Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsFirst, let us find out more about personal pronouns. Here, you see an overview of the personal pronouns. "Ik", "do" or "jo" "hy", "sy" or "se" and "it" "wy" or "we", jim", "sy" or "se". Depending on the person you are talking to, you've seen that we have two forms for the singular "you"-- "do" and "jo". "Jo" is used as a polite form to casual acquaintances, strangers, superiors, and, in general, to persons a generation older.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsNow some pronouns have an emphatic or stressed form as well as a nonstressed form. For example, "sy" versus "se". "Sy" is the stressed form, "se" the nonstressed form. "Se wennet yn Denemarken." "She lives in DENMARK," the emphasis being on "Denmark." "Sy wennet yn Denemarken." "SHE lives in Denmark." The emphasis is on "she." The same applies to "sy" and "se" meaning "they." "Wêr wenje se?" "WHERE do they live?" "Wêr wenje sy?" "Where do THEY live?" Now there's one more pronoun with an emphatic or stressed form as well as a nonstressed form-- "Wy" and "we". "Wy" is the stressed form, "we" the nonstressed form. "We ha in kat." "We have a cat." "Wy ha in kat." "WE have a cat."

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsWhen the pronoun "do"-- "you," informal-- follows the verb, they merge into a single word. The pronoun turns into "-sto" or "-st" at the end of the verb and becomes part of the verb form. The difference between "-sto" and "-st" is that "-sto" is stressed and "-st" is nonstressed. "Do bist Cees." "You are Cees." "Wa bisto?" "Who are YOU?" "Wa bist?" "Who ARE you?" When "hy" follows the verb and it doesn't carry stress, we use "er".

Skip to 3 minutes and 10 seconds"Hy wennet yn Dokkum." "He lives in Dokkum." "Wêr wennet hy?" "Where does HE live?" "Wêr wennet er?" "Where does he LIVE?" "Hy komt mei de bus." "He will get here by bus." "Hoe komt hy?" "How will HE get here?" "Hoe komt er?" "How will he GET here?"

Watch and read: personal pronouns

In the next steps, you will learn the basics of Frisian grammar. In our view, grammar is a practical tool for structuring the ideas and thoughts you want to express. Grammar is not a goal in itself, but it can be a great help.

You can watch a video with a teacher explaining and reading the examples, and / or you can read the text on this grammatical subject. Choose what feels best for you. In this course, you will only learn about the basic principles and rules.

Personal pronouns

Here you can see an overview of the personal pronouns.

pronomen pronoun
ik I
do-jo you
hy-sy/se-it he-she-it
wy/we we
jim you
sy/se they

Depending on the person you are talking to, we have two forms of the singular ‘you’: do and jo. Jo is used as a polite form to casual acquaintances, strangers, superiors and in general to persons a generation older.

Emphasis
Some pronouns have an emphatic or stressed form, as well as a non-stressed form. For example: sy versus se. Sy is the stressed form, se the non-stressed one.

For example

Se wennet yn Denemarken. She lives in Denmark.
Sy wennet yn Denemarken. She lives in Denmark.

There are two more pronouns with an emphatic or stressed form, as well as a non-stressed form.

sy / se (plural)

Wêr wenje se?. Where do they live?
Wêr wenje sy?. Where do they live?

wy / we (singular)

We ha in kat. We have a cat. (the emphasis is on cat)
Wy ha in kat. We have a cat. (the emphasis is on we)

Different word order, different pronoun

When the pronoun do (you, informal) follows the verb, they merge into a single word: the pronoun turns into -sto or -st at the end of the verb and becomes part of the verb form. The differences between -sto and -st is that -sto is stressed and -st is non-stressed.

Do bist Cees. You are Cees.
Wa bisto? Who are you?
Wa bist? Who are you?

When hy follows the verb and it doesn’t carry stress, we use er.

Hy wennet yn Dokkum He lives in Dokkum.
Wêr wennet hy? Where does he live?
Wêr wennet er? Where does he live?
Hy komt mei de bus. He will get here by bus.
Hoe komt hy? How will he get here?
Hoe komt er? How will he get here?

Practise with Quizlet

Would you like to practise Frisian grammar? Please visit our grammar section on personal pronouns on Quizlet (you might like to open this in a new window).

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Frisian

University of Groningen

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: