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Ihr and Sie

Hi guys, I'm new to learning this language and I'm having trouble trying to figure out when I should use "Ihr" and "Sie" grammatically in the form of "you". Any pointers? Thanks!

May 17, 2018



du= singular you (informal)

ihr= plural you (informal)

Sie = sing/pl you (formal)


Grammatically it is clear cut: both are used to address more than one person, Sie" when you are on formal terms, "ihr" when you are on informal terms with those persons. You are talking to two police officers? Use "Sie". You are talking to your parents? Use "ihr".

There are some tricky situations, eg. if you're talking to a group of people and you are on informal terms with some of them and formal terms with others.

"Sie" is also used to address one person formally, "ihr" only so in old-fashioned texts, eg. a fairy-tale.


"Sie" is also used to address one person formally, "ihr" only so in old-fashioned texts, eg. a fairy-tale.<

Well, not really just in fairy-tales. It applies to people of nobility, so it is a thing of the past here in Germany. It's called the "plural majestatis". I think it is similar to the old English thee / thou.


Others have already commented on the difference between ihr and Sie: ihr is second-person plural and Sie is singular/plural formal. However, I noticed that your original message actually specifies Ihr, not ihr, so I will just add that Ihr (with capital I) is the formal possessive your, in case that was confusing to you.


I never knew that such a difference exists! Thank you for saying that.


"ihr' second person familiar plural "Sie" second person polite singular and plural


Thank you everyone for your help! This all helping me sooo much! Much appreciated


Always happy to help! If you have any more questions, please ask. We're all learning together.


Well, "Ihr" and "Sie" sie both mean 'you', but "ihr" is the plural informal version and "Sie" is the singular formal version. If you have more questions, please ask, I'll be very happy to help!

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