Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As far as I know, there are some cognates about German and English personal pronouns, such as:

G "ich" and E "I",

G "du" and E "thou",

G "wir" and E "we",

G "ihr"(you pl.) and E "ye".

But I am confused with G "sie"(she, they) and "ihr"(her, their), because each word contains more than one meaning, and the cognates in English is unknown at least to me.

I just want someone help me with the PIE etymology of G "sie" and G "ihr".

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1


Unlike the English "they" there is no Old Norse influence (þeir) in the ethymology of "sie". It is believed that it comes from Old Saxonian/Old High German thiu or siu thus not sharing a clear cut common ethymology. This is probably different for the same spelt demonstrative pronoun "sie" that may share a same etymology with the English she.


The situation is little different with "ihr" that shares a common etymology with Old Saxonian gī̌ that became gē̌ in Old English when used as personal pronoun plural. However today ihr is also used as a possesive pronoun derived from Old High German ira wheras the English analogon "their" again has its roots in Old Norse þeir.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.