https://www.duolingo.com/Kim84700

ihr seid or sie sind

As far as I understand from learning German through DuoLingo and through Rosetta Stone, ihr is informal "you" (plural) and sie (lower case "s") is also informal, plural "you". If this isn't right can someone please help me with the difference? If it is correct, how do I know when to use ihr seid or when to use sie sind? I can find a lot of answers through Google but everything I'm finding addresses Sie (which I understand is formal) and not sie. Bitte and danke!

June 8, 2018

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MatthiasBe612802

ihr is informal you in plural, this is correct.

sie on the other hand, with small letter s, can either mean she/her or they/them, but does not mean you.

When you talk directly to a group of people, you say "Ihr seid ...", "You are ...". If you talk about a group of people not present, you say "Sie sind ...", "They are ..."

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN
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Danke. Ich mochte deine Erklärungen.

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klastiron
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sie sind, with a lower case s in sie, is third-person plural, "they are". It would need an upper-case S to be the formal you. "Sie sind".

Granted, at the beginning of a sentence, or in a verbal conversation, it could be either they or the formal you, but the context of the conversation will help you know which one it means.

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN
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Danke.

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Hello Kim! As far as I understand:

Ihr
You (Plural/Singular - Formal)
ihr
You (Plural - Informal)
Sie
You (Singular/Plural - Formal)
sie
They (Plural)
sie
She - (Singular)


ihr/Ihr seid - You are (Informal - Plural, Formal - Plural/Singular)
Sie sind - You are (Formal - Singular)
sie sind - They are (Plural)
sie ist - She is (Singular)

I am open for corrections, this confused me before too.

Good luck! AP4418

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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You got it, Dessert-Rose; just a tiny detail; "Sie" (capital letter) is indeed formal, but can be either singular or plural. You can adress several persons at once in the "Sie" form, when you would at least one of them.

And "Ihr" is plural informal in nominative, feminine singular third person in the dative http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/pronouns/personal-possessive-pronouns/ The capital letter occurs only at the beginning of the sentence

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Thanks for that Vabelie! But, I heard that "Ihr" (with capital "I") is a formal form recently. (I can't find the post, but I know it was recently.)

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/npLam
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I heard that "Ihr" (with capital "I") is a formal form recently

Are you thinking of "the royal you" by any chance?

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Yep! I didn't know there was a difference. I assumed that it was the Formal he/she was talking about! :D What is the difference?

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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Well, the name says it all: you use the royal you only with royalty. I heard it once was the common polite form (making German more similar to French), but they switched at some point from second person plural to third person. Languages are living things :)

June 10, 2018

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

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Lol! Okay, thanks for the information Vabelie!!

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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I'm so far from knowing it all :) Could npLam (once again) be right?

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN
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Vabelie - So can one say Sind Sie Deutscher to several people at once meaning "Are you all German?" I don't know abut this.

Signed, Grammatically confused.

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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I'd say npLam is right. But if the "all" is implied, that's what I actually asked a bunch of times last summer (Deustche, though, der Deutscher, die Deutsche), and got only pleased looks ;)

Actually, it's easier for me, as it works the same as my native :) You'll get there, you're a hard worker, it shows :)

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/npLam
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I'd go for: Sind Sie alle Deutsche?

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Hi Vabelie, can the formal you also mean They?

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
Mod
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The "formal you" itself can never mean "they". However, all the forms of the "formal you" (for 2nd person singular and plural) are "borrowed" from the German word used for 3rd person plural ("they") which is exactly the same word (and uses exactly the same verbal endings) with the sole difference of not being capitalized (except for at the beginning of a sentence, which results in ambiguities). Historically a plural form was to chosen to address persons formally (which can be found in many languages; some choose 2nd person plural, some 3rd person).

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN
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fehrerdef - Das war sehr klar. Vielen Dank

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Thank you so much fehrerdef! Good explanation!

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kim84700

Thank you Dessert-Rose! I love information neatly lined out like this. Now I'll make some flashcards for my son and myself and we'll get this learned. And thanks for the Web link Vabelie - I'll be checking it out.

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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You're so welcome, Kim, we need a few references from time to time. For various grammar needs, I would recommend you https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/ The lessons are short, well done, and the site is easy to navigate. Available in some more languages too :)

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kim84700

Awesome! I'll check that one out as well.

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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Glad you like it :)

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Awesome! Lingolia is great! Thank you from me too Vabelie!

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
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It helped me many times :)

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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You're welcome! Good luck with the cards!

June 9, 2018
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