Pronouns for they/them in German

Background to gender neutral xier pronouns in German

Xier, xieser, xiem, xien, xies, xiese, xiesem, dier, diem and dier are genderneutral German pronouns. They add a gender neutral version to the existing gendered German pronouns of the third person singular: sie/er, ihrer/seiner, die/der. German requires more than one or two words as declension of words is gendered as well. Older versions are listed at the bottom of this page in a pronoun version history.

Xier pronouns may be used a a translation for singular they pronouns in English, that are used to describe a person without declaring their gender. As with singular they, xier pronouns can be used specifically for people that do not what to use sie oder er pronouns. This depends on the persons preference, as there are other neopronouns available.

Current Pronoun Version

The current Version 4.0 of the pronouns is explained in German.

Xier Pronoun Bau Sätzen

The “pronoun assembly sets” are a collection of example sentences, that gives a quick understanding of xier pronouns without the use of grammar tables. Pronoun version 4.0 is used in the examples, which are translated from German into German with the traditional pronouns sie and er.

Xier Pronouns in Usage

Xier Pronouns are used in original German texts, but also in translations, subtitles and synchronisations. A list of excerpts tracks their usage.

References and Mentions

references to xier pronouns are repeatedly made in the English speaking and German speaking media.

Webcomic Series : Queer Comic Conversation

Im Gespräch mit Sam Orchard über Labels und Pronomen.

Version History

Version 4.0

xier|xieser|xiem|xien (personal pronoun)
dier|dies|diem|dien (relative pronoun)
xies… (possessive pronoun)

Version 4.0. Changes are made to blend the pronoun with German grammar of the other pronouns.

Version 3.2

xier|xies|xiem|xien (personal pronoun)
dier|dies|diem|dien (relative pronoun)
xies… (possessive pronoun)

Version 3.2 was first released as an illustrated zine. It is available online as a text-based and an illustrated a Version 3.2. Only minor changes to the previous version.

Version 3.1 (2013)

xier|xies|xiem|xien (personal pronoun)
dier|dies|diem|dien (relative pronoun)
xies… (possessive pronoun)

In Version 3.1 small changes were added. Articles were published in the printed magazine Queerulant_in and online at Mädchenmannschaft to make discuss the alternative grammar within the queer, feminist and trans communities.

Version 3.0 (2012)

xier|xies|xiem|xien (personal pronoun)
dier|dies|diem|dien (relative pronoun)
xies… (possessive pronoun)

In 2012, the user Liliane Gross convinced me to change the first letter of most of the pronouns from s to x to avoid mix-ups with other words. In the Version 3.0 the possessive pronouns were adapted to existing grammar to make them easier to be learned and used.

Version 2.0 (2010)

sier|sies|siem|sien (personal pronoun)
dier|dies|diem|dien (relative pronoun)
sien… (possessive pronoun)

In 2010 I updated the pronouns to Version 2.0. All pronouns were updated to make them more readable and pronounceable. The endings where matched the question words (interogative pronouns) that can be used to figure out the grammatical case needed: wer|wessen|wen|wem.

Version 1.0 (2009)

sif|sis|sim|sin (personal pronoun)
dif|dis|dim|din (relative pronoun)
sir… (possessive pronoun)

The very first Version 1.0, came to life in 2009 in cooperation with Felix Hill, formerly known as Sarah Hill. As we wrote the first set of non-binary pronouns on a piece of paper, there was nothing comparable in German. We knew alternative pronouns from English and missed them in German.

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