1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Er isst langsam."

"Er isst langsam."

Translation:He is eating slowly.

July 20, 2015

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ailuro.

How am I supposed to know the difference between "ist" and "isst" in oral communication? I wrote "He is slow" instead of "He eats slowly" because I thought I had heard "Er ist langsam". :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

As individual words, "ist" and "isst" are pronounced completely identically.

In the sentence you mentioned, though, "is" is not stressed but "eats" can be -- "Er ist lángsam" vs. "Er ísst lángsam" (but could also be "Er isst lángsam" - no difference in pronunciation from "Er ist lángsam" - only context can tell).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edelweisszh

I wrote "Er ist langsam" and marked it as correct, but in the translation they wrote "He is eating slowly" which is not the same, I guess they realised we had trouble noticing the phonetic difference between "ist" and "isst" and decided to accept both as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alseri

I did the same. They should remove this one or put it in a context where the meaning is obvious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rand576002

I agree with your suggestion. Something like "Er isst das Ei langsam" otherwise one simply has to guess the context, which isn't particularly useful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Riss929485

I got it wrong so they clearly haven't fixed it. With no context we don't know if he's slow or eating slowly. So frustrating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adim91

Is langsam used as an adverb here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr_Eyl

Correct. A lot of adjectives can be used adverbially in German- groß, schnell, gesund and langsam to name a few.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I think that in principle, any German adjective can be used adverbially - just use the adjective stem without an ending.

(Because the adverbial form looks identical to the predicate adjective form, a lot of Germans have difficulties with English adverbs.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr_Eyl

I'm not sure about colours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yeah, with many it will be theoretical. I can't think of a reasonably adverbial use of "krank", either. But there's no grammatical reason it wouldn't work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arianne.felize

How come when it says " Er isst langsam" it says Im wrong saying " he is slow


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo
  • Er isst = he eats
  • Er ist = he is

Count the "s" letters :)

They're pronounced identically, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StolasCeleste

Above is correct.

"Er isst" means "he is eating,"

while

"Er ist" means "he is."

Because "isst" and "ist" are pronounced identically, some German speakers drop the "t" sound from "ist."


[deactivated user]

    Yes, I misread "isst" as "ist", and put "He is slow". Duolinbgo "corrected" me to "He eats slow". That is just wrong in English. The word is an adverb here, and the adverb in English is "slowly". ("Slow" is an adjective).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/futuredrwoborder

    He eats slowly, he slowly eats....i mean....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luminary23

    "He is slowly eating" should also be acceptable.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary514581

    This might be a dumb question, but.. If 'Langsam' is 'Slowly', and 'Lang' is 'long', then how do you spell, or say, 'SLOW' in German?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    how do you spell, or say, 'SLOW' in German?

    langsam

    Same word as "slowly", in other words.

    Nearly all German adjectives can be used as adverbs in this way, just by taking the stem of the adjective (without any ending).

    For example, Er tanzt gut. "He dances well."

    Many Germans make mistakes in English because of this and say things such as "He dances good".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pramod454198

    Er ist langsam was accepted, but the translation was, he eats slowly, which means DL expects Er isst langsam !


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judy460055

    Hier muss auch 'ist' richtig sein, denn es geht aus dem Satz nicht hervor, dass es um essen geht.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoydMikk

    Why is "He is slowly eating" wrong??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beerzoe

    Because in English, adverbs of manner (e.g. slowly, quickly, thoroughly) usually go at the end. There can be exceptions for emphasis - e.g. 'I am slowly waking up' - but this sentence is not one of them.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TilakSFern

    isst and esst shout have the same meaning


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    isst and esst shout have the same meaning

    They do, in the sense that "am" and "is" have the same meaning -- they're both forms of the same verb.

    But you can't say "I is" or "he am" -- and you can't say er esst or ihr isst. You have to use the verb form that matches the subject.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rey43467

    For a second it didn't make sense when I tried to type "His food is slow" and then I thought, it might be an adverb here and then I burst into laughter when I got it right.

    Yo Alexa, play Despacito.

    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.