7

Instead of using the more formal

Planen Sie heute im Bistro zu essen?

I'd like to make it familiar because I'm talking to a good friend.

1
  • Some users have voted to close this question as off topic, because the answer could be found in dictionaries. However, I think what is asked is whether »Sie« to »Du« is the right way to shift a question from formal to familiar. Hence, I vote to keep it open.
    – Philipp
    Nov 2 '18 at 19:43
13

Planst du heute im Bistro zu essen?

but colloquially you would ditch the planning part and rather say

Isst du heute im Bistro?

or

Willst du heute ins Bistro?

or

Gehst du heute ins Bistro?

4
  • 2
    But you should be aware, that you are changing meanings here. »Do you plan to eat in the bistro today?« is not the same as »Will you eat in the bistro today?« is not the same as »Do you want to eat in the bistro today?« is not the same as »Are you going to the bistro today?«. But »Planst du heute im Bistro zu essen?« and »Planen Sie heute im Bistro zu essen?« both translate exactly to the very same english sentence, which is »Do you plan to eat in the bistro today?« Nov 1 '18 at 14:27
  • 4
    Yeah, but “planst du” is indeed a little awkward. A bit closer to “planen Sie” but still natural would be “hast du vor, heute im Bistro zu essen?”. It's also possible to say “Wolltest du heute ins Bistro?” – there it's ambiguous whether this is a past form or subjunctive. Nov 1 '18 at 14:32
  • 1
    If everything is clear from context you don’t even have to form a whole sentence in a conversation. For example if you drop by a colleague’s office at 11:30 you’d just say „Heute Bistro?“ or just „Bistro?”
    – Michael
    Nov 1 '18 at 17:59
  • Merely changing Sie to Du and keeping the formal sentence structure can appear sarcastic, snide, condescending, rude... not really in this case, but in many.... Nov 1 '18 at 23:23
4

The formal version of 2nd person singular (du = you) is grammatically exactly the same as 3rd person plural (sie = they). To know this helps to convert. You have to do two things:

  1. Replace the pronoun
    • nominative case:

      Sie → du

    • genitive case:

      Ihrer → deiner

    • dative case:

      Ihnen → dir

    • accusative case:

      Sie → dich

  2. Use another conjugation for the finite part of the verb
    This is the harder part. In German some verbs may be split up in parts (»einkaufen« → »Sie kaufen ein«) and all verbs may be used together with modal or auxiliary verbs (»Sie dürfen einkaufen«, »Sie werden einkaufen«, »Sie haben eingekauft«).

    The finite part of the verb is this word that is conjugated (kaufen, dürfen, werden, haben in the examples above) and this part (which is now in the form used for 3rd person plural) must be converted into the form that you need for 2nd person singular. In the examples this gives: kaufst, darfst, wirst, hast)

Together this gives:

Sie kaufen ein. → Du kaufst ein.
Sie dürfen einkaufen. → Du darfst einkaufen.
Sie werden einkaufen. → Du wirst einkaufen.
Sie haben eingekauft. → Du hast eingekauft.

Or for your example:

Planen Sie heute im Bistro zu essen? → Planst du heute im Bistro zu essen?

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