"Eine Ente ist ein Vogel."

Translation:A duck is a bird.

December 15, 2012

112 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lAmAFish

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Daeral

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

December 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/jahudam

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

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

January 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianePao

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

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianePao

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

May 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

https://www.duolingo.com/leoam

But if both are feminine? "Eine Ente isst eine Katze" or "Eine Katze isst eine Ente", it seems like this particular case isn't flexible, they don't change anything from nominative to acusative...

May 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

That is correct. I think the rule of thumb here is: if you can tell the subject from the object using the case (nominative, etc.), use that; otherwise, use word order or context.

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jahudam

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

January 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JupiterAdept

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

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ohnopandaho

that's why i like german. :)

April 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JupiterAdept

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

https://www.duolingo.com/alex.m.s.evans

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

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Entisis

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

April 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/myminifarm

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

June 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JackTLG

Lol

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/deb_chan

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

https://www.duolingo.com/BakusPrzemyslawa

me too

August 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alemanista

But then you should have "ein Vogel" in acc., not in nom. "Eine Ente isst EINER Vogel". Good luck!

January 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

It should be "einen Vogel". You use "einer" with feminine nouns in the dative case.

January 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JackTLG

einer? I have never heard about this so far :O

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zezhyrule

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

https://www.duolingo.com/m_sabina_kytra

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

January 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

https://www.duolingo.com/fst0pped

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

June 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Duomail

Duolingo calls this case predicative nominative within "Tips"

http://duolingo.com/#/skill/de/Nominative-Case

March 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ZakTheGuy

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

September 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiijimmy

it's ist, not isst.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Nimav

lol

October 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alex.m.s.evans

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

https://www.duolingo.com/AlbertMartin1

The duck is a bird not the duck eats the bird

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FenderFalcon

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

December 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/pariah1947

lulz

December 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/kbrukl

i accidentally put the duck is a bird

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick849244

Why one and not a

July 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlvinLarss

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

https://www.duolingo.com/RallucaPopa

Wow, Duolingo. Wise words

July 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreax2004

the sense?

August 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkadios200

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

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Federico618627

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

March 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Minervas37

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

https://www.duolingo.com/wachhu

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

March 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AgenTsi

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

https://www.duolingo.com/kirstthethirst

What is the difference in pronunciation in isst and ist?

June 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/littletinyfish

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

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunnoHC

By the way, it's not correct I think the pronunciation of isst is /ist/ and ist more like /izt/. Also, perhaps the first one (ss) is a little longer than the second (s)

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tim5602

Both are pronounced the same. :)

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/S.Boots

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

June 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianJosh

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

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PhilipAlex4

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

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PETEJOZ

Why not "the duck is a bird?"

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/littletinyfish

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

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PakPolyGlot

"Vogel" is one of my favorite German words.. Löwen being the first.

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ekanselttar

what the duck

January 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MadelineMcLean

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

January 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Fei268113

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

https://www.duolingo.com/andrecunha

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

https://www.duolingo.com/KxngDeo.

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

June 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/littletinyfish

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

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/amble2lingo

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!
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40445379

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HeathLinds

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Hamun1

Is every word that ends in "e" (not "ee") feminine?

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/littletinyfish

This is true is most cases, but not ALL cases. Der Junge being one of them.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/amarjeetkhera

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

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtDuo

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

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunnoHC

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

October 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kamal151328

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

October 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jackson890091

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

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nathaniel460875

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

November 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunnoHC

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

November 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GlauberRib7

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

https://www.duolingo.com/AlvinLarss

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Kara594416

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

https://www.duolingo.com/Steve575091

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

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunnoHC

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

https://www.duolingo.com/laura561455

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

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AlvinLarss

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

https://www.duolingo.com/theguy07

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

April 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ShirishKir

Does vogel sounds like fu-gull.?

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel684476

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

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Minervas37

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

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/rekuar

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

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkDickie1

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

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Constancia120332

A Duck is a bird is a correct sentence

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/geo_torno9

Said after someone suggests classifying the duck as a reptile.

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/panossk1

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

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Minervas37

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

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/La-la-Land2

oh?Duolingo have comments now?lol nice

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lesley658236

I put

April 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Landjager

When a picked Die Ente for bird in the last question they say I'm wrong. Then make me translate the phrase "A duck is a bird". Ahhhhh.

March 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg

Reminded me off Turducken.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turducken

May 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Filip405164

I have misspelled "A fu*k is a a bird" and guess what. Correct! O.o

August 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmritaAnan2

Join my club KNQDAX but only for girls

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AmritaAnan2

Join my club KNQDAX ( Only for girls)

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Heather505663

Hi

January 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/countrylife4me

I don't get the = thing at all?!

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/belugabandit

Eine Ente ist ein Vogel = A duck is a bird

Eine Einte isst ein Vogel = A bird is eating a duck

Ein Vogel isst eine Ente = A bird is eating a duck

Eine Ente isst einen Vogel = A duck is eating a bird

Einen Vogel isst eine Ente = A duck is eating a bird

German is great.

May 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Eliasrivas09

Shouldn't we say "frisst" instead of "isst"?

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/metaldust

No, it isn't.

August 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nicholasst392111

This was a little bit hard

September 27, 2015

[deactivated user]

    I put "enta" instead of "ente" is that legit? it was correct too!

    October 3, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/osama.shal

    Actually whatever i say in the "speaking " sentence it is always correct ..if u say "eine katze ist ein Haustier " it will be correct

    March 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mogeroo

    I wrote 'A F!@# is a bird.'

    November 17, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rozandgild

    Ducks is not birds, ducks is just ducks with wings!

    May 4, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/ayna900265

    I'm confusing!! Hahaha

    May 9, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      It's a bird? Wow. NICE OBSERVATION!!!!!one!!111!

      May 27, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/erick.cham

      DAT Prank!

      October 16, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Legostrike3

      They had me pick the correct translation, and they had 'A duck is a bird' and 'A duck is an bird', so i picked both. they may not be grammatically correct in English, but they mean the same thing.

      not cool Duolingo.

      April 15, 2013
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