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2.4: Pronouns (All Cases)

  • Page ID
    79352
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    As you begin memorizing the articles for the four German cases, it may help to simultaneously be memorizing the pronouns for the four cases, since articles and pronouns share some patterns of case and gender-specific spellings. It may all "make sense" as you begin to recognize the spelling patterns. Memorizing the articles and pronouns for the four cases, three genders, and plural is a tedious but necessary and relatively small-scale task for learning to read German.

    You should be able to find complete charts of all the article and pronoun forms in a reference section within your German-English dictionary. Meanwhile, here is a pronoun chart:

    NOMINATIVE ACCUSATIVE DATIVE
    SINGULAR

    ich I

    du you

    er he / it

    sie she / it

    es it

    mich me

    dich you

    ihn him / it

    sie her / it

    es it

    mir

    dir

    ihm

    ihr

    ihm

    PLURAL

    wir we

    ihr you

    sie they

    uns it

    euch us

    sie them

    uns

    euch

    ihnen

    SING./PLURAL Sie you Sie you Ihnen

    Compare the article charts. Some example similarities to note which aid your memorization task: –m as in ihm is always dative singular, –r as in ihr dative singular, –en as in ihnen and Ihnen dative plural.

    Points to remember:

    1. Remember the tip from Unit 1, section 5: that German is very consistent about using the appropriate, gendered pronoun to refer to inanimate nouns, not just for people and animals. That’s why all of the third person singular pronouns can mean “it” as well as “him” and “her”.
    2. Pronouns agree in gender and number with the noun to which they refer, and are therefore useful clues for understanding sentences and especially for shared references across multiple sentences. Let pronouns be an easy, reliable way for you to get case, gender, and number information.

    This page titled 2.4: Pronouns (All Cases) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Howard Martin revised by Alan Ng.

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