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  5. "Wir sind Männer."

"Wir sind Männer."

Translation:We are men.

June 7, 2013

6 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

ich bin = I am

du bist = you are (informal, addressing one person)

er/sie/es ist = he/she/it is

wir sind = we are

ihr seid = you are (informal, addressing more than one person)

sie (lowercase) sind = they are

Sie (always capitalised) sind = you are (formal, addressing one or more people)

At the start of a sentence and in spoken German, there's no difference between they and the formal you. You need to look at the context to decide which one it is. Since there's often no context on Duolingo, either one will be accepted unless the context does suggest otherwise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

What are ä, ö, and ü?

These vowels with two dots on top of them are called umlauts. They're always pronounced differently from their non-umlauted counterparts. It's a bad idea to ignore them because they not only sound different, but often also cause words to take on completely different meanings.

How to type ä, ö, and ü on a touch device

In order to type "ä" on a touch device, press and hold "a" and select "ä", to type "ö", press and hold "o" and select "ö", to type "ü", press and hold "u" and select "ü". If this doesn't work, go to your keyboard settings on your device and enable the German keyboard.

Alternative keyboards (for Android) that allow you to use multiple languages at the same time (including word prediction):

SwiftKey

Swype

What is this ß thing?

"ß" ("Eszett" or "scharfes S") is a ligature which represents the same sound as "ss". "ß" is used after long vowels and diphthongs (ai/eu/au/äu), and "ss" is used after short vowels. "ß" is not a "B" or "β" (beta)!

More info

How to type ß

In order to type the "ß" character on a touch device, press and hold the "s" key and select "ß". If this doesn't work, go to your keyboard settings on your device and enable the German keyboard.

Alternative keyboards (for Android) that allow you to use multiple languages at the same time (including word prediction):

SwiftKey

Swype


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaurav004us

How do you differentiate between the same sentence that can have multiple meanings? E.g. consider the following sentence - Sie sind Männer. This can mean "You are men" or "They are men". Is there a way whereby we can distinguish between these sentences?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    In your example - no. So on Duolingo, either would be accepted.

    That might be a weird concept for us, but consider for a moment a German learning English. They might understandably ask (translated): When they say "you are sad", how do we know if they mean du bist traurig or ihr seid traurig or Sie sind traurig? Those examples are just as different to a German person as "they are" or "you are" to us.

    Words and concepts don't always connect 1:1 between languages!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn943440

    When do you use the dots on top of the a? why is it that some plural forms have the dots and some don't? is there a rule for this?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      If you view Duolingo in a web browser, there are 'tips pages' at the beginning of each lesson (click on the light bulb icon). The lesson 'Basics 2' has tips on plurals. There aren't rules as such - there are many exceptions, so you just need to memorise them - but the tips may nevertheless help.

      The dots are called an umlaut. It modifies the sound that the vowel makes, basically turning it into a different unique letter. In German, mixing up a and ä is just as big a mistake as mixing up "i" and "e" in English - so pay attention to it! If you can't figure out how to type those characters, look here.

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