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In an example sentence for the adjective "verschieden", I have

Die Geschwister sind sehr verschieden: der eine ist fröhlich, der andere sehr ruhig.

Now, as I understand it, both "der eine" and "der andere" should either be feminine singular accusative (carrying the gender of "Schwester") or should be neuter singular accusative (carrying the gender of "Geschwister"). Why then do we have "der eine", and not "die eine" or "das eine"?

Also, if this is in fact a mistake on the part of the dictionary, should it actually be "die" or "das", and why?

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    Nein "Geschwister" können männlich, weiblich oder beides sein. In diesem Fall handelt es sich offensichtlich um Brüder nicht um Schwestern. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 13 '18 at 3:43
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Your premise might be wrong. "Geschwister" doesn't refer to sisters, but brothers and sisters equally well (siblings in english).

Now, as I understand it, both "der eine" and "der andere" should either be feminine singular accusative (carrying the gender of "Schwester")

No, "Geschwister" may refer to brothers or sisters equally well.

or should be neuter singular accusative (carrying the gender of "Geschwister").

That's what is mainly expressed in the singular case "das Geschwister", but won't ever carry over if "Geschwister" is used in the plural case "die Geschwister" (which is the most common form).

Why then do we have "der eine", and not "die eine" or "das eine"?

"der", "die" and "das" refer to the individuals included with the plural case mentioned above. These refer to

  • Der Sohn, der Bruder

  • Die Tochter, die Schwester

  • Das Kind, das Geschwister

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    This answer, however otherwise good, does not explain why the neuter gender of "Geschwister" isn't retained, but changed to the actual sexual gender of the siblings in the second clause. This phenomenon wouldn't for instance occur with "Mädchen"substituted for "Geschwister" in the same sentence. – Beta May 13 '18 at 7:03
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    @Beta The very same thing would happen with "Mädchen": Die Mädchen sind sich nicht sehr ähnlich, die eine ist blond und klein und die andere rothaarig und gross. – tofro May 13 '18 at 7:24

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