How to differentiate pronunciation of these words?

  • Sie (you — formal), sie (she), and sie (they)
  • ihr (you — plural), er (he)
  • 8
    In German you have always to consider the context. You can't distinguish the different "Sie" by pronunciation Aug 2, 2011 at 14:52
  • @infinitesimalLeanne: "Sie machen das Heim zum Daheim", how one could differentiate they're talking about a person in formal sense or more than one person (plural)?
    – user508
    Aug 2, 2011 at 15:08
  • 4
    @Gigili: you can't. You need to know who that sentence is addressed at and/or what the context of that sentence is. It could be "you" (singular), "you" (plural) or even "they". Aug 2, 2011 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


Sie is always pronounced the same.

The pronunciation of ihr and er really only differs in the starting vowel — although the h demands the long pronunciation of i, the e of er is equally long.

  • Was about to make matters more complicated - but this answer is already all you need, so +1. Aug 2, 2011 at 15:21

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