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  5. "The apple is red; it is a re…

"The apple is red; it is a red apple."

Translation:Der Apfel ist rot; es ist ein roter Apfel.

December 25, 2012



Why is it rotER? Isn't it Nominative?


It's "der Apfel" and since rot is an adjective, in this case you append "er" to "rot" and you get "roter". We haven't learnt this yet, and I'm wondering when they'll add this lesson. Learning the rules first is IMHO better than just learning several variations of rot (eg. rote, roter, rot, etc).


It is in the tips that you should read before commencing the lesson. Perhaps it wasn't there when this comment was written six years ago.


Yes,it is in the tips, but not all! The tips are speaking about the mixed and weak inflection, not the strong one! At least ,it contains info. about the lesson. Maybe that happens in order to have an introduction to the adjectives endings lesson(in next lessons)


Never. They just updated the lessons and yet still no lessons on declensions specifically.

Hey Duolingo, add separate lessons for each of the following:

Nominative definite masculine, nominative indefinite masculine, accusative definite masculine, accusative indefinite masculine, dative masculine, genitive masculine, nominative definite feminine, nominative indefinite feminine, accusative definite feminine, accusative indefinite feminine, dative feminine, genitive feminine, nominative definite neuter, nominative indefinite neuter, nominative definite neuter, accusative definite neuter, accusative indefinite neuter, dative neuter, genitive neuter, nominative definite plural, nominative indefinite plural, accusative definite plural, accusative indefinite plural, dative plural, and finally genitive plural.

Do that Duo and I'll be impressed. What isn't impressive is getting rid of all my progress and destroying my almost completely gold tree just because you wanted to add four extra vocab words to each lesson. Thanks for that, by the way.

Oh, you know what else you could do Duo? Have lessons for prepositions that are always accusative, always dative, and switch. And you can just dump the couple genitive ones in the genitive lessons.


And what the case is it? Nominative?


This is an overall problem Duolingo has, in my opinion. They don't go into enough detail with hardly any lessons. And you practically have to figure it out as you go through trial and error in the lessons. Which makes it extra aggravating when taking notes


I still don't understand why the tips on the webpage are different (way more extensive) from the ones given in the app.


"However, when the adjective is used with an ein-word (ein, dein, keine, etc.), the adjective must reflect the gender of the noun that follows. The adjective endings -er, -e, and -es correspond to the articles der, die, and das respectively (masc., fem., and neuter). Once you notice the parallel and the agreement of the letters r, e, s with der, die, das, it becomes less complicated than it may seem at first." - http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa030298.htm


Very clear. Thank you


Nice one, thank you


Thank you so much for such a detailed answer. That struck a note with me. I think I finally get it! Thank you again!


Yeah BUT you also have to see how the case affects the ending, it is not just the gender. I still don't understand why it is Nominative and not Accusative.


Never mind. I think I got it.


It is. Think of it this way: whenever possible, there should be something indicating the case and gender of the word. Since "ein" doesn't do a very good job of that, you have to use what is called a strong adjective ending. In this case, "Apfel" is nominative and masculine so you have to use the "-er" ending. Hence "ein roter Apfel."


See jess1camar1e's discussion with me in this link; she has an awesome system for remembering the adjective endings: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/556140


If the apple is Der Apfel... why would be "es ist" correct? should be Er ist only!


I think the semicolon allows either "es" or "er". It allows the clauses to be treated independently, as though they were two separate sentences.

Within a clause, when you dont know the gender yet, you must use "es". When you speak/write the standalone sentence "Es ist ein roter Apfel", without any additional context, you dont know the gender of "it" until the end of the sentence, so you must start the sentence with the neuter "it".

Of course when you do know the gender within a clause, you must use that gender, in this case "er".

However here the semicolon allows either argument. Since we already know that we are talking about a "male" apple ";er ist ein roter Apfel" is correct. But since the semicolon separates two independent clauses , one could still treat the second clause as an independent phrase with no predetermined gender, and use ";es ist ein roter Apfel".


es goes for all; make an "es ist ein" and "es ist eine" search in google. I use tricks like that :)


Yupp, that was long (in my learning curve at least) time ago. I have learnt that you may use "es" freely when calling something already said. Actually I do it all the time to gain some moments thinking on the gender.... :p


In some languages, it is perfectly valid to say :it is a man, e.g. in French you would obviously say: C'est un homme.


I was thinking the same thing. I only picked the one with "er ist ..." not "es ist ..." since I thought that would be wrong.


Pronouns also accord with the antecedent noun's gender. So "she (the girl) is bad" can be "es ist schlecht", since "mädchen" is a neuter noun. In fact, in some contexts (for instance in school), this could be the only form allowed, not "sie ist schlecht"


wouldnt the second part of the sentence, "a red apple" be accusative case? so shouldnt it be ? einen roten apfel?


The nominative form is always used after "to be" (sein) in german. Example: "Er ist ein Junge" is correct, "Er ist einen junge" is wrong.


I thought "er" is he, "es" is it. Why er ist ein roter Apfel is a correct answer ?


I thought the same. Maybe because Apfel is a masculine word?


that's the same thing i thought.


But the gender assigned to the noun doesn't indicate the actual gender of the object; e.g. der Hund is a masculine noun however not all dogs are male....... Duolingo didn't even give me a multiple choice with "er ist..." they were all "es ist..."


Apfel is masculine. Der Apfel.


How is the second use of "Apfel" here nominative? Is it that the second part of this phrase stands as a sentence on its own, where both "es" & "Apfel" are nominative?


You will always use nominative after "sein". "Sein" means "to be" which is a linking verb, not an action verb and is therefore followed by a predicate noun instead of a direct object.


Why not einen roten apfel?


we are in nominative, rather than accusative. 'der Apfel' is the subject of the sentence, and therefore we use 'ein roter' rather than 'einen roten'


So 'er ist ein roter apfel' is a nominative case for ein?


Shouldn't it be: 'er ist...' not 'es ist'?


Why is it es ist and not er ist... Apfel is masculine?


I wrote « Der Apfel ist rot; er ist ein roter Apfel. » It was accepted, but I was surprised to see « es ist », since Apfel is masculine. What's the rule?


For those of you struggling, maybe this will help. Follow a step by step flow chart to figure it out.

  1. Work out the case. In the second half "it is a red apple" is in the normative case

  2. Is there a preceding article (ein-, kein- , der/die/das)? If no, then it is strong inflection. (i.e. this article tells you about the gender of the noun) You can find the correct endings in a table.

If yes move to step 3

  1. The harder part. Does the preceding article tell you the gender of the noun? If yes then the adjective takes on a weak inflection. If no, then the adjective takes on a mixed inflection. For example, 'das Haus' is obviously neuter. But if it were 'ein Haus', you can't figure out whether it would be neuter or masculine. This would be a case where mixed inflection would be used to help decipher the gender of the noun. e.g. ein rotes haus (mixed inflection, neuter noun in normative case)

to summarise this problem. 1. It's normative case. 2. There is a preceding article 3. The article doesn't tell us the gender of the noun. Therefore it is mixed inflection So, a masculine word with mixed inflection in the normative case. Looking at tables, the ending must be "er"

tables can be found at the very bottom of this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Weak_inflection.5B6.5D.5B7.5D


I join your thoughts...


I think it is a printing error, or is it another exception?


You do not explain there is an exception, that "er" can be translated as "it" in this case.


I saw my dictionary and is has writen that "er" can be used as "it" for things and animals.


I had"....es ist ein .... it was correct.


Bizarre. I've been doing four lessons a day for years, yet nearly every day I still get sentences I haven't seen before. Like this one.


they all said the same thing


I really don't understand why when I eat a red apple it is roten, but when it is an apple it is roter. Confusing


This all comes down to the case of the sentence, here we are in nominative case. Therefore, we use 'roter'. We use nominative because the apple is the subject of the sentence. However when you say 'I eat a red apple' the apple is the direct object, making it accusative. Therefore we use 'roten' and not 'roter'


Because "to eat" is an action verb while "to be" is a linking verb". In "I eat an apple," the apple is a direct object. But in "It is an apple," the apple is a predicate noun. It's actually the same in English. So "sein" will always be followed the nominative case.


Your explanations are still all Greek to me


Wh y are the second and third hints identical?


I am as confused as can be, perhaps because I am trying to be logical instead of accepting that this is illogical. In both clauses rot is an adjective describing a masculine nominative object, an therefore should the same word. It might make sense if both were "rot" or both "roter" but it make no sense to me that they are different.


This is hard for us English speakers because there is no English equivalent. English doesn't use cases or genders (usually). But gender is easier to learn than cases I think. So this is difficult to explain in English because there is no translation.

English only has one word for red, but German has many, and you have to learn the rules to know which "red" is grammatically correct.

The easiest rule is that if the adjective does not precede the noun it does not receive an ending. That is why you say Der Apfel ist rot. In this case red is a predicate adjective NOT an attributive adjective. The closest example in English is the use of hyphens in compound adjectives. You write "He is a well-known author" with a hyphen, but "The author is well known" would not be hyphenated.

However if the adjective comes before the noun it will need an ending. The ending is based on the following things: whether the noun is masculine, feminine, neuter or plural, whether the case is Nominative, accusitive, dative or genitive, and whether you are using a "the" (der die das den etc.) article, an "a" (ein, eine, einen, einem, etc.) article or no article. So there are 48 possible combinations! They are all along the lines of "e" "es" "er" "en" or "em". You can easily find charts online if you search for German adjective endings.


Anyone else just picking one at random? This ❤❤❤❤'s hard


Abteilung für Redundanzabteilung


Would be the second part "das ist ein roter Apfel" correct?


Why not "Der Apfel ist rot, es ist einen roten Apfel".


Since the subject of the sentence is a masculine noun (der Apfel), shouldn't its subsequent pronoun be masculine as well (i.e., er rather than es)? In other words, wouldn't the sentence be more correct as "Der Apfel ist rot; er ist ein roter Apfel"?


OK YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE WHO ARE SMARTER THAN ME Can I just like not learn color grammar and come back to this in a year or something when I know more about the language or is this gonna be expanded on more


After ' ist ' use NOM 'ein roter Apfel'


I really don't get this. In the second part of the sentence I put roter (no idea why - it just sounded right) then looked at the hint above and it said 'rot' so I changed it. WRONG! I have no idea what's going on.


this best illustrates the single most appropriate word to describe German: Pandemonium


'Er ist' because Apfel is a masculine noun. 'Der Apfel'. So the pronoun you use for the masculine noun is the masculine pronoun, 'er'.

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