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  5. "Sie schreiben."

"Sie schreiben."

Translation:They write.

August 22, 2017

38 Comments


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

Sie schreiben should be THEY write, not you write


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

It can mean both. "Sie" (with uppercase "S") is formal "you" in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamratRoy2

Just when i thought i was able to understand German pronouns


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kennedy248849

But there would be a capital S here as Sie is beginning the sentence. So how do we tell if Sie at the beginning of a sentence is She and not They.


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

You can't tell if "Sie" here means "they" or (formal) "you". But you can tell that it's not "she" because of the conjugation of the verb:

Sie schreiben: They write. or You write.
Sie schreibt: She writes.


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

When "Sie" is used as formal "you", is it singular or plural, or can it be used for both?


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

It can be both.


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

So . . . when you speak formally do you use the plural form of the verb? Or is schreiben just "write" so it can be used with "You."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaytonQ45

I thought "Ihr" was the formal You


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJam5077

That is plural "you".


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

Formal you in singular or plural? :-D


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

Could be either.


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

But isn't shreiben for plural, especially they while for "you" it'd be shreibt (or something like that)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S851648

And for the polite form with "Sie" instead of "du".


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

Like the others, the sentence is corrects as "You write" using the formal you "Sie". The twist here is that Duo is including this example in the strengthen/practice sessions before the user reaches the lesson titled "Formal You".

Think of it as a free preview of things to come? FWIW...I find myself learning these "gotcha!" examples almost directly because they are confusing at first and so require my attention to read and figure them out.


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

And probably helps you remember the conjugation further on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gail616867

I understand that "sie" is she OR they OR formal you, depending on context. But "schreiben"? Isn't that the form used for "they"? When using the "formal YOU" word, does it follow that "formal you" is the same as "they"? Or am I just trying to figure out something I haven't been taught yet?


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

"Sie" = formal "you" uses the same conjugation as "sie" = "they".
Here: sie schreiben, Sie schreiben


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

But when it's at the beginning of a sentence, it's going to be capitalised anyway. So you really cant tell the difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Owen492523

Not to mention the fact that one cannot decipher capital letters from spoken language. I was enjoying learning German until this moment. It seemed so systematic and logical.. until... now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJam5077

When is formal "you" used? To everyone you don't know?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S851648

That's a difficult question, but basically yes, to everyone you don't know who is not a kid.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cody263662

Why on Earth would they not tell you Sie can mean you earlier on or at least say it when you hover over it. God sometimes Duolingo can really be a pain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SUlcF4NV

One can barely distinguish what the guys is saying...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brigand13

This can ALSO be translated as "They write". There is NO CONTEXT in this clip, so it is IMPOSSIBLE to differentiate between the two meanings. Therefore, "They write" needs to be accepted as correct.


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

How are we supposed to know whether it is talking about "formal you" or "they" in a simple sentence like this? In the real world we would have context, is this just a mistake on Duo's part?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Owen492523

I agree. This has ruined my day immeasurably. My mood has been tainted with a sour tinge.


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

How do you pronounce 'schreiben'? It sounds like the woman is pronouncing it as: shry-din


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamratRoy2

Non German here. But I have atleast mastered the pronunciations. You have to understand the parts of mouth that are involved in German language. It's pretty close to snoring sound (kh) but where the uvula vibrates instead of blocking the tonsil. Pronounce (sh)-->Pronounce (kh) using uvula --> Pronounce (ei) --> Pronounce(ben)


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

Sie with a big S is also correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kilojoule5

Why is "they are writing" not accepted?


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

Why is "they are writing" not accepted?

Did you have a listening exercise, perhaps, rather than a translation exercise?

Do you have a screenshot of your rejected sentence?


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

Can i use "they are writing" instead of "they write" ???


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

Can i use "they are writing" instead of "they write" ?

As an answer to a translation exercise: of course.

As an answer to a listening exercise: of course not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SWtu0x

they are writing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T-SHANE

"Sie schreiben" also can mean "they are writing," so why does Duo say it is wrong?


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

Do you have a screenshot of Duo rejecting "they are writing " as the answer to a translation exercise? If so, please share it with us -- upload it to a website somewhere such as imgur and then post the URL of the image in a comment here.

Otherwise, I will assume that you either (a) had a listening exercise ("type what you hear") and should have, well, "typed what you heard" (i.e. in German), or (b) made a mistake of some kind.

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