that "Enton" is called "psyduck" in english otherwise it would be a good donkey bridge.

May 5, 2019


oh?Duolingo have comments now?lol nice

March 3, 2019


I put

April 30, 2019


This was a type-what-you-heard exercise for me. I typed Eine Ente isst einen Vogel and got it wrong. (?!) I did not notice the lack of a pronounced n, it was timed practice, and I was going fast. In the explanation, it showed the "correct" sentence as "Eine Ente isst ein Vogel." I reported it (6/16/19). Please correct that!

June 16, 2019


I did not notice the lack of a pronounced n

Well, maybe you will notice it next time. ;)

But since "Eine Ente isst ein Vogel." is not a valid German sentence, that suggested 'solution' should be removed.

June 17, 2019


the audio for 'vogel' sounds like 'fogna'. can we get somebody to review?

August 12, 2019


Well, I listened to the male voice and it's pronounciation of "Vogel" is correct, so do you talk about the female voice?

August 13, 2019


Why isn't it einen Vogel?

October 6, 2019


Because you have to use nominative here.

Scroll down this page until you see the headline "Wann steht ein Nomen oder Pronomen im Nominativ?". There you'll find the 5 different constellations in which the nominative is used. The given sentence uses the 3rd constellation: Als Prädikativ zum Subjekt.

October 6, 2019
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