SIe means She or it means They. So it is determined by the verb To Read so if the verb is “lesen” then it is a THEY but if it is liest it is a SHE I believe?
That's true so far.
"Sie", however (with uppercase "S") can also mean (formal) "you", and it uses the same conjugation as "they", so:
- Sie liest eine Zeitung. = She reads a newspaper. (liest = 3rd person singular conjugation
- Sie lesen eine Zeitung. = They read a newspaper. or You read a newspaper. (3rd person plural conjugation)
I'm confused as to the difference between 'they are reading a book' and 'they read a book'
So does that mean multiple people are reading the same newspaper?
You're supposed to translate "Sie lesen eine Zeitung" (indefinite article, a newspaper), not "Sie lesen die Zeitung" (definite article, the newspaper).
Just through context.
In speech, you can tell by the stress; in writing, it looks the same. So both translations are generally accepted.
I'm confused. :( If "Sie essen einen Apfel" is correct, why not "Sie lesen einen Zeitung"?
"Apfel" is masculine while "Zeitung" is feminine. The articles change depending on number (singular/plural), case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative) and gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) of the corresponding noun.
She is reading a newspaper. Can someone explain why not the above answer is incorrect, please?
It is incorrect, as the German sentence uses 3rd person plural conjugation (Sie lesen). 3rd person singular ("she") would be "Sie liest".
That means "She reads a newspaper", but here you are supposed to translate "They read a newspaper" I guess.
I can only differ Sie meaning "she" and sie meaning "they" by the verb? Is there any other way?
Yes you are right it is only the verb that can differentiate what truly sie means.
"They are reading a newspaper" is a correct answer. "They are reading the newspaper" is not.
For reference, the most common incorrect answer is "The are reading a newspaper". Watch for spelling mistakes!
I translated this as 'You (plural) are reading a newspaper' and it was marked as correct, but the duo translation says 'They read a newspaper'. Which is correct? Does it depend on context?
It could be either "you" (formal, singular or plural) or "they". You can only know from context which one is meant.
"You" (informal plural) would be "Ihr lest...".