https://www.duolingo.com/KhaledAttia

how to determine if "sie" means she or they

how to determine if "sie" means she or they

September 20, 2015

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tardisco

Look at the verb thingummy? For example: Sie lauft = she is running & Sie laufen = they are running. I think verbs for "they" are mostly in the infinitive form. ☺

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu

It should mean sie läuft - she is running. lauft does not exist and is simply wrong.

Type ae instead of ä if your keyboard doesn't have ä. We can't understand you if you don't use the umlauts correctly and it affects grammar. We often don't figure out what you meant and believe something you didn't want to say.

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/biertopf

Be careful, you wrote "Sie laufen" in the middle of a sentence. Uppercase Sie means "you" (sing. or pl.), while loewercase "sie" means "they" or "she".

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tardisco

Thanks! ☺

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Yes, the form for "we" and "they" in the present tense is always always identical to the infinitive... with one exception: "to be" has "wir sind, sie sind" rather than "wir sein, sie sein".

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tardisco

Oh yeah. I can't believe I forgot such a simple thing like that... ☺Thanks for reminding.

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu

You notice it by context and the verb conjugation.

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WaxComb

What if Sie means you? (formal you not informal du) Like if you're just meeting somebody for example (before you get too friendly).

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Sie meaning formal you is always uppercase.

At the beginning of a sentence, of course, you can't tell the difference between "they" and "you", because the first letter of a sentence is always capitalised.

September 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Erchenswine

'Sie' followed by verbs ending in the 3rd person singular -t means 'she'. (eg sie isst, sie trinkt)

'Sie' followed by verbs ending in the plural -en can mean either 'they' or 'you'; if it is in the middle of a sentence and it is a capital 'Sie' then it means you, however if it's at the beginning it is only distinguishable by context.

September 20, 2015
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