Reflexive Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction

Reflexive pronouns in German grammar are mich/mir, dich/dir, uns, euch and sich. We use them with reflexive and reciprocal verbs. Reflexive pronouns always refer to the subject and must be declined to match the case they are in.

Learn how and when to use reflexive pronouns with Lingolia’s free online lesson. In the exercises, you can practise what you have learnt.

Table of Reflexive Pronouns in Accusative and Dative

Use the following table of reflexive pronouns in the accusative and dative cases to help you learn German reflexive pronouns.

ichduer/sie/eswirihrsie/Sie
accusative mich dich sich uns euch sich
dative mir dir sich uns euch sich

Usage

We use reflexive pronouns with two different types of verbs in German grammar:

  • Reflexive verbs use the reflexive pronouns with the meaning “oneself”. We use the reflexive pronoun in the dative if there is also an accusative object. (see also Reflexive Verbs)
    Example:
    Ich dusche mich.I’m showering.
    Ich putze mir die Zähne.I’m brushing my teeth.
  • Reciprocal verbs use the reflexive pronouns with the meaning “each other”. Therefore, we can only use reciprocal verbs in the plural. These verbs include among others: sich kennen, sich sehen, sich lieben, sich streiten, sich einigento know/see/love/fight with/agree with each other
    Example:
    Ich glaube, wir kennen uns.I think we know each other. (= wir kennen einanderwe know one another)
    Tom und Albert streiten sich.Tom and Albert are fighting with each other. (= der eine mit dem anderenone with the other)
Ich sehe mich Wir sehen uns.
Ich sehe mich.I see myself.
(I see myself in the miriror – reflexive)
Wir sehen uns.We see each other.
(we see one another; you see me, I see you – reciprocal)
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