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  5. "Das Mädchen isst einen Apfel…

"Das Mädchen isst einen Apfel."

Translation:The girl eats an apple.

December 25, 2012



why is "einen Apfel" and not "ein Apfel"? in the text on "basics 1 page" says we have to use "ein" for masculine and neuter nouns and "eine" for feminine. doesn't talk in "einen"...


The apple is the accusative object of this sentence. That is why the article has to be accusative, too.


When you say, "accusative," do you mean that the word is referring to a specific object. I don't think we use the term "accusative." I think we call it a "direct object."


"Accusative" is the case. There are languages that do not have an accusative case but direct objects. Or think about "I help you." - "Ich helfe dir. (dative)" In what way is that more indirect than "I see you." - "Ich sehe dich. (accusative)"?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case The thing is that it is in English "you". In German there is a difference. There is a guideline rule that says if the verb benefits the object, it is dative. This does not always apply however. In the case of help it fits. The person being helped benefits but if you "see" someone, there is no positive effect.


Also in Finnish passive construction for example, the object is either in nominative or partitive case.


Thanks, but I still do not understand. When you say "case" what are you talking about. When we in English (American) say case, we mean whether it is a capital letter or lower "case." I don't see the difference between the two sentences "I help you" versus "I see you." Can you explain why they are not the same "case" dative or accusative? It would seem that they both should be accusative. And is dich or dir always used in your examples or can one say "ich helfe sie." Maybe I am thinking too much? :)


Grammatical "case" is a concept in English too, and it's nothing to do with upper/lower case of letters. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case

English doesn't have cases for most nouns, which makes it hard for us when learning other languages. We do have cases for pronouns though, so it can help to think of this. For instance I can't say "The cat sees I" or "Me sees the cat". Instead I have to say "I see the cat" and "The cat sees me". The pronoun I/me changes case depending on whether I am the subject or the object or the sentence. We/us is the same.

In german even "the" changes case so "the" in "the cat" in the sentences above would be different words. It also has gender (different words for "the" man and "the" woman) so German has something like 5 words for "the" where English just has one.


You're not thinking too much. German is hard for English speakers like us because we have to think about things like the accusative case. It's ok to mess up though, because you'll figure it out eventually. That's how you learn. Repetition and improving on failures.


"Accusative" refers to the case of the word. "Direct object" refers to the role that the word is playing in the sentence (linguists call it a theta role). Almost every word has both a case, and a theta role.


Accusative, neuter, dominative, masculine, feminine are cases for nouns and pronouns. Im still learning what they do and how the are used after 4 years of german. Den, dem, der, die, das


„Einen" is in the accusative, that's because you have to use accusative in this sentence


What I heard at first was "The girl is an apple" I thought "That cant be right" Always remember the difference between ist and isst! haha!


I know me too! It's like I thought "Das Kind isst ein Junge."


If it were "isst", then the thing being eaten would have to be in the accusative case.


You have to capitalise all substantives in German.


and capitalize all Nouns in Deutsch! 德语里所有的名词首字母都要大写!


the girl is an apple


U meant isst,which is eats


"the girl eats an apple" << should also be accepted as correct


i agree its what i have been taught in my German class at school


The more we learn, the more we understand the German thinking and the way of solving problems like they do. So, let the German language get in, don't become resistent ...


Whats the plural of Mädchen


Singular: das Mädchen = "the girl"
Plural: die Mädchen = "the girls"

Look up any noun in any case on Canoo.net.


So it's only einen Apfel when it's the direct object? Meaning if it wasn't, it'd be ein Apfel? Like if the sentence was "The apple is red" it'd be "Ein Apfel ist rot"?


I would like to understand why we say DER Apfel ("the" masculine) and not EIN Apfle... Why do we use the neutral "a/an" form?


Der/die/das/etc. = "the"
This means a specific thing. The apple that is over there. That one, not any other.

Ein/eine/etc. = "a/an/one"
This means any one of the thing. It doesn't matter which of the apples, just bring me one of them.

The first group that mean "the" are called definite articles. The second group that mean "a/an/one" are called indefinite articles. The articles are inflected (change their endings) to match the gender and case of the nouns that they refer to.


It always says that I keep on pronouncing "Apfel" wrong, even though I think it's right.


What does "accusative" mean? and what does "nominative" mean? Danke!


You know how in English you say "I see him" and "He sees me"? You can't see "Me see he" or "Him sees I"?

The words change to show their role in the sentence -- whether they're the doer or the thing that "undergoes" the doing (here: the seeing).

"I" and "me" are two different case forms of the same word, as are "he" and "him".

German has this as well, but it has four cases instead of just two as in English.

The nominative case is used for subjects -- like "I" or "he". The person or thing that does the action.

The accusative case is used for direct objects -- the person or thing that undergoes or "suffers" the action. (As well as in various other situations.)

English has cases only in the pronouns, but in German, cases are much more alive and widely used, so you won't get around them.


People need to explain it more like you. Seriously. Danke


What is the difference in pronunciation of "isst" and "ist"?


What is the difference in pronunciation of "isst" and "ist"?

There is no difference in pronunciation.


can we write a small 'm' and small 'a' in madchen and apfel resp.


All nouns are capitalized in German, just like all proper nouns are capitalized in English.


I don't understand why I use das in front of girl because it says that you use das with neuter nouns. Girl is not neuter. Am I totally confused?


"Mädchen" is neuter because of the diminutive ending "-chen". http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/M%C3%A4dchen


Girl is neutral. It has nothing to do with the actual gender of the object. A word being masculine, feminine or neutral isnt the literal gender of a subject, otherwise all dogs in germany would be male and all cats would be female.


"The girl is having an apple."

Should be a valid answer too. is having an apple - is eating an apple


Ofc it is..but y think out of the box??do u really say that you are having a pizza??but u could also say that you are having a baby.


Lolz I thought she said 'the girl is an apple'


'isst' means is eating, are eating or eats, right? how do i know whether the answer is 'The girl eats an apple' or ' the girl is eating an apple' ?


Scroll down and read the tips on "No continuous aspect": https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1


last time I checked "a" meant "1" as well.


Not exactly, no. A is ein/eine, while 1 is eins. A is a singular though so in english you can sort of use them almost interchangeably at times, yes. Aka "i have an apple" or "i have one apple"


Would "einen Apfel isst das Mädchen" still be acceptable due to accusative cases?


That's an acceptable sentence, yes.

(Though of course it's not an acceptable answer for a "type what you hear" exercise for the German sentence.)

Your sentence emphasises the apple -- it's a bit like "it's an apple that the girl is eating".


don't " einen " and " ein " mean the same thing


Sort of. In the same way that "he" and "him" mean the same thing -- they both refer to a single male.

But you can't mix them and say "Him gave me a book" or "I saw he last night".

ein Apfel is the nominative case, which you would use e.g. when it is the subject of a verb, but here the apple is the object of the verb and so has to be in the accusative case.

Apfel is masculine -- the only gender in which the accusative case looks different from the nominative in German. And in this case, it's einen Apfel in the accusative.


Why is it "isst" and not "esst"?


Some verbs change the vowel in their stem in the du and er, sie, es forms, usually from e to i or ie or from a(u) to ä(u).

essen happens to be one of them -- so it is du isst and er isst with an i rather than e.

It's just something you have to learn -- for example, essen, fressen, messen form er isst, er frisst, er misst but pressen forms er presst. So you can't tell just by looking at a verb form whether it will do this vowel change or not.


Stupid question, but i find that the use of the word 'isst' is something I am surprisingly struggling to understand. Is this form of, 'to eat' used for a specific gender(s) or maybe just specific nouns?

  • ich esse
  • du isst
  • er / sie / es isst
  • wir essen
  • ihr esst
  • sie essen

So you use isst when the subject is du (you -- one person) or er (he) or sie (she) or es (it) or a singular noun (which could be replaced by "he", "she", or "it").

For example, der Mann isst -- but not die Männer isst (the men is eating) because "the men" can't be replaced by "he/she/it"; "the men" is "they" and so it's die Männer essen (the men are eating) like sie essen (they are eating).


Why is it "Das Mädchen isst einen Apfel" and not "Das Mädchen esst einen Apfel"?


Why is it "Das Mädchen isst einen Apfel" and not "Das Mädchen esst einen Apfel"?

Some verbs change the vowel of their stem, from e to i or ie, from a to ä, or from au to äu, in the du and the er, sie, es forms.

essen is one of them:

  • ich esse
  • du isst
  • er, sie, es isst
  • wir essen
  • ihr esst
  • sie essen

Whether a verb does this or not is something that simply has to be learned -- for example, geben has du gibst but leben has du lebst; kaufen has du kaufst but laufen has du läufst.


Thank you! Or should I say, danke!


So now we have ist and isst, huuuuuuh ok alright


Can we use esse instead of isst?


Can we use esse instead of isst?


That would be as wrong as "The girl am eating an apple."

esse with -e is the verb form for ich (I), not for "he, she, it".


Why does it use das instead of die ?


Why does it use das instead of die ?

Because it's just one girl.

  • das Mädchen = the girl
  • die Mädchen = the girls

The word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, so it uses the neuter article das in the singular.

die can be either feminine or plural.


Why I can't say "the girl is eating an aplle"? Doesn't "isst" mean either "eats" and "is eating"?


Why I can't say "the girl is eating an aplle"?

"apple" has two p and one l.

Doesn't "isst" mean either "eats" and "is eating"?

That's right.


Wait... so:

Das Kind ist eine Junge = The child is a boy.

Das Kind isst einen Junge = The child is eating a boy.

I am so scared to ever speak this language IRL!!



Das Kind ist eine Junge = The child is a boy.

Das Kind isst einen Junge = The child is eating a boy.

Not quite.

Das Kind ist ein Junge. = The child is a boy.

Das Kind isst einen Jungen. = The child is eating a boy.

(The first one has "ein" Junge, not feminine "eine"; the second has accusative "Jungen", not nominative "Junge".)

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