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Nouns and articles are conjugated according to the grammatical case we use. In your example the appropriate cases are: Die Frau (Nominative) isst den Apfel (Accusative). Still, grammatically it is possible to use different cases in order to express a different action: Die Frau (Accusative) isst der Apfel (Nominative) = the woman is being eaten by ...


They are not the same, but related. The answer is that the articles "der, die, das" are declined. You might have a look at the explanantion here (I don't know of any easier right now). In your example the line "Die Frau isst den Apfel" is the correct one. The article of "der Apfel" would change again if we would say "Die Frau isst den Kern des Apfels" (the ...

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