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  5. The apple is red; it is a red…


The apple is red; it is a red apple.

the choices are; 1-Der Apfel ist rot; es ist ein roter Apfel. 2-Der Apfel ist rot; er ist ein roter Apfel. 3-Der Äpfel ist rot; es ist ein roter Äpfel.

i chose the number one as the correct answer but duolingo tells me both 1 and 2 are correct. er means he, right? am i really wrong?

pls check this; http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/1451/duolingowrong.jpg

December 21, 2012


  • I think both is grammatically right but only grammatically ; the sample with the noun "Apfel" makes no sense ; I guess - this sample was made by a computer program
  • the following examples sounds pretty good
  • ( in einer Science-Fiction-Story ) es ist ein guter Roboter ( von dem die Rede ist )
  • ( dieselbe Story ; jemand behauptet "Marvin ( Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ) ist ein böser Roboter" ) daraufhin stellt jemand richtig und sagt: "Nein, er ist ein guter Roboter" )
  • a rule to use ( "es" or "er" ) ( "es" or "sie" ) can be
  • use "es", if it is a more common statement
  • use "er" or "sie", if it is more special or if you can give a name to "the noun"
  • last but not least ... in the german tv "kika" ( Kinderkanal ) there is a film called "roary der rennwagen"
  • http://www.fernsehserien.de/roary-der-rennwagen
  • here you can say:
  • "roary ; es ist ein roter Rennwagen" und ...
  • "roary ; er ist ein roter Rennwagen"


@dieta now it makes sense to me. vielen dank! :o)


Since Apfel is a masculine noun, could it be that Er and Es both work then? One just says 'it', whereas the other specifies the gender of the noun. Just a thought:)


I learned this way back school, but now even I've forgotten it and gotten myself confused.... Whether pronouns should agree with actual gender (male,female,inanimate ) of the object or the grammatical gender.. Similar example is for Das Mädchen....

p.s. Third is incorrect, as Äpfel is pl. Apples.


It seems that both are acceptable (it or he)? Its best to consult a grammar book or credible on-line resource to be sure.


Der Apfel is masculin so you can always refer to it by a musculin pronoun just like in french ans spanish. The formulation "Es ist" can mean "It is" where "it" doesnt refer direcly to the apple. Just like we can say "What is it? It's a man" and not "he is a man". Gramatically, Er ist ein roter apfel is right as "he is a black guy"

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