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Personal Pronouns ich and Sie

The phrases and expressions that you’ve just learned contained two personal pronouns.

ich I
Sie you

Did you notice the slight difference in the forms of the verbs that are used with them? With ich, the verbs end in –ewhile with Sie, they end in –enas in:

ich hei ß e my name is
ich komme I come
Sie heissen your name is
Sie kommen you come

Remember that the pronoun ich contains one of those sound that makes German sound like German: ch. It’s pronounced a bit like a raspy k or the sound h in English words like hit, but with more of a hissing quality. The back of the tongue is raised and moved forward, and the air escapes by its sides. Let’s try it once more: ich ich.

The pronoun Sie is only used when talking to a stranger or to a person that you don’t know well. With family and friends, a different pronoun is used: du.

ich I
Sie you (formal)
du you (informal)

You will learn more about other pronouns and the accompanying verb forms in Lesson 3.