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  5. "Bitte schließen Sie die Tür."

"Bitte schließen Sie die Tür."

Translation:Please close the door.

May 14, 2013



Anyone know the difference in usage between zumachen and schliessen?


From what I've gathered in many cases "zumachen" and "schließen" can be used interchangeably and the same goes for "öffnen" and "aufmachen".


Why is Please close "her" door wrong? Whats the context of Sie, here?


First of all, the upper cased 'Sie' is the formal you, rather than 'she'.

Second, 'sie' is the 3rd person singular female personal pronoun in nominative case. To say "her door", you would need the possessive 'ihr', which would be "ihre Tür" (inflicted properly since Tür is female).

Finally, you should read about the imperative mood in German - http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/Imperative/Imperativ.html .
One of the possible ways to phrase an imperative in German is for the formal you - Sie - which was used here. You do that by using the infinitive form (e.g. essen, gehen, treffen, schließen. The exception to this is 'sein' which you will use 'seien' for) in the same structure as a question (i.e. verb first, then Sie.
For example "Eat it" would be "Essen Sie es"


Excellent response but just one minor correction: Sie (the "formal you") is a 2nd person nominative pronoun; sie ("she") is a 3rd person singular nominative pronoun.


Correct, thank you :)


does "Sie" in imperative always go after the verb?


I assume you mean in this form of the imperative mood? then yes. The other forms don't have "Sie" and some don't use any personal pronouns.


Would it be correct to translate this more closely to "Please, can you close to door?" Or am I trying to hard to make the Sie work in my mind? Because in your other example of "Essen Sie es" would it not be able to be translated as "(You) Eat it" since the "you" in that sentence is implied in the command? Sorry for the possibly annoying question haha.


No worries. No, it cannot. The question you have in mind would be "Bitte, könnten Sie die Tür schließen?" -> "Please, could you close the door" (changed "can" which is for for inquiring about possibility, to "could" which is better for making a request/instruction).
Putting "please" aside, and like I said above, this is the same structure as the question "Are you closing the door?". You can tell the difference by the lack of question mark when written and the intonation when spoken, aside from context which usually would be enough.
Did I answer what you meant or was I off point?


Thanks for this explanation AsafH and have a lingot


Well, in German, when you give a command, your sentence also includes the person you address, which would be, 'Sie'. In English, the 'You' is hidden, as in, "Do your Duolingo every day!" compared to "You, do your Duolingo every day!" Hope this helps.


Not necessarily, read about the imperative mood. German has a total of 5 imperative structures:

  • 2nd person formal (Sie) - what you are referring to
  • 2nd singular person informal (du)
  • 2nd plural person informal (ihr)
  • 1st person plural (wir)
  • 3rd person (er/sie/es) - old fashioned, not really used

The pronouns are only included for Sie, wir, and third person but not for du and ihr.


Just out of curiosity, when would a command ever be directed to a third person?


Good question! God save the queen :) Still feels very unnatural to me, except from phrases.


Why is the word Sie in this question?


1) It's not a question

2) Because this sentence needs a subject?


Because it's an imperative, not a question. You must always include "Sie" when it's imperative.


Why add SIE? Can it be BITTE SCHLIEßEN DIE TÜR???


No - What you suggested is not a valid imperative sentence in German (actually not a valid sentence at all). The closest is "Bitte die Tür schließen". Read about the imperative mood in German - http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/Imperative/Imperativ.html .


Don't claim to be an expert but.... I think it is more common to say Machen Sie die Tuer zu! or informally Tuer zu! to request the door be closed. I hear zumachen much more than schliessen in use. Schliessen can also be used sometimes to mean to lock or closed. Sperren is also used for close or lock. Consider the road sign Strasse gesperrt! Good luck on figuring this one out!


Is it OK to say, "Schliesen Sie bitte die Tür" the previous sentence "Nehmen Sie bitte Platz" Why interchange the position of "Bitte"?


Can you also say : Schließen Sie bitte die Tür


"Please lock the door" would not work?


That would be "Bitte schließen Sie die Tür ab".

schließen = to close
abschließen = to lock


could you please close the door - y is it wrong

  • 2135

@vign2211: "could you please close the door" is wrong for 2 reasons: 1. That sounds like a question to me. 2. 'could' is not necessary. So, the German sentence simply means "Please close the door.".


Bitte schliessen Sie die Tür ZU ?


Zuschließen = mit einem Schlüssel fest schließen = to lock. So no.


How would the phrase be written if 'Sie' was not capitalised; 'they'?


If I'm not mistaken, that makes no sense. "They please close the door" would be a translation which you can see doesn't make sense. In this case (capitalised) it makes sense since using the format you Sie is also used as the imperative form (Close the door, or here - Please close the door)


Can you please close the door should definitely be accepted! Right? (Im not native in either of the languages)


Well, you could use them almost the same. But your suggestion is a question of "are you able to", duolingo's sentence (in both languages) is an imperative (that is, command) "Please close the door".


Why can I not state "Bitte schließ die Tür" ???


"Bitte schließen Sie die Tür" "Bitte schließ die Tür" would be right too, but it's informal, you would say that to a friend. ;)


how come ¨can you please close the door¨ is wrong, yet ¨could you please close the door¨ is not?


"can" means the literal "being able to"/"having permission to" while "could" is used as a polite request.


How say "hold the door hold the door"? GOT...


Isn't "Nicht schließen" translated as "don't shoot"?


So, in the dictionary https://dict.leo.org/german-english/Schlie%C3%9Fen I see that "schließen" can mean "to close" "to finish" or "to lock." How can one distinguish between a request to close the door versus one to lock the door?


"(to) close" = "schließen" / "zumachen"

"(to) lock" = "abschließen" / "zuschließen" / "absperren" / "zusperren"

"(to) block" = "blockieren" / "versperren"


My answer is correct

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