Je/Jij/U the difference?

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A pronoun replaces a noun or another pronoun. E.g. 'he', 'which', or 'her'. There are different types of pronouns: personal, possessive, indefinite, relative... You can post your questions about Dutch pronouns here.
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iRemlap
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Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by iRemlap » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:36 pm

I've seen a few videos about this subject, but i'm still kinda confused.

My understanding:
Je- informal 'you' (and in some cases 'your'?)
Jij- More formal, yet still informal 'you,' emphasized 'you.'
U- Very formal and respectful, (used infrequently?)

Is this correct?
I've heard different things from different people, but most say that they don't use 'U' much, granted they are not native speakers.
Is learning 'U' really necessary for day-to-day life in the Netherlands (It is used more frequently in Belgium, correct?)

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Quetzal
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Re: Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by Quetzal » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:12 am

iRemlap wrote:I've seen a few videos about this subject, but i'm still kinda confused.

My understanding:
Je- informal 'you' (and in some cases 'your'?)
Jij- More formal, yet still informal 'you,' emphasized 'you.'
U- Very formal and respectful, (used infrequently?)

Is this correct?
I've heard different things from different people, but most say that they don't use 'U' much, granted they are not native speakers.
Is learning 'U' really necessary for day-to-day life in the Netherlands (It is used more frequently in Belgium, correct?)
There's not really a difference between "je" and "jij" in terms of formality, it's more about emphasis as you note. "U" is used often enough, perhaps indeed slightly less in the Netherlands, but of course it depends on the context and your definition of "day-to-day life".

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Re: Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by iRemlap » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:57 am

By day to day life, I mean like going to work, shopping, going out to eat, or getting around a city. would it be common to use U in one of those situations?

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Re: Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by Quetzal » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:22 pm

iRemlap wrote:By day to day life, I mean like going to work, shopping, going out to eat, or getting around a city. would it be common to use U in one of those situations?
At work, sure, depending on how formal your work place is. At my office I use "je/jij" or the local equivalent ("ge/gij", but never mind that unless you intend to stay for an extended amount of time in Flanders), but then my office is fairly informal. I expect many people would use "u" when addressing their boss. And when talking to random strangers in the street, especially if they're older than you, it's normal enough to use "u", although some people do consistently stick with "je".

As a rule of thumb, in situations where you're familiar enough with someone that you'd use their first name, you can probably go with "je". If you'd be inclined to call them "Mr. X" or "Ms. Y", then you probably also want to be using "u". Although that's not an entirely reliable rule; when I write emails to professional contacts with whom I'm regularly in touch, I tend to use their first names while still using "u".

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Re: Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by iRemlap » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:14 pm

Bedankt Quetzal! English is definitely very informal all the time. :)

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Re: Je/Jij/U the difference?

Post by eti » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:53 pm

There is an interesting difference between Belgium and Holland here I think. I would never call somebody by their first name and still say 'u'.

For the rest, 'je' is the unstressed version of 'jij', 'jou' or 'jouw'. No difference in formality here.

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