du/Sie

Maury-Matthews

Maury-Matthews

I am newly returned to RG via the just released series. This may be the wrong section for this question. In the opening lesson, you use the familiar du/dir, etc, and say that will be a primary usuage. My impression heretofore has been that in general usage the Sie form would be safer to avoid unintended implications. Has there been a social shift in present day German or am I under a misimpression? When I go to Germany, I know no one except my daughter's family so expect to use the more formal pronouns. Also, when I have questions that don't seem to fit a topic, where may I raise them? Thanks, M.
Kuckucksuhr

Kuckucksuhr

Germany still very much maintains it's formal / informal du/Sie usage. I agree with you that the begining lessons should emphasize the formal Sie. A question such as WIE HEISE DU? does not make much sense, due to the fact that that one would not ask a friend what their name is!
Maury-Matthews

Maury-Matthews

To K: Thanks for your reply. M
Mitschuler

Mitschuler

From my experience, I would say you should definitely learn the du form as well, while after you've been introduced to someone; they considerate an insult if you don't use the du form. It's not like in America where using Sir or Maam is always considered respectful and polite. Plus, I think learning the Sie form is quite easy because most things like verbs and what not, stay infinitive and the du form usally needs to be conjugated or declined. With your family and friends you would say "Wie geht's dir?", not "Wie geht es Ihnen?". Hope that helped. If you need any more tips, I'd be glad to help. I've only lived in Germany for 20 months, but I came here knowing nothing and have learned quite a lot of culture since I've been here. It used to be very discouraging having no clue and not being able to communicate or converse. Rocket German definitely helped to launch me into the world that is Deutschland. Viel spaß und viel erfolg! -Cooper :P Ps. "Wie heißt du wieder?", may come in handy after you've already met someone; but also in that case "Wie heißen Sie?" may not be so offensive, if it's shortly after you've already met someone.

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket German trial here .