Sie meaning You or they

Matthew-H69

Sie brauchen etwas zu essen; can mean You need or they need. How can I distinguish the  meaning ?

Byron-K21

I don't think you can.  You just have to know the context based on circumstances or previous sentences.  If I'm wrong about that, I would like to know too.

Paul-Weber

Hi Matthew and Byron,

Yes, Sie is used for plural or singular sense. For example, if you are addressing two people and you ned to be polite, you could say: "Haben Sie heute Zeit? The same sentence addressed to only one person would look exactly the same because the singular polite form "Sie" has the same verb form as when it is conjugated in the plural form for "sie".  It is not possible even for Germans to tell it part when the sentence is out of context. 

If you have more questions let me know!

Paul

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