When do you say du, dir or Dir in Luxembourgish?

This Luxembourgish grammar lesson will focus on Luxembourgish personal pronouns and will provide easy-to-follow examples. Pronouns are an essential element of Luxembourgish grammar which cannot be ignored or rushed.

Before we have a look at the several different forms of you in Luxembourgish let’s first of all answer the following question:

What is a pronoun?

Simply put, a pronoun is a small word which can be used instead of a nounExamples in English would be: mine, he, she, his, you, this, these etc.

Use a pronoun to make a sentence less cumbersome. Imagine, for example, always having to use someone’s name when talking about them in a conversation, rather than just being able to say ‘he’ or ‘she’.

All Luxembourgish pronouns are governed by the grammatical cases, the number (plural or singular) as well as the gender of the noun. All of these factors can affect the pronoun (change its form).

Luxembourgish pronouns are also split into categories, for examples into personal pronouns, possessive pronouns or reflexive pronouns etc. Let us concentrate in this lesson on the personal pronouns.

Personal pronouns in Luxembourgish

A personal pronoun refers to a specific person. They are small words which replace nouns, for example: hien, mir, et, si, etc.

They refer to the person(s) speaking, the person(s) spoken to, or the person(s) spoken about. 

Let’s take a look in this lesson at the various ways of saying & writing ‘you’ in the nominative case.

Du, Dir and dir

du 
is the singular, informal way of saying you in Luxembourgish. You would use this when speaking to just one person whom you know on an informal basis, such as friends, family members, children and people younger than you.

dir 
is the plural, informal way of saying you in Luxembourgish. You would use this when speaking to two people or more whom you know on an informal basis.

Dir  
is the singular and plural formal way of saying you in Luxembourgish. You would use this when addressing one or more people whom you do not know very well, who are in a position of authority or maybe even older than yourself. For example: a police officer, strangers and your boss. The formal version of you in Luxembourgish always starts with a capital letter.

Beispiller (examples):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • Vu wou kommt Dir? – Where do you (formal) come from? 
  • Vu wou kënns du? – Where do you (informal singular) come from? 
  • Kënnt Dir mir hëllefen, wgl? – Can you (formal) help me, please?
  • Kommt dir mat eis? – Do you (informal plural) come with us?
  • Wat méchs du haut den Owend? – What are you (informal singular) doing this evening?
  • Wat maacht dir den Owend? –  What are you (informal singular) doing this evening?

In the next lesson we will take a look at several examples of the personal pronouns in the accusative and in another lesson in the dative case.

So, don’t worry, by the end of next lesson Luxembourgish personal pronouns will have become much clearer to you, I promise! ;).


Let’s practice:

Translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:

  1. Do you (informal plural) want something to drink?
  2. How old are you (informal)?
  3. Can you (formal) tell me what it is, please?

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