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  5. "These are horses."

"These are horses."

Translation:Das sind Pferde.

August 7, 2017

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qqqW5N

why is 'das sind' right? I thought das is for the singular form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

We use neuter singular forms das or dies to introduce something new to the conversation, regardless of the gender or number of the thing(s) you are introducing.

The verb has to match the number, though -- so you can have das sind... if the things are you introducing are multiple things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/douglazenb

At the risk of being pedantic (or just obtuse), would diese be correct if this (the horses) was NOT something new being introduced to the conversation? And if so, how can you say that this topic was not new to the conversation? I thought that most of the sentences in duolingo were random sentences from sample conversations, in which the reader (the duolingo user) was being exposed to a snippet of the conversation. Also, to beat a dead horse (so to say, bad pun here) when a person identifies something by saying "that" or "this", it is implicit they are making a distinction and don't need to refence the not-that or not this. For example let's assume they are pointing to a car in a parking lot and saying "this in mine". I would not expect them to say, "See all the cars in the parking lot (pointing to all the other cars), those are not mine. This is mine." (pointing to car) If the duolingo german instructors are trying to make the point (about the above stated german grammar principle), I think the user would learn/understand this better if contextual information were supplied. In this particular case, (just like in the stories), a single sentence like "Hans approaches his friend Karl who has just gotten out of his car", and says, "Das sind Pferde!" Again, if diese sind Pferde is never correct, then I have missed the point. Thanks for tolerating this post!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

would diese be correct if this (the horses) was NOT something new being introduced to the conversation?

diese would be correct if you are talking about one sub-group of a larger group that you had already been talking about before.

For example. In unserem Zoo gibt es viele Tiere. Diese sind Pferde, diese sind ... "In our zoo, there are many animals. These ones are horses, these ones are ..."

diese then stands implicitly for diese Tiere -- referring back to the group "animals" that you had discussed before. You might use "these ones" for that in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/douglazenb

Danke! I am really enjoying learning German with Duolingo and I greatly appreciate all the well informed helpful comments such as yours that really are a critical component of the Duolingo process.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SCKRN

Dies or die? Which one of them also work for plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

When you are introducing something new to the conversation, you use neuter singular terms: das or dies.

This is true regardless of the gender of the new item(s) or even of how many there are -- so dies sind could be "this is" or "these are".

die sind would be something like "these ones are" -- referring not to something new but to a subset of things that you had already spoken about and where you know what kind of noun you are referring to.

For example, if you had spoken about a specific group of animals and now wanted to focus on a particular subset of them and say that "these ones (= these animals) are horses", you could say Diese/Die (= diese Tiere/die Tiere) sind Pferde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walt1965

'diese sind Pferde' is marked wrong ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

'diese sind Pferde' is marked wrong ...

Indeed.

Since here you're talking about "these" (new things) and not "these ones" (out of a group of previously-discussed things).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walt1965

A subtle point I had not appreciated, for which thanks - but my given answer is not wrong, since we have no other context for the statement; the horses might have been mentioned before this statement ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kein-problem

I am taking a Screenshot of this, thanks for all your help, Philip.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Villgefortz

This one's bugged. Keeps telling me my answet is wrong even though it says the correct answer is what I chose. Just keeps saying incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kornellier

Why not "Dies sind Pferde"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

That works, too. It might be less often used, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adi615
  • 1285

Duo told me that that was the correct answer too. But why don't you used "diese"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoussefLeo

Why not Diese? It's correcting me to write "dies" but isn't "dies" neuter?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, dies is neuter singular -- that is the form we use to introduce something new, regardless of the gender and number of thing(s) that we are introducing.

Dies ist ein Hund. (masculine), Dies ist eine Katze. (feminine), Dies ist ein Pferd. (neuter), Dies sind Tiere. (plural)

Similarly with Das ist ein Hund. Das ist eine Katze. Das ist ein Pferd. Das sind Tiere.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deborah853655

Again lack of context gets us into trouble We have previously been expected to use diese in a sentence like this one :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcgrewrich

What is wrong with "Diese sind Pferde" as the translation of "These are horses"? I tried that and it told me to use Das instead of Diese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

What is wrong with "Diese sind Pferde" as the translation of "These are horses"?

That it's not a translation of that sentence. It means "These ones are horses" -- i.e. referring to a particular sub-group of a specific group you had been discussing before.

If you are introducing a new topic by "pointing" to it with "this, that, these, those", use neuter singular in German: Dies sind Pferde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/X_treme1

Is there ever a reason to use Dies instead of Das? Or are they completely interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

are they completely interchangeable?

No. dies can only mean "this/these" while das can mean both "that/those" and "this/these".

So for something far away, you can't use dies.

For something close by, you can use either.

And if you don't want to worry about the exact position, you can simply always use das.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/X_treme1

Ach so, vielen Dank!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arushi537584

Are there different words for 'they' and 'those' or are they both called Das?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4axg1QdY

In general, not in this sentence, which is a correct German word: dies or diese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In general, not in this sentence, which is a correct German word: dies or diese?

Both of them are correct German words.

dies refers to something unspecified (to introduce it to the conversation: "this, these"), while diese can be used:

  • on its own to refer to one particular feminine item out of a group of feminine items that have been previously discussed ("this one")
  • on its own to refer to several items out of a larger group of items that have been previously discussed ("these ones")
  • before a feminine or plural noun ("this ...", "these ...")

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratcoder

Sie sind Pferde, is it right or wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

A correct German sentence, but not a correct translation of the English one.

You wrote "They are horses" rather than "These are horses" -- you used a personal pronoun (referring back to something previously mentioned) rather than a demonstrative pronoun (which can introduce something new).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratcoder

Ok, I understand that, but how to understand what does das means das means -> the (for neuter gender) , das also means -> that or this depending on context and now das can also mean -> these, this is so confusing, how will I know what is das supposed to mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Context and practice.

"that" in English also has several meanings (e.g. the two different ones in "He said that that horse is fast").

When das is before a noun, it can mean either "the" or "that" -- you can hear the difference in speech (das is stressed when it means "that" but not when it means "the") but you can't see it in writing; then only context can help. (On Duolingo, typically both translations will be acceptable.)

In a context such as Das ist..., it's "that is...", while Das sind ... means "those are ...". (Or Das ist ... = this is ...; Das sind ... = these are ...; since German doesn't distinguish between "that" and "this" so strongly -- but if in doubt, stick to "that" and "those" respectively, choosing between those two depending on the verb and the subject.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratcoder

Ok thank you this clarifies things a bit, have a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabriele.tscha

Es gibt Pferde. --> Why is that not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The English sentence here says "TheSe are horses", not "TheRe are horses".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/millylj

why does 'sie haben Pferd' = they have horses (in the previous question), but in this case it has to be Pferde?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

sie haben Pferd is not correct.

They have horses = Sie haben Pferde.

Do you have a screenshot of Duolingo teaching or requiring the incorrect sie haben Pferd?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IchliebemeinHund

I put 'da sind Pferden' marked correct but was wondering if it was allowing for a spelling error (das). Should i have been marked as wrong? Da = over there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Should i have been marked as wrong?

Yes, it should -- da is indeed "(over) there", and Pferden is the wrong case (dative instead of nominative).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juliane360989

Kann man "these" nicht auch mit "dies" ├╝bersetzen? Also "Dies sind Pferde"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Kann man "these" nicht auch mit "dies" ├╝bersetzen? Also "Dies sind Pferde"

Yes, of course. As was discussed three years ago already on this page: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23894435?comment_id=23894436

Please read all the comments on a page before posting a new one. Thank you.

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