Can we always use interchangeably "Die" or "Sie" in the case of referring to 3rd person plural either in written language and spoken language?

Die haben einfach ihre Fotos auf das Auto geklebt. Sie haben einfach ihre Fotos auf das Auto geklebt.


No. Almost never. Sie is a personal pronoun, while die is either an article or a demonstrative pronoun. There are some simple cases where both a personal pronoun or a demonstrative pronoun can be used but there is a change in meaning:

Sie stehen dort hinten.

They are standing over there.

Die stehen dort hinten.

Those are standing over there.

  • Yes, you're right like in English, but in spoken German I've heard a lot that people use "Die" while they indicate no specific people or objects as we use in demonstrative pronoun. – Armin Oct 19 '16 at 8:22
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    Oh, they do. It's just English isn't using a demonstrative pronoun when it should (^_^;). How much are the apples?They are one dollar a pound. while German speakers say Wieviel kosten die Äpfel?Die kosten ein Euro das Pfund. Because it's particular apples they are talking about. – Janka Oct 19 '16 at 8:40
  • @Armin and that use may be seen as dismissive or slightly derogatory whan talking about people. It's colloquial at best and may indicate lower social background. It's a fine line here that is hard to answer in a yes/no post w/o examples and w/o referring to social norms. – Stephie Oct 19 '16 at 8:43
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    It's like pointing fingers. You shouldn't do it unless you really need to do. Also note diese oder jene is hardly ever used in speech because everyone thinks he/she points fingers at something or someone which is extremly frowned upon by Germans/Austrians/Swiss. – Janka Oct 19 '16 at 8:46
  • I got it! it's just colloquial use that makes it ambiguous. thank you all. – Armin Oct 19 '16 at 8:53

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