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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joaor_13

"wer bist du" and "wer sind sie"

So I don't understand when do I have to use "wer bist du" or "wer sind sie" can anyone please explain this to me ? Thanks in advance ;)

April 11, 2018

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

well, "wer sind sie" is formal speech "wer bist du" is informal speech.

when you face people who are much older than you. or with businesspartners, or your teachers etc. you would use formal speech with friends and family u use informal speech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npLam

you need a capital S to make it formal speech: wer sind Sie ? otherwise you are saying: who are they?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

yep exactly i too explained that in my 2. anwer. when i explained the several meanings of sie. but acording to the context i was sure he/she did not mean who are they.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joaor_13

thank you both very much :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/npLam

you're welcome ... and to answer your other question, yes, your list is correct :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joaor_13

oh thanks, it makes sense, so is it always like that ? "du" informal and "sie" formal ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

Sie can also be 3 person plural (they) or she. but if it is you (sing. formal) the s of Sie is always capitalized. even in the middle of the sentence. if it is in the beginning of the sentence you have to look at the verb form and the context to know what it is. (2. person sing. formal and 3. plural are using the same verb form thats why i say you have to look ate the context as well.) but du is always informal and Sie (with capitalized S) is usually formal. (if it is not in the biginning of the sentence. since the beginning of a sentence is always capitalized.)

so to be accurate your 2. sentence would usually be seen as who are they because the s was not capitalized.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joaor_13

so if I got it right..

wer sind sie = who are they ?

wer sind Sie = who are you ?( formal)

wer bist du = who are you ? (informal)

wer ist sie = who is she ?

wer ist er = who is he ?

is that correct ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

yes good job :-)

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