"Sie essen den Apfel."

Translation:They are eating the apple.

December 27, 2012

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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.


Thanks that's the easiest explanation !


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

[deactivated user]


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


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


    why can't it be der apfel???


    "Der Apfel" is in (masculine) nominative case

    Der is nominative

    "Den Apfel" is in (masculine) accusative case

    Den is accusative


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


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


    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 :)


    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.


    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.

    [deactivated user]

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


      Sie is not only feminine:

      • sie isst (she)
      • sie essen (they)
      • Sie essen (you (formal))


      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?


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


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


      Den is that or an/a?


      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.

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