When would I use "dich", "dein", "euch", "du" and "eure"?

I'm having a lot of trouble when trying to say you or your because I don't know which one of these to use. Any advice?

December 19, 2016


    First, you want to understand the difference between a personal pronoun and a possessive determiner:

    "You are learning." "I see you."

    In the above examples, you is a personal pronoun. It's used to indicate a person. Other personal pronouns are "I", "we", "he", "him", "she", "her", "they", "us", etc.

    "That is your question." "Your responses have been helpful."

    In the above examples, your is a possessive determiner. It is used in combination with a noun to say who it belongs to. Other possessive determiners are "my", "his", "her", "their", "our", etc.

    Ok, so now I can tell you that from your question dich, euch and du are personal pronouns and dein and eure are possessive determiners.

    Next, you might want to know that German uses a different word for "you" if talking to only one person, or talking to a group of people. It also has a third "you" for being extra formal (i.e. when you would call someone "Mr./Mrs. [surname]" instead of by their first name. These "you"s are:
    du - for one person, informal
    ihr - for multiple people, informal
    Sie - for any number of people, formal

    Now, for a moment go back to my example about personal pronouns: You see I listed both "he" and "him", "she" and "her". Don't these mean the same thing? Yes, but as you see they are different words even in English - it is also like this in German for the "you" words. In English you would say "He sees you" but "You see him". Only "he/him" changes in English, but in German "you" changes as well.
    Du siehst ihn = "You see him"
    Er sieht dich = "He sees you"

    In grammar terminology we say du is in nominative case (the subject of the sentence) and dich is in accusative case (the direct object of the sentence).

    Ok, but what about euch? Well, if you think of dich being linked to du (just in accusative case), then euch is linked to ihr (the "you" for talking to multiple people informally) in the same way. There's one other situation where it is used though: Another 'case'! Dative case.

    Dative case is used in a bunch of different situations... you'll learn them gradually through Duolingo but the basic one is when a sentence has two grammatical subjects:
    "I give a man an apple"
    [I] [give] [a man] [an apple]
    [Subject (Nominative)] [Verb] [Indirect Object (Dative)] [Direct Object (Accusative)]

    So if I wanted to say in German "I give you all an apple" when talking to a group of friends, I would say:
    Ich gebe euch einen Apfel.

    And lastly... possessive determiners. Just like German has different "you"s for one person/multiple people/formal situations, it also has different forms of "your". It is helpful to remember them again by 'linking' them to a "you":
    du - dein
    ihr - euer
    Sie - Ihr
    Yes, Ihr the formal possessive determiner could sometimes be confused with ihr the plural informal personal pronoun... try not to be too annoyed by this. English does it too: Note that "her" can be both as well ("I see her. "That is her book.").

    One last little detail... Your question actually asked about eure, which has the last two letters swapped around. Maybe this was a spelling mistake, but it's also a real word. For more information about the possible endings for possessive determiners, see my other explanation here.

    Think of a sentence using these examples and write it below if you want it checked! :)

    December 20, 2016

    Thanks for your kindly explaination, I do rereading again and again to remember this detail. Hippo.

    December 22, 2016

    Super. Danke freund.

    June 20, 2017

    [I] [give] [a man] [an apple] [Subject (Nominative)] [Verb] [Indirect Object (Dative)] [Direct Object (Accusative)]

    What do you call this kind of 'sentence breaking down'? Or is there a website that you can find these examples?

    July 1, 2017

      You could call it sentence structure analysis, I suppose? A German term I've seen in some textbooks is Satzanalyse. It's a skill you should develop yourself to improve your understanding. Duolingo doesn't make you do it explicitly, but it might be helpful to take your own notes where you can do such exercises. I find that different-coloured highlighters or pens for underlining can be helpful.

      July 1, 2017


      July 1, 2017

      Thank you!

      July 7, 2018

      Informal second person singular (you/thou):

      • du (nominative)
      • dich (accusative)
      • dir (dative)
      • dein (possessive - declines according to case and gender: deiner, deinen, deines, etc.)

      Informal second person plural (you/y'all):

      • ihr (nominative)
      • euch (accusative + dative)
      • euer (possessive - declines according to case and gender: eure, eurem, etc.)
      December 19, 2016

      Dich is the Accusative Singular form of "you," and is only used in familiar situations. Sie would be used when speaking formally. Dein is a possessive pronoun,or genitive, and is the same as "your" in English. Euch is the dative plural pronoun, and corresponds roughly to "to/for y'all." Du is the Nominative singular, and corresponds to "you" when speaking informally. Eure is the possessive form of ihr, which is the plural form of du. Good luck; i hope this helped.

      December 19, 2016

      Dein(e, en, er, em, es) is a possessive pronoun, but it can be any case, genitive is only for example:

      • Die Katze deines Vaters / die Katze deiner Mutter

      Unless you were referring to dein as a personal pronoun, which is indeed the genitive form of du (although the variant deiner is more usual), but this form is quite uncommon and mostly just used in the event of a genitive object:

      • Wir gedenken deiner
      December 19, 2016

      Thank you for rectifying that

      December 19, 2016
      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.