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

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

December 21, 2012



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

March 25, 2013


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.

April 4, 2013


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

April 27, 2013


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

June 8, 2013


Link was helpful thanks. ^_^

September 19, 2013


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

September 26, 2016



January 16, 2014


It is useful for me.

May 1, 2014


Thank you! The link was very helpful.

January 21, 2018


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

November 14, 2013


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,

April 28, 2013


Thanks for the encouragement!

April 28, 2013


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.

April 28, 2013


Ok thanks for the help!

April 28, 2013


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.

June 28, 2013



May 1, 2014


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

March 4, 2016


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.

March 10, 2016


Read the sections about strong vs weak inflection of adjectives here


June 7, 2013


in this case the mixed inflection

June 13, 2013


german is SO high maintenance.....

June 23, 2017


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

June 16, 2017


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

November 11, 2014


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

June 26, 2013


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."

June 27, 2013


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.

June 27, 2013


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".)

June 27, 2013


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."

December 7, 2013


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.

July 12, 2013


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 :)

January 6, 2014


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?

April 11, 2015


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.

April 11, 2015


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

March 4, 2016


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"?

November 20, 2017


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.

November 21, 2017


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?

January 13, 2018


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

May 22, 2018


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

September 17, 2018


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?

January 10, 2019

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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" ...

February 11, 2019


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

September 13, 2013


Apfel is "er", not "es".

December 21, 2012


"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"


December 21, 2012


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”.

May 14, 2013


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

January 2, 2013
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