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  5. Sie (Her) vs Sie (They)


Sie (Her) vs Sie (They)

How do I know the difference? Do I simply look for plurality in the structure of the sentence, to know that it's about "them" and not "her"?

What's the trick?

December 6, 2017



The "s" is capitalized in one and not the other plus you can see the conjugated verb to also tell who is being talked about.

sie ist = she is Sie sind = they are + you are " formal "

sie hat viele hausaufgaben - she has a lot of home work Sie sind schon fertig mit einkaufen - They are already finished with shopping.


The "s" in the plural "sie sind" (they are) is not capitalized, though. You have to be careful not to mix it up, there are two "different differences":

To distinguish the singular "sie" (she) from the plural "sie" (they) you look at the verb. The conjugation is different in singular and plural form.

To distinguish the formal "Sie" (the formal "you") from the normal plural "sie" (they) you look at the capitalization. The conjugation of the verb is the same in this case.

Context is helping in both cases, of course.

In short:

sie ist = she is
sie sind = they are
Sie sind = you are (formal)


Context and verb form.

[deactivated user]

    look at the verb after it. If it’s the same conjugation that would be used for “er” or “es”, then “sie” means “she”. If it’s the same conjugation that would be used for “wir”, then “sie” means “they”. If “Sie” begins with a capital letter, then it means “you” in a formal context. However, if “sie” is the beginning of a sentence and has a capital due to that, you need to work out whether it is they or you through context.

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