Can be used with him

Personal pronouns in German grammar

What are personal pronouns?

Personal pronouns (personal pronoun) replace an already mentioned noun and are declined. We also use them to talk about ourselves or to address other people.

In this grammar area, learn the rules for the formation and use of personal pronouns in all cases and test your knowledge in the exercises. To learn the pronouns for only one case, go to Pronouns / Declension and select the case you want.

Personal pronouns in all cases

How do you use personal pronouns in German?

  • Personal pronouns in the 3rd person (he, she, es) usually replace a previously mentioned noun.
    I have a cat. She is very cute.
    To avoid misunderstandings, it should always be clear which noun we are replacing (if in doubt, repeat the noun).
    Mr. Schneider would have a budgie. He died.
    (Who - the budgie or Mr. Schneider?)
  • The pronoun es can also stand for impersonal forms.
    It's raining. It's already late.
  • The pronoun es can also be a placeholder for an entire part of the sentence that appears later in the sentence.
    I am glad that you visit me.
    (instead of: I am glad that you visit me.)
  • We use personal pronouns in the first person (I, we) when we talk about ourselves.
    I'm hungry. I'm cold.
    We go to the cinema. We don't care.
  • When addressing other people, we use the personal pronoun in the 2nd person (you, hers) or the polite form Sie (corresponds to the 3rd person plural, but the pronoun is capitalized).
    What's your name? How are you?
    Where are you from? What music do you like?
    Say that again, please? Can I help you?


Personal pronouns in the genitive are very rare, they are used with certain words / phrases that require genitive (see declination / genitive)

We remembered them.
They were tired of him.

Personal pronouns and cases

For the use of the cases see the declension of pronouns.