"Er isst."

Translation:He is eating.

12/27/2012, 5:34:52 PM

52 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/backtoschool
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That's not nice, it requires a hint. It could also be "he is". If the translation is from audio and they use homophones, how would you know, what they mean? (Isst and ist sound exactly the same in spoken German) That's bad to loose hearts because of misunderstandings. Cheers

1/1/2013, 2:31:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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"Er ist" on its own doesn't make any sense in German.

5/11/2013, 8:57:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/enihr

If you are learning German for the first time you won't know that it doesn't make sense.

10/30/2013, 1:30:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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Well, you know now.

10/30/2013, 1:31:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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I agree, unless you use it in the sense of 'to exist'. I really can only imagine a religious or philosophical context;

  • "Was tut Gott? – Er tut nichts. Er ist."

Sounds at least plausible to me.

9/10/2013, 10:06:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/m.spalatin
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I disagree. What if someone asked "Who is responsible for (something)?" Couldn't you reply "He is." Correct me if I'm wrong, I forgot all my German and am translating word for word.

9/18/2013, 11:01:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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You can't do that in German. You can reply "Er" or "Er ist verantwortlich", but not "Er ist".

9/18/2013, 11:08:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewGu15

he is?

6/19/2013, 9:55:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/NagaRohit

As in "He thinks therefore he is" ? ;)

6/25/2013, 2:39:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/backtoschool
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It was said: "on it's own" Naga. Brought in a context like you said, why not it is correct. The issue here is, that some sentences sound weird without context and causing the students a headache. If some would say without any context: "He is" , "Er ist" I definitely had to ask what is he?, because there is no info in this sentence! Anyway thanks, for the post. :-) If the Germans would not have changed the spelling in the mid 80s, it would look like: "Er ißt" and the world would be fine (he eats) and it would be easy to differentiate with ist, (is).

8/3/2013, 9:06:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/itokro
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It couldn't be. "ist" means is, "isst" means "eats". As in all languages, small differences in spelling can change the meaning entirely.

1/5/2013, 2:54:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mourner

Both sounds the same, but If you are referring to a sentence saying Er ist (The sentence will not be complete), so you translate it by context

7/24/2013, 8:32:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/fabiouser

I write 'ist' and it submit as correct. I'm confused

5/30/2013, 1:00:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheVerse

But it sounds like both.

1/5/2013, 6:32:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/itokro
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True - I posted after having to translate the written sentence, not the spoken one. Sorry!

1/5/2013, 6:34:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheVerse

It's very confusing that various questions have the same discussion :/

1/5/2013, 10:38:35 PM

[deactivated user]

    In colloquial (rapid) speech, some speakers drop the 't' in 'ist' It makes it easier, I guess.

    6/29/2013, 8:41:16 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ywxiege

    can it also be"it eats"or "it is eating"?

    1/10/2014, 2:09:15 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

    Yes, it should be correct. In German der Bär (the bear) would be referred to with er whereas in English it is it (correct me if I am wrong). Therefore it would be a valid translation given that we don't know what er refers to in this sentence.

    3/20/2014, 2:31:21 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/aditzoy

    Dudes, we are at the "eating - essen" chapter and this should answer your question! It's "Er isst" first of all because of that! And after that comes the argument that "Er ist" doesn't make sense in German. Think, make correlations, use the context!

    11/21/2013, 7:42:38 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/yodeling

    Is there any difference in pronunciation between "ist" and "isst"?

    5/11/2013, 8:30:14 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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    No. They are homophones.

    5/11/2013, 8:45:38 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/lilybett2k

    I don't feel that you should complain because it sounds the same, you know, because English has homophones too! Just saying...

    9/17/2013, 12:30:57 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/keerthana.rao

    can Er isst also be used for he is eating ?

    8/3/2013, 7:49:05 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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    Yes. Both "he is eating" and "he eats" translate to the same German sentence "er isst" (and vice versa).

    8/3/2013, 11:09:54 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/kikjezrous

    Does that work with 'I am eating/I eat", also?

    9/24/2013, 2:31:32 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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    Yes. German doesn't have a continuous aspect (e.g. "I am blank-ing") so the present German verbs can be translated to both "I blank" and " I am blank-ing".

    9/24/2013, 9:47:42 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/lilybett2k

    Wait, I thought "isst" in German was written with the weird little "B" instead of the two s's, because I learn my languages from lotsa different places, and I've always seen "isst" with the "B" letter... Understand me?

    9/17/2013, 12:28:06 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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    The only correct spelling today is 'isst'. "Ißt" is the pre-1996 spelling.

    9/17/2013, 4:59:38 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/andrealynette24

    I am pretty new and I don't fully understand what the difference is between isst and esse and beween trinke and trinkt. I don't know when to put which one where and why. Thankyou :)

    1/20/2014, 5:25:41 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

    it is like in "to be" in english: I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are, the verb changes depending on the person it is referring to. English dropped that behaviour for most verbs (except for the -s in 3rd person singular), but many other languages like Spanish, French and German didn't. So in these languages every verb changes according to the noun it refers to. Most verbs in german end with -en and are conjugated regularly like trinken, you just drop the -en and add the ending corresponding to your person:

    Ich trinke, du trinkst, er/sie/es trinkt, wir trinken, ihr trinkt, sie trinken

    Essen is slightly irregular in the sense that there is a vowel shift for some persons:

    Ich esse, du isst, er/sie/es isst, wir essen, ihr esst, sie essen

    3/17/2014, 10:02:11 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/learner96

    you can also write "Er ißt"

    1/26/2014, 10:54:02 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/learner96

    I did not know that it was outdated though. Does anybody know if ß is still used? and if so, when is it used.

    1/26/2014, 10:57:12 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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    1/26/2014, 11:05:01 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/mnajmon

    given "Er isst.", wants english translation "He eats." why is "It eats." incorrect? the hover hint on Er lists "it" as well as "he" as being meanings of Er. things without genders can still eat (an amoeba, for example), so what would be the german for "It eats.", if not "Er isst."?

    6/25/2013, 6:19:55 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/maripositalinda

    If you want to say it eats then is "Es isst".

    6/25/2013, 2:25:46 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/lalc1403

    But you can't always use 'es'...that depends on the gender of the word.

    8/31/2013, 11:45:29 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/sparroe

    You should only translate "er" as "it" if context requires it.

    10/3/2013, 2:58:44 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/vinaygudisagar

    what is the difference between "esse" and "isst",,.. are they same ?!

    6/27/2013, 10:29:53 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/maripositalinda

    Is the same verb (Essen). Esse is for ich. Isst is for er/sie/es. http://conjugador.reverso.net/conjugacion-aleman-verbo-essen.html

    6/27/2013, 11:20:23 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/kostasgr

    I wrote 'Er ist' and it got accepted as correct. So is 'ist' eat and is too?

    9/10/2013, 9:28:34 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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    "ist" only translates to "is". "Er ist" is not a complete sentence. It should not have been accepted.

    9/10/2013, 9:30:43 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/roninip
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    They give the WRITTEN sentence and use the audio to help learn how to pronounce. Go with the obvious, written word in these cases. In other parts of this program only AUDIO is presented, then this phrase would be an issue. Edit: Thought this only for the current active exercise in my case was a written sample with audio reinforcement.

    9/18/2013, 12:36:34 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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    This is discussion page is for the listen and type exercise too. Anyway, as has been pointed out earlier, "Er ist" would be an incomplete sentence.

    Just to clarify, you're not actually translating web pages during the lessons. If you want to do that, you need to go the "Immersion" section.

    9/18/2013, 1:02:46 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/kzemansk

    When someone is talking how do you tell the difference between isst and ist?

    11/17/2013, 3:29:47 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/JollyGreenDragon

    Context.

    11/25/2013, 11:41:01 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/karlchen123

    And in most sentences you have an object.

    Er ist ein Apfel --> He is an apple. (Apfel is in nominativ case)

    Er isst einen Apfel --> He is eating an apple. (Apfel is in akkusativ case)

    3/17/2014, 9:52:53 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/abdulmjeed

    Can I say ( It eats )

    12/24/2013, 12:12:33 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
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    Yes, if the "er" in the German sentence refers to some masculine noun like "der Hund" (the dog).

    12/24/2013, 1:54:19 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ryanalex

    er means he or him or it

    12/27/2012, 5:34:52 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/FaNciiN

    he = er; him can be ihm or ihn ; it = es

    12/27/2012, 5:39:53 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems
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    Er can also mean "it" when referring to a masculine noun.
    http://goo.gl/WE1Yz

    7/23/2013, 9:37:26 AM
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