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  5. "Sie schreiben."

"Sie schreiben."

Translation:They write.

August 22, 2017

62 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/TalonPlays

Schreibt means he/she/you, schreiben means we/they

correct? -en is we/they, not you?


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

Sie can also mean you (formal). It's easier to tell if it's in the middle of a sentence, as formal you Sie is always capitalized.


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/Sarah851648

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


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

then what is Ihr?


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

The plural "you." Like "y'all."

"Ihr schreibt" would mean "Y'all write."


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/ChromateX

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/Sarah851648

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/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/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/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/biertopf

It rather sounds like "shry-Ben" ("Ben" like the name). Here you can listen to two examples: https://de.forvo.com/word/schreiben/#de (although IMO in Vortarulo's "schreiben" the "sch" sounds a bit weird, almost a bit like "f").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortezaBas4

But it could be better if it accepts both you and they


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

Only with one comment i agree. We need acceptance for both answers. Here we dont see the context. Both answers are right with "they" and formal "You". Thanks Duo.


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

Sie with a big S is also correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa275819

Oh, I think this rather comlicated, but I try to understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.M3M3

it can be used in different ways. 3rd person when you are making a plural statement. And 2nd person in polite form


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

Hey, we haven't learned formal yet!


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

Also got confused with this but maybe the confusion was deliberate to help us remember?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samaa180763

Sie = they in this state not you You = du or ihr!


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

"Sie" with uppercase "S" is the German formal you (used in singular and plural), while "du" is the informal singular "you" and "ihr" is the informal plural "you" (aka "you all").
So "Sie schreiben" can mean both "They write" and "You write".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steady-Lee

But if the "Sie" means formal "You", which is referring to a single person, shouldn't it be "schreibt" instead?


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

Formal "you" "Sie" can refer to a single person or to several people. It always uses the 3rd person plural conjugation, i.e. the one used with "sie" ("they").


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

Ohh, that makes more sense now, thanks


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

I don't think we are on FORMAL speaking yet


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/donegal.ruth

I said they write and was marked wrong. Why? Can Sie not be formal you or they?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edward1915

Translation of sie is they somtimes she or maybe her too but dictanary does,t show us you at all what is this? Wtf/ some one please explain me!


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

Someone already explained. Please read the other comments before posting "wtf"-comments. "Sie" with uppercase "S" is the formal German "you", singular or plural.


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

It should be they write as the plural verb form is used.


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

It can also be the formal "you", which uses the 3rd person plural conjugation, too.


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

Only with one comment i agree. We need acceptance for both answers. Here we dont see the context. Both answers are right with "they" and formal "You". Thanks Duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nemanja773627

Sie means she, not you


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

Please read the existing comments. "Sie" can be the formal German "you".


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

I guess 'Sie schreiben' means 'they write' bcz the verb ends with "-en form" but why does it mean 'you write'?


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

Please read the other comments, this has already been explained ("Sie" can be the formal "you" in German)

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