When studying German, students often mix up words that appear to be similar. Therefore, this article explains to you the difference between “seid” and “seit”.
The meaning of words
It takes some time until the human brain remembers a new word correctly when studying a new language. However, sometimes German does not make it easy for students. That is because after some time, there might appear a new word that almost looks the same as the one which you just managed to remember. This problem also applies to “seid” and “seit”.
“Seid” or “Seit”
There are two reasons why people mix up these two words. The first one is that their only difference is a letter. The second one is that these two letters “d” and “t” sound very similar in German. The difference one can hear between “seid” and “seit” is very small, and you need to make an effort to listen to in everyday life. Also, many pupils in Germany hit the same hay.
The meaning of “seid”
In German, the word “seid” is a conjugated version of the verb “sein” (to be) for the second person plural “ihr” (you). This basic verb is very unregular, and therefore it is as follows:
|ich bin||I am|
|du bist||you are|
|er ist||he is|
|sie ist||she is|
|es ist||it is|
|wir sind||we are|
|ihr seid||you are|
|sie sind||they are|
|Sie sind||formal speech|
The meaning of “seit”
Germans use the word “seit” with a “t” if they would like to express “since”, “for” or “ever since”. As you might already realize now, “seit” has an entirely different meaning and belongs to another word category.
Examples for “seit”:
Seit meiner Kindheit lese ich gerne Bücher. – I have enjoyed reading books since I was a child.
Frank wohnt seit 1980 in Berlin. – Frank has lived in Berlin since 1980.
Making the right choice
Whether you choose “seid” or “seit” obviously depends on what you would like to say. If you wish to say “you are” (plural), then choose “seid”, for saying “since”, choose “seit”.
If you would like to know more about “seid”, check out the article “To be, or not to be” – the verb “sein” in German and for additional information about “seit” you might be interested in reading What is the difference between “seit” and “für” in German.
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