"Diese Haushaltsgeräte haben meine Eltern."
It's not that common, but I can imagine some situations in which I would say it that way. Especially when I want to emphasize on the appliances. We like to put things we want to emphasize as the first word in a sentence ;) So I would say that especially if I would emphasize this specific appliances as opposed to other ones. As in:
Diese Haushaltsgegenstände haben meine Eltern. Diese aber nicht.
Hope that helps :)
I don't know about the girl above, but this cleared it up a lot for me, so thanks! I do have to ask though, what about this sentence makes it impossible for it to be the appliances owning the parents? Aside from the context, I mean. For example, what if it were different objects? Substitute "Eltern" with "Robot" with "Haushaltsgegenstände" for "Hund". "Diese Hund hat mein Robot" How do you know who owns which?
I hope this makes sense as a question!
You are right that we cannot tell which is which. But in the example with the dog we actualy can tell.
Dieser Hund hat meinen Roboter - This dog has my robot.
Diesen Hund hat mein Roboter - My robot has this dog.
That is the reason why you normally can switch the subject and object of a sentence. It is just a coincidence that it doesn't work so well in the original sentence with the parents. Because accusative and nomiative cases are the same in plural. You would have the same problem with female gender:
Diese Puppe hat meine Katze - You couldn't tell which owns which
"In compounds it's always the gender of the last word" True, although it's worth knowing that you can be caught out by this rule.
Eg knife is das Messer but diameter is der Durchmesser. This is because messer comes from the suffix -meter or -measure which is masculine.
Another example where it is easy to be caught out is a compund word with the noun "Band" because it can be masculine (book volume) Feminine (rubber/elastic band) or neuter (group of musicians).
It means "My parents have these household appliances". First I thought was it that the appliances have the parents while there is no masculine at all, but then one has to just use his brains :D If this still doesn't make you understand this, I imagined a child showing a pic of household appliances to someone and telling "My parents own these".
I think he means are my parents as in, belong to my parents.. tricky possessive "s" here. Such as 'These oranges are Peter's oranges.' These oranges are Peters' These household appliances are my parents appliances, These household appliances are my parents. I myself never know if the apostrophe is needed in these sentences. Maybe someone better educated in language structure can explain the possessive here.