How do you write in the second person

Persons and personal pronouns


The verb has three persons appearing in the singular and plural.

1st person: designates the speaker or speakers
2. Person: refers to the person or persons with whom you are speaking.
3. Person: refers to a person or persons or a thing or things about which one speaks.

Personal pronouns

The persons are expressed through the personal pronouns.

1st person: me
2nd person: you (informal) / you (formal)
3rd person: he, she, it
1st person: we
2nd person: you (informal) / you (formal)
3rd person: her

Formal and informal form of address

In the case of the second person, a distinction is made between formal (you) and informal address (you). The formal salutation (you) does not distinguish between singular and plural - it is independent of whether you are speaking to one or more people.

The use of formal or informal salutation is a complex cultural phenomenon. Basically:

Informal salutation:
-in the family and in all relatives
- among young people (teenagers, young adults)
- among members of the same social group: students, workers, people from the same village, schoolmates (but not in high social groups: managers, politicians, doctors, lawyers)
- (mostly) in fixed groups with a (semi) private character e.g. B. in the sports club

Formal salutation:
-all people you don't know. (Strangers, strangers)
-all people with whom the informal address has not been expressly agreed.

The 3rd person singular

The third person singular distinguishes whether it is a male or female person or a masculine, feminine or neutral thing:

masculine: he
Mr. Müller - he
the table - he
Peter - he

neutral: it
the book - it

feminine: she
Ms. Müller - you
the bag - her
Anna - her

The personal pronoun she / you

The personal pronouns of the 2nd person singular and formal plural, 3rd person singular feminine and 3rd person plural are phonetically identical, the formal forms differ in their capitalization.

2nd person singular form: you
2nd person plural form: you
3rd person singular feminine: she
3rd person plural: they

Back to the chapter: Introduction - The Verb Forms
Back to the chapter: The pronouns
To the table of contents - German Grammar 2.0