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It is not entirely clear why German students knock on their tables at the end of a lecture. But there are some explanations where this custom might come from. This site mentions that the knocking was originally (in the 18th century) done with sticks, which were used by students to attend lectures. This was done to welcome the Füchse (new students) or to ...


As soon as you address somebody by his or her first name, then you would use du: e.g. Hallo Peter, wie geht's dir? On the other hand when you call a person by the surname, you would use Sie: e.g. Frau Müller, können Sie mir helfen? note: always use a capital lettre with Sie. Edit: What I wrote above is the usual case, meant as a direct answer to ...

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