Hallo Leute,

what is with the word SICH and where do I use it? As I read, it means myself, yourself, itself... but I don't get it. I can see it very often and confuses me!

Helfen mir bitte! Das kann ich nicht verstehen. Danke im Voraus!

December 10, 2017


It's a reflexive object pronoun. Basically, typical sentences have a subject, verb, and an object. The subject is the person performing the verb. The object is what the subject is "verb"-ing. "Sich" makes the object refer to the subject, hence "oneself." "Er liebt sich" means "He loves himself," since Sich refers to Er, and so on. If you need more help with this, please ask.

sorry to correct you, but it's "ich liebe mich, du liebst dich, er liebt sich" and "wir lieben uns, ihr liebt euch, sie lieben sich". You're right with the reflexive verbs, but it is not in all cases "sich"

Ah, thanks. I forgot it only applies with third person and reflexive verbs.

You just have to be careful with the conjugation: the "sich" changes depending on the conjugation. So it would be "Ich liebe mich" (I love myself), "Du liebst dich" (You love yourself).
"sich" is only used in the infinite form ("sich lieben" = "to love oneself") and for the third person (plural and singular, "er/sie/es liebt sich", "sie lieben sich").

Another example: "sich waschen" = "to wash (oneself)"

ich wasche mich = I wash myself
du wäschst dich = you wash yourself (singular)
er/sie/es wäscht sich = he/she/it washes himself/herself/itself
wir waschen uns = we wash ourselves
ihr wascht euch = you wash yourselves (plural)
sie waschen sich = they wash themselves

It’s used with reflexive verbs. You got it almost right: it sort of means himself/herself/itself but not myself. Myself is mich. Can you give an example?

It took me a long time to get used to intuitively adding it to sentences in German where we use no such word in English.

With a lot of things like this, for it to feel natural to use, you just need to get a lot of exposure to German, through films, books or conversation. Once you've heard a word like this used correctly a couple of hundred times in sentences used in German films, you'll naturally have a very good intuitive idea of when you need to use it
  • 1994

"Sich" also stands for a reciprocal action in terms of "each other". They love each other = Sie lieben sich ; they kiss each other = sie küssen sich, they hate each other = sie hassen sich. In these cases "sich" is in colloquial language often replaced by "einander". Sie lieben einander.

so sie lieben sich can be either - they love each other, or - they love themselves, and you know which one bye the context?

Vielen Dank für ihre Hilfe! Liebe Grüße!

Du kannst DIR Zeit lassen! Sie können SICH Zeit lassen!

I found it like this! My confusion is why we use DIR in informal speech, and SICH insteed of SIE? Well, i must say, it really doesnt sound right if we say

Sie können SIE Zeit lassen! ???

Danke im Voraus! Ich weiß, bin ich sehr langweilig!

German has special reflexive pronouns for the third person (he, she, it, they).

The polite pronoun Sie acts grammatically exactly like sie which means "they", i.e. like a third-person pronoun, so its reflexive pronoun is sich.

in trying to understand this word i came across this thread, so instead of starting a new one, ill ask here:

in one of the stories i had this sentence: Das könnte sich jedoch ändern.

im trying to understand why we need sich here. if i get it right - with sich the meaning is - "this can change though" - that is - this thing can be changed by something... and without sich - "Das könnte jedoch ändern." - would mean: this thing can however change (something else) - that is the thing can change something else and not be itself changed.

ist es richtig?

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