This page outlines the grammar of the German language. A German noun has one of three specific grammatical genders (masculine feminine neuter and belongs to one of three declension classes only partly dependent of gender German verbs may be classified as either weak, with a Dental consonant inflection or strong, showing a Vowel gradation ( ablaut) German articles have a feature called "strength" which influences the declension of the adjectives In German grammar, the correct Inflection of Adjectives depends on the case number and gender of the Noun phrase, as well as what kind of determiner German pronouns of the first person refer to the speaker those of the second person refer to an addressed person An Adverb is a word that modifies the meaning of a Verb, and an Adverbial phrase is combination of words that perform the same function This is a paradigm of German Verbs that is a set of conjugation tables for the model Regular verbs and for some of the most common Irregular verbs German sentence structure is somewhat more complex than that of many other European languages with phrases regularly inverted for both questions and subordinate phrases German declension is the paradigm that German uses to define all the ways words can change shape to reflect their role in the sentence subject object etc In the German language, a modal particle (Modalpartikel or Abtönungspartikel is an Uninflected word used mainly in spontaneous spoken language in Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages.
In German all of the three genders of the Proto-Indo-European language have survived. The three genders are masculine (männlich/Maskulinum), feminine (weiblich/Femininum) and neuter (sächlich/Neutrum). In Linguistics, grammatical genders, sometimes also called Noun classes are classes of nouns reflected in the behavior of associated words every noun must belong Unlike English, which does not assign a gender to most nouns, the gender of a German noun and the gender of the thing to which the noun refers often differ. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States For example, in German, a stone (der Stein) is masculine. Words that describe a male or a female, such as woman (die Frau) or man (der Mann), generally have the same grammatical gender as their biological gender (with the notable exception of girl (das Mädchen – every noun ending with "-chen" is neuter). On the other hand, the gender of words that do not describe a male or a female, which are all neuter in English, are apparently random. The arbitrary nature of grammatical gender can be seen in the example of three common pieces of cutlery: "knife" (das Messer) is a neuter word, "fork" (die Gabel) is feminine, and "spoon" (der Löffel) is masculine. Students of German are often advised to learn German nouns with their accompanying definite article (equivalent of the word "the") since the gender can be easily recognised through the article. It must also be said that the ending of a noun often strongly suggests the gender. For instance, if a noun ends in a vowel, while not universal, it's a safe bet that it is feminine, while there is no such a rule.
ie: die Katze (the cat), die Blume (the flower), die Liebe (the love) - but: der Bote (the delivery boy).
Nouns ending in the following suffixes: -heit, -keit, -tät, -ung, -ik, -schaft, are also feminine.
ie: eine Freiheit (a freedom), eine Zeitung (a newspaper), eine Freundschaft (a friendship)
Unlike English, which has lost almost all forms of declension of nouns and adjectives, German still inflects nouns, adjectives and pronouns into four grammatical cases. In Linguistics, declension (or declination) is the occurrence of Inflection in Nouns Pronouns and Adjectives indicating In Grammar, the case of a Noun or Pronoun indicates its Grammatical function in a greater Phrase or Clause; such as the The cases are the nominative (Nominativ), genitive (Genitiv), dative (Dativ), and accusative (Akkusativ). The nominative case is a Grammatical case for a Noun, which generally marks the subject of a Verb, as opposed to its object or other In Grammar, the genitive case or possessive case (also called the second case) is the case that marks a Noun as modifying another The dative case is a Grammatical case generally used to indicate the Noun to whom something is given The accusative case ( abbreviated ACC) of a Noun is the Grammatical case used to mark the Direct object of a Transitive The case of a particular noun depends on the grammatical function of the noun in the sentence.
|Nom:||der Tisch||die Tische|
|Gen:||des Tisch(e)s||der Tische|
|Dat:||dem Tisch(e)||den Tischen|
|Akk:||den Tisch||die Tische|
Contrary to strongly inflected languages like Latin or Lithuanian, German expresses cases more through the word's article than the ending of the word, quite comparable to Ancient Greek, though especially the difference between plural and singular is also expressed by suffixes on the words' endings (der Tisch, die Tische). Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage in the development of the Hellenic language family spanning the Archaic (c Other exceptions of a suffix expressing the case of a noun along with the article are the forms of genitive singular and dative plural. Yet one could still say that transferring the case-information to the article preserved the German case-system throughout its development from Old High German to contemporary German.
First evidence of a decline of the genitive case can already be found in colloquial language of Early New High German (spoken from 1350 to 1650). Early New High German (ENHG is a term for the period in the history of the German language, generally defined following Wilhelm Scherer, as the period 1350 When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, the use of the Genitive case (along with the Preterite) was already rather unusual in most of the German dialects. Nevertheless Luther used the bureaucratic language of Saxony for his translations which still made extensive use of the Genitive (and other "archaic" elements more usual in Middle High German than in New High German) and thereby slowed down the loss of the Genitive to a certain extent. Today the use of the genitive case is still rare in spoken language - speakers often substitute the dative case for it in conversation, quite similar to Faroese. Faroese ( føroyskt ˈføːɹɪst or) often also spelled Faeroese (cf But the genitive case remains almost obligatory in written communication, public speeches and anything that is not explicitly colloquial in German and is still an important part of German Bildungssprache (language of education). Television programmes and movies often contain a mixing of both, dative substitution or regular genitive, depending on how formal or "artistic" the programme is intended to be. The use of the Dative substitution is more common in southern German dialects, whereas Germans from northern regions (where Luthers Bible-German had to be learned like a foreign language back then) use the genitive more regularly. Though it has become quite common not to use the genitive case when it would formally be required, great numbers of Germans know how to use it and generally do so. Especially among people of higher education, it's considered a minor embarrassment to be caught using the dative case incorrectly.
A German book called Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod ("Dative is for Genitive its death") alludes to this phenomenon (being called "genitive's death struggle" by the author) in its title. Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod ( German: The Dative is the Genitive 's Death, but see below for a discussion on the title is a In standard German, the title would be "Der Dativ ist der Tod des Genitivs" ("Dative is Genitive's Death"). As is apparent, the book uses the modern, casual way of speaking by employing the dative case instead of the genitive to poke fun at what the author perceives as a decline in the German language, since in written German a dative construction replacing the genitive is still considered a major error.
The case of a noun after a preposition is decided by that preposition. In Grammar, a preposition is a Part of speech that introduces a prepositional phrase. No prepositions require the nominative case, but any other case may follow one, for example, the preposition für (for) is followed by the accusative case, the word mit (with) is followed by the dative, and the word wegen (because of) is followed by the genitive case (although in casual speech, and with pronouns, the dative case is usually used). Certain prepositions, called "two way prepositions", have objects either in dative or accusative, depending on whether the use implies position (e. g. in der Küche = "in the kitchen", dative case) or direction (e. g. in die Küche ("into the kitchen", accusative case).
|Accusative||Dative||Genitive||Accusative or Dative|
The declensions of an adjective depends not only on the gender, number and case of the noun it modifies, but also on whether the indefinite article, definite article or no article is used with it. The following table shows two cases which exemplify all three cases:
|Masculine nominative singular||Feminine dative singular|
|definite article||der schöne Mann||vor der verschlossenen Tür|
|indefinite article||ein schöner Mann||vor einer verschlossenen Tür|
|no article||schöner Mann||vor verschlossener Tür|
The German language has twelve different ways of forming the plural. A student of German as a foreign language must learn the plural for each new noun learned; although a great many feminine nouns are very regular in the formation of the plural, many masculine and neuter nouns are not. For example, some plurals are formed with an "n", some with "en", some with an umlaut and an "e" or an umlaut and an "en", other plurals are the same as the singular, some add "er" or an umlaut and "er", etc. Diaeresis or trema See also Diaeresis History Historically the diaeresis mark or trema is far older than the umlaut mark
(The content of this section is not yet applicable for proper names. )
A German nominal phrase, in general, consists of the following components in the following order:
article, number (cardinal or ordinal), adjective(s), noun, genitive attribute, position(s), relative clause reflexive pronoun
(the third stunning performance of the drama by Schiller this week in Hamburg)
Of course, most noun phrases are not this complicated; adjectives, numbers, genitive attributes, positions, relative clauses and emphasizers are always optional. In grammatical theory, a noun phrase (abbreviated NP) is a Phrase whose head is a Noun or a Pronoun, optionally accompanied This article describes cardinal numbers in mathematics For cardinals in linguistics see Names of numbers in English. In Set theory, an ordinal number, or just ordinal, is the Order type of a Well-ordered set. In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the In Grammar, the genitive case or possessive case (also called the second case) is the case that marks a Noun as modifying another A relative clause is a Subordinate clause that modifies a Noun.
A nominal phrase contains at least a cardinal number, an adjective, a pronoun, or a noun. It always has an article, except if it is an indefinite plural noun or refers to an uncountable mass.
If the noun is uncountable, an article is not used; otherwise, the meaning of the sentence changes. In Linguistics, a mass noun (also uncountable noun or non-count noun) is a common Noun that presents entities as an unbounded mass
A nominal phrase can be regarded a single unit. It has a case, a number, and a gender. Case and number depend on the context, whereas the gender is determined by the main noun.
A nominal phrase may have a genitive attribute, for example to express possession. This attribute may be seen as merely another nominal phrase in the genitive case which may hang off another nominal phrase.
A direct translation of "Der Beruf des alten Mannes" would be "the profession of the old man. " "The old man's professions" could be translated directly and correct as "Des alten Mannes Beruf", though this form is almost never used in modern German.
In early high German, the genitive attribute can consist of a personal pronoun in its genitive case. In modern German, this is no longer used; the corresponding possessive pronoun is used instead.
A nominal phrase may contain a "position phrase"; this may be seen as merely another nominal phrase with a preposition (or postposition) or a pronominal adverb (See Adverbial phrases). This page outlines the Grammar of the German language. Grammar Genders In German all of the three genders of the Proto-Indo-European
Unlike English, German permits lengthy nominal modifiers such as
"Der während des Bürgerkrieges amtierende Premierminister" (the during the civil war holding-office prime minister) or "Die noch zu Anfang des Kurses relativ kleinen, aber doch merklichen Verständigungsschwierigkeiten" (literally: The still at the beginning of the course relatively small but nevertheless noticeable difficulties in communication).
These are a feature of written (particularly educated) German. One hears them in the context of formal oral communications as well (such as news broadcasts, speeches, etc. ).
A nominal phrase will often have a relative clause. A relative clause is a Subordinate clause that modifies a Noun.
Aside from their highly inflected forms, German relative pronouns are less complicated than English. There are two varieties. The more common one is based on the definite article der, die, das, but with distinctive forms in the genitive (dessen, deren) and in the dative plural (denen). Historically this is related to English that. The second, which is more literary and used for emphasis, is the relative use of welcher, welche, welches, comparable with English which. As in most Germanic languages, including Old English, both of these inflect according to gender, case and number. They take their gender and number from the noun they modify, but the case from their function in their own clause.
The relative pronoun dem is neuter singular to agree with Haus, but dative because it follows a preposition in its own clause. On the same basis, it would be possible to substitute the pronoun welchem.
However, German uses the uninflecting was ('what') as a relative pronoun when the antecedent is alles, etwas or nichts ('everything', 'something', 'nothing'. ).
In German, all relative clauses are marked with commas.
A German noun has one of three specific grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter) and belongs to one of three declensions. A German noun has one of three specific grammatical genders (masculine feminine neuter and belongs to one of three declension classes only partly dependent of gender These features remain unaltered by inflection but must be considered in this process. The grammatical gender influences articles, adjectives and pronouns. Note that gender and sex differ in many cases, as mentioned above.
Number (singular, plural) and case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) must be taken into account in the process of declension.
The declension can be more difficult than in other languages such as Latin; not only the word ending, but also the root may be altered by inflecting. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome.
Articles have a feature called "strength", which influences the declension of the adjectives. German articles have a feature called "strength" which influences the declension of the adjectives There are strong articles, weak articles, and articles that have strong and weak cases. Sometimes this feature is not constant in daily use.
The inflected forms depend on the number, the case and the gender of the corresponding noun. Articles have the same plural forms for all three genders.
Cardinal numbers are always placed before any adjectives. If the number is not very high, it is usually not combined with an indefinite plural article like "einige" or "mehrere". Personal pronouns of the first and second person are placed in front of numbers. Personal pronouns of the third person cannot be used with numbers.
If you use a cardinal number, you must use the plural form of the nominal phrase, in contrast to languages like Turkish.
Whereas there is a cardinal number meaning "one" in English, Germans use the indefinite article instead. The difference is expressed by the intonation.
The numbers zwei (two) and drei (three) have endings for case in some cases. Where an adjective would have weak endings, numbers don't have endings. If an adjective had strong endings, these numbers may also have strong endings in the genitive case
If there is no other word carrying the strong ending of the genitive plural, the numbers must carry it.
If these numbers are centre of a nominal phrase in the dative plural and no other word carries case markers, they may carry dative endings.
Special case for 'eins' in German: It can be represented as : "eins", "eine", "einer", "eines", "einem" or "einen" depending on the sentence. This is because in German, 'eins' means one, while 'ein' (as in "Das ist ein Buch") is the German equivalent of the English word "a" ("This is a book").
To correctly agree German adjectives, the case, number and gender of the nominal phrase must be considered along with the article of the noun. In German grammar, the correct Inflection of Adjectives depends on the case number and gender of the Noun phrase, as well as what kind of determiner German adjectives normally go before the noun which they are changing. German adjectives have an ending before the noun. The ending is normally the letter “-e” in the singular form and “-en” in the plural form.
Like articles, adjectives use the same plural endings for all three genders. This page outlines the Grammar of the German language. Grammar Genders In German all of the three genders of the Proto-Indo-European
Participles may be used as adjectives and are treated in the same way.
In contrast to Romance languages, adjectives are only declined in the attributive position (that is, when used in nominal phrases to describe a noun directly). The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, or Neolatin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family comprising all In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the Predicative adjectives, separated from the noun by "to be", for example, are not declined and are indistinguishable from adverbs. In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the
There are three degrees of comparison: positive form, comparative form and superlative form. Positive is the form of an Adjective or Adverb on which Comparative and Superlative are formed with suffixes -ier, -lier In Grammar, the comparative is the form of an Adjective or Adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person thing or other entity has a property In Grammar the superlative of an Adjective or Adverb is the greatest form of adjective or adverb which indicates that something has some feature In contrast to Latin or Italian, there is no grammatical feature for the absolute superlative (elative).
German pronouns of the first person refer to the speaker; those of the second person refer to an addressed person. German pronouns of the first person refer to the speaker those of the second person refer to an addressed person The pronouns of the third person may be used to replace nominal phrases. In Linguistics and Grammar, a pronoun is a Pro-form that substitutes for a (including a noun phrase consisting of a single Noun) with or These have the same gender, number and case as the original nominal phrase. Gender comprises a range of differences between men and women extending from the biological to the social In linguistics grammatical number is a Grammatical category of nouns pronouns and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions (such as "one" In Grammar, the case of a Noun or Pronoun indicates its Grammatical function in a greater Phrase or Clause; such as the This goes for other pronouns, too.
pronoun [position(s)] [relative clause]
|1st sg||2nd sg||3rd sg||1st pl||2nd pl||3rd pl||2nd formal|
German verbs may be classified as either weak, with a dental consonant inflection, or strong, showing a vowel gradation (ablaut). An Adverb is a word that modifies the meaning of a Verb, and an Adverbial phrase is combination of words that perform the same function German verbs may be classified as either weak, with a Dental consonant inflection or strong, showing a Vowel gradation ( ablaut) This is a paradigm of German Verbs that is a set of conjugation tables for the model Regular verbs and for some of the most common Irregular verbs In Linguistics, a dental consonant or dental is a Consonant that is articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth such as /t/ /d/ /n/ and In Phonetics, a vowel is a Sound in spoken Language, such as English ah! or oh!, pronounced with an open Vocal tract In Linguistics, the term ablaut designates a system of Vowel gradation (i Both of these are regular systems. Most verbs of both types are regular, though various subgroups and anomalies do arise. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. The only completely irregular verb in the language is "sein" (to be). In contrast to Regular verbs irregular verbs are those Verbs that fall outside the standard patterns of conjugation in the Languages in which they However, textbooks for foreign learners often class all strong verbs as irregular. There are fewer than 200 strong and irregular verbs, and there is a gradual tendency for strong verbs to become weak.
Modal particles (Abtönungspartikel) are a part of speech used frequently in spoken German. In the German language, a modal particle (Modalpartikel or Abtönungspartikel is an Uninflected word used mainly in spontaneous spoken language in These words affect the tone of a sentence instead of conveying a specific literal meaning. Typical examples of this kind of word in German are doch, mal, halt, eben, nun, schon, eh or ja. Many of these words also have a more basic, specific meaning (e. g. ja "yes", schon "already"), but in their modal use this meaning is not directly expressed.
German sentence structure is somewhat more complex than in other languages, with phrases regularly inverted for both questions and subordinate phrases. German sentence structure is somewhat more complex than that of many other European languages with phrases regularly inverted for both questions and subordinate phrases