"Are those oranges?"
Translation:Sind das Orangen?
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.
That sounds as odd to me as "these oranges there" -- diese refers to something close, da to something far, and mixing them is strange.
because "das" is both plural and singular. and sie does not mean those which was mentioned in question.
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 the oranges are far away from the speaker.
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.)