"Sie essen den Apfel."

Translation:They are eating the apple.

December 27, 2012

This discussion is locked.


Accusative refers to the direct object. Nominative refers to the subject. Obviously the apple here is the direct object, not the subject. Sie is the subject. So the apple is in the accusative case.

January 8, 2013


Thanks that's the easiest explanation !

March 17, 2014


The translation said it's "You are eating the apple." Can it be "They are eating the apple?" as well?

December 27, 2012



December 27, 2012


They eat the apples sounds more correct than they eat the apple. How can many eat one apple?

December 27, 2012


You can share an apple with a lot of people, technically, if everyone just has a little bite.

December 28, 2012


why can't it be der apfel???

December 31, 2012


"Der Apfel" is in (masculine) nominative case

Der is nominative

"Den Apfel" is in (masculine) accusative case

Den is accusative

December 31, 2012


But what does this MEAN? It doesn't explain it anywhere. It's so frustrating!

January 3, 2013


Accusative is when something is being done to it. Like in this case it is being eaten.

January 5, 2013


Just google "German cases" and you'll find plenty of material explaining the difference, it'll take time but at some point things like this just start making sense when learning a language. I wouldn't use Duolingo as the ONLY learning method. You need to utilize all the tools you can find :)

January 7, 2013


There is a button at the top of the page (not the duolingo bar, below it) that says "Tips and Hints". If you click it, it will show you a box containin the things you are learning on the level.

January 10, 2013


Accusative is, as Jokor already said, when something is being done to it. You can easily tell it's not nominative, because only the subject of the sentence (whatever is doing the action; here: "They") is in nominative.

March 10, 2013


"Sie" is femenine, so why is it "they"?

March 2, 2014


Sie is not only feminine:

  • sie isst (she)
  • sie essen (they)
  • Sie essen (you (formal))
March 2, 2014


How can I find the clear difference between both cases of the translation : - They are eating the apple - You (formal) are eating the apple in German the translation is " Sie essen den Apfel", how come?

March 9, 2014


From context. No other way. And there is also a third possible translation "you (formal plural) are eating the apple".

March 9, 2014


OK. That is enough for me. Thank you so much

March 9, 2014


Den is that or an/a?

March 10, 2014


that or the

May 15, 2014


Den is normally the, but it can be, depending on context, also this or that. But never a/an. That would be with a masculine word in the accusative case: einen.

March 10, 2014
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