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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?


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.


It was really helpful. Thank you


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!


It's good "mental gymnastics"!! I crave it!!


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


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


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?”


I agree with you. I was told in Living Language that the plural is ALWAYS die.


I was told in Living Language that the plural is ALWAYS die.

Not always -- only in the nominative or accusative cases.

But in this sentence, we don't need a plural word; we need the neuter singular word das.


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 ?


That would be "Are they oranges."


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".


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


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


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.


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


Because the oranges are far away from the speaker.


why not das sind?


why not das sind?

Yes-no questions start with the verb.


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.


sind diese nicht sind das !


sind diese nicht sind das !

No. "Those" are ones that are far away, so "sind das...?" is appropriate in German.

"Are these oranges?" could be "Sind das Orangen?" or "Sind dies Orangen?".

But "Sind diese Orangen?" would be "Are these ones oranges?" -- not pointing to something entirely new but instead singling out certain objects out of a group of things you had talked about before.


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."


Can't we use bist instead of sind? Both have the same meaning.


Can't we use bist instead of sind?

No, of course not.

bist is only used when the subject is du (you -- one person).

Here, the subject is Orangen, which is third person plural: something you're talking about, not someone you're talking to.

Both have the same meaning.

No, they don't.

They might both translate into "are" in English, but that's just because English has fewer distinct verb forms than German does (and because English lost the pronoun "thou" with its associated verb forms).

You might as well say that "am, is, are" all "have the same meaning", because they're all is in Afrikaans and all er in Danish. But you can't say "I is happy" just because in Afrikaans it would be Ek is gelukkig, nor "he are hungry" because in Danish it would be Han er sulten.


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


Why not sind sie Orangen as they are plural?


Why not sind sie Orangen as they are plural?

That would be "Are they oranges?" rather than "Are those oranges?"

For "those" in this sort of context, use singular das. See the other comments on this page.


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 denen Orangen?


Why would it be dative plural denen?


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.


"Sind das Apfelsinen" was accepted.



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.


So if “diese” isn’t completely wrong as stated in the explanation, then it should be an acceptable answer


No it should not. 'those' and 'these' are different. 'Diese' would mean- ''Are these oranges?'' which you would say when the oranges are closer to you.


The question is: Are those oranges? "Those" is plural. In the exercise, I typed "Sind die orangen?" The reply I got was that the correct sentence would be "Sind DAS orangen - and not 'DIE'" -- Given that it is plural, I thought "die" was the correct form. Am I confused and wrong? Please let me know. Thank you!!


The question is: Are those oranges? "Those" is plural. In the exercise, I typed "Sind die orangen?" The reply I got was that the correct sentence would be "Sind DAS orangen - and not 'DIE'" -- Given that it is plural, I thought "die" was the correct form. Am I confused and wrong?

German uses different rules here than English.

When you're introducing something new to the sentence with "this / that / these / those", by verbally "pointing" to the new thing(s) with such a word, German uses neuter singular, dies or das, regardless of the gender of the new thing(s) or how many there are. (Possibly because it's new and so you don't know what it is yet.)

The verb agrees with the new thing(s) in number (singular or plural) but the dies/das is always neuter singular.

Das ist ein Mann. Das ist eine Frau. Das ist ein Kind. Das sind Menschen. Ist das ein Hund? Ist das eine Katze? Ist das ein Pferd? Sind das Tiere?


Why not Sind diese orangen?


Why not Sind diese orangen?

  • Orangen is a noun and has to be capitalised
  • "those" refers to something further away, dies to something close
  • new concepts that are introduced to a sentence with "this/that/these/those" use the neuter (singular) in German, but diese is either feminine or plural.

Hence, it has to be Sind das Orangen?

Sind dies Orangen? would be "Are these oranges?"

And Sind diese Orangen? would be "Are these ones oranges?" -- talking about a subset of something you had previously mentioned rather than about something new.


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


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

No. It sounds very unnatural to me.


How and why is "sind" used here?


How and why is "sind" used here?

Orangen is plural, so you need the third person plural form sind here.

das remains neuter singular, since that's the form we use when we introduce something new to the conversation by "pointing" at it with dies or das.


Just say "That's the way it's done in German." Stop try to justify rediculous linguistic quirks.


I would say this translation is wrong. " das" means - it , or it is the article for kind of neuter ( das Kind ). We can say - " das sind die Sweine ( these are the pigs ) but..... Are it oranges....doesn't work not at all. Also in german language not. Instead we can use - in sing.- Ist es Orange ? / Sind sie Orangen ? - in plural. I will report it.


das does not mean "it" -- it means "that".

Ist das eine Orange? - Is that an orange?

Ist es eine Orange? - Is it an orange?

Unlike English, German uses neuter singular das or dies to introduce something new, regardless of the gender and number of the thing(s) you are introducing:

Das ist ein Hund. Das ist eine Katze. Das ist ein Pferd. Das sind Tiere. "That is a dog. That is a cat. That is a horse. Those are animals." (Hund is masculine, Katze is feminine, Pferd is neuter, Tiere is plural, but we use das for all of them.)

So Sind das Orangen? is fine for "Are those oranges?"

Sind sie Orangen? would also be grammatical but would mean "Are they oranges?" -- it would refer to something you had previously mentioned, as opposed to something new you are "pointing at" with the word "that/those" to introduce it to the conversation.


If you wish so :) But I propose you don't use "dies" because it is quite unconfortable ( also if Duolingo love it ) and replace it by grammatically correct forms : dieser, diese, dieses, diese ect. Also exists correct form - gibt es... ? or -es gibt... For my luck english it isn't my original language and....I stay in Germany :) If you want to learn properly don't base only on Duolingo and use professional materials. By the way, Sind sie Orangen ? will be in first line translated as - are you oranges ? :) So, better use - sind es /das Orangen ? before somebody will be very surpriced :) Grüße :)


Lowercase sie cannot mean "you" -- that would be uppercase Sie.

Also, I would make a distinction between Dies sind Orangen "These are oranges" and Diese sind Orangen "These ones are oranges".

The first one refers to something new; the second one to part of something you have previously mentioned -- you have a specific noun in mind, e.g. diese Früchte "these fruit" but are omitting the noun because it's clear from context and saying just diese "these ones".

Both are grammatically correct, but mean different things.

Similarly with e.g. Sieh mal die Hunde an! Dieser ist ein Pudel. "Look at the dogs! This one is a poodle." (dieser "this one" is short for dieser Hund "this dog") versus Dies ist ein Pudel. "This is a poodle." (dies "this" is used to introduce an entirely new topic to the conversation.)


hahah so just once more why is it not die orangen ? should not be like this? das orange - ist das eiene orange? die orangen - sind die orangen?


sind die orangen?

No. Please see the other comments on this page, e.g. the thread started by Mary1447.

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