German Pronouns

As in other languages, German pronouns are words that can replace a noun or a noun phrase within a sentence. These words can take several different forms. Pronouns can be divided into First Person pronouns, which refer to the speaker, Second Person pronouns, which refer to another entity that is being directly addressed, and Third Person pronouns, which refer to someone or something that the speaker is discussing but not directly addressing. The word that a pronoun replaces is known as its antecedent. Pronouns also contain information about the number of the nouns they replace. For instance, in English, the singular noun “Bicycle” might be replaced with the pronoun, “it,” as there is only one bicycle, while the plural form, “Bicycles” would be replaced with, “they.” Also, like German nouns, German pronouns are declined—that is, they take a different case based on the way they function in a sentence. All pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number, person, and case.

Personal Pronouns

Personal German pronouns, which are substituted for the names of places and things, function similarly to the way they do in English. However, unlike in English, the personal pronouns must be declined in order to agree with their antecedents. The second person plural form of the personal pronoun in German can be used as a formal mode of address.

Case English Nominative Accusative Dative Genitive
1st Singular I Ich Mich Mir Meiner
2nd Singular You Du Dich Dir Deiner
3rd Singular He/She/It Er/Sie/Es Ihn/Sie/Es Ihm/Ihr/Ihm Seiner
1st Plural We Wir Uns Uns Unser
2nd Plural You Ihr Euch Euch Euer
3rd Plural They Sie Sie Ihnen Ihrer
Formal(Singular and Plural) You Sie Sie Ihnen Ihrer

In the instance of formal address, verbs are conjugated in the third person plural form. Articles also have pronominal forms. When using these, be sure to decline them properly, as the endings vary slightly from the regular forms.

Different Forms

German pronouns can also be used in a number of other ways, and take different forms. For instance, they can take a reflexive form, in which it refers to the same entity as the subject. This type of pronoun is only functional in the dative and accusative cases, and is most commonly seen in the first and third person plural. Relative pronouns are also common. Relative pronouns, such as “that,” “which,” and “who” in English, are used to introduce relative clauses, which give more details about the subject. While this word is often omitted in English, it is necessary to use it in German in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct. German pronouns can also take the form of demonstrative pronouns, which refer to an object or entity that has already been established. Demonstrative pronouns translate as words like, “this” and “that” in English.
In the instance of formal address, verbs are conjugated in the third person plural form. Articles also have pronominal forms. When using these, be sure to decline them properly, as the endings vary slightly from the regular forms.

German pronouns can also be used in a number of other ways, and take different forms. For instance, they can take a reflexive form, in which it refers to the same entity as the subject. This type of pronoun is only functional in the dative and accusative cases, and is most commonly seen in the first and third person plural. Relative pronouns are also common. Relative pronouns, such as "that," "which," and "who" in English, are used to introduce relative clauses, which give more details about the subject. While this word is often omitted in English, it is necessary to use it in German in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct. German pronouns can also take the form of demonstrative pronouns, which refer to an object or entity that has already been established. Demonstrative pronouns translate as words like, "this" and "that" in English.






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