Translation:These are houses which are cheaper.
No; that means something else.
"These are houses which are cheaper" = These are houses and they are cheaper. Perhaps there are other cheap houses as well.
"These are the houses which are cheaper" = What you see is the group of all houses that are cheaper. There are no other cheaper houses -- just the ones that you see here.
omg I didn't even realize I was subconsciously adding the article 'the' to my translation! No wonder I was getting it wrong! Thank you :)
With all the attention to case structure in the german language, the 'bit bucket' that the word 'das' is, I find...incredulous: the, this, that, these, those. At the same time, German incorporates no fewer than six variations for the word 'the'. Help me Duden!
Because in English, you need the plural "these" to agree with the plural "houses".
In German, when you introduce something new to the conversation by "pointing" at it, you use neuter singular: das or dies -- regardless of the gender of the new thing(s) or even how many there are.
Das ist ein Mann. Das ist eine Frau. Das ist ein Kind. Das sind Menschen.
The verb agrees with the subject in number (ist for a singular subject, sind for a plural subject), but the das does not change.
When you translate into English, you have to choose the appropriate pronoun: "this, that, these, those", depending on the number of things you are introducing.
Thank you for the explanation. Follow-up question: So it would also be correct to say ¨Dies sind Häuser die billiger sind.¨ ??
Yes, it would.
(Well, nearly. It would need a comma between Häuser and die.)
Thank you Mizinamo. Your explanations are fantastic. I have completed the course multiple times but I am still having issues with the language.
I have confused "dieser" and its variations to only mean this, that, these and those.
1)the word 'which' is often used interchangeably with the restrictive 'that'
2)a nonrestrictive clause is preceded by a comma (setting off the extra information), whereas no comma should precede a restrictive clause (indicating that the information is essential, not extra)
Can I just point out that nobody uses these awkward constructions with the verb "to be" in the relative clause? Our teacher discourages us from making such sentences because any normal person would simply say "these are cheaper houses" (in any language). When we exercise relative pronouns, we make meaningful sentences with literally any other verb than "to be", for example "these are houses that cost less than 100k euro" - "das sind Häuser, die weniger als 100K Euro kosten"