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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yasmin.m23

Trouble with the word "ni"

Does "ni" mean "you" (plural) or is it just a formal way of saying "you"?

January 3, 2015

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

Short story: it means the plural, the singular is du. Long story: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5591933


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tracymorgan1

I always thought it was the polite way to say du! Thanks for the clarification!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathnainiel

I would really recommend not using "ni" when speaking to one person. You cannot be sure if it will be received as more or less polite than "du". You can say "du" to anyone, maybe except for the king whom you should simply call "kungen" ("the king") if you want to please the court.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dfpeterson

If you feel like saying "yunz" "youz" "yinz" or "y'all" then you would use "ni"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John_Swede

Whether we like it or not "Ni" (capital N) is returning to the Swedish language. So many young people are using that polite pronoun again. Personally I think it has a very nice touch, if not overused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui

I strongly disagree! I think using "ni" for one person is wrong because of the word's heritage. It wasn't used to show politeness, but rather to mark status and creating distance between people. We should cherish our "du-reform" and be proud of not having a formal "Ni".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

I'm not sure it's returning for good. It has tended to be used by young people unaware of its history at least since the 80s, but the tendency has also been for people to grow out of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

There are so many ways to be polite and I prefer to use the ones that can't be misinterpreted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NattKullav1

What about singular 'I' (with '-en' verb)? I heard it used to be really polite form, unlike the invented 'Ni'.

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