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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"). 

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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 are no mutated garden gnomes.
Caption 1, „Mini-Marxe“: In Trier

 

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

 

Das sind nun die Zutaten für unseren Apfelkuchen.
These are now the ingredients for our apple cake.
Caption 3, Apfelkuchen: mit Eva

 

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

 

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

 

Dies sind Hinterlassenschaften eines Krokodils.
These are the remains of a crocodile.
Caption 10, Ausgrabungen: Auf den Spuren der Dinosaurier 

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

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