4

If I use a sequence of people, I should of course place myself at the very end, like John, Anna und ich gehen ins Kino. Where should I place the Du however? Should it be at the very beginning or just before myself?

  • Option 1: at first - Du, John, Anna und ich
  • Option 2: last before myself - John, Anna, Du und ich
  • Option 3: totally random - John, Du, Hans, Anna und ich
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    How about: "wherever you like"? When going to the cinema, it is obviously not of much interest who enters first (Gentlemen would obviosly have Anna enter first...). It might be different when you describe a race. In short: No specific order required by the language. Requirements by good manners won't be discussed here ;)
    – tofro
    Apr 7, 2016 at 14:55

2 Answers 2

2

It is most common to put absent people at the end of the sentence:

Ich gehe mit einem Freund ins Kino.

In this context, people of a higher rank are mentioned before people of a lower rank, older people before younger people, and female people before male people. Some decades ago, the rule to put women at the beginning of the sentence had the highest priority, but that changed due to emancipation. This leads to:

Ich gehe mit meinem Chef, seiner Assistentin und einem Freund ins Kino.

The du comes always at first:

Morgen gehen du und ich ins Kino.

If you join all these rules, you end up with:

Du und ich gehen mit meinem Chef, seiner Assistentin und einem Freund ins Kino.

One more thing about the du: According to the actual styling rules, du is not capitalized anymore. An exception is when writing a personal letter: Then it is possible to capitalize the du, but it's not necessary.

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  • Die Frage der Abwesenheit und des Rangs tauchen in der Frage gar nicht auf. Was wenn alle anwesend sind? Mar 29, 2017 at 3:53
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While I like variant 2 best by a small margin, I find the example sentences somewhat artificial: Why does Du not yet know, it also joins to the cinema, and has to be told? A round sentence would be:

Anna und Joe gehen mit uns ins Kino.

Politeness would let du (even more so a Sie) gravitate towards the beginning, any sort of closeness to the speaker towards the end (before ich). I still hold, that only additional reasons, like

  • presence of children having to maintain the count by using their fingers
  • a high importance of that count (e. g. available seats in a car)
  • the intent to emphasize the separation of the speaker and the addressed person

suggest using the singular form.

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    If you ignore the cinema example, your criticism becomes moot. What if the speaker assigns work packages to groups or splits a larger group in smaller teams?
    – Stephie
    Apr 7, 2016 at 16:34

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