Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction
Pronouns "Pronomen" replace nouns. In German grammar, pronouns are declined or inflected depending on which case they are in. Find explanations about personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, relative pronouns and interrogative pronouns on the following pages.

Personal pronouns
Personal pronouns are ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr, sie and their declined forms. Personal pronouns are used to to replace a noun, person, thing already referred to.

Example:
Ich habe einen Hund. Er ist noch jung. I have a dog. He is still young.

Possessive pronouns
Possessive pronouns show possession. A difference is made between dependent possessive pronouns and independent possessive pronouns.

Example:
Das ist mein Haus. Das ist meins. This is my house. This is mine.

 

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive verbs (sich verlieben - to fall in love).

Example:
Ich habe mich in dich verliebt. I have fallen in love with you
.

Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns are used (der, die, das, welche, ...) to start relative clauses.

Example:
Der Student spricht mit der Lehrerin, die ihm den Test gegeben hat. 
The student is talking to the teacher who gave him the test.
 

 

Interrogative pronouns
Interrogative pronouns are wer, was, wem, wen, wessen.
In a question, they replace the noun that is asked about.

Example:
Was hat er gesagt? What did he say?

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are, for example: dieser, jener, derjenige. Demonstrative pronouns are used to stress something.

Example:
Möchest du dieses Kleid oder jenes kaufen? Would you like to buy this dress or that one?

 

 
 

Indefinite pronouns

Some examples of indefinite pronouns are etwas something, nichts nothing, man one/general you, jemand, somebody, jeder everybody. We use them to make generalisations.

Example:
Kann ich etwas für dich tun? Can I do something for you?

Declension of pronouns

Here is an overview and detailed explanations of the declension of personal and possessive pronouns.

Example:
Der Hund hat seinen Ball nicht gefunden. The dog didn't find its ball.

 

Pronouns table.PNG