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Das as demonstrative pronoun refers to neuter nouns or all genders??

Hello, In duolingo tips and notes, I read that the definit articles can also be used as demonstrative pronouns. So der can be used to refer to a masculine noun, das to neuter and die to feminine and plural nouns. But I've seen several sentences in which das refers to different genders and even plural nouns like Das ist ein Mann or Das sind meine Kinder. I'm so confused about this. Can someone explain please?? Thanks in advance...

September 27, 2017



When you introduce something new to a conversation, you use a neuter singular pronoun (das, dies) to do so -- regardless of the gender of the thing(s) or how many there are.

Hence Das ist ein Mann, Das sind meine Kinder.

(Note that the verb does agree with the subject in number -- you have to use Das ist/Dies ist... for a singular thing and Das sind/Dies sind... for plural things.)

But if you are referring back to (part of) a known group ("this one, that one" in English as opposed to "this, that"), then the pronoun has to agree: Hier sind zwei Männer: der ist klein und der ist groß "There are two men here: that one is short and that one is tall." // Meine Kinder lernen Französisch; deine auch? -- Nein, die lernen Spanisch. "My children learn French; yours too? -- No, those learn Spanish:"


Thank you very much Now I get it....


You use der/die/das to mean 'the' if it comes directly before a noun, depending on its gender:

Der Mann; Die Frau; Das Wasser

However, you use Das to mean 'that' if it comes before a verb:

Das ist ein Mann

Das ist eine Frau

Das ist das Wasser

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