"Sie haben den Apfel."

Translation:They have the apple.

January 4, 2013



"Sie haben den Apfel" = You/They have the apple.

It can't mean "she" because of the verb: "Sie hat den Apfel" = She has the apple.

January 4, 2013


Would you just rely on context to determine if it means you or they?

March 15, 2014


Yes. In writing formal you is always capitalized, but that won't help if it is at the beginning of the sentence or spoken.

However, formal you (Sie) requires that you directly talk to someone in direct speech. Whereas they indicates that you talk about some people (behind their backs?). These cases are usually clear to distinguish by context.

March 23, 2014


No, you have= du hast

August 24, 2014


There are three different words for "you" in German: du, ihr and Sie. "Du" is used to address one person informally, "ihr" is used to address several people informally ("y'all"), and "Sie" is used to address one person or several people formally. Note that "Sie" in the sense of "you" is always spelled with a capital "S", even in the middle of a sentence. ("Sie" can also mean "she" or "they", but in this case it's not capitalized unless it's the first word in a sentence).

Because there are three different words for "you" in German, "you have" can be translated as "du hast", "ihr habt" or "Sie haben".

August 24, 2014


Really? Thanks! I thought Ihr is the formal because that's what Speaktribe(App) said.

April 15, 2016


I'm confused about why the translation was They and not you (formal)?

January 14, 2013


"You" and "They" are both possible. Duolingo should accept both.

January 14, 2013


sie hat = she has & sie haben = They have

April 13, 2013


I had written 'you' and they didn't accept..

July 9, 2014


If you wrote "You have the apple" -- and not "You are having the apple", which is wrong here -- report it. The translation "You have the apple" is fine.

July 9, 2014


No, look at the verb. Haben tells you that sie refers to multiple people.

February 5, 2014


Sie haben can also refer to "you have" formal though.

February 16, 2014


You're right :S man whoever thought to have the formal conjugated as a plural was crazy.

February 17, 2014


I think that 'Sie' with the capital S mean "Formal way of saying you" but 'sie' with the lower case s, means they... thats how you distinguuish between them. To figure out if it is a 'she' you have to look at the verb ending

January 16, 2013


Someone tell me how to understand the masculine, feminine, and neutral word!

April 1, 2014


I just copy from myself:

We are talking about grammatical gender here. They have very little to nothing to do with the meaning of the noun. E.g. all nouns which last syllable is -ung, -heit, -keit and -schaft are feminine. That leads to the situation that the word "Mannschaft" (team) is feminine although it only consists of the word for man and the ending. Another "rule": all nouns with -chen or -lein as last syllable are neuter. Why? That's why! There really is no logic. Do not try to find one. This essentially leaves you with the need to learn the gender with every noun, i.e. instead of just Apfel you have to memorize der Apfel.

In my opinion calling the different articles masculine, feminine and neuter raises more problems than it solves (and that is the case for French, Spanish, etc. as well), but is the established way to classify it.

Just think of it as 3 different kinds nouns the r-nouns, the e-nouns and the s-nouns. Correspondingly they have the definite articles der , die and das . Later that will help you when you have to do things like for example inflect adjectives:

Like "ein schöner Mann", "eine schöne Frau", "ein schönes Kind"

This explains it much better than I ever could:


April 1, 2014


That explanation really helped me! Thanks so much!

September 25, 2014


Don't know if you're still learning German, Cass2286, but I came upon a useful post on this topic recently. If you haven't memorized every German word yet, it may come in handy.

Gender Rules (how to work out which gender)

Who knows, perhaps you'll see some patterns in some other classifications and develop your own system for making your best guess. Short of memorizing every word in the dictionary, it sounds like a good idea!

February 27, 2016


Why isn't there an umlaut on the "a" in "Apfel" here?

January 15, 2013


Because "Apfel" is singular in this sentence. "der Apfel" = the apple; "die Äpfel" = the apples.

January 15, 2013


why 'den'?

February 18, 2014


Because Apfel is the accusative object in the sentence.

March 14, 2014


subject is doing something to the object...when that happens der becomes den and ein becomes einen

June 15, 2018


Why not das ??

September 25, 2018


Because "Apfel" is masculine. "Things" can be masculine or feminine in German as well, not just neuter.

September 25, 2018


I got this wrong as I didn't also choose "You have the apple".... I'm not quite sure why I was wrong, I thought "haben: would always refer to a group?

January 15, 2013


it can also refer to a single person that you address formally

January 17, 2013


how do you know which "sie" to use

September 1, 2014


When the verb is ending with -en then its Sie, and when it doesnt end with -en then its sie.

September 3, 2014


What is the difference between she and they it is so confusing for me please explain thanks

March 16, 2015


"Sie haben Den Apfel" how do i know that it is "They" and not "She" in this case?

January 4, 2013


If it was she, the be third person singular form of the verb would be used (Sie hat den Apfel).

January 7, 2013


Look at the verb ending. "She" would have a "t" ending while "they" would have a "en" ending

April 14, 2014


Actually, it seems that it could be either. The conjugation for the formal Sie and the sie (Meaning "they") is the same, right?

April 18, 2013


Yes, formal Sie and third person plural sie are conjugated the same way.

July 27, 2013


why should i use den not der

January 29, 2014


Because in this sentence, the apple is the object. You would use der in a sentence like "Der Apfel ist rot", because in that sentence the apple is the subject

February 1, 2014


Why isn't it "They are having an apple"? Do we have to use "sind" for "are"?

February 23, 2014


See my comment below.

May 3, 2014


I got it wrong. "They are having the apple" .. why is it a mistake?

March 14, 2014


See my comment below.

May 3, 2014


Yes.."They are having the apple" shud b correct

May 3, 2014


No, it shouldn't.

1) Standard German doesn't distinguish between the simple and the progressive aspects. For this reason, a sentence like "Er geht" can be translated as either "He goes" or "He is going", depending on the context.

2) However, some English verbs change their meaning when they're used in the progressive aspect, e.g. "to have": "He has an apple" (in his cupboard) vs. "He is having an apple" (= He is eating an apple). The German verb "haben" doesn't have this second meaning: it doesn't mean "to eat". For this reason, it can't be translated using the progressive aspect in English.

May 3, 2014


What's the difference between "Sie" (in plural) and "Ihr"?

June 11, 2014


1) Sie haben den Apfel. = They have the apple. OR: You [formal singular + plural] have the apple.

The formal "you" (Sie) is used to address one person or several people formally, e.g. adult stranger(s).

2.) Ihr habt den Apfel. = You [familiar plural] have the apple.

For the familiar "you", there are two words: "du" (familiar singular) and "ihr" (familiar plural; y'all). "Du" is the familiar address for one person; "ihr" is the familiar address for several people. The familiar forms are used to address e.g. close friends, family members or children. The familiar forms are also used among students and in most Internet forums.

June 12, 2014


Thank you so much! :-D

June 12, 2014


I translated it to 'they have an apple' which I know is wrong, however it told me that the correct answer was 'They have that apple' Where the heck did 'that' come from?

June 25, 2014


I was marked wrong for answering "They have the apple.", and was told the correct answer was "They have that apple.". Confused

August 28, 2014


I had the same thing, then I see the top of this page has "the apple" as expected - I suggest reporting it since at least three of us have seen that message.

November 17, 2014


Why is it not "der" instead of "den"? I know it is accusative but in this sentence the apple doesn't receive the action, "they" just "have" the object. Can anyone help me, please?

April 24, 2015


The den sounds like die

January 14, 2017


why the apple it should be an apple.

February 19, 2018


Is apple masculine? Please help guys

April 9, 2018


Yes, "Apfel" is masculine.

April 9, 2018


When does the "den" mean "the" and when does it mean "that"?

April 22, 2018


it is just a form of Article (Der/Das/Die/Den = The) which appears according to gender+numbe+case. Nominative: Das = neuter , Der = singular+masculine , Die = singular+feminine/ Plural+All. Accusative: Den = singular+masculine :) (here, apple is a masculine word, ...but don't ask me why :P :) ). ...... *** but i don't think it means "that"

May 7, 2018


Can we say also Sie haben einen apfel ?? Why exactly den Why den and not der or die ?

April 23, 2018


it is just a form of Article (Der/Das/Die/Den = The) which appears according to gender+numbe+case. Nominative: Das = neuter , Der = singular+masculine , Die = singular+feminine/ Plural+All...... Accusative: Den = singular+masculine :) (here, apple is a masculine word, ...but don't ask me why :P :) )

May 7, 2018


Sound keeps getting jammed up

December 13, 2018


Can anyone explain the difference between habe,habt,haben,hast,hat..

April 6, 2019


why is it "den" apfel?

June 2, 2019
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