When to use Dies and Das

Byron-K21

Byron-K21

I'm very confused as when to use das (that) and when to use dies (this). For example, in the Language and Culture lesson 6.8 there are a number of phrases all of which translate to "This is the ..." in English. However in German, some of the phrases are "Das ist..." and some are "Dies is..." I thought at first the difference might depend on the gender of the object, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. Thanks, Byron
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hello Byron, First of all happy new year to you. "Das ist..." has different meanings depending on the situation and grammatical purpose in the sentence. I can imagine how confusing “that/this” must be from my experience, such as when should one use "this", "these", "that" and "those" in English. Also because the distinction of “das ist…” as “this is..” or “that is…” is not as clear in spoken German as it is in English. As a basic rule "Das ist..." can mean "this is..." or "That is..." but "dies ist..." is always "this is" in English. Let me first explain you the difference between "das ist…" as "That is" from "dies ist…". Think about when you use the words "this" instead of "that” in English. It depends on where the object is the person is talking about. For example when you say "This is the house of my father" it is possible you are standing in the house or directly in front of it or maybe showing someone the house on a photograph. When you say "that” is the house of my father", you are showing someone the house from the distance. In both cases you can say “das ist das Haus meines Vaters”. You can also use “dies” and “das” to express an idea. In that case both mean the same “Das ist ein guter Gedanke” and “Dies ist einer guter Gedanke” as “This/That is a good thought”. If you need to have more examples explained let me know. Paul
Byron-K21

Byron-K21

Hi Paul, I think I pretty much get it. As in English, if you were introducing someone next to you, you would say "this is" whereas if you were pointing to someone across the room, you would say "that is". I do understand that. I also understand that in some cases, same as English, it doesn't matter which you use. I think though the lesson examples are a little confusing when the German is "das" but it gets translated as "this" in English. regards, Byron.
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hi there, I'm glad it makes more sense now. As for the lesson I forwarded my changes to the editors. Next time you view the lesson it will show a clearer version. All the best Paul
jason☺

jason☺

Byron & Paul, I have to thank you for having these discussions (even two years ago). Without them, the lessons are incomplete. I had the same question as Byron. :P I wish the lessons included links to the forum discussions. Not too difficult to let students tag forum messages with lesson material and build the lesson reference material based on the tags in the forum. Simple database stuff and an Add Tag button with a list of lessons. Link: http://members.rocketlanguages.com/lessons/80 Dies (this) - complete list: Dies ist die Jacke des Mädchens. This is the jacket of the girl. Ist dies der Computer der Zukunft? Is this the computer of the future? Dies ist der Mantel der Frau. This is the coat of the woman. Das (that) - complete list: Das ist der Hund von dem Mann. That is the dog of the man. Ist das das Auto deines Freundes? Is that the car of your friend? Das (this/the) (partial list of about 30) Das ist die neue Werbung des Supermarktes. This is the new advertising of the supermarket. * Are there any lessons on the endings (Supermarktes/Supermarts)? "all you have to remember are the endings for the masculine and neuter nouns. If the noun ends with –en, -el, –er or a vowel you simply add an –s to the noun in the genitive." "If the noun is short and ends with a consonant you have to add the ending –es." - short? < 5 characters? Can that be elaborated a little to explain why Der Supermarkt has two endings -e and -es? See table: http://www.dict.cc/deutsch/Supermarkt.html Ist das das Auto deines Freundes? Is that the car of your friend? * deines is not used much but is explained later: http://members.rocketlanguages.com/lessons/81 http://www.dict.cc/deutsch/dein.html Die Katze des Nachbarns ist abgehauen. The cat of the neighbor has gone missing. * I think a typo. Nachbars perhaps? http://www.dict.cc/deutsch/Nachbar.html In the Quiz there is a typo: The nomintaive <= typo for nominative -Jason Recap 1) Correct error in quiz 2) Check the error in the phrase with Nachbar 3) Include an explanation of this/that dies/das in the lesson 4) Expand on the explanation of the endings a little. 5) Add a method in the form allowing the forum to be linked to the lesson

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