Can't find your question?

ein eine & einen

shtanGerman NoviceFri, 28 Mar 2008 00:52:12 +0000
I am really confused as to where to use ein, eine and einen.. could you please explain when is the appropriate time to use them? I heard that you use eine for feminine and ein for masculine and neuter.. I am not so sure about this though.

btw, I really like your program. It is helping me so much!! Thank you!!
NathalieGerman NoviceFri, 28 Mar 2008 03:31:37 +0000
Hi there,

nice to hear that you are enjoying the course.
I would recommend to have a look at grammar chapter 1.4 "Talking about Gender Part 2", which explains the use of "ein" and "eine".

Here is some basic information to get you started:

In English you can say "a dog" or "the dog". When you use "the dog" then you refer to a specific dog, whereas "a dog" can be any dog. "The" is called a definite article and "a" is called a indefinite article. In German there are three definite articles "der", "die" and "das" and three indefinite articles "ein", "eine" and "ein". You use them depending on the gender of the word you use them with. For example the word for "house" in German is neuter, therefore you say "das Haus" if you are talking about a specific house or "ein Haus" if it's more general.
"Ein" is used for masculine words, "eine" for feminine words and "ein" for neuter words.
It is very hard to determine the gender of a noun just by looking at a word. (Refer to grammar chapter 1.3 for some clues) Therefore the article gives you a clue to what gender it is.
Don't worry, if you get it wrong you will still be understood.

Another thing is that the articles also change depending on the cases, so for example you might say "ein Mann" or "einem Mann" etc. (I'll stop now because I don't wan't to confuse you even more, hoever have a look at grammar chapter 6.1-6.4 for more info on cases)

I hope that helps and please ask if anything is unclear.

shtanGerman NoviceFri, 28 Mar 2008 22:47:50 +0000
Hallo Nathanie! Thanks for the response! It helped me although the einen or einem is still confusing me, I guess I will have to wait until I read lesson 6.1 as you suggested.

Anyway, I have another question. In one of the examples in the Mega-Cards with the word heiss. It said "Mir ist heiss" for I am hot. Can u also use "Ich bin heiss?" for the same meaning?? I notice a lot of german phrases change but can mean the same thing. I hope this is one of them! Thanks so much!
NathalieGerman NoviceSun, 30 Mar 2008 19:34:55 +0000
Hi there,

if it is a hot day and you are sweating you would use "Mir ist heiss" (I'm hot).
The sentence "ich bin heiss" also means "I'm hot", however it has a sexual connotation.
shtanGerman NoviceThu, 10 Apr 2008 16:06:28 +0000
Hi Nathalie!

Thanks for your help. I'm glad I asked that question. Saved me the embarrassment of making that mistake.

Anyway, I have been reading lesson 6.2 and I noticed something contradictory in your examples:

Mochtest du ein Stuck Kuchen? (Would you like a piece of cake?) The example used EIN here.

whereas in the other example:

Ick backe einen Kuchen (I bake a cake), the example used EINEN for cake?

Now I assume the Direct Object is cake here? Why did you use EIN and EINEN then?

I really appreciate your time in answering my questions. My fiance is really surprised that I can talk and text him in German now, albeit broken German. But at least I am trying.

Thanks so much!
shtan
NathalieGerman NoviceThu, 10 Apr 2008 21:57:03 +0000
Hi there,

yes I know, it's a bit tricky.
The reason we say "ein Stück Kuchen" is because "Stück" is neuter, so it's "das Stück" or "ein Stück". If I leave the "Stück" (piece) out then I would say:
"Möchtest du einen Kuchen?" (would you like a cake?)
So the "ein" belongs to the "Stück" and is therefore "ein" and not "einen".
Does that make sense?

Here are some more examples:
Ich esse einen Kuchen (I'm eating a cake)
Ich esse ein Stück Kuchen (I'm eating a piece of cake)
Ich möchte einen grossen Käse kaufen (I want to buy a big cheese)
Ich möchte ein grosses Stück Käse kaufen (I want to buy a big piece of cheese)

shtanGerman NoviceThu, 10 Apr 2008 22:33:35 +0000
Aaaahhh... ic... wow, really makes a big difference when someone explains it to you. Thanks!!!
NathalieGerman NoviceThu, 10 Apr 2008 22:45:23 +0000
Total posts 27451 • Total topics 5917 • Total members 586661 • Our newest member Gianluca 2
FREE TRIAL