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German Pronouns

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In German, pronouns must have the same gender as the noun they replace. But remember that gender is determined not by reference to males, females, or inanimate objects but rather by the structure of the noun. Since some German masculine nouns are inanimate objects, the German masculine pronoun can mean it when referring to something inanimate, or it can mean he when referring to a male. The same thing occurs with feminine and neuter pronouns. Look at the following examples for masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural nouns and their respective pronouns.

masculine noun            meaning                      masculine pronoun              meaning

der Lehrer                   teacher                                        er                                      he
der Wald                    forest                                            er                                       it

feminine noun           meaning                         feminine pronoun              meaning
die Dame                  lady                                             sie                                     she
die Zeitung               newspaper                                sie                                      it

neuter noun              meaning                          neuter pronoun                  meaning
das Kind                   child                                             es                            he or she
das Bild                     picture                                         es                                   it

plural noun               meaning                          plural pronoun                  meaning
die Kinder                 children                                    sie                               they
die Blumen                flowers                                      sie                               they

Besides the third-person pronouns that substitute for nouns (er, sie, es, and plural sie), there are also first-person, second-person informal, and second-person formal pronouns.

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singular pronoun            meaning             plural pronoun           meaning         

ich                              I   म                                   wir                           we हामी/हामीहरु
du                          you  तँ/तिमी                           ihr                            you तिमीहरु
er/sie/es         he/she/it  उ/उनी/यो               Sie                            you तिनीहरु

Sie                    you formal तपाई/हजुर/वहाँ     Sie           you formal तपाईहरु/हजुरहरु/वहाँहरु 

There is another third-person singular pronoun: man. This pronoun is used where English uses one or you when referring to people in general. Often man is used where the general terms people or they are said.

Hier spricht man nur Deutsch.                                               One only speaks German here.
Man hat von dort eine gute Aussicht.                                   You have a good view from there.

There are two important indefinite pronouns. They are jemand (someone) and niemand (no one). They are the replacements for unknown or unspecified persons.

Ich habe jemand an der Ecke gesehen.                                   I saw someone on the corner.
Niemand kann es verstehen.                                                    No one can understand it.

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