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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


zich (Sette Comuni)

  1. accusative of bar: us
  2. accusative of ze: them

See also[edit]


  • “zich” in Martalar, Umberto Martello; Bellotto, Alfonso (1974) Dizionario della lingua Cimbra dei Sette Communi vicentini, 1st edition, Roana, Italy: Instituto di Cultura Cimbra A. Dal Pozzo


Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl


From Middle Dutch sich, from Middle High German sich, from Old High German sih, from Proto-West Germanic *sik, from Proto-Germanic *sek. Old Dutch did not have a reflexive pronoun (only rarely in early Limburgish texts), but used the normal accusative pronoun (if necessary intensified by selven, cf. English himself). Although the use of zich in Holland-based Dutch was clearly triggered by written German, this development was assisted by the fact that the south-eastern dialects of Dutch had already adopted certain High German pronoun forms in much earlier times (cf. Limburgish ich, mich, dich, zich).


  • IPA(key): /zɪx/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: zich
  • Rhymes: -ɪx



  1. (by extension, reflexive) Third person singular and plural reflexive pronoun; himself, herself, itself, themselves, oneself
    Hij wast zich. — He washes himself.
    Hij wast zich het gezicht. — He washes his face.
    Ieder voor zich. — Every man for himself.
  2. (by extension, formal, reflexive) Second person singular and plural formal reflexive pronoun; yourself, yourselves
    Sloeg u zich in het donker?Did you hit yourself in the dark?
    U kunt zich hier scheren.You can shave here.
    Vergist u zich niet?Aren't you mistaken?
  3. expresses an unintended result with many otherwise non-reflexive and ergative verbs
    Hij viel zich een ongeluk — He fell and this resulted in an accident.
    Hij lachte zich een bult — He laughed so severely that it left him a hunchback.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Zich can be used whether the reflexivity of the verb is optional or mandatory. Optionally reflexive verbs can also take zichzelf as reflexive pronoun.
  • As in English (but unlike German and French), Dutch reflexive pronouns do not express reciprocity, except dialectally. Reciprocal senses may occur in fixed verb constructions, as in: Ze hebben zich verloofd. (“They have got engaged.”) Such cases are generally explainable by etymology. (In the example, the original sense is “They have promised themselves [to each other].”)


Derived terms[edit]

See Category:Dutch reflexive verbs

Related terms[edit]