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  5. "Das sind Mädchen."

"Das sind Mädchen."

Translation:These are girls.

October 30, 2017

43 Comments


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

What about, "They are girls."?


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

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


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.


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".


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"


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".


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.


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

Why not these are girls... ?


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

That's also a possible answer.


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.


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.


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

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


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

In this sort of context: yes.


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

Danke! That makes it easier.


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.


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

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


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

Because that's not what the German sentence means.

"There are girls" would be Es gibt Mädchen.


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

Why! Please explain why it is those instead of they


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.


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 ?


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".


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

Thank you very much.That was really helpful.


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"


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.


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

What is the translation for "dies"?


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

“This” or “these”.


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

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


[deactivated user]

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


    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.


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

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


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

    I can't understand the grammar


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

    Difference between sind and seid


    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.


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

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


    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).


    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.


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

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


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

    What about They are girls?


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

    That would be a different sentence: Sie sind Mädchen.


    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".

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