German demonstrative pronouns
- 1.What are demonstrative pronouns in German?
- 1.1.List of demonstrative pronouns
- 2.Usage of demonstrative pronoun
- 3.Declension of demonstrative pronouns
- 3.1.Declenson of 'dieser'
- 3.2.Declension of 'jener'
- 4.'Dieser' vs. 'jener'
- 4.1.Usage of 'dieser' and 'jener'
- 5.'Der/die/das' as demonstrative pronouns
- 6.Further demonstrative pronouns in German
What are demonstrative pronouns in German?
Demonstrative pronouns are used to emphasize something that is already defined. They replace the before mentioned noun or accompany the emphasized noun.
List of demonstrative pronouns
dieser/ diese/ dieses
jener/ jene/ jenes
- der da/ die da/ das da
- dieser dort/ diese dort/ dieses dort
- derjenige/ diejenige(n)/ dasjenige
- derselbe/ dieselbe/ dasselbe
- der/ die/ das
The corresponding pronouns in English are 'that, this, those,...'
Usage of demonstrative pronoun
Demonstrative pronouns in German are used as...
- ... a replacement for an already mentioned noun.
- ... an accompaniment for a noun.
|Replacing a noun||Accompanying a noun|
Due to their function demonstrative pronouns that accompany a noun are often called demonstrative articles.
Declension of demonstrative pronouns
These pronouns have to be declined due to their...
- ...number (sing./pl.)
- ...gender (m/f/n)
- ...case (nominative/genitive/dative/accusative)
Declining demonstrative pronouns we get the same ending as declining definite articles.
Declenson of 'dieser'
- Der Chef hat etwas für seine Sekretärin geschrieben und gibt es dieser. -The boss wrote something for his secretary and gives it to her.
- Der Chef hat einen Brief geschrieben. Diesen gibt er seiner Sekretärin. - The boss wrote a letter. He gives it to his secretary.
Declension of 'jener'
- Ich habe schon viele Reisen gemacht, aber jene vor fünf Jahren war die schönste! - I did a lot of journeys, but that one five years ago was the best!
- Jenes Mannes Haus ist abgebrannt. - That mans house burned down.
If you want to get more information about German cases, click here.
'Dieser' vs. 'jener'
In general 'dieser' und 'jener' have the same meaning but they are used differently
Usage of 'dieser' and 'jener'
'Dieser' suggests a shorter spatial or temporal distance than 'jener'
'Dieser' and 'Jener' are often used to distinguish two or more persons or things of the same kind.
- Dieser Schüler weiß sehr viel, jener muss noch viel lernen. - This student knows a lot, that (other) one has to learn a lot.
- Dieses Auto ist alt. Jenes ist neu. - This car is old. That one is new.
In everyday language it is common to use 'der/die/das + da/dort' rather than 'jener/jene/jenes'.
'Der/die/das' as demonstrative pronouns
The definite articles 'der/die/das' can also be used as demonstrative pronoun.
- Kennst du das neue Schwimmbad? - Nein, das habe ich noch nicht besucht. - Do you know the new swimming pool? - No, I haven't visited it yet.
- Gefällt dir der Deutschkurs? - Ja, den mag ich sehr! - Do you like the German class? - Yes, I like it very much!
Further demonstrative pronouns in German
In German we use the pronoun 'der-/die-/dasselbe' if we are refer to exactly one and the same thing or person.
- Das Haus sieht aus wie auf dem Foto. Ist es dasselbe? - The house looks like in the photo. Is it the same?
- Bernd und Lena sind Fans vom FC Bayern. Ihr Lieblingsverein ist derselbe. - Bernd und Lena are fans of FC Bayern. Their favorite club is the same.
If we refer to another thing of exactly the same kind we don't use 'der-/die-/dasselbe' but 'der/die/das Gleiche'
The pronoun 'solch-' can also be used as demonstrative pronoun. It is used to indicate several persons or things of the same kind.
The English translation would be "such".
- Das sind tropische Früchte. Ich habe solche noch nie gegessen. - That are tropical fruits. I've never eaten such (fruits).
- Das ist ein sehr altes Auto. Solche sind selten geworden. - That is a very old car. Such have become rare.
'Derselb- und solch- ...' have the same endings as other demonstrative pronouns if they are being declined.
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