https://www.duolingo.com/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 ;)

11 months ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/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.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/npLam
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you need a capital S to make it formal speech: wer sind Sie ? otherwise you are saying: who are they?

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joaor_13

thank you both very much :D

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/npLam
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you're welcome ... and to answer your other question, yes, your list is correct :)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joaor_13

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

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/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 ?

11 months ago

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

yes good job :-)

11 months ago
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