The German Language Series: Part III - "Du" or "Sie", Basic Introductions, and Personal Pronouns

Du oder Sie?

In Germany, a person can address another with either du or Sie. Both words equate to “you” in the English language. Yet, du is used when referring to family, friends, fellow students, or children, while Sie is used in situations where there is not yet a sense of familiarity, such as when speaking to strangers or acquaintances.

With these distinctions in mind, here are some conversational basics. The first instance will depict a formalized meeting between two stranger, while the second scenario will be a conversation between friends.



Formal Conversation Basics

Vocabulary Included:

Herr: Sir

Frau: Ma’am

Guten Tag: Good day

Mein Name ist: My name is…

Ihr: your (formal)

Wie ist Ihr Name? : What is your name?

Woher kommen Sie? Where do you come from

Ich bin: I am

Und: and

Aus: From/ out of

Ich komme aus: I come from/ out of

______________________________________________________________


Remember, all personal pronouns in this conversations referring to “you” are formalized.

Herr H. : Guten Tag! Mein Name ist Norbert Hoffman. Und wie ist Ihr Name?

Frau K. : Hallo! Ich bin Sabrina Kappes.

Herr H. : Woher kommen Sie, Frau Kappes?

Frau K. : Aus München. Und Sie?

Herr H. : Ich komme aus Hamburg.


Informal Conversation Basics


Vocabulary Included:

Grüß dich: Hello to you

Wie geht’s dir? : How’s it going?

Nicht slecht: Not bad

Und du? : And you?

Sehr Gut: Very good

Danke: Thank you

Mir geht’s… : I’m doing… (As in “I’m doing well”)

Bis später dann: Till later, then

Tschüss: Bye

_______________________________________


Anna: Grüß dich. Wie geht’s dir?

Matthias: Nicht slecht, danke. Und du?

Anna: Mir geht’s sehr gut.

Matthias: Bis später dann!

Anna: Ja, tschüss!











Plural:

First Person

-wir (we)

Second Person

-ihr (you all)

-Sie (formal)

Third Person

-sie (they)

Personal Pronouns

Learning a little grammar with basic phrases might help in understanding.

A fundamental of sentence structure is personal pronouns. Not only will these indicate the proper conjugation of verbs, but will also serve as objects of a sentence.

The following personal pronouns are in the nominative case. The only one that should be capitalized is the formal form of “you”.

Singular:

First Person

-ich (I)

Second Person

-du (you)

-Sie (formal ‘you’)

Third Person

-er (he)

-sie (she)

-es (it)


Here Is a Conversation with Similar Vocabulary

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

grubdich .frou sie really an amazing part of language for the basic learners.after reading this i learn 3 words at once to write a comment for you.hope did't disappoint you.keep it up and voted up.


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 5 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

asmaiftikhar:

I am so glad that you are able to use the information that I'm providing!

As long as you keep reading, I'll keep writing.

-Lilith


asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

lilth that is my honour.and i am fond of learning languages just to learn about their literature and original history.


crochet48 profile image

crochet48 5 years ago from Southern New Mexico

Lilith, I find these German language hubs fascinating because I lived in Aschaffenburg some years ago. My sons both took German, with my younger progressing to AP German and spending three weeks in Mosbach with his class and exchange families. Thank you!


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

Ausgeseichnet!


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 5 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

@ Crochet:

Please keep reading them. There are plenty more to come!

@ kschimmel:

Vielen Dank!

-Lilith


stayingalivemoma profile image

stayingalivemoma 5 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

great hub! read your profile...don't worry, some of us don't find our way until we're older....it's a process. take care! voted up & useful


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 5 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

Thank you moma, both for appreciating the hub as well as the vote of confidence.

It definitely is a process, and I'm actually enjoying the uncertainty of everything at the moment.

-Lilith

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