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Questions tagged [pronouns]

Pronomen - Questions on words that substitutes for nouns.

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24
votes
3answers
2k views

Spricht man über ein Mädchen/eine Frau mittels „sie“ oder „es“?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Can ‘sie’ be used to refer to ‘Mädchen’? Wenn man über ein Mädchen oder über eine Frau spricht, spricht man dann von ihm oder von ihr? ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I decline “jemand” or “niemand”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Beugt man jemand oder niemand mit Endung? The declension of indefinitve pronouns "jemand" or "niemand" seems not to follow strict rules. I can read all of the following: Er ...
12
votes
3answers
9k views

How to differentiate Sie (they) or Sie (you)?

Sie haben meine Brieftasche. This sentence has 2 different meanings - They have my wallet. or You have my wallet. How can I know which is intended?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Warum „anderen“ anstatt „anderem“?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Same noun, same case, same adjective, different ending – what are the rules behind this? Mich wundert der folgende Satz: Mit keinem ...
13
votes
1answer
790 views

Mit oder ohne »es«?

Gestern habe ich eine Diskussion gehabt, ob man das Pronomen es in folgendem Satz verwendet oder nicht: Im Vertrag wird [es] stehen, dass ... Wahrscheinlich wird kein Deutscher es in dem Satz ...
12
votes
3answers
16k views

Which grammatical gender would I use for a masculine noun with reference to a woman?

Given that "Schatz" is a masculine word, I would use masculine modifiers with it, such as "der". But suppose I were using "Schatz" to refer to a woman I was dating. Would I then refer to "mein ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the particle “irgend” used for, or what concept/sentiment does it convey?

I wonder what irgend means? I’ve seen so many words with it as a prefix, like irgendein, irgendwas and irgendwo. What do they have in common that irgend expresses? The explanations in the Duden ...
10
votes
1answer
576 views

When is ‘er’ replaceable with ‘der’?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Artikel anstelle von Personalpronomen Why is der used in the following example sentences (from online dictionaries) in place of simply er? Would ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

What is the function of the ‘es’ in this sentence?

Es sind nicht alle gleich. I understand this sentence to mean, “Not everyone’s the same”, but what is the es in aid of? Would the following have the same meaning? Alle sind nicht gleich. The ...
6
votes
2answers
268 views

Artikel anstelle von Personalpronomen

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: When is ‘er’ replaceable with ‘der’? Ich höre manchmal, dass ein Artikel anstelle eines Personalpronomens benutzt wird. A: Hast du Oliver ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Platzhalter vs. Stellvertreter

I see some sentences in German, where some say that es is a Platzhalter, while some say it is a Stellvertreter. Now I wonder, are these words interchangeable? For example, in the following sentence ...
6
votes
2answers
527 views

Why is “der” used in this excerpt instead of “er”?

From the Unendliche Geschichte: Schließlich klappte der sein Buch wieder zu – wie vorher, mit dem Finger zwischen den Seiten – und knurrte: Was der supposed to be er or is it a new construction ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Why isn't plural ihr used for Formal instead of Sie?

In most of the Indo-European languages that I know of, The T-V distinction applies, that the second plural form (referring to many people, vous, Bы, and you in English) is used in the singular as a ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

er/sie/es versus das

When you want to refer to a previously mentioned noun, is there any difference whether to use gender/number-specific demonstrative/personal pronouns versus neutral demonstrative 'das'? Wem gehören ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How to say “one of them”?

Following this question I am now unsure about the way the concept "one of them" can be expressed. Let's use the sample phrase "one of them is big" as an example. My understanding so far was that if ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of “jed-”, “jeglich-” and “jedwed-”

What is the difference between jedwed-, jeglich- and jed-? In my dictionary all three mean 'any'. And in what context are they used? Are they interchangeable?
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Welches Pronomen bei Firmennamen?

Gibt es eine Regel für die Verwendung des richtigen Pronomens bei Firmennamen? Ein Beispielsatz, den ich übersetzen möchte und bei dem ich auf diese Frage gestoßen bin: With business growing ...
8
votes
1answer
195 views

Use of “es” to anticipate a following clause

I’m working my way through Hammer’s Practicing German grammar workbook (second edition) using the German grammar and usage textbook (fourth edition). I’m in chapter three and everything is going great,...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Der/die/das as demonstrative pronouns: intonation, politeness and difference with dieser/diese/dieses

Three related questions: First, I'm interested in knowing if there is any difference in the usage of der, die, das,... and dieser, diese, dieses,.... For instance z.B. Ich habe zwei Hunde. {Der |...
7
votes
2answers
324 views

Relative pronouns for time (span)

Hätten Sie am Dienstag zwischen 10-11 etwas Zeit, 'wann'/'wo'/'in der' ich anrufen könnte? Which relative pronoun do I have to use in the question above?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

The order of dative and accusative in a sentence

Ich kann dir das nicht verraten. I'm given to understand that if the subject in the accusative case is a pronoun, (as in the sentence above?) it precedes the dative case. Otherwise, the dative comes ...
5
votes
3answers
558 views

“Ja, das dachte ich mir.” – Why “mir”?

I saw this exchange on Twitter: »Was denkst du gerade?« »nichts!« »Ja, das dachte ich mir.« Why is mir in this sentence? It seems redundant. I assume it is one of the rules of grammar.
5
votes
1answer
24k views

Meaning of “Was für ein”?

All I know about Was für ein is that it is a type of pronoun (but I don't know what type exactly it is). I also don't know how it translates into English.
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Warum benutzt man „es“?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Is it correct to say “Das ist meine Schwester” and not “Sie ist meine Schwester”? Warum benutzt man in folgendem Satz es für die Zeitung? ...
8
votes
2answers
554 views

Abgrenzung zwischen “was” als Relativ- und als Fragepronomen

In einer anderen Frage ging es kürzlich darum, ob sich an ein Pronominaladverb (davon, darauf, dafür) ein Relativsatz anschließen kann. Daraus ergab sich schließlich für mich diese Frage: Was kann ...
5
votes
3answers
462 views

Why “mir”, not “mein(e)” in phrase “mir aus den Augen”?

I've been trying to translate lyrics of the song "Sonne" by Rammstein, and I've found an interesting line: "Die Sonne scheint mir aus den Augen" which translates to: "The sun is shining out of my ...
5
votes
3answers
157 views

“das” vs “es” to refer to a long phrase or clause

The question is on es as highlighted in this passage from Kafka's Der Prozess. Im übrigen erzählte sie mir erst gestern und nur ganz flüchtig davon, sie sagte hierbei, daß auch Ihnen jedenfalls ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it correct to use “Entschuldigen mich” instead of “Entschuldigen Sie”?

Entschuldigen Sie means excuse me, but Sie means in English you in English and me in German means mich or mir. So why is it Entschuldigen Sie instead of Entschuldigen mich/mir?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Pronoun gender for proper nouns

Usually I notice that the gender of the pronoun is determined by the gender of the noun. Das Mädchen weint. Es ist traurig. Die Stadt ist schön. Sie gefällt mir. Is it true that when the noun ...
3
votes
2answers
28k views

What is the difference between Du and Sie [duplicate]

What is the difference between Du and Sie? For example, you are drinking/ you drink translates to Du trinkst Sie trinken other than the difference in conjugation, I do not understand why I would use ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Woher kommt die Redewendung „Hast du sie noch alle“?

Die Bedeutung ist hier „Bist du verrückt?“, aber worauf bezieht sich das Pronomen sie in diesem Satz? Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob das Pronomen etwas mit dem Satz „Du hast wohl einen Vogel“ zu tun ...
9
votes
2answers
961 views

Can ‘sie’ be used to refer to ‘Mädchen’? [duplicate]

This question also has an answer here (in German): Spricht man über ein Mädchen/eine Frau mittels „sie“ oder „es“? I’ve come across this text: Ein Mädchen sitzt am Fenster. Sie hat ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Gender-neutral singular third-person pronoun

I’m writing a German locale for a project/game I’m developing, and some messages require a gender-neutral pronoun to refer to a person. For example, one of the messages is: They were a detective. ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it correct to say “Das ist meine Schwester” and not “Sie ist meine Schwester”?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Warum benutzt man „es“? If it is valid to say Das ist meine Mutter. can I say this, too? Das ist meine Schwester. I was taught that Sie ...
7
votes
2answers
278 views

On the declensions of the pronoun “man”? Part I: Finding a substitute for the genitive for “man”

Part I In Wiktionary reads: Das Indefinitpronomen des Nominativ Singular man hat keine weiteren Formen; bei der Verwendung in anderen Fällen muss daher auf die Formen des Indefinitpronomens einer, ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Relative pronoun for “heute”

From Spiegel-Magazine: Zudem stellen sich heute, wo mehr als 70 Prozent eines Jahrgangs eine akademische Karriere anstreben, ganz andere Herausforderungen. In this thread, it was pointed out that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Correct usage of “beide”: does it require the article?

I didn't find any satisfactory reference about the usage of the pronoun "beide". It means "both" and probably comes from the same source too, but I'm confused about the article to use in front of it. ...
6
votes
2answers
366 views

Relativpronomen »welcher« im Genitiv?

Relativpronomen gibt es in zwei Geschmacksrichtungen: Verwandte von »der«: Singular: Nom: der, die, das Gen: dessen, deren, dessen Dat: dem, der, dem Akk: den, die, das Plural: Nom: die ...
6
votes
2answers
248 views

On the declensions of the pronoun “man”. Part II: does the dative depend on the gender of the speaker?

Part II (Part I of this question verses on the genitive for man) In Wiktionary reads: Das Indefinitpronomen des Nominativ Singular man hat keine weiteren Formen; bei der Verwendung in anderen ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

The use of an infinitive with the pronoun “es”

I have seen a few examples where one uses an infinitive with the pronoun es. Namely, in the movie Downfall (Der Untergang), Hitler says: Es bleiben im Raum: Keitel, Jodl, Krebs und Burgdorf. ...
6
votes
3answers
138 views

“es waren dies eine Taschenbibel, …”

The question is on dies as highlighted in this sentence from Amerika (Der Verschollene) by Franz Kafka. Beim Hervorsuchen einiger Gegenstände, die zuunterst lagen – es waren dies eine Taschenbibel, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

“es ist/sind” versus “da ist/sind” to mean there is/are

These two questions (1, 2) are close to what I’m trying to pin down. But I want to know if there is any significant difference between “es ist/sind” and “da ist/sind”. For example, I found these two ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

beide/beiden - what does the ending (-n) depend on

When should it be beide and when beiden? Why is die beide Frauen incorrect? Can somebody post a precise rule here?
5
votes
2answers
105 views

“doch es gelang ihm nicht” vs. “doch gelang es ihm nicht” and similar

Below I quote two groups of similar sentences. I’d like to ask for evaluation of these alternatives in terms of their power of expression and style; i.e. in each group, which one is more expressive ...
5
votes
4answers
738 views

Why are accusative personal pronouns added into sentences that already have nominative personal pronouns?

I am having some trouble understanding why accusative personal pronouns are added into a sentence that already has a nominative personal pronoun, for example. Wie fühlst du dich? Könnt ihr euch ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

“Es ist” instead of “der/sie ist”

I am new to German so would would be grateful if someone could help with this trivial question. When doing some exercises from my course book I saw such example Der Computer ist nicht neu. Es ist ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Two second-person pronouns in the first sentence of the dedication from “Faust”

The first sentence of the Zueignung in the beginning of Goethe's Faust, Eine Tragödie reads thus: Ihr naht euch wieder, schwankende Gestalten! I am interpreting this as something along the lines ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Genitive relative pronoun vs. personal pronoun in this Kafka sentence

The question is on this sentence from Kafka's Der Prozess. »Was wäre denn zu sagen?«, antwortete K., der dessen müde war, die Augen des Fräulein Montag fortwährend auf seine Lippe gerichtet zu ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Is the use of reflexive required when possible?

(a) Er ist stolz auf sich selbst. is a natural translation of "He is proud of himself." My question is whether (b) Er ist stolz auf ihn selbst. is correct or not? That is, when the sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Reference of “es” in “Sie gut zu übersetzen ist schwer, es bleiben zu lassen hilft aber nicht weiter.”

From the Frankfurter Allgemeine: Wer Weltliteratur ernst nimmt, weiß: Sie gut zu übersetzen ist schwer, es bleiben zu lassen hilft aber nicht weiter. What does es refer to here? It cannot refer to ...