Wie viel Geld haben Sie?

English Translation

How much money do you have?

Why is it not “how much money do they have?”

1 Like

Because “Sie” is capitalized in this sentence, meaning that it’s the formal “you” here and not “they”.

When Sie shows up at the beginning of a sentence, however, it becomes ambiguous, because the verb conjugation is the same for 2nd person formal and 3rd person plural:

Sie haben viel Geld = could mean “You have a lot of money” or “they have a lot of money”.

In such cases, Germans sometimes will say “die” instead of “sie” if they mean to say “they”:

“Die haben viel Geld” = They (over there) have a lot of money.

I believe “Die” in that context is short for “diese da” (them there).