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  5. "Sie lesen."

"Sie lesen."

Translation:They read.

December 30, 2012

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"sie" can also be "she". It's with and uppercase because it's the beginning of a sentence. It can also be "Sie liest." = She is reading.


As you said, it'd only be "she" if the verb were "liest". When the end is -t, it's "she"; when is "-en", it's "they"


Question... Is Sie - you (formal) - plural or singular. Is it formal for DU or IHR? And will it always have the plural form of the verb - lesen, trinken, essen, etc - following it? I will appreciate any answers. :]


The formal you doesn't distinguish between singular and plural, and the verb form is always the same as the infinitive.

infinitive: lesen = to read

  • ich lese = I read; I am reading

  • du liest = you read; you are reading (informal, addressing one person)

  • er/sie/es liest = he/she/it reads; he/she/it is reading

  • wir lesen = we read; we are reading

  • ihr lest = you read; you are reading (informal, addressing more than one person)

  • sie lesen = they read; they are reading

  • Sie [always capitalised] lesen = you read; you are reading (formal, addressing one or more people)

At the start of a sentence, the last two look exactly the same and you need to look at the context to decide which one it is. As there's no context on Duolingo, "Sie lesen" can be translated as "They read", "They are reading", "You read" or "You are reading".

The conjugation of "lesen" is slightly irregular in that the stem vowel changes from e to ie in the second and third persons singular. For reference, here is a verb that is regular in the present tense:

infinitive: trinken = to drink

  • ich trinke = I drink; I am drinking

  • du trinkst = you drink; you are drinking (informal, addressing one person)

  • er/sie/es trinkt = he/she/it drinks; he/she/it is drinking

  • wir trinken = we read; we are drinking

  • ihr trinkt = you drink; you are drinking (informal, addressing more than one person)

  • sie trinken = they drink; they are drinking

  • Sie [always capitalised] trinken = you drink; you are drinking (formal, addressing one or more people)

More about the present tense:




Sie translates to You in English. It's a polite form, instead of saying Er or sie. It is ditinguished from sie, because it's written with a capital S.

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