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!
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".
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).
How strange that no-one has yet mentioned the woman's pronunciation of 'Vogel'. I've listened to it slowly several times - it still sounds like she's saying 'Vollmer', or something like that. I was wondering why Duolingo would suddenly insert a new, unfamiliar word. By contrast, the man speaking the same sentence clearly says 'Vogel'.
Is it possible for Duolingo to actually publish a dictionary / word list with nouns that include gender? I keep getting questions wrong because it is the first time I am hearing or seeing a noun and its gender has not been introduced. Serious failing of Duolingo is the lack of a dictionary that includes gender articles
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.
You have to be really careful to write "Ente" instead of "Schwanz"...
The verb "to be", in all languages, never has an object: The duck does actually nothing to the bird, it is the same as the bird.
"Ein Vogel" is a predicate of the subject, and as such, is in nominative, not accusative; so masculine singular accusative indefinite article is "ein".
Similar verbs are "werden" (become), "bleiben" (remain)…
The grammatical gender has really not much to do with the thing; only with the word.
The word "Vogel" is masculine, so it is "der Vogel", whether it is a female or male bird.
On the other hand, the word "Ente" is feminine, whether it is a male or female duck.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.