German PronounsI, You, We, In German

Learn how to refer to yourself, to others and to things in German without using nouns.

lessonsgerman pronounspronouns
01.12.2023

So far on this language learning course, we have made our way past some important German Grammar stepping stones.

We have covered German nouns, German verbs, and German declension.

This means, we are now able to build a simple sentence with a subject, an action and an object, in the nominative & accusative cases:

nominative
Die Oma
+
subject
trinkt
+
action
accusative
den Wein.
object

The grandma drinks the wine.

In this lesson, let's learn how to use pronouns in our sentences, in the nominative and accusative cases:

nominative
Sie
+
pronoun
trinkt
+
action
accusative
ihren
+
pronoun
accusative
Wein.
object

She drinks her wine.

Introduction To Pronouns

There are several types of pronouns, but in this lesson we will focus on three:

  1. Personal Pronouns,
  2. Possessive Pronouns &
  3. Demonstrative Pronouns

Let's start off with personal pronouns (in the nominative & accusative cases).

1. Personal Pronouns

Nominative Case

Take a look at this grammar table for personal pronouns in the nominative case:

PronounTranslation
ichI
duyou (informal)
er / sie / eshe / she / it
wirwe
ihryou (plural)
siethem
Sieyou (formal)
Personal Pronouns (Nominative Case)
💡

In German, there is a formal and informal way to address someone. You may speak casually to a friend, using the pronoun du, and formally with your boss, using the pronoun Sie.

Using the table above to help you, replace each noun with it's corresponding personal pronoun, in each example sentence.

  • 1. Die Frauen essen.
  • 2. Der Mann lernt.
  • 3. Das Herz schlägt.
💡

Remember: All nouns have a gender. This is important to keep in mind, in order to use the correct pronoun. "das Herz" is neutral, so we use the pronoun "es", but the noun "die Blume" is feminine, and so we must use the pronoun "sie".

Accusative Case

Now, let's take a look at the same grammar table for personal pronouns, but with the addition of the accusative case:

Pronoun (Nom)Pronoun (Acc)Translation (Nom)Translation (Acc)
ichmichIme
dudichyouyou
(er / sie / es)ihn / sie / es(he / she / it)(him / her / it)
wirunsweus
ihreuchyou (plural)you (plural)
siesiethemthem
Siesieyou (formal)you (formal)
Personal Pronouns (Nominative + Accusative Cases)
💡

Remember: The cases tell us what role a noun plays in a sentence. The nominative case is used to describe the subject (performs action). The accusative case is used to describe the direct object (receives action).

With the table above in mind, guess which personal pronoun could replace the noun in the accusative case, in these example sentences.

  • 1. Ich liebe die Frau.
  • 2. Wir spielen das Spiel.
  • 3. Er küsst Anja.

Well done! 🎉

We have covered personal pronouns. Now let's tackle the possessive pronouns (in the nominative & accusative cases).

2. Possessive Pronouns

Nominative Case

Here is a grammar table for the possessive pronouns in the nominative case:

MasculineFeminineNeuterPluralTranslation
meinmeinemeinmeinemy
deindeinedeindeineyour (informal)
sein / ihr / seinseine / ihre / seinesein / ihr / seinseine / ihre / seinehis / her / their
unserunsereunserunsereour
euereureeuereureyour
ihrihreihrihretheir
IhrIhreIhrIhreyour (formal)
Possessive Pronouns (Nominative Cases)

Using the table above to help you, guess the correct English translations for the example sentences:

Mein Hund isst.

Accusative Case

Now, let's take a look at the same grammar table for possessive pronouns, with the addition of the accusative case:

Masculine (Nom)Masculine (Acc)FeminineNeuterPluralTranslation
meinmeinenmeinemeinmeinemy
deindeinendeinedeindeineyour (informal)
sein / ihr / seinseinen, ihren, seinen,seine / ihre / seinesein / ihr / seinseine / ihre / seinehis / her / their
unserunserenunsereunserunsereour
euereureneureeuereureyour
ihrihrenihreihrihretheir
IhrIhrenIhreIhrIhreyour (formal)
Possessive Pronouns (Nominative + Accusative Cases)

Note that only the masculine possessive pronouns change in the accusative case (by adding an -en to the end of the word).

With the table above in mind, guess which possessive pronoun could replace the noun in the accusative case, in these example sentences:

  • 1. Ich liebe die Frau.
  • 2. Sie bügelt das Hemd.
  • 3. Sie unterzeichnen den Vertrag.

Good job! 🎉

Lastly, let's take a look at demonstrative pronouns (in the nominative & accusative cases).

3. Demonstrative Pronouns

Nominative Case

Here is a grammar table for the demonstrative pronouns in the nominative case:

MasculineFeminineNeuterPluralTranslation
dieserdiesediesesdiesethis / these
Demonstrative Pronouns (Nominative Case)
💡

Demonstrative pronouns are used to describe something or someone specific. For example: 'this dog is my pet', or, 'dieser Hund ist mein Haustier'.

Have a look at the sentences below. Using the table above to help you, write the correct demonstrative pronoun in each input.

Pay special attention to the gender of the nouns, and whether they are singular or plural.

1.Dies_Katzen tanzen.
2.Dies_Vogel fliegt.
3.Dies_Mädchen arbeitet.

Accusative Case

Now let's take a look at the same grammar table for demonstrative pronouns, but with the addition of the accusative case:

CaseMasculineFeminineNeuterPluralTranslation
nominativedieserdiesediesesdiesethis / these
accusativediesendiesediesesdiesethis / these
Demonstrative Pronouns (Nominative Case)

Once again, only the masculine demonstrative pronoun changes in the accusative case (by swapping the -r with an -n at the end of the word).

With the table above in mind, guess which demonstrative pronoun could replace the noun in the accusative case, in these example sentences.

  • 1. Ich mag den Mantel.
  • 2. Sie liefern das Paket.
  • 3. Er spielt die Musik.

Amazing 🎉!

We have now covered:

  1. Personal Pronouns
  2. Possessive Pronouns
  3. Demonstrative Pronouns

... in both the nominative and accusative cases.

Final Exercise

Let's practice all of what you have learned this lesson, with a final exercise:

Read the sentence and guess the correct pronoun needed to complete it. Use the tables in this article to help you!

  • 1. Ich habe
    Kleid.
  • 2.
    haben einen Termin.
  • 3. Sie spielen
    Spiel.
  • 4.
    haben deine Bücher.
  • 5. Sie haben
    Bleistift.

Well done! 🎉

You're ready to move on to the next lesson: German Numbers.


About

Sloeful German is a language learning platform focused on immersive learning. We help intermediate German learners achieve fluency through content that is interesting but at the right level.
Downloads

Follow

Join Us

Tags

german pronounspronouns