75 votes

Using gender specific pronouns for inanimate objects

Yes, gender applies to pronouns as well. It is a grammatical feature, not a biological. Correct: Ich habe meine Tasche gesucht, aber ich habe sie nicht gefunden. Grammatical gender in English exists ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Why the switch from “ihr” to “Sie” in the following speech from Band of Brothers?

This might not be a mistake, but very deliberately done. As comrades of war the general says du and ihr to his fellows. But at the very end of his speech, he wants to make clear that this is over and ...
Beta's user avatar
  • 4,777
36 votes
Accepted

Can "sie" be used as "it/this" in some cases?

Whether the sentence is correctly translated or not depends a bit on the context. Please compare the following: Die Maschine wurde repariert. Ja, sie funktioniert jetzt gut. Der Motor wurde ...
Harald Lichtenstein's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Why do Netflix German subtitles always make use of formal pronouns?

The answer is probably that the choice between du and Sie in productions translated from English is not always necessarily natural. Primarily, this is due to the fact that English does not make the ...
O. R. Mapper's user avatar
  • 8,697
30 votes
Accepted

Is "Schmeckt es Sie?" correct?

The only correct form is Schmeckt es Ihnen? Another example: Das Brötchen (Subj.) schmeckt dem Kind (Dat. Obj) Schmeckt das Brötchen dem Kind (not das Kind)? “Schmeckt es Sie” is ...
Thorsten Dittmar's user avatar
23 votes

Would a computer use ‘du’ or ‘Sie’ for the user?

Du hast ungespeicherte Nachrichten. — You have unsaved messages. Sie haben ungespeicherte Nachrichten. — You have unsaved messages. Both occur, but often neither is used, because it’s usually ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 9,177
21 votes
Accepted

Why the dative pronoun in "Ich wasche mir die Hände"?

The dative pronoun here means something like "for me". Many German verbs have this sort of construction, more than in English. But English has it too: He made me some soup She bought me a loaf of ...
KWeiss's user avatar
  • 1,117
18 votes

Why the dative pronoun in "Ich wasche mir die Hände"?

Ich wasche meine Hände would be correct, but slightly unusual as long as nothing follows. Ich wasche meine Hände in Unschuld/mit warmem Wasser/mit Seife. is perfect. Ich wasche Hände is ...
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.2k
17 votes
Accepted

When can ‘dus’ be used in place of ‘du’?

"Dus" in fact isn't a word on its own, it's simply the result of colloquially merging the two pronouns "du" and "es" into one. IMHO, you should refrain from using "dus" in written language. ...
tohuwawohu's user avatar
  • 13.7k
17 votes

Appropriate pronoun for “you” and “someone else who’s not here right now.”

Gehen du und Bob zur Party? Is the right answer here. If they were both standing right in front of you you say Geht ihr zur Party? But one of the people is not there, so you are talking about a ...
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 1,219
17 votes
Accepted

When are parts of the body personal, and when not?

This is just a variation to reduce repeating words. This also would be correct, but contains 3 times "ihre": Der Arzt schaut in ihre Augen, ihren Mund und in ihre Ohren. Another ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
16 votes

»Lass mal McDonald's gehen.«

Der Satz ist durchaus korrektes Deutsch, bedeutet aber etwas anderes als das, was der Sprecher wahrscheinlich sagen wollte. Lass mal McDonalds gehen Könnte bedeuten, dass die Schüler ihren ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.9k
14 votes
Accepted

"sie" or "die" when referring to "they"

1) There should be a comma between "gesagt" and "dass" because you start a subordinate clause with the word "dass". 2) The correct word here is "sie". "Die" is sometimes used by people in the street ...
Martin Rosenau's user avatar
13 votes

How to recognise whether it's "haben Sie" ("you") or "haben sie" ("they")?

In the written language, you can check if it is Sie (formal you) with a capitalized S at the beginning or sie (they), whose initial letter is lower case. But I am sure that you did not mean the ...
Ad Infinitum's user avatar
  • 3,697
13 votes

Difference: Ihr vs sie

It is as follows: du → you (singular) Hast du das getan? → Did you do that? ihr → you (plural) Habt ihr das getan? → Did you do that? Ihr → you (singular, Pluralis Majestatis, not to be confused ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar
12 votes

Is "Schmeckt es Sie?" correct?

According to the rules for German grammar "Schmeckt es Sie?" ist not grammatically correct. The grammatical structure is always "noun" + schmeckt + Dative (typically referring to the person or ...
Alex2006's user avatar
  • 751
12 votes
Accepted

Hat dir der Film gefallen? oder Hat du der Film gefallen?

The verb "gefallen" is used with dative. You can roughly think of it as "to be pleasant to somebody": Dieses Buch gefällt mir - this book is pleasant to me Der Schauspieler hat ...
Eller's user avatar
  • 4,648
11 votes

Would a computer use ‘du’ or ‘Sie’ for the user?

It depends on the company making the software in question. For example, Facebook always uses "du", Microsoft always uses "Sie", Apple and Google use a mixture, depending on product and context. ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 1,499
11 votes

Appropriate pronoun for “you” and “someone else who’s not here right now.”

I don't really think this works in German as planned. Workarounds would be to mentioned Bob beforehand (A), clarify along the way (B) or rephrase it entirely (C). (A) Was ist mit Bob? Geht ihr ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Ambiguity in determining the owner of a genitive personal pronoun

You can't tell that from grammar alone. Seiner may refer to an arbitrary masculine or neuter noun. Only context tells which noun it is.
Janka's user avatar
  • 60.4k
10 votes

»Lass mal McDonald's gehen.«

In einer deskriptiven Betrachtung der Sprache (die sich anschaut, welche Ausdrücke tatsächlich verwendet werden, und ob die jeweiligen Empfänger daran etwas auszusetzen haben) ist der Satz »Lass mal ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.6k
10 votes

The correct ways to use Sie in nominative?

The "Sie" with a capital "s" is used to formally address someone directly. That means that it has the same function as the informal "du". However, grammaticaly "Sie" is used differently than the "du",...
Matt S's user avatar
  • 442
10 votes

Why not ihm in "Kannst du ihn den neuen Kollegen zeigen?"

"Zeigen" in your example has two objects: "den Besprechungsraum" singular, accusative: what to show "den neuen Kollegen" plural, dative: whom to show it so "ihn" again is accusative singular, standing ...
Bobby J's user avatar
  • 680
10 votes
Accepted

Kann im 2. Teil eines zusammengesetzten Satzes das Personalpronomen weggelassen werden?

Nein Richtig sind diese Sätze: Wenn du so viele Jahre in einem Beruf gearbeitet hast, wirst du auch länger aushalten. Lassen Sie Putzlappen gut trocknen und wechseln Sie sie häufig.
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
10 votes

Personal Pronouns: Nominative case

For tables, I like Wiktionary. Have a look at the tables for mein. You will notice that your second table is for attributive use, which is what you will need most frequently: Das ist mein Wagen. The ...
Carsten S's user avatar
  • 20.9k
9 votes

»Lass mal McDonald's gehen.«

Der Satz ist nicht korrekt oder zumindest kein gutes Deutsch. Richtig oder jedenfalls besser wäre Lass(t) uns mal in den McDonald's gehen. oder Lass(t) uns mal in das / ins McDonald's gehen. ...
TheAbelian's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

»Wie ist« oder »Wie seid Ihr Name«?

Plural: Wie sind Ihre Namen? Wie sind deine Namen? Wie sind eure Namen? Singular: Wie ist Ihr Name? Wie ist dein Name? Wie ist euer Name? Das Verb bezieht sich auf das Substantiv ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
9 votes

Why do Netflix German subtitles always make use of formal pronouns?

Your assumption that it is not a slip-up because it is Netflix may be wrong. If it was too expensive to put effort in proper dubs or subtitle, or if it does not pay off otherwise they simply will not ...
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.4k
9 votes

Wieso "ihre" Mannschaft?

Satz: Michael, wie oft hat Ihre Mannschaft ein Spiel? Frage: Wieso ist in dem Satz Ihre und nicht deine? Das ist das sogenannte Hamburger Sie, bei dem die Person sowohl mit Vornamen (hier ...
Björn Friedrich's user avatar

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