Working through Schaum's German Grammar and they ask to turn "Ist das dein Kind" into the plural. The answer:

Sind das deine Kinder.

Why isn't it "Sind die deine Kinder" or "Sind sie deine Kinder", likewise, it's "Ist das dein Hund" versus "ist er dein Hund".

In this case gender is not followed - are there others?

  • 3
    C.f.: Is this your wife/ is she your wife?
    – Beta
    Oct 29, 2017 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Firstly I like to mention, that both your sentences are correct. Other variations on the question would be

Sind jene Deine Kinder?
Sind dies Deine Kinder?

In this case, "das" ist not used as an article, but as a pronoun. Actually, a more complete version of the question would be

Sind das dort Deine Kinder?

Similar to

Sind dies dort Deine Kinder?

The same reasoning applies to the dog. You can basically reference anything by das/dies similiar to that/this in English.

  • You should mention that "Sind jene Deine Kinder" is technically possible (no grammar mistake) but you have to try really hard to find a situation in real life where this sentence would occur. Most likely in a very old novel or so (19th century). Nobody would speak or write that way today. Oct 29, 2017 at 16:53
  • 1
    And note that the subject is dein Kind, so subject and verb are in agreement in all of the examples.
    – Carsten S
    Oct 29, 2017 at 17:04
  • No, he asked specifically about the plural form deine Kinder Oct 29, 2017 at 17:05
  • 1
    I’m not sure the question of gender agreement applies: ‘das’ is used as a demonstrative, and demonstratives don’t really have genders. You can (point and) say ‘Das ist mein Kind’, but also ‘Das ist mein Mann/meine Frau’. To be sure, one can use ‘er’/'sie'/'es' demonstratively and thus have a gendered demonstrative; but in many contexts, that'd be as odd as ‘Is he your son?’ Note that although ‘deine Kinder’ is plural, ‘Sind das deine Kinder?’ seems more natural than ‘Sind diese Deine Kinder?’ I’d only use the pl. ‘diese’ in a complex demonstrative, like ‘Diese Bücher gehören Paul’.
    – MarkOxford
    Oct 29, 2017 at 17:23

"Das" is just the placeholder subject in German. But the "complement" is plural, consisting of multiple "Kinder."

Because of that fact, you use the plural form of the verb, "sind," and not "ist" in the sentence.

If you were writing about, say, a woman, you would write "Das ist eine Dame."

As another poster pointed out, you can also use certain similar words in place of "das." such as "dies." His other suggestion, "jene," appears to be an uncommon usage.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.