Exactly, I am confused as well. Sie haben Hemden could mean either 'they' or '(f.) you'. Since 'Sie' begins the sentence could it not be 'they' disguised by the capitalization? If you look at the verb it would be 'hat' if 'Sie' was 'she', but it's clearly not, so how do you distinguish between 'you' and 'they'? Is this simply based on context?
The only way to know is to see how the verb is conjugated if it was sie (singular) the verb would be: Sie hat Hemden. Haben (to have) is irregular The conjugation for haben is Ich habe Du hast sie/er/es hat Wir haben Ihr habt Sie haben (Sie meaning they) The case of most verbs (regular) the conjugation goes: Gehen for example Ich gehe (ends with a e) Du gehst (ends with st) sie/er/es geht (ends with t) Wir gehen (is the full verb or the infinitive) Ihr geht (ends with t) Sie gehen (Sie that means they also takes the infinitive) Hope that helps
I, in the past, have had this conversation with my German relatives and I came to understand that there is no way you would know. The only way you would know which was meant is by the conversation you would be having, the subject of which, I'm assuming, would be understood by all parties involved.
"you (all) have" would be ihr not sie. Sie means either she or they. I know your post is 6 years old, but...
I was also confused by this problem for a long time, until I realised that Germans sometimes have the same problem:
In a film I watched, a bank manager is woken in the middle of the night by knocking at his door. He opens it to find policemen standing outside. "Sie haben die Bank ausgeraubt" says one of them.
The bank manager, confused and shocked, responds "Wer? Ich?!"
"Nein" answers the policeman. "Drei Männer, sie haben die Bank ausgeraubt."...
After that, I felt better about being confused sometimes :-)
The thing is that for native English speakers it is a little bit hard to focus on the conjugation of the verb, since in English the only difference would be the 's' for the third person. For us, as native Spanish speakers, it's easier since we have more conjugations. So, tip: when in doubt, check the verb. If you already know which verb it's being used, take a quick look at Wordreference or a similar website that gives you the chance to conjugate verbs. Although Duolingo let you see the conjugation when hovering over verbs.
Well, these are my 2 cents. Good luck!!
I think duo made mistake here - 'Sie' could mean formal 'you' but the app itself translates it as 'they' (when you click on Sie). Grammatically their translation is correct but as a system there's mistaken. Sie shall be given 'you' as an option when you tapp on translation and it shall accept 'they".
No. That has nothing to do with it, unfortunately. There are five different plural forms, and one just has to learn them. That is, das Buch is neuter, and also a one-syllable noun, yet the plural of das Buch is die Bücher. And the plural of das Pferd is die Pferde. So, there’s no way to predict which plural form a noun will take.
Plurals are not always formed the same way. See for instance "Ei", which becomes "Eier"; "Erdebeere" becomes "Erdebeeren". Sometimes the word doesn't even change: "das Mädchen", "die Mädchen".