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  5. "These are a dog and a cat."

"These are a dog and a cat."

Translation:Dies sind ein Hund und eine Katze.

January 26, 2018



I went with 'Diese sind ein Hund und eine Katze'. But - there's a slight problem - in the course up to now, you've never been introduced to 'These' - Diese. It's always 'This/That' - Das. I know it from school so I wrote it down as it should be.


To introduce new things or people, German always uses singular neuter, dies/das/es. Dies sind meine Eltern. Das ist meine Frau. Es ist mein Hund. Only if the reference of the pronoun was already given before or is directly given after a demonstrative pronoun, the pronoun agrees in number and gender. Diese Frau ist meine Mutter. Ich habe viele Haustiere, dieses ist meine Katze Elfriede. Das ist meine Frau, ich habe sie vor 20 Jahren kennengelernt.

Dies ist used to refer to something new, regardless of number and gender. To refer to something introduced before that is singular neuter, you can't use dies, but only dieses.

Dies das and es are also used to refer to entire sentences and ideas that have not been named with a specific word, e.g. Ein Hund ist keine Katze. Das weißt du.


Thanks for you answer! I really, really do appreciate it. I have another question though... In the sentence 'These are a dog and a cat' we use plural for this- "these". Shouldn't it be this way in German too? I mean - we introduce them with 'Diese'? In the sentence 'Dies sind meine Eltern' - it's one word that describes both of the parents at the same time- just like in English. But in 'These are a dog and a cat.' - we have 2 objects to introduce - the dog, and the cat. So shouldn't we use in fact 'Diese' just like in English we use 'These' and not 'This is a cat and a dog'?

P.S. What i am trying to say is that in English we use 'These' so that we know that there is more than 1 object. And after that we clarify it further by saying that the one object is a dog, and the other is a cat. Isn't it the same in German too?


In the introduction we use the words dies, das and es, which are all singular neuter, but used for any gender and number. So I could as well have said "Das/Es sind meine Eltern" ("Es" in case that someone would ask me who is at the door, or who is calling me). Only after the introduction we switch to the correct number and gender pronouns, unlike in English.

PS: As I tried to explain above, this applies only to pronomial use, when a noun is replaced by the pronoun. Attributively used demonstratives always agree with the noun to which they are attributed, i.e. I would say "Dies sind ...", but "Diese Tiere sind ..." or "Diese Beiden sind ..."


Now I got it. Thank you so much for taking your time to explain this to me. :)


Nichts zu danken ;-).


Excellent explanation. Lots of useful information. Thanks a lot!


When u wrote "dieseS ist meine katze" i think that last S is not correect, is it?


Why is it sometimes "ein Hund" and other times "einen Hund"? How can I know which one to use and when?


Ein Hund is nominative (subject or after werden, sein), einen Hund is an accusative object (~ direct object).


Read the bulb/tips on the website before each lecture.


I guess the question I have is: why would the folks running the show here at Duolingo pose a translation question like this before introducing the concept of "these"? I'm a relative newcomer to German, and there's simply no way for me to have known. Besides, "der, die, das" so far as has been used in the course have only been used as "the/that". One presupposes (and I would think rightly) that the forms in German for "these" should be as different as they are in English.

I feel that this is an example of how basically duoLingo is not a teaching platform. It certainly didn't teach anything here in this instance.


What did you come here for? To learn a language. LEARN. If you had had no knowledge before Duolingo, you wouldn't be so far in the course if Duolingo did not TEACH you. So, yes, Duolingo IS a teaching app. Have you ever heard that teaching one small thing to yourself helps you learn it better because more time and effort is put into finding the answer? Don't put Duolingo down for this - it is a strategy that everyone, including teachers uses to help people learn. And it works. You won't be forgetting that 'Diese' means 'These' now that you've had to work to find out the information for yourself. Thank you for your time.


I've been using the app for 4 years now and seen several updates and in the beginning of learning German I was shown Diese, and Dieses. I wasnt even aware others had not been shown.


I think sometimes that because Duolingo is a computer, and not an actual live teacher, it hasn't been programmed to take into account that students, are being thrown in at the deep end. I've also experienced on many occasions that when I click on the Forum, for assistance, it wont let me in! I agree with what you say about figuring things out by ourselves. However, I have always found that when someone takes the time to explain something to me, it definately sinks in a lot better, (and quicker!).


This was difficult to guess, it took some time and effort, so I'll remember it better. Not a bad way to introduce things.


Wait. So "Das" also work for "These"? I thought it was just for "That".


Yes, you can use it with plurals, e.g. Das sind meine zwei Hunde.


Wouldn't this sentence be best translated as "Dies sind ein Hund und eine Katze."


It's also correct, it just sounds a bit more formal using dies instead of das. Das I'd use in everyday language, while in a formal context dies ist better.


Why isn't the Hund in accusative -> einen Hund ?


Because it's not a direct object (nor an indirect object, for that matter). ‘Dog’ here is a subject predicative: a qualifier for the subject linked to it by a copula (aka ‘linking verb’), like ‘to be’, ‘to become’, ‘to feel’ (as in ‘I feel tired’), ‘to resemble’. Subject predicatives take the same case as subject—namely, the nominative.


Why its not einen hund?


It should be working when I clicked the button to turn in it just said it was wrong and that made no sense at all.


Deise und and hund mean These,and,dog and the hard words are kartofflen and orangensaft and that is the hard stuff so please like it if your new!




I think "Das ist ein Hund und eine Katze" ist the correct translation for this sentence.


"ein Hund und eine Katze" is a list or enumeration, so it's a plural and you have to use sind. Of course you can split it in two clauses and say "das ist ein Hund und das ist eine Katze", then you have two clauses with a singular in each. Das ist ein Hund und eine Katze would mean that "it" is a dog and a cat at the same time, not two animals....


I would not call your sentence wrong from the meaning since itmay be a semicommon ellipsis, but if you translate word by word, it is wrong.

Das ist ein Hund und (das ist) eine Katze. = That is a dog and (that is) a cat.

The english sentence uses the plural verb and so you should do the same in german.


I thought it's supposed to be Dog=Hund, not Hündin. Why should it say that i was wrong by writing Hund????


I don't know. Did you write "eine Hund"? In that case Duo might propose you "eine Hündin" because you used a female article with a masculine noun (=> ein Hund). Otherwise I have no idea.


Who else " clapped " when he make it correct


Why isn't Hund in accusativ -> einen Hund ?


Warum "Es gibt ein Hund und eine Katze" falsch ist?


Das würde there are a dog and a cat“ bedeuten. Auch dann, müsste „Hund“ im Akkusativ stehen, also „es gibt einen Hund“.


Bitte merken Sie auch, dass bei einer Frage auf Deutsch der Verb an der zweiten Stelle stehen muss, also: „warum ist […] falsch?*“.

Ich korrigiere Sie, nur weil ich glaube, es sei für eine/n Lerner/in nützlich; außerdem bin ich auch Lerner und mache allemal Fehler, wahrscheinlich auch bei diesem Kommentar :)


How it is eine in one sentence


How do I know when to use Das, Dies, Diese, Dieses, etc (if there are more)? Too many confusion...


so extremely dumb


Does anyone understand when to use ein Hund vs einen Hund


There's four cases actually:

Nominative masculine (wer oder was? = who or what?):

Example: There is a dog = Da/Dort ist ein Hund.

Accusative masculine (wen oder was? = who/m or what?):

Example: He has a dog = Er hat einen Hund.

Dative masculine (wem? = whom?):

Example: He takes a dog for a walk = Er geht mit einem Hund spazieren.

Genitive masculine (wessen? = whose?):

Example: A day in the life of a dog. = Ein Tag im Leben eines Hundes.

I find the German questions helpful to find out the right case/spelling, but in English there sometimes is no clear difference, alas - and why would there, you don't need it for correct grammar. Still hope, this helps a bit. Good luck! :)


Diese is these and das is that


still confused with these pronoun


Why not einen Hund?


The previous advise said a dog is einen Hund. We have a dog - wir haben einen Hund. Then why is it das sind ein Hund instead einen?


Previously it was another case. In English there's no difference, but in German nominative masculine = ein; accusative masculine = einen.

We have a dog = Wir haben einen Hund. (accusative)

This is a dog = Das ist ein Hund. (nominative)

Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:



(This is a dog and this is a dog)


Die sind and Das sind both accepted here, eh? Sounds like the difference between American and British English: "The Organization is" versus "The Organization (Organisation) are" differentiating the Organization/Organisation as a single entity versus a group of people. Right?


shouldn't it be einen Hund instead of ein Hund


Wouldn't "these" in German be diese?


I don't know why your very reasonable question was downvoted. Yes, as a declinated plural demonstrative pronoun these = diese.

Dies is is quite synonymous to das. Both are not declined. Das (= that) is used more often though. Dies sounds a bit posh and old fashioned in most cases.

Dies can also be = these (when plural), and = this (when singular).


Undeclinated singular: Dies/das ist ein Hund = This is a dog.

Undeclinated plural: Dies/das sind Hunde. = These are dogs.

Declinated plural: Diese Hunde spielen = These dogs are playing.


Why is it Das and not Dies/e? Das means 'That' so shouldn't that be wrong?


Wait i was correct


Isn't "sind/are" a verb thus making "Hund" and "Katze" under the accusative so that it's "einen Hund und eine Katze."?


Hey Joshua, yes, it's a verb. But the existence of a verb doesn't indicate accusative, as almost every sentence has a verb. The case is nominative here. You can check by asking about the objects: "who or what are these?" (Wer oder was?): Ein Hund und eine Katze.

If the sentence would be: "This picture shows a dog and a cat." ("Dieses Bild zeigt einen Hund und eine Katze."), it would be accusative, as you can ask "whom or what does this picture show?": Einen Hund und eine Katze.

I totally understand the confusion. The 3-gendered cases must be especially hard to learn for native English speakers or other speakers of few case-languages. Good luck for you! :)


Horrible exercise. The "Dies" isn't taught at any point prior to this.


In everyday German, people will say "Das sind ein Hund und eine Katze." Dies can mostly be used synonymous to das. However, dies isn't used very often anymore. You can always say das instead and it'll work fine. At least I can't recall a situation where dies is mandatory.


Shouldn't it be 'einen' hund since dog is object.


I wrote correct but it tested my answer as wrong


Why is the dog normative in this instance but in the next one dog is placed after cat and wants the dog to be accusative. Why is it normative in this sentence?


Warum "Dies" und nicht "Diese?" Danke


Why js it dies when previous example was das and why is it not ein hund not einen hund but eine katze ????


1.) Dies can mostly be used synonymous to das. However, dies isn't used very often anymore. You can always say das instead and it'll work fine. At least I can't recall a situation where dies is mandatory.

2.) Because it's nominative masculine = ein; and nominative female = eine. You mixed it up with accusative masculine = einen; because accusative female is also = eine. Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:



Suddenly a new concept and word. There should be a separate lesson on this.


This is the first lesson I have come across "Dies". Did not expect it


I just got the correct answer and it marked it me as wrong, wtf.


Why is it eine katze and ein hund


Because it's nominative masculine = ein; and nominative female = eine.

Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:



My problem is, then duo expects "einen Hund" and the next question they expect "ein Hund"! Very confusing - I'm starting to wonder whether I'm Arthur or Martha ;-)


Nominative masculine = ein; accusative male = einen.

Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:



Why is it ein hund and not eine hund


This mighy sound uber dumb, but why is it ein hund and eine katz? Why specifically add an E to cat?


No, not dumb at all. Don't worry. ;) German articles and their declination are complicated to learn because they're so diverse.

Nominative masculine = ein; nominative female = eine.

Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:



In commonly spoken German you would rather say: "Das sind ein Hund und eine Katze." The sentence with "Dies..." is absolutely correct though. It would just sound a bit highbrow in most situations. You would rather use it in formal writing, imho.

E.g. if someone asks "Whose dog is this?", you would reply "Das ist meiner/mein Hund" (or just "Meiner" = mine), not "Dies ist meiner".


I thought that "einen Hund" was a masculine, accusative case.... but the correct answer was "ein"


Indeed, accusative masculine is einen. But in this case you have to use nominative masculine = ein.

Here's a chart for the declination of indefinite articles, hope this helps:


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