Er - He or it?

I want to know when it is a great time to use Er. One example: - Er ist trnkt wasser. It could be it is drinking water or He is drinking water. Any explaining?

May 24, 2015


In general:

  • he = er
  • it = es

  • "He drinks water" = "Er trinkt Wasser"

  • "It drinks water" = "Es trinkt Wasser"

If it's a human male, then its always "he". Apart from that, though, the pronoun substitutes a noun and therefore uses the gender of that noun.

  • "Das Tier" (neuter) = "Es trinkt Wasser"
  • "Der Hund" (masculine) = "Er trinkt Wasser"
May 24, 2015

First of all, German doesn't have a progressive tense - "trinkt" works for both "drinks" and "is drinking".

"Er" is the article for all masculine nouns; "sie" for all feminine nouns; "es" for all neuter nouns.

Since I assume you're talking a mann (der Mann), "er" is the pronoun you should use.

May 24, 2015

"Er" usually equals he. But because of the grammatical genders in German, it's also used for words that are assigned a male gender without being male in English, for example "Der Hund trinkt Wasser. Er trinkt Wasser." compared to "The dog drinks water. It drinks water."

May 24, 2015

By the way, your German sentence contains the word "ist". In German, "Ich esse Brot" means both "I eat bread" and "I am eating bread", no "ist" necessary.

May 25, 2015
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