1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Ihr = you or her?


Ihr = you or her?

What is the meaning of "ihr"? I thought it was "you" but it seems to be wrong.

December 17, 2011



"Ihr" can be one of many forms of the personal pronoun:

  • 2.p. pl. Nom. [you]

  • 3.p. sg. (f) Dat. [(prep. +) her (indirect object)]

  • in an archaic formal term when adressing a superior (this is grammatically identical to the 2. p. pl. of the personal pronoun, similar to how you formally adress some one in french) (to clarify, it was used for example when adressing some one as "Eure Majestät" [your majesty] )

Also mark that it can be one of the following possessive pronouns as well:

  • 3.p. sg. (f) Nom. sg. m./n. (p.e. "ihr Hund/Haus" [her dog/house])

  • 3.p. pl. Nom. sg. m./n, (p.e. "ihr Hund/Haus" [their dog/house])


I think they should add a note about the use of the Dative in this lesson, since it has not been explained to us yet. Or maybe pospone its use until the Dative lesson.

Ich danke der Frau and Ich danke ihr are examples appearing in this lesson.

It was a bit frustrating before reading this thread.


The wikipedia article was great. The key is to understand the "dative" form, which is used to indicate that someone or something is being given something. This also relates to its use in the "possessive" form. Since when you give someone something it becomes their possession. "Ich danke ihr" and "Ich danke der Frau" are both examples of the dative form. They coud be read as "I give thanks to the girl" and "I give thanks to the woman". These phrases are probably thought of as idioms because the verb "to give" and the preposition "to" are implied. Something like "Ich gebe dank zu ihr" and "Ich gebe dank der Frau" would make the dative form more explicit.


It is plural of you as you mentioned. But it is also the dative of "sie" (she). In the phrase "Ich danke ihr", it means "I thank her"


Doesn't 'Ich danke ihr' also mean I thank you all?


-- It can be the genitive of her. Sie ist ihr Esse. // She is eating her food. -- It can be the plural you. Ihr geht weg. // They are going away.


According to classroom German I've taken, ihr can take the form of her, both a person and something a female possesses, their (as ihre), and as y'all/you guys.


It also means "her".


Das Personalpronomen:Ihr(Nominative)=you(single&plural), Ihr(Dative)=her. Das Possessivpronomen:Ihr(Singluar,Nominative)=her, Ihr(Singular,Akkusative)=her,Ihr(Plural, Nominative)=their/your(respect),Ihr(Plural, Akkusative)=their/your(respect)


it's the pl.form of you


'ihr' when nominative case (ie it is the subject) is you-plural (you all) 'ihr' when in dative refers to the indirect female object - ie it is being done 'to her' or 'for her'


Ihr means you all, Ihr seid men = you are men, but ihr is also an indirect pronoun, Ich sage ihr dass ich sie liebe= I told her I loved her


"you" should be corrtect


from my understanding: Du mean a "single" "You", Ihr means Pl. You. but what is the real meaning of Sie?? so difficult .


For a sentence such as Ihre Frau liest ein Buch, how do you know if Ihre is for she or the formal you in this context?


Any particular reason that the "lesson" noted below doesn't have a way to leave comments. I'm not sure how/where to report it.


Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.