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dein? euer?

  1. Ist das dein Essen?
  2. Ist das euer Fisch?

What is different between the function of "dein" and "euer" in these two sentences? Is it okay if I replace "dein" with "euer" in the first sentence?

April 25, 2018



use dein if you are speaking to a single person with whom you are on friendly terms. i.e. a "du" person.

use euer when speaking to more than one person. i.e. when you would use ihr


deine=your- sing. euer=your- plural.


Dein is singual you (du --> dein), euer is plural you (ihr --> euer).


'euer' Fisch would be fish belonging to several people. 'dein Essen' is the food belonging to one person. So they're not interchangeable, it depends on who you're talking to


"'euer' Fisch would be fish belonging to several people"

Yes, but just to be clear, there's only one fish here :)


Well, that's not quite correct, it COULD also mean fish (pl). (Es handelt sich um eine Synekdoche - Unterart "Grammatisch-numerische Beziehung".)


Isn't it just that "fish" can be used as an uncountable noun, e.g. "I eat fish". I've never heard that described as a synecdoche before.


I would say we use both.

There is the synecdoche: "Der Fisch [singular, but we mean all fish] hat Schuppen" = Fish [pl / in general] have scales.

But there is also your example, the use as an uncountable noun as in "Ich esse Fisch". So you can use it in the same way as in English for the dish "fish", but not for the living animal.


Thanks for that... I've learned something. So to be clear, if I'm talking about Synekdochic fish(pl), I still start the sentence with ist and not sind?


Yes, you would still use "ist", so you have to look at the context whether or it is meant in a general sense.

Quite popular with nationalities:

Der Deutsche liebt sein Bier. Der Italiener hat ein sprichwörtliches Temperament. Der Böse ist immer der Ami (=Amerikaner).


Many thanks !


You are right. We can say We eat fish and mean we eat fish in general unimportant which one or how many fishes. We also have a singular for fish and a plural: der Fisch, die Fische

The possessive pronoun Dein is normally used for to say for the 2nd person singular that the fish is owned or belonging to the person. Like: "Du hast Deinen Fisch noch nicht gegessen." or "Dein Fisch ist nicht frisch." For plural or the midage majestic plural we use Euer: "Ihr habt euren Fisch noch nicht gegessen." or "Euer Fisch ist nicht frisch."


dein -> your (sing informal)

euer -> your (plural informal)

you can not exchange them because dein adresses one person and euer adresses more than one person.


Usually, it is like many said: "dein" is singular (for one person), "euer" is plural (for several persons) and they cannot replace each other. But additionally, "euer" can be used as a very formal singular version: "Euer Essen ist fertig, eure Majestät." But personally, I never had to use that version, and I would not expect anybody to every address me like that. (And if someone expected me to address her/him like that, that would feel very very arrogant to me.) Maybe if you address some politician like a minister or president, or the head of a huge company. But even than, personally I would use the normal formal variant "ihr" instead. ("Ihr Essen ist fertig, Frau Bundeskanzlerin.") and for several people: "Ihre Essen sind fertig, ..."

(I'm a native German.)

Did that help?


I will follow the order of the personal pronouns for you: () = the objects in plural 1st person singular: mein Essen, mein Fisch (meine Essen, meine Fische) 2nd person singular: Dein Essen, Dein Fisch (Deine Essen, Deine Fische) 3rd person singular (a) he; b) she; c) it): a) sein Essen, sein Fisch (seine Essen, seine Fische) b) ihr Essen, Ihren Fisch (Ihre Essen, Ihre Fische) c) (like a))

1st person plural: unser Essen, unser Fisch (unsere Essen, unsere Fische) 2nd Person plural/ plural majestic ( plural majestic is today mostly used in theater or comedy): Euer Essen, Euer Fisch (Eure Essen, Eure Fische) 3rd person plural: Ihr Essen, Ihr Fisch (Ihre Essen, Ihre Fische)

In German we use together with the cases (advanced I would say): 1st person singular (I/ ich): mein, meine, meiner , meines, meinem, meinen 2nd person singular (you/ Du): Dein, Deine, Deiner, Deines, Deinem, Deinen 3rd person singular he/ er: sein, seine, seiner, seines, seinem, seinen she/ sie: ihr, ihre, ihrer, ihres, ihrem, ihren it/ es: (like he)

1st person plural (we/ wir): unser, unsere, unserer, unserem, unseres, unseren 2nd person plural (you/ ihr): euer, eure, eures, eurem, euren, eurer 3rd person plural (they/ sie): ihr, ihre, ihren, ihres, ihrem, ihrer

It is difficult in the beginning but if the start is made with enough examples you learn to see a rhythm in it.

A warning: Do not mix up the personal pronoun rules with a salutation for the plural majestic:

for example: "Your highness may I bet for the permission to speak?" = "Euer Hoheit darf ich um die Erlaubnis bitten zu sprechen?" (masculinum e.g. a king) or "Eure Hoheit darf ich um die Erlaubnis bitten zu sprechen?" (femininum e.g. a queen). And if you talk with someone else about them it would change this way: "Their majesties may not be interrupted." "Ihre (wrong but famous for to show a person that tries to act educated but is not: "Ihro") Hoheiten dürfen nicht unterbrochen werden." or singular: "Ihre Hoheit darf nicht unterbrochen werden." (femininum) or "Seine Hoheit darf nicht unterbrochen werden." (masculinum) - But this is not possessive pronoun. It is the plural majestic.


Possibly the most thoughtful answer I have seen! I love "Ihro."


Thank you but please remember that it is really hard hard slang and mostly used for theatre or jokes


So basically this is like the official and unofficial addressing. ?


If I understand correctly, I think you mean "formal" and "informal?" In that case, it's not a case of formal or not, but actually how MANY people you're talking to.


sorry for interrupting but it is both. You may not say "Dein" in the formal language. It is the rule for "siezen und duzen" in German:

You may only adress someone who allows you to be informal (friends, familymembers) with: Du, Dich, Dein... All others like strangers, bosses, chiefs, persons you meet the first time, older people... have to be adressed formal like the 3rd person plural. For example:

If you see someone looses his or her smartphone in the subway you could say: "Verzeihung? Sie haben Ihr Telefon vergessen." But you should not say: "Verzeihung? Du hast Dein Telefon vergessen" and in the medieval it was formal to use "Euer", "Euch"... to talk to someone who is at least on the same status or higher in society.

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