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  5. 'Ni' VS 'Du'


'Ni' VS 'Du'

They both means 'You', But what is the difference of these words?

November 22, 2014



Du is singular, ni is plural. Ni can also be formal singular, but that's not common these days.


https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5591933 There is more discussion here from native swedes on the formality of singular ni


If i had to guess, i would say either one is formal and one is informal OR one is singular and one is plural, but I am not proficient enough in Swedish specifically to give you a much more specific answer /:


Not or - both. But I guess the only time you need ni in a formal context is when you receive your Nobel prize or get knighted.


So if you get knighted would you be a knight that says "Ni!"?


I just came across this ancient thread from googling this same question but this comment was the highlight.... thank you. I will never forget this now.


I have only completed a couple lessons of Swedish, most of my Foreign language experience is with German which I've been learning for about a year now and a little bit with Spanish, I was merely trying to make the best guess I could with the knowledge I had :)


Nah, not really. You can say "du" to right about everyone. I can recommend the discussion in this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5591933


Well, the reactions in the thread support my point, and so do Wikipedia http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ni_(personligt_pronomen) and SAOL. (Note that "receiving the Nobel prize" and "getting knighted" both mean you talk to the king.)


I appreciate the help from all of you fellow learners. I guess what's really hard for me is this formal vs. informal "You". In French, Spanish and German, I always am uncomfortable with "You" because (other than with close acquaintances) I never know which one to use. I learned in Brazilian Portuguese that they all use "Você" for "You" all the time whereas it used to be the formal "You". So, I guess "You" will be easy in Swedish.

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