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  5. "Are those oranges?"

"Are those oranges?"

Translation:Sind das Orangen?

November 29, 2017



Why is it "Sind das" and not "Sind diese"? I would think it should at least be "die" since orangen is plural.


Das” as a pronoun doesn't have a number (or a gender), it can equally be “that” or ”those”. Same goes for “dies”. Not that “diese” is completely wrong, it's just that it means “these ones” rather than just “these”. Read sasakiru's comment in this thread for a very nice and much more thorough explanation of the use of “das”, “dies” and “diese”.


After reading sasakiru's good explaination I still don't understand why "sind dies Orangen" is wrong.

  • das can be "this" or "that"
  • dies is nearly always just "this"

Since the English sentence has "those", dies is not appropriate here.

If the English had had "these", either das or dies would have worked.


is there any other way to say this?



Why would you want one?

"Are those oranges?"

Sind das Orangen?

Both of those are the normal way to ask that question in English and German, respectively.

Do you have anything in particular in mind for your "other way"? What would you want to change?


I was under the standing that "die " is plural?


this is really weird. i've read the entire thread here and sakasiru's reply (nice and long, very informative, yes), and even in his reply there were: "These children are loud - diese Kinder sind laut. (nominative pl)"

the difference between "these" and "those" is super tiny, i've also been taught all my life that diese = these, and with "jene" being virtually defunct as a word this is super nitpicky. also "das" which is an acceptable answer means "that" and the question to be translated is not "are that oranges". it's just really weird.


The person is asking if they are oranges. So if they don't, they are not saying "these oranges".

Sind diese Orangen?

Are these? Oranges? Or Are these (things) oranges?


What about "Sind diese da Orangen?" ?


That sounds as odd to me as "these oranges there" -- diese refers to something close, da to something far, and mixing them is strange.


well, I just got it right writing "sind dies orangen?" though


I just got it right writing "sind dies orangen?" though

How unfortunate. I don't think it's a good translation and think it should not have been included.


makes no sense, the oranges are supposed to be plural :/


I'm trying to get to the link for sasakiru's explanation, but the link doesn't work for me. If you can find it, I would greatly appreciate if you can repost it. Thanks!


I thought das meant the


I thought das meant the

das can mean "the" or "this" or "that" or "these" or "those" or "which" or "who" or "whom", depending on context.


Why "Sind die Orangen" is wrong? "Orangen" is plural so we should use die instead of das!


No. We need neuter singular das in this kind of situation.

*Das ist ein Mann. Ist das eine Frau? Das sind Kinder. Sind das Orangen?”


That would be "Are the oranges". 'Das' in this case is referring to 'those' and not 'the'.


As a native speaker I would like to add that the most common usages are "Sind dies Orangen?" alternativly "Sind das Orangen?"


If you are a native speaker I would prefer to go by what you say.


I wrote "Sind sie Orangen" and it wasn't accepted, why ?


Sie is used for human, Das is used both for plural and single human or else. "Das" is used for all "this , those , these" and "that".


Sie is also used for objects.

The noun doesn't matter here, what matters is the grammatically purpose of "these" in the sentence


That would be "Are they oranges."


because "das" is both plural and singular. and sie does not mean those which was mentioned in question.


In English a person would hold up the unknown fruit and ask: Are these Oranges? Alternatively they might point to an array of fruit and ask: Are those Oranges? Is their a similiar distinction in German and if so, How would they be structured?


In English a person would hold up the unknown fruit and ask: Are these Oranges? Alternatively they might point to an array of fruit and ask: Are those Oranges? Is their a similiar distinction in German

Not necessarily; you could use Sind das Orangen? for both.

You could also use Sind dies Orangen? for the "these" situation and Sind das Orangen? for the "those" situation, but using das for both near and far things is relatively common.

Much like English doesn't distinguish between sore (that, near you) and are (that, far from both of us) like Japanese would but uses "that" for both, without most English speakers perceiving that as a problem -- German often uses das for both "this", "that", and "yon"; it's generally not a problem in context. If you're holding something up, it's fairly obvious that das refers to the thing near you; if you're pointing to something, it's fairly obvious that das refers to something further away.

(Colloquial German will sometimes add an adverb such as hier "here", da "there", or dort "over there", e.g. Sind das hier Orangen? Sind das da Orangen?.)


Thank you. Like much in language studies, unlike well-done science: "Like muddy water, it covers the ground, but not too clearly."


Could you ever say "Sind sie Orangen" not in place of this but as like a general phrase or is it reserved to living things only?


Sind das Apfelsinen? - is also right. Apfelsine/Apfelsinen is the same like Orange/Orangen. :o)


im confused about the structure of the sentence. my first language was Portuguese and for some reason I keep thinking it should be das Sind orangen? rather than Sind das orangen? the tips section is also confusing


Why not "Sind diese Orangen?" legit question since "diese" literally means 'those' according to like every online translator and all the German I learned in school.....


Why not "Sind diese Orangen?"

Please see the comment threads started by wdjohns (should be right at the top) and by marcialori.

In general, please always read all the comments first (you may have to scroll to the bottom for more to be loaded) to see whether your question has been asked before.


"diese" literally means 'those'

If you're going for "literally", the basic meaning is "these", not "those". But that's before a noun and not in a "Are those ... ?" situation.


I did read all the replies, they had grammatical errors, mine does not. "If you're going for "literally: Yeah, kinda am, and I know you don't go for that here, but I can't tell you how times Duo told me "how are you called" is a translation of "Wie hießt du?" Perhaps this is a regionalism. I've noticed a fair bit of Süddeutsch in the lessons.


Thank you everyone.... it really helped me ! :D


why it use sind? instead of ist ?


Because "Orangen" is plural, and therefore its correlated pronoun is "they", not "he"/"she"/"it".


Why not: Sind denen Orangen?


Why would it be dative plural denen?


Why "are those oranges" and not "are these oranges"


Because the oranges are far away from the speaker.


Sind das Orangen, are those oranges?


Couldnt "ist das.." work in this case?


No. Orangen is plural, so it has to be Sind das Orangen? with third-person plural verb sind.


What about "Das sind Orangen?"? Can you ask a question like this, hypothetically? Or is the order of the words wrong?


What about "Das sind Orangen?"?

That would be what I call a "surprise/confirmation" question -- you have heard something that surprises you and so you repeat what you had heard or seen in order to receive confirmation that you heard or saw correctly.

A: "Look, I brought you some oranges." B: "Those are oranges???"

Using statement word order with question intonation is not the normal way to ask a question. It's only used for these surprise/confirmation scenarios.


I used "Seid das Orangen" to no avail, I'm guessing there's good reason for this though. "Seid" is used when dealing with the formal You (Ihr), to say "You (plural) are" something, so I guess it makes no sense to take the plural framing out and put it into a "Sind" use case context. If someone could confirm that, or even elaborate, I'd appreciate it.


"Seid" is used when dealing with the formal You (Ihr)

ihr is not formal.

ihr is informal and plural.

ihr seid = you are (y'all are, yinz are, ye are)

The formal "you", both singular and plural, is Sie, and it takes the verb form sind, exactly like the sie which means "they" -- sie sind "they are", Sie sind "you are".

the plural framing

I'm not sure what you mean by that, but if you think that all plural subjects (we, you, they) take the same verb forms -- that is mistaken.


would "das sind orangen" be the correct translation of "those are oranges", then?


would "das sind orangen" be the correct translation of "those are oranges", then?

Nearly. The correct translation would be das sind Orangen with the noun Orangen capitalised.


why not das sind?


why not das sind?

Yes-no questions start with the verb.


Would "Sind jene Orangen?" be a correct translation?


Would "Sind jene Orangen?" be a correct translation?

No. It sounds very unnatural to me.


I understand that it may sound unnatural but is it incorrect? If it wasn't a question but a statement would "jene" be correct? For example, I was in the market and I was telling the orange stall operator that I wanted "those oranges" in the corner ten feet away from me and not "these oranges" which were right in front of me , couldn't I say to the sales person, "ich moechte jene orangen, bitte". Or is that kind of old fashioned or even wrong? Danke im Voraus.


For example, I was in the market and I was telling the orange stall operator that I wanted "those oranges" in the corner ten feet away from me and not "these oranges" which were right in front of me , couldn't I say to the sales person, "ich moechte jene orangen, bitte". Or is that kind of old fashioned or even wrong?

It's only slightly less old-fashioned than saying in English, "I want yon oranges, please."

"those oranges (over there)" would be die Orangen da in today's German.

jene is not quite so dead that you wouldn't be understood but I think you would be marked as not a native speaker, for digging out such an archaic word and using it in speech.


Danke für Ihre Erklärung


Why is it- sind das, not sind die??


Why is it- sind das, not sind die??

Because we use neuter singular (das, dies) in German when we start talking about something new.

Das ist ... / Das sind ... / Ist das ...? / Sind das ...?

Regardless of whether the "..." is masculine, feminine, neuter, or plural, it's always das/dies in neuter singular in such a context.


Again, misleading. Das in this context is not an article, it's a pronoun.

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Why not sind sie Orangen as they are plural?


Why is it "Sind das Orangen?" and not "Sind die Orangen?" I thought "die" was the article for all plural nouns, regardless of gender?


Why is it "Sind das Orangen?" and not "Sind die Orangen?" I thought "die" was the article for all plural nouns, regardless of gender?

There's no article here.

das is a pronoun in this sentence.

Das sind Orangen. is the statement; Sind das Orangen? is the corresponding question.

And we use neuter singular das for introducing new topics to conversation by "pointing" to them by this word, regardless of the gender and number of the thing(s) we're talking about.

If you wanted to ask "Are those the oranges?", then it would indeed be Sind das die Orangen?.


❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤. "Diese" is an acceptable form of "those" in later lessons, why not here? Stupid trick questions keep costing me gems


According to Reverso, "Sind die Orangen" means Are these oranges? and should have been accepted. What wasn't it?


I wrote oragen but system tells that Oragne is correct . I dont know if there is mistake or not.


system tells that Oragne is correct

That would surprise me -- Oragne is not a German word.

It should have said Orangen.

Do you have a screenshot of this odd mistaken "correction"?


Dou had never explained why there is this change so it is not fair to Mark it as wrong without an explanation.


How do we know when to use bist or sind?


Wrong because I wrote Sind sie Orangen when NOWHERE before was I introduced to the correct word. I swear, when I get to 365 streak on both accounts I'm dropping the app...


Why not “are they oranges?” It is what I would normally say.

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