German Personal Pronouns


An overview of personal pronouns in all cases, a review of the verbs "sein" and "heissen", and a review of the gender of nouns

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A personal pronoun is a word that is associated with a person or a noun that it refers back to. Unless they are at the beginning of a sentence, all personal pronouns except for “Sie” (formal you) are lowercase. “Sie” (formal you) is always capitalized, regardless of where it appears in the sentence. In German, personal pronouns change depending on case, gender or number (singular, plural). Personal pronouns are split into three “voices”: 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person (both singular and plural).

•First-person is when the subject and speaker are identical

•Second-person is when the speaker addresses another person

•Third-person is used when talking about someone else who is absent or not involved in the conversation

Below are the personal pronouns in German in the nominative case. The subject of a sentence is always in the nominative. 

personal pronouns

Ich heisse Robin. (I am called Robin.)
Er spielt Fussball. (He plays soccer.)

When a person or a noun represented by a pronoun are the direct object of the sentence, they are in the accusative case. Below are the personal pronouns in the accusative. 

acc pronouns

Ich sehe ihn. (I see him.) 
Er hört uns. (He calls us.)

When a person or a noun represented by a pronoun are the indirect object of the sentence, they are in the dative case. Below are the personal pronouns in the dative and accusative side by side. 

dativ pronouns

Ich gebe ihm ein Geschenk. (I give him a present.)
Wir geben dir ein Buch. (We give you a book.)

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.