German Pronouns

What are Pronouns?

Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun (in English, words like "he," "they," "each other," "yours," etc.). There are a few different types of pronouns used in German:

  • Personal Pronouns
  • Possessive Determiners
  • Reflexive Pronouns
  • Relative Pronouns
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
  • Indefinite Pronouns

Most pronouns have to be declined (their form is changed based on how they are used in the sentence). The following lessons contain simple explanations about the different types of pronouns, as well tips about declension, word order, and when / how to use them. And of course, lots of examples to help you feel ready to apply your new knowledge.

Overview: Pronouns

Personal Pronouns


Personal pronouns are: ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr, sie, Sie, and their declined forms. They replace a noun we've already mentioned or refer to the speaker or listener.

Example: „Das ist Max. Er spielt gerne Fußball.“

Possessive Determiners


Possessive determiners are: mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, ihr, and their declined forms.They show possession / ownership or belonging.

Example: „Ist das dein Koffer?“ – „Ja, das ist meiner!“

Reflexive Pronouns


Reflexive pronouns are: mich, mir, dich, dir, sich, uns, euch, and sich. They are used with reflexive and reciprocal verbs and take the place of the object of the sentence (which is also the subject!).

Example: „Ich wasche mir die Hände.“

Relative Pronouns


Relative pronouns are: der, die, das, wo, welcher, welches, welche, and their declined versions. They are used at the beginning of relative clauses, which give more information about a specific noun in the sentence.

Example: „Das ist der Mann, der einen Ferrari hat.“

Demonstrative Pronouns


Demonstrative pronouns are: der, die, das, dieser, diese, dieses, jener, jene, jenes and their declined versions. They are use to draw extra attention to something or replace a noun we've already mentioned.

Example: „Wer ist der Mann dort?“ – „Den kenne ich nicht.“

Indefinite Pronouns


Indefinite pronouns include: etwas, nichts, jeder, man, jemand, niemand and their declined versions. They take the place of nouns that can't be specified exactly.

Example: „Bringst du mir etwas zu essen mit?“