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  5. "Der Apfel ist rot; es ist ei…

"Der Apfel ist rot; es ist ein roter Apfel."

Translation:The apple is red; it is a red apple.

December 21, 2012

63 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavkaleva

I still don't get this, when you use rote and roter?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duoderSie

Red is an adjective. so Masculine, Nominative following der is der rote Apfel, following ein is ein roter Apfel. If this doesn't ring any bells, check the grammar tables for adjectives.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helen4Morrissey

So depending on whether the article is definite or indefinite, the adjective changes? That's mental!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amuzulo

I feel your pain. A really good, clear explanation of adjective endings can be found here: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessBread

Link was helpful thanks. ^_^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liz.gc

This was most helpful-- I love the chart showing clearly the choices to make before deciding how to decline the adjective. Thanks so much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fruiticer

It is useful for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AurLav

Thank you! The link was very helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stuart-Patrick

Thank you. Sharing is caring. Ps. The pain is real!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adolfogranados

I am not quite sure that nthuleen's explanations about adjective endings are so clear.I prefer the "Hartmut's version,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duoderSie

Yes, although it is only the ending that changes. German adjective endings are mental, but once you have a good grasp, then the same rules apply for all newly learnt adjectives whereas new vocab keeps on coming and coming,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helen4Morrissey

Thanks for the encouragement!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexht

Only one type of word in the noun phrase gets the strong adjective ending. Indefinite articles don't have the strong endings, so the adjective gets it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helen4Morrissey

Ok thanks for the help!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne____

Mental? Yes, you need to think about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Bells what bells dead silence. Back to the" tables". Thanks for the tip.

Edit I don't know when I wrote this but I do remember being completely in the dark about adjectives. They scared me! Well, while I still make mistakes things have brightened up a lot. It took a great deal of effort and many sites (thanks to fellow learners) and it feels great being able to write better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann390834

But, the sentence uses "rot" not "rote", so what's up with that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duoderSie

When an adjective comes after ist (or any conjugation of sein) etc then its easy for us English speakers because there is no need to add an ending.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/analogkid

Read the sections about strong vs weak inflection of adjectives here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CesarCerdeira

in this case the mixed inflection


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoMoreRomance

Same here this part is confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rikrikman

Apfel is masculine shouldn't it be er ist ein roter apfel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

That's a tough one. If the second sentence directly refers to the apple mentioned in the sentence before it would indeed be "er", like e.g. in "der Apfel ist rot. Er hat eine glänzende Oberfläche".

But here the "it" is probably an "impersonal subject". You are not referring to that apple, but rather to "the thing you see here". In this context "es ist" is the most common way to phrase it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carloxzelaya89

When you have the "sein" verb in the sentece structure, the nominative case takes place, in this case for example: Der Apfel ist rot, es IST ein (verb sein declinate, nominative case follows, now we most declinate the adjetive) ROTER Apfel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mwalek

Wow! Thanks Duo, this is actually a very nice (important) lesson to learn! — no sarcasm intended


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhku722

Why do the 'r's at the end of a word sound silent?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhger72

Why not "einen roter Apfel"? Does the addition of the adjective negate the need for "einen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amuzulo

Note that when the verb "sein" is used, its object is not in the accusative tense, but it's not really acting up that object. This is the only verb I can think of which object does not become accusative. So, you have the sentence, "Es ist ein roter Apfel." but if there was another verb, such as "essen" you would have "Er isst einen roten Apfel."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duoderSie

From my grammar book "The nominative is used after the verbs sein, werden, bleiben, heißen, scheinen and the passive form of nennen"

I like to think of these verbs implying an "equal to" relationship between two nouns and if they are equivalent then it is reasonable that they have the same case.

BTW there are lots of verbs where the object does not become accusative but dative instead, however I'm sure that's not what you were meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stuart-Patrick

Ah! Now that makes sense to me. Danke.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexht

No. The adjective doesn't change the ending of the article. "Ein" doesn't get an ending for the masculine nominative/accusative and so the adjective (when there is one) gets the strong ending. If the article took the strong ending (R for masculine nominative) then the adjective would get the weak ending: "Der rote Apfel".

(If "ein" had an ending, it would be "einer rote Apfel".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eplus17

In the accusative, the masculine singular ending is always "en." E.g. "Ich habe einen kleinen roten Apfel." However, the nominative gets used after "sein" and "heissen." So, it would be "Ich bin ein kleiner alter Mann."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.Matt17

from what I'm seeing, it might also be because of the position. In the second sentence, Roter is directly affecting the apple instead of having an ist in the way. Just a theory.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenisKajdi

So basically, the adjective (rot) in this case takes the ending as it would, for example, word "jede-" take if the sentence would be used in Dative (jeder => roter) It seems to me that German wanted to keep the language for themselves, so they made it so complicated :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pshenoy

I have a question: how does one translate "this red apple is sweet"?

I assumed "dieser" because it's a der word in Masc/Nom, and "rote" because that's teh Masc/Nom/Definite article ending for adjectives. So I'd say "Dieser rote Apfel ist suess".

But google translate says "Diese roten Apfel ist suess" ??? Similarly it translates "This nice orange is round" to "Dieses schoene Orange ist rund". I expected "diese". Is it simply that google translate is broken?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duoderSie

You are right Google Translate is wrong. If there is anything that GT sought to be good at is getting gender and endings right, but it doesn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann390834

Is it "rot" or "rote"? Is that a mistake?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KLTah

no det, nom, mas. m/n/f/pl: er/es/e/e


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olivebean15

from my understanding when a color is referring to an object the ending of said color depends on gender/case of the object? Is this correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

If the adjective is used as an attribute, i.e. standing in front of the noun, you are correct. Its form depends on gender, case and number, but also on the so-called definiteness (different forms after indefinite or definite articles).
But if the adjective is in the predicative position (after a form of "to be" or similar verbs), it is always in its basic form. e.g.
"Der rote Apfel" (masculine nominative singular definite), "ein roter Apfel" (masculine nominative singular indefinite), "den roten Apfel" (masculine accusative singular definite) ...
but: "der Apfel ist rot", "die Birne ist rot", "das Haus ist rot" ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KwanLowe

I'm having a tougher time with adjectives than I would have imagined. Just trying to validate my understanding with this simpler sentence:

"Der Apfel ist rot."

(Der Apfel) is nominative

(ist) - er/sie/es verb form

(rot) - Used as a descriptive adjective (after the noun), so has no ending.

"Es ist ein roter Apfel."

(Es) - nominative pronoun

(ist) - er/sie/es verb form

(ein roter Apfel) - Because the verb 'sein' is used, the phrase takes the nominative in this case. In some cases (e.g. with adverbials with sense of time), the object would take the accusative. (The Internet disagrees somewhat on these statements, saying that the sein rule (math joke!) has too many exceptions to be valid.)

((ein)) - Article for nominative case. Because it is using 'sein', 'einen' is not used.

((roter)) - Referring to a chart of endings, I am using an indefinite article, so the adjective ending is 'er'.

((Apfel)) - Masculine noun in nominative case because of 'sein'.

Is my understanding correct?

References:

https://www.learn-german-smarter.com/learn-german-adjective-endings/

http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

Yes, you are right. And I don't think what you call the "sein"-rule has any exception. In sentences like "X is Y" is not an object at all, but a so-called predicative complement, be it an adjective or a noun phrase). And a predicative complement is always in nominative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KwanLowe

Thanks so much! That simplifies things for me. Rounding this out, I have:

"Ich bin mit dem roten Apfel."

(mit dem roten Apfel) - genitive, definite article, masculine so I use -en for the adjective. The article is genitive so "dem" is used.

"Ich esse den roten Apfel."

(den roten Apfel) - accusative, definite article, masculine so I also use -en ending.

It's getting clearer now and I can, if not intuitively know the correct form of the word, at least am able to look it up until I memorize the tables. Luckily it's just a few items.. :D

Thanks again for the reply.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

Apart from the fact that I can't imagine someone saying "Ich bin mit dem roten Apfel" (like no one would say "I am with the red apple") it is not genitive, but dative here. "mit" always takes dative. But the forms you used are correct.

Genitive would be e.g. "Ich esse die Hälfte des roten Apfels".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KwanLowe

Dang, my mistake.. thank you for the correction. The sentence was strained but I couldn't think of anything at the the moment. I'll adjust my chart.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonFerns96

Shouldn't it be "er ist ein roter apfel" since apple is masculine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

If you refer to "der Apfel" it would indeed be "er", such as in "Er ist rot" ("er" = "der Apfel"). But here the "it" is only the impersonal subject of the sentence like in "das ist ...".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduQ
  • 305

Thanks. But why is it wrong if in the second sentence you write "er ist"? Thanks in advance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fehrerdef
Mod
  • 351

In "Er ist rot" the "er" directly refers to the apple. ("It is red" in English).
But in "It is a red apple" the "it" refers to something which (later) turns out to be an apple. This is a so-called impersonal subject. And this does not match the gender of what will follow later. So it is "Es ist ein roter Apfel" in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thrym

As the second part of this sentence is also a sentence on its own, isn't the second use of "Apfel" in the accusative ("es" is the nominative)? That would make it "Der Apfel ist rot; es ist ein roten Apfel"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No -- "to be" is not a transitive verb that takes a direct object in the accusative case.

"to be" links a subject to a predicate that talks about that subject; and in German (and traditionally in English), the predicate is in the nominative case.

If it helps, you can think of it as "red apple" and "it" referring to exactly the same thing, so they are in the same case -- both nominative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/onceuponatime23

If a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea (such as happy or red), why aren't colors capitalized in German? Are ideas not considered nouns?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarlzF

Happy and red are not nouns. They would be used to describe nouns (they are adjectives).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduQ
  • 305

red pinaple; apple red


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George440392

Man, English is simpler than I thought


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShadyAssassin

Hmm, yes, the floor here is made out of floor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alrirui

Apfel is "er", not "es".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

"When it is used with the verb sein and a predicative nominative, es can refer to singular and plural nouns of all three genders. The verb agrees with the predicative, not with es"

http://canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/InflectionRules/FRegeln-P/Pron-es.html?lang=en


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

True, “es” is acceptable here, and for the sentence “Es ist ein roter Apfel” in isolation, where it refers to an as-yet unnamed object, it would be the only acceptable pronoun. But when referring to the apple immediately after the object has been named and assigned a gender in “Der Apfel ist rot”, it would be more common to say “Er ist ein roter Apfel”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RAMOSRAUL

There is another question with the same sentence that caused also some of us to be confused... you should link the posts


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apsen

This is all well and good, but DuoLingo does so much of this, that is, throwing in a new concept without any explanation.

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