Trouble with the word "ni"

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

January 3, 2015


Short story: it means the plural, the singular is du. Long story:

January 3, 2015
January 5, 2015


January 3, 2015

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

January 4, 2015

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.

January 7, 2015

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

January 11, 2015

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.

January 13, 2015
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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".

January 15, 2015

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.

January 15, 2015

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

January 15, 2015

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

January 16, 2015
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