"Das sind Mädchen."

Translation:These are girls.

October 30, 2017

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/16BitPotato

What about, "They are girls."?

October 30, 2017

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

That would be translated to 'Sie sind Mädchen'. Because They translates to Sie as a pronoum

October 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RetroEinst1

If I said "those", I would be reffering to the girls as objects and not people. Therefore it doesn't make sense and should be "they are girls" so they are refered to as people.

January 7, 2018

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

"this, that, these, those" can refer to people as well.

For example, you might introduce someone as "This is my sister."

Saying "She is my sister" would not make sense, because personal pronouns generally refer back to something that had been mentioned before, but if you're introducing her, you haven't spoken about her before.

Similarly here. You are pointing at a group of children that you hadn't spoken about before, so you have to use "those" rather than "they".

January 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasPr914741

but it can be used when introducing her like: ....... :- who is she? ....... :- oh that girl in the corner? she is my sister

i too think that "those" would mean them to be "stuff" not "girls"

April 12, 2018

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

Sure - then you are referring back to "that girl in the corner" in the previous sentence and can use "she".

April 12, 2018

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

Not diese?

December 21, 2017

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

No. That would mean "These ones", i.e. "from out of the group of [something] that we had been discussing, these [somethings] are girls". There would be some noun implied. For example, "There are eight children in the room. These ones (= These children) are girls."

But if you're introducing something new to the conversation by (verbally) pointing to it -- "These are children." -- then you use neuter singular to do so in German: das or dies. Regardless of the gender of the new item(s) or how many there are.

December 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsewang14

Why not these are girls... ?

March 1, 2018

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

That's also a possible answer.

March 1, 2018

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

Maybe it's just me, but I can't imagine a situation in which I would say "These are girls". It sounds really weird to me. I would always translate "Das sind Maedchen" as "They are girls". "Those are girls" works, but "These are girls" just sounds strange. It's almost like it objectifies and dehumanizes the girls.

May 27, 2018

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

One context I came up with: you're showing someone a photograph taken from far above (perhaps from a quad-copter drone) -- so you can't make out anybody specific.

You're showing your friend the picture and pointing at some blobs visible on the picture. "See these blobs? These are girls and those over here are boys."

"They are girls" would not work -- at least for me -- because "they" refers back to something already mentioned, but you hadn't talked about people yet at all; you're just starting to talk about them by pointing to them.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

So..."Das" can mean "this", "that", "these" and "those"?

October 28, 2018

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

In this sort of context: yes.

October 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

Danke! That makes it easier.

October 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyese786634

Why can't I traanslate this phrase as "There are girls"?

November 24, 2017

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

Because that's not what the German sentence means.

"There are girls" would be Es gibt Mädchen.

December 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katie161997

Why! Please explain why it is those instead of they

January 30, 2018

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

Because the German has Das sind Mädchen (= Those are girls / These are girls) and not Sie sind Mädchen (= They are girls).

"this/that/these/those" refers to something new that you are "pointing at" and introducing to the conversation; "they" refers back to something you had mentioned earlier in the conversation.

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MFrJ91

So Das is used for this/that/they/those.I remember in an earlier practice test about die being used for these/those.Could you please tell me why die sind madchen is wrong ?

March 9, 2018

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

When you introduce something new to the conversation with "this/that/these/those" (not followed by a noun), that is das or dies in German - always neuter singular, regardless of what kind of thing or how many of it you are introducing.

If, on the other hand, the word is before a noun, you have to use the appropriate gender, e.g. das Mädchen for "that girl" and die Mädchen for "those girls".

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MFrJ91

Thank you very much.That was really helpful.

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amita395430

How about "This is a girl"....cause Die is for girls (plural)....so can "Das sind Madchen" be "This is a girl"

April 1, 2018

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

First off, Madchen should be spelled Mädchen, or Maedchen if you can't make the ä letter.

Next, sind is the third person plural verb, which means that Das sind Mädchen can only mean "Those are girls."

"This is a girl" would be Das ist ein Mädchen. -- using not only the third person singular verb ist but also the indefinite article ein. (Saying just Das ist Mädchen would be like saying "This is girl".)

When you're introducing something new to a conversation, you always use neuter singular to do so (dies or das), regardless of the gender or how many things there are. Even masculine nouns such as Hund or Mann or feminine nouns such as Katze or Frau would have Das ist ein Hund / ein Mann / eine Katze / eine Frau.

But the verb that comes next takes the number (singular or plural) of the thing(s) you are introducing -- sind for plural, ist for singular.

April 1, 2018

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

What is the translation for "dies"?

May 3, 2018

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

“This” or “these”.

May 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uttam311167

Thanks Philip to help us.. above conversation is too much useful and cleared most of the confusion.

April 12, 2018

[deactivated user]

    just curious about this: why can't 'seid' replace the word 'sind' in this sentence?

    May 12, 2018

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

    Because the verb agrees with Mädchen "girls" -- which is third person singular, like "they".

    seid is only used when the subject is ihr, i.e. "you" when speaking to multiple people.

    It's not used for "they" or any other subject.

    May 13, 2018

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

    i am still lil bit confused, about the difference between "that, this, these, those." How?

    May 26, 2018

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

    They are girls

    May 30, 2018

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

    That would be sie sind Mädchen.

    But the German has das sind Mädchen = these are girls / those are girls.

    May 30, 2018

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

    I can't understand the grammar

    June 2, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tejaswi784664

    Difference between sind and seid

    June 26, 2018

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

    seid is used when the subject is ihr (you -- two or more people).

    sind is used when the subject is wir (we) or sie (they) or a plural noun phrase such as Mädchen (girls) in this sentence.

    June 26, 2018

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

    Can it not be 'That are girls' or 'Those are girls'?

    June 28, 2018

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

    It cannot be "That are girls" in English -- you need the plural, as in "Those are girls" (which is an accepted answer).

    June 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gordon.sim

    After reading this whole comment thread, [It cannot be "That are girls" in English] made me laugh haha.. Thank you.

    September 19, 2018

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

    Maybe the complication arises because the singular and plural for a girl in geman is the same word

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azita213818

    What about They are girls?

    July 13, 2018

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

    That would be a different sentence: Sie sind Mädchen.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbhishekVe19900

    Why not They are?

    July 24, 2018

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

    Because the German doesn't say Sie sind Mädchen (They are girls) but instead says Das sind Mädchen (Those are girls).

    It doesn't talk about some people you had previously been talking about (they) but introduces someone new to the conversation by "pointing" at them with the word "those".

    July 24, 2018
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