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  5. "Es sind die gleichen Leute."

"Es sind die gleichen Leute."

Translation:They are the same people.

May 23, 2013



Isn't 'sie' a better translation for 'they' instead of 'es'?

Up till now, we have learned that 'es' and 'das' as demonstrators mean 'these' or 'those' when followed by 'sind'.

Duolingo has created a confusion by posted a translation, which is not according to what they have taught us. The instances like this one make the learning process murky. Do the other learners agree with me on that?


I do agree with you here vinaysaini; the inconsistency in the lessons is an obstacle to learning. I have experienced the example you refer to where Das sind is shown to refer to these/those are in some contexts, and then in this case it is indicated that it is erroneous.

I appreciate the app and understand there primary purpose is translating documents, pages, etc, but these situations hurt the learner.


Hohenems- Thank you for this link; 'es' has a lot more flexibility that I have otherwise seen to this point.

Naturally, new and/or irregular concepts are introduced as people progress through the skill tree. When they are not announced as such, they can be confusing. A nice idea for Duolingo would be to utilize the popup a little more often to introduce such rules or conventions. The one that introduces the definite article shift for indirect objects is an example.

The efforts of you and other moderators and participants have added a lot of depth to the lessons. Thank you!


No problem. My suggestion is that you bookmark canoo.net (and perhaps en.pons.eu) and go there to search out solutions (and when all else fails, naturally just ask!). The majority of my German education has come from 3-4 key users and 3-4 external links. Duo is merely the backbone on which to build your education. You need to branch off of it to find out some of the more detailed information.

Another good link to bookmark is this one: http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/index.html


Thanks! I already have canoo.net bookmarked from other concepts the community has shared. I have added your UT link and appreciate the recommendation. It is now my 16th link!


Danke schön!


Canoo.net link is broken. Feb 6, 2021.


The site is under construction, according to my search results :(


Hohenems, thank you so much for these links!


I do not really understand why it should be "es" even after going through the link.

Would it be wrong in this sentence to say "Sie sind die gleichen Leute"?


No, "Sie sind die gleichen Leute" is fine as well. As to why 'es' is correct here: in a predicate nominative ("A is B"), "es" and "das" can refer to nouns of all gender and number.

Note however that using "Sie" here introduces a slight shift in meaning (it's really subtle and both translations really are correct here):

  • "Sie sind die gleichen Leute": These people have not changed. They are still the same as we have come to know them.
  • "Es sind die gleichen Leute": There are still the same people at the place, not another group


So it's like "es sind" is "there are" and "sie sind" is "they are"?


How would the usage of "Es gibt" instead of "Sie sind" and "Es sind" fit within what you have mentioned?


Interesting. I think the subtle differences are probably something I won't fully understand until I get much more practice with the language.


Does "es sind" mean "there are" similar as "es gibt"?


Can't "es gibt" also mean "there are" though, depending on the context?

If that's the case, don't these new and/or extra ways of saying virtually the same thing seem to just confuse many of us? I wouldn't know whether to choose "es gibt", "es sind", or "sie sind" if they're all expressing a very similar meaning.


It seems then that Es sind means something that is temporary like. I relate this to Spanish which has two verbs "to be" estar for something temporary like a person's mood, and the verb ser to mean something rather permanent like ones eye color.


I understand that we should understand this in reading, but I don't see why we should use it. For such a formalistic language, devolution into disagreement between articles and verbs looks terrible.


Thanks for the links, they look good!


It is confusing. However it is very useful showing that one cannot accept instructions uncritically, not even from teachers. Texts, books, articles and speeches in real life contain errors.


Is there a general rule of thumb for when it's appropriate to use "es ist" versus "das ist"? Is there a difference in meaning between the two?


I'm a little confused. I'm learning German living in Germany and on a few different occasions people have told me not to use "Gleich" when things are actually the same and to use "Selbe" instead.

The dictionary however defines them both as "the same" or "identical" oder etwas.

z.B I mentioned to the a guy in hospital that he'd had the same operation as me and he corrected me saying we did not have the "gleich" (read similar) operation, but the "selbe" (read identical) operation.

Anyone able to shine a light here?


May 9, 2016 - Dictionary definitions do the best they can, but but they can't possibly keep up with all the details and shifting semantics. Go with the corrections the native speakers give you - you are very fortunate to have them available! Just don't be surprised if you encounter some minor disagreements among them, especially in disparate places.

If Duo won't take what the native speakers say, then report it.

And thank you for mentioning the difference between GLEICH and SELBE!


Whoa! Spolier alert!


Crowd was accepted before and now it's not.


Should it not be in english ~they are the same person


No, because it is not singular "person", but plural "people".


Or plural "persons".


I feel it should be accepted, I'm reporting it


I don't understand why "es" is used at the beginning of the sentence before "sind"(are). Surely it should be "sie"?


Why is 'es' used in this case? Isn't 'sie' they?


June 11, 2017 - In English, there is a slight difference between It is the same people and They are the same people, but I would be hard pressed to define it. The It.... version seems to be asking for some activity, like ...who ran the marathon or ...who played in As You Like It The They... version seems to indicate some known group, but I'm not sure. It's probably not a hard distinction. The two could be almost indistinguishable.

Perhaps it is the same with German. We await a native speaker's input.


Thanks for the reply! Though I still don't really understand your reply...


Sie sind or Es ist both work. :-)


"Es sind" works; "es ist" is wrong.


Du hast rechts, Danke. Ich brauche meinen Kaffee. :-D


Oh, I see. Thank you!


Peter Parker and Spiderman??? :O


Why is "Those are the same people" incorrect?


"Those are the same people" would translate to "Dies sind die gleichen Leute"


"Those are the same people" is now accepted.


Good. Now we just have to get "persons" accepted.


If it's "same", cant you say "similar" as well?


Similar = sort of like something else, resembles something, approximately like that something.

Same = exactly like something, if not identical.

Two random dogs are similar in appearance.

A pair of twins are the same in appearance. Or, the same dog trots by our house daily at 4 pm. Feb 24, 2015


Isn't "es gibt" better than "es sind"? Or why not "sie sind"?


"Es gibt" translates to "there are" and would just mean that the people exist. This wouldn't make a lot of sense in this sentence ("There are (i.e., 'exist') the same people"?).

"Es sind" and "sie sind" are basically interchangeable as long as you're referring to more than one item. Both work fine in this sentence.


If you scroll over to wataya's comment, "Es sind" compared with "Sie sind" "...die gleichen Leute" have subtle differences in meaning as suggested, with the former usage suggesting a meaning of "There are" as opposed to "They are".

I wonder how "Es gibt" would fit within what wataya mentioned.


sorry, now I am even more confused. I wrote "There are the same people", comments seems suggest the same, but the recommended answer is "they are... what I do not understand here?


July 15, 2016 - "There" = "dort", and is a location indicator, or possibly part of "there are" = "es gibt". You were thinking of "they're", the contraction for "they are". You can tell it is the contraction by the use of the apostrophe after the Y. I sympathise, as keeping these straight is not easy, and they sound alike for all practical purposes.

There - a place away from the speaker

They're - they are


I agree that the English translation is not always grammatically correct.


Same, like and right: gleichen


If gleich means both "similar" and "same", as Duolingo and dict.cc say, then how can you tell which is meant? Similar was rejected.


So from my university teachings and general German learning, shouldn't "es gibt + Akk." as a grammatic/idiomatic formation almost always be used in situations like this?


What is the difference between "es sind..." and "dies sind..?"


Roughly "They are" vs. "These are," respectively.


What's the difference between 'Leute' and 'Menchen'? Both are translated as 'people'...


June 17, 2020 - I've often wondered that myself. I did a search with "Leute vs Menschen" and this seemed promising: https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/7648/menschen-vs-leute#7653

Very roughly, it seems that Menschen is used when you might use human in English, and Leute when you might use people or folks in English. As in English they overlap, but some usages would seem strange.


"That is the same crowd" Rejected, though earlier in the lesson Duo translated "Leute" as "crowd" and "sind" as singular. Reported


It was probably rejected because you used "that" instead of "it." In general, "es" is "it," and "das" is "that."


Not that it's very relevant to learning German, but we can also do something similar in English because 'people' is also a singular noun that can be pluralised to 'peoples', e.g.:

The peoples of the islands came together and formed a people unified under a constitution.

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