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That assumption probably comes from your native language.
In English you can use "She is" to answer a question like "Who's taller".
However, that's not something all languages allow.
So for example, in my native language(Russian) it would sound extremely weird as a separate sentence("она есть" or "она является").
That's not true -- some words are written with ß and some are written with ss and you can't just use the other spelling when you feel like it.
In Switzerland, only ss is used, but in Germany and Austria, either one or the other will be correct but you're not free to choose.
Since 1996, ß is written only after long vowels and diphthongs, and ss only after short vowels.
So if you know the correct pronunciation, you know how to choose between ß and ss.
A good dictionary should show you whether the stressed vowel is long or short. (Unstressed vowels are almost always short.)
However, s can stand after either long or short vowels, so whether to pick s or ß, or s or ss, is something that simply has to be learned. For example, "er liest" and "er gießt" rhyme perfectly.
I'm afraid that's just the way it is. "Sie" can mean three different pronouns. They are: female singular (she), plural (they), and formal (also 'they,' used for people deserving of respect, e.g. elders, teachers, police officers). The only way to know which "sie" is being used is by looking at the context of the statement. Also, in the case of the formal "Sie," it will always be capitalised, regardless of where it is in a sentence. The other two are only capitalised at the beginning.
They are both sie, but they require different verb forms.
sie "she" almost always has a verb form ending in -t (e.g. sie ist, sie isst, sie trinkt, sie sieht). A notable exception is the modal verbs, as in English: sie kann, sie will, sie muss (just as English says "she can, she will, she must" and not "she cans, she wills, she musts").
sie "they" almost always has a verb form ending in -en (e.g. sie essen, sie trinken, sie sehen). A notable exception is "they are" = sie sind.
"Sie ist." is simply wrong in German. A native speaker would never say this. In English, "She is" works as a reply to something like "Who's at the door?", but this does not work in German. You'd have to say something along the lines of "Sie ist es", which is still a bit unnatural, or simply "Sie".
Unfortunately, accepting "Sie ist" instead of "Sie isst" is hardcoded into the app. It's not something we can change. So you need to police yourselves. Please don't report it. There's nothing we can do about this.
When they're the subject, you can differentiate them by the verb form, e.g. sie isst, sie liest, sie ist, sie hat are "she eats/reads/is/has" while sie essen, sie lesen, sie sind, sie haben are "they eat/read/are/have".
The verb form for sie "she" almost always ends in -t in the present tense; that for sie "they" almost always in -en.
When they're the object, you sometimes can't tell them apart, e.g. ich liebe sie could be "I love her" or "I love them".
That's not true.
ich esse, du isst, er isst (sie isst, es isst); wir essen, ihr esst, sie essen (Sie essen).
isst is not used for Sie but only for er, sie, es as well as for du.
ihr uses esst and not either of esse or essen.
As for the vowel change in the du and er, sie, es forms, that's something some verbs do; just something to remember. Similar in geben: du gibst and sehen: du siehst.
And as for du isst and er isst being the same: that's a spelling simplification. iss- + -st for the du form would give issst but that's simplified to isst which then looks like iss- + -t = isst for the er, sie, es form.
As I said, it's a simplification -- the du form is not iss- + -st = issst but simply isst while the er, sie, es form is regular (if you ignore the vowel change for now) iss- + -t = isst.
This sort of thing happens regularly in verbs whose stem ends in -s, -ss, -ß, -z, -x: the -s- of the -st ending disappears.
Other examples are lesen: du liest and heißen: du heißt and kratzen: du kratzt.
Yes, you're wrong :)
- sie with a small letter can mean either "she" or "they"
- Sie with a capital letter is the formal "you"
- the first letter of a sentence is always capitalised in German (like in English)
So when there is a Sie at the beginning of a sentence, you cannot see whether it is "really" a sie or a Sie.
However, the verb isst only fits du and er, sie, es (he, she, it) -- this means that Sie isst must mean "she eats" or "she is eating".
For sie "they" or Sie "you (formal)", the verb would have had to be essen.
No difference in meaning.
It's just a grammar difference - die is used before all plural nouns as well as before feminine nouns (in the singular); der before masculine (singular) nouns; and das before neuter (singular) nouns.
The gender of a noun (masculine, feminine, or neuter) simply has to be learned.
The German sentence can mean either of those, and so both translations are accepted.
In real life (in the context of a conversation), you would choose the appropriate translation depending on the rules of English -- i.e. present simple for repeated actions, present continuous for something happening now.
Some verbs change the vowel in the second and third persons singular, from e to i or ie or from a, au to ä, äu.
essen is one of them; it changes e to i in the du and er, sie, es forms, so that it is du isst and er isst, sie isst, es isst.
Note that the ihr form does not change the vowel so that is ihr esst.
Other common verbs that change the vowel there are geben (du gibst, er gibt) (give), lesen (du liest, er liest) (read) and sehen (du siehst, er sieht) (see).
Which verbs change the vowel is just something that has to be learned -- for example, kaufen (buy) has du kaufst but laufen (to run) has du läufst. Saying du käufst or du laufst are simply wrong.
Sie isst. can be translated either as "She is eating." or as "She eats."
"She eat." is not possible because "eat" is the wrong verb form for the subject "she".
As to the choice between "is eating" and "eats" - in English, the rule depends (to put it simply) on whether the action is taking place once (now) or repeatedly.
Without context, Sie isst. could be either of those and so both translations are accepted. If there is a context, e.g. jeden Morgen "every morning" (repeated) or gerade "right now", then the conventions of English will dictate only one possible translation.
she/they can usually be distinguished by the verb form -- the verb form for "she" usually ends in -t, the verb form for "they" usually in -en.
For example, sie isst "she eats", sie essen "they eat".
The verb "to be" is irregular -- there, the forms are sie ist "she is" and sie sind "they are".
Telling "her" and "them" apart (as objects) is usually impossible without context. For example, Ich sehe sie. could mean either "I see her." or "I see them."
So, I typed in "Sie ist" instead of "Sie isst", and it still accepted the former as the correct answer, even though the translation in the answer was for "Sie isst". I may not know enough German yet, but doesn't the double-S sound differently from a single-S (like a "harder" sound)? I didn't really notice a difference in the audio...unless it's a really subtle difference.
But how do we know if it's "She is eating" or "She eats"?
It can mean either, and you can't tell in this sentence, so both translations are accepted.
If there is an adverb that specifies "now" or "repeatedly" which only work with one of those tenses in English, then the rules of English will tell you which possibility has to be used -- for example, Sie isst gerade. can only be "She is eating right now." and Sie isst jeden Tag Sushi. can only be "She eats sushi every day.", because the time expressions "right now" and "every day" force a particular tense.
And why does "Sie" sometimes mean she but sometimes they..?
Because "she" and "they" are both sie in German. I suppose there's a historical reason (formerly separate words falling together or something) but basically it's "because that's the way it is".
Note that if they are the subject, the verb endings will be different, e.g. sie isst = "she eats; she is eating" but sie essen = "they eat; they are eating".
sie "she" verbs usually end in -t while sie "they" verbs usually end in -en.
Later you will also come across capitalised Sie which means "you"; its verb forms are as for sie "they".
Because isst is the second and third person singluar conjugation of the verb "essen." Remember, the pronoun for second person singular is "du," not "sie?"
Therefor the sentence "you are eating" can only be:
-Du isst. (singular, informal)
-Ihr esst. (plural, informal)
-Sie essen. (formal - note that the conjugation for formal you is always plural)
Since "she" is "sie" and "Sie isst" is not "you are eating," the sentence must be "she is eating."