Children learn a language by hearing it at home. The parents talk it (supposedly) correct because is their mother-tongue. They never learn grammar rules.
So do we also, but when we start learning a language later in life we need grammar. It is said when you start learning a language later than 13 you will never be able to speak it like a native speaker… well I think there are also exceptions! So parallel to learning grammar rules (that are boring) we hear native speakers and we “copy” what they say. Just like children. We hear it that way, we reproduce it that way!
And so it happened that I heard things like this:
Ich esse ein Apfel.
Ich habe ein Hund.
Ich mache ein Fehler.
der Apfel, der Hund, der Fehler = all are masculine nouns.
In all this sentences is used the accusative case.
Then, grammatical correct is:
Ich esse einen Apfel.
Ich habe einen Hund.
Ich mache einen Fehler.
But when I pronounce it correctly it sounds even strange. So, I asked a german teacher how come the germans speak wrong??!! It came out that many times, the native speakers pronounce it quick and we don’t hear the “en”. They kind of say “einn” swallowing the “e” and pronouncing a kind of double “n”.
Well, this being said, I was happy I clearified this issue for me. Now I know accusative, masculin singular, indefinite article is einen.
…also when it sounds like ein.
Und jetzt wünsche ich euch einen schönen Tag! 🙂