several meanings of "die"

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Senior Member

I have found so far three different meanings of the word "die":

1) The definite article for feminine nouns or for plural nouns. Eg: "Die Frau ist müde.", "Die Frauen/Männer sind müde."

2) some kind of a substitute word. Eg: "Laura sieht die Frauen, die aus Prag kommen." (the second "die" in that sentence)

3) an alternative way to say "sie" (they, maybe also she?). I was told that this is a bit colloquial though, not really formal language. Eg: "Russland hat morgen wieder einen Feiertag. Die haben es gut. Sehr viele Feiertage im Land."


A) Am I right? Are these really different uses of the word "die"?

B) Is there even more meanings? According to my dictionary, "die" can also mean pronouns "that, which"...

Thank you.
  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    A) Am I right? Are these really different uses of the word "die"?
    Yes, you are right.

    (1) definite article: die Frau

    (2) relative pronoun: eine Frau, die

    (3) demonstrative pronoun: Siehst du die da? <same as "diese">

    B) Is there even more meanings?
    No, we usually count these three classes. See here: DWDS – Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (note the tabs on top of the bold lemma to switch between the three classes).

    However, for learners we sometimes emphasise on the fact, that "die" represents different cases and numerus (singular and plural) of the pronoun and article. However, this does not change the meaning or class, it's just declension.

    Note that all this applies equally to der, die, das.
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