Mach dir keine Sorgen

I was watching a video that said the formal version of this phrase is “machen Sie sich keine Sorgen”. I may have just forgotten my grammar rules, but it seems like in one case this is reflexive and in the other it isn’t. Or rather, with “du” it’s a dativ conjugation and with “Sie” it isn’t? What’s going on here?

1 Like

Hey, @stefilios, you’re absolutely right, “Sie” is the formal “you”, and “sich” is the reflexive pronoun.

You’d roughly translate “machen Sie sich keine Sorgen” with “don’t worry (yourself)”

2 Likes

I am speaking as student, but I believe they are comparable and not different grammar rules:

Personalpronomen Reflexivpronomen Reflexivpronomen
Akkusativ Dativ
ich mich mir
du dich dir
er/sie/es sich sich
wir uns uns
ihr euch euch
sie/Sie sich sich

I think what also might cause confusion is that with “du” you can use the imperative form of the verb which is ordering someone. When you use “Sie” formal you still need to use the pronoun “Sie” for the imperative/command form and still need to conjugate the verb normally.

Mach dir keine Sorgen

Du machst dir keine Sorgen – Would people use this as well? Frage für die Deutschen. To me it sounds like something a polite older person would say, but I am not native.

Sie machen sich keine Sorgen – The imperative form is applied different for Sie. You still need to use the pronoun.

I’m not sure if this is correct, because I am now puzzled how in German you could give a command, but also be polite at the same time, however, this is not the first time that has occurred with this language.

3 Likes

Ah yes thank you. I think what I was missing was that I didn’t realize the Dativ reflexive for sie/Sie was sich instead of Ihnen.

2 Likes

Spot on guys!

@kgeisl1 “Du machst dir keine Sorgen” is more like a statement as in “I see that you don’t worry atm”.

You could use it intentionally as an imperative if you use the right emphasis and add a bit of context, e.g:

DU machst dir jetzt mal keine Sorgen (darüber), ich mache mir schon genug (Sorgen).”
(Here I used the modal particle “mal” to soften the command)

Much more common would be to use the imperative of the verb (mach).

Hope that helps!

4 Likes