Sie

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See also: sie and się

German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

Sie

  1. you (polite; singular and plural)
    Was möchten Sie, Frau Wagner?
    What would you like to have, Mrs. Wagner?

Usage notes[edit]

  • The German Sie expresses distance in the relation between two persons. It is not perfectly correct to say that it expresses respect, because gods and saints have always been addressed as du, as have been parents (except formerly among the upper class). Even royal highnesses used to be addressed as du, albeit not personally, but in songs and poems.
  • Sie is identical in form to the 3rd person plural pronoun sie (they) and takes the same verb form. The "polite" Sie is distinguished in writing through capitalization. When addressing a person with Sie, one generally needs to replace the 3rd person plural pronoun with the demonstrative die in order to avoid confusion: Wissen Sie, was die zu mir gesagt haben? − “Do you know what they said to me?”

Inflection[edit]

The genitive case Ihrer is more and more rarely used in modern German.

  • The genitive case Ihrer does not express ownership, so it must not be mixed up with the possessive pronoun Ihr, which is declined by gender, singular/plural and case.

Derived terms[edit]