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  5. Essen Sie vs Sie essen?


Essen Sie vs Sie essen?

In my German book it says "Essen sie ein fischfilet?" which means "do you eat a fish filet?" My question is why is it "Essen sie" and not "Sie Essen" or "Du isst?"

June 15, 2018



Essen Sie etwas? (with a capital S) is do you (formal you) eat something? or are you eating something?
Essen sie etwas? (with a small s) is do they eat something? or are they eating something?
swapping the Essen and the Sie gives you:

Sie essen etwas which could be you are eating something or you eat something...
but it could also be they are eating someting or they eat something. (because the Sie is at the front of the sentence, you can't tell whether the capital S belongs to a "you" or a "they").


"Essen Sie...." is asking a question as is "isst du...." using the familiar form. If your German book says "Essen sie ein Fischfillet?" it means do they eat a fishfillet?" because uncapitalized "sie" means "they".

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