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See this for a full explanation: http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa092898.htm
Ich esse = I eat and I am eating
du isst = you eat ("you" being informal singular) and you are eating
er/sie/es isst = he/she/it eats and he/she/it is eating
There is no continuous aspect in German so both "I am eating" and "I eat" are translated to "Ich esse".
Verb "essen" conjugated:
When there is indefiniteness, then you don't need an article with plurals and mass nouns. "Brot" here is a mass noun. "some" can be used, but it isn't necessary.
This is called "zero article": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_article#Zero_article
Including you... or not. Essen is used for first and THIRD person of the plural.
we eat = wir essen (includes you) they eat = sie essen (does not include you)
You must learn how to conjugate regular verbs and learn special verbs, like essen:
ich esse, du isst, er/sie/es isst, wir essen, ihr esst, sie/Sie essen
Two questions, one is more trivial than the other but... 1) Is "I am eating bread" = "I eat bread" ? 2) If I were to say "Du isst Brot" how would someone (apart from common sense) distinguish "You are eating bread" from "You is bread"? Can the length of the 'sss' sound really make that much difference?
- Yes, they are the same. If you want to read more about the contiuous aspect in German see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_aspect#German
- "You are bread" would be "Du bist Brot". About "isst" vs "ist" - they are pretty much pronounced like each other so context would do it (in the case of third person singular, which would be "Er ist Brot").
no. But "we", "they" and the other ones you will learn later. :)
- I: Ich esse,
- you (informal): du isst,
- he: er isst,
- she: sie isst
- it: es isst
- we: wir essen
- you (plural)/you all: ihr esst
- they: sie essen
- you (formal, singular): Sie essen
- you (formal, plural): Sie essen
Don't be shocked. You only have to learn the verb forms for: ich, du, er, wir, ihr. Because the form for she(sie) is equal to "er", it(es) is equal to "er", they(sie) is equal to "wir", you(formal singular and plural)(Sie) is equal to "wir".