The pronoun

Das Pronomen

Personal pronoun.

Das Personalpronomen.

The personal pronoun designates persons, animals or things, assigning them one of the three gramatical persons.

In a sentence it usually has the same syntactic function as the noun.




person I

person II

person III

person I

person II

person III

ich (I)

du (you)

er, sie, es (he/she/it)

wir (we)

ihr (you)

sie/Sie (they)


ich = I

du = you

er, sie, es = he, she, it 

wir = we

ihr = you

sie, Sie = they (sie with small “s” means she or they, and Sie with capital “S” denotes a polite pronoun, it is used when we are adressing to an older person or any person which we respect (a teacher, a person with a higher social position etc.) 


ich“ (I) – it is a pronoun which is reffering to ourself


Ich schreibe. (I am writing)

Ich lese. (I am reading)

Ich gehe. (I am walking)

Like in english, in german the pronoun “ich” is used very often when we want to express an action that we are carrying out.Example:


english translation

-Was machst du?

-Ich lerne! 

- What are you doing?

- I am learning!

Notice the usage of "I" in both languages.


The pronoun "ich" is always used when we are telling something about our actions.

Ich gehe zu Schule.  = I am going to school.

Ich spreche am Telefon. = I am talking at the phone.

Ich spiele Super Mario. = I am playing Super Mario.


du” (you) - is a pronoun which reffers to the person I am talking to

It is a pronoun used between people that are close to eachother like family members, colleagues, but also it is a way to adress to younger people.We always use it when we are adressing a question to somebody.



english translation

Was machst du? 

What are you doing?

Wohin gehst du? 

Where are you going?

Wo arbeitest du? 

Where do you work?

Hast du geschlafen? 

Did you sleep?

Wie heisst du? 

What is your name?


er, sie, es
-  ”er” - pronoun that denotes third person - singular - masculine (he)
-  ”sie” - pronoun that denotes third personsingular - feminine (she)
- ”es” -  pronoun that denotes third person - singular - neuter, (it) - it can also play the role of an impresonal pronoun.



english translation

Er ist ein schöner Mann. 

He is a beautiful man.

Er ist der beste Fusballspieler. 

He is the best football player.

Sie ist eine schöne Frau. 

She is a beautiful woman.

Sie ist eine gute Tennisspielerin. 

She is a good tennis player.

Dem Kind geht es gut. 

The child is feeling fine. (In german "the child" is of neuter gender.)

Es regnet! 

It rains! 

Es ist kalt. 

It is cold.


wir” (we) - It is a pronoun that reffers to a group of poeple we belong to

 It is usedwhen we want to express an action we are carrying out togheter with the whole group.



english translation

Wir haben spass. 

We have fun.

Wir hören gerne Musik. 

We are listeningto music with pleasure.

Wir schreiben einen Test. 

We are writing a test.

Wann haben wir Ferien? 

When do we have holiday?


ihr” (you) - It is a pronoun which reffers to a group of persons we are talking about or upon who we are carrying out an action.

It is the plural version of ”du” (you).



english translation

Ihr habt den Test nicht bestanden! 

You didn't pass the test.

Was habt ihr gestern in der Schule gelernt? 

What did you learn in school yesterday?

Ihr habt noch dreißig Minuten! 

You have 30 minutes left!


sie/Sie” (they)
- sie = they
- Sie = (you) polite pronoun used when we are adressing to an older person or a person we respect



english translation

Sie fahren nach Frankreich. 

They are traveling to France.

Was ist los mit all diese Menschen? Was machen sie hier? 

What is happening with all this people. What are they doing here?

Die Kinder sollen um neun Uhr schlafen gehen. Morgen haben sie Schule. 

The children should go to sleep, it is nine o'clock. Tomorrow they have school.

Herr Professor! Wie fühlen Sie sich? 

Mr. professor! How are you? (polite pronoun)

Kommen Sie, ich helfe Ihnen! 

Come on! I help you! (polite pronoun)

Note the difference between ”sie” and ”Sie”!