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The usage of "Man" vs Du or Sie

Man kann auf meinem Sofa schlafen.

In the above sentence "Man" is being used for "You".  

What is the difference in usage between "Man", "Du" or "Sie"?  Other than Du and Sie being the familiar and formal you.

Jul 12, 2016 11:13 PM
Comments · 1
“Man” doesn’t really mean “you” at all, although sometimes the two words have the same meaning. “Man” refers to an indefinite subject “man kann…” means “one can,” “you can,” “someone can,” “it’s possible / permissible to,” etc. sometimes, we can translate it using passive voice: “My sofa can be slept on” may sound a bit odd, but you get the idea. 

“One can” is usually the closest translation in meaning, except that “one can” sounds overly formal in contemporary spoken English, whereas “man” sounds perfectly normal in German.

July 12, 2016
Language Skills
English, German
Learning Language