German Lessons

Topics

Das and Dies as Demonstrative Plural Pronouns

A sentence construction with das sind... followed by a plural noun is a bit confusing at first, but it's very common in spoken German. At first you might be tempted to translate it literally, but with "that are" (sic), you'll find the singular subject and the plural verb to be in disagreement. That's because the demonstrative pronouns das and dies are not inflected by the plural of the verb sein ("to be"). 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

So it's more natural for a native German to say Das sind Hans und Grete. This can sound a bit strange when you're first learning German.

 

Nein, das hier sind keine mutierten Gartenzwerge.

No, these here are no mutated garden gnomes.

Caption 1, „Mini-Marxe“ - In Trier

 Play Caption

 

Immer dran denken: Das sind alles Verben, die einen Akkusativ brauchen.

Always remember: they are all verbs that require the accusative case.

Caption 31, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Fragen

 Play Caption

 

Das sind nun die Zutaten für unseren Apfelkuchen.

These are now the ingredients for our apple cake.

Caption 3, Apfelkuchen - mit Eva

 Play Caption

 

Das sind oft nur wenige Pfennige und man bekommt das Geld natürlich wieder.

Often these are just a few pennies and you get the money back, of course.

Caption 34, Eva erklärt - Mülltrennung

 Play Caption

 

And here are a couple of examples using dies sind: 

 

Dies sind nur ganz wenige Ausschnitte aus dem zurückliegenden Jahr.

These are just a very few excerpts from the previous year.

Caption 8, Angela Merkel - Neujahrsansprache

 Play Caption

 

Dies sind Hinterlassenschaften eines Krokodils.

These are the remains of a crocodile.

Caption 10, Ausgrabungen - Auf den Spuren der Dinosaurier

 Play Caption

 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Look for more examples of das sind on Yabla German to see the phrase used in a real-world context.

Winter Clothing

This year, it has been an unusually warm fall in Germany. Even in early October, there were some days in the high 60s (Fahrenheit, between 17 and 21 degrees celsius). However, there have been some very chilly, windy days recently, and Germans have finally had to get out their winter clothing to be prepared for lower temperatures.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Let’s go from head to toe and take a look at what items you need to brave the German winter.

 

There are two words for “the hat” in German, but only one of them is associated with the wool knit caps that are worn in the cold months.

 

Und im Winter braucht man unbedingt eine Mütze.

And in the winter you absolutely need a cap.

Caption 24, Eva - zeigt uns Kleidungsstücke

 Play Caption

 

Although some may prefer a daintier version (das Tuch, which is usually a thinner scarf or kerchief) even in the summer, a warm scarf or shawl (der Schal) is a must for the winter. 

 

Was ist denn los? -Mir ist so kalt. Schenk mir doch deinen Schal!

What then is the matter? -I am so cold. Give me your shawl!

Caption 23, Märchenstunde - Die Sterntaler

 Play Caption

 

Of course, a warm coat (der Mantel) or a jacket (die Jacke) is essential to any winter outfit. There are many options depending on the weather conditions. You can likely recognize the words der Wollmantelder Daunenmanteldie Daunenjacke, or die Regenjacke without our help!

 

Es ist kalt. Ich trage einen Mantel.

It is cold. I'm wearing a coat.

Caption 14, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Fragen

 Play Caption

 

Der Handschuh is the singular form, but unless you've lost one, generally the plural for of "the gloves" is what you will use.  Here, compound nouns also abound: such as die Strickhandschuhedie Fleece-Handschuhedie Lederhandschuhe, among others. 

 

Giada, ist dir kalt? -Ja. -Möchtest du Handschuhe haben?

Giada, are you cold? -Yes. -Would you like to have some gloves?

Caption 82, Unterwegs mit Cettina - auf dem Bruchsaler Weihnachtsmarkt - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

And for rain and snow, you will want a good pair of boots for those slippery cobblestone streets. 

 

Und er trägt wirklich Stiefel? Das muss ich sehen!

And is he really wearing boots? This I have to see!

Caption 29, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Der gestiefelte Kater

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Watch the video Eva: zeigt uns Kleidungsstücke in its entirety on Yabla German. To
to immerse yourself even more, take a look at a website that sells outerwear and do some window shopping. You will learn a lot of new words and compound nouns as you scroll through the various items.

You May Also Like