Talk:German nouns

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Masculine nouns ending in "e"[edit]

I was taught once that most German nouns that end in "e" are feminine; however, there are 9 German words ending in "e" that are masculine.

Such a list includes:


What are the other "7" masculine nouns that end with "e" ?

Vielen Dank!

Karin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Who told you there were only 9 of these? Have a look at this page for more examples. CapnPrep (talk) 21:47, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Another answer[edit]

Short answer[edit]

There are scores (maybe hundreds) of German nouns that end in -e and are masculine, BUT (1) most nouns in -e are feminine; (2) there is a key handful of masculine nouns in -e that are the ones for beginning students to remember (the rest are not core vocabulary words); and (3) the student is best-served to assume that a noun in -e is feminine.

Longer answer[edit]

Masculine nouns ending in -e are part of a larger class of nouns often called n-nouns, because their declension involves the letter n. They decline as -, -en, -en or -e, -en, -en (nom sg, gen sg, nom plural). They are usually the word for a [male] sentient being, although exceptions can be found. This means that names of nationalities, "regionalities" (for example, Prussian, Hessian, Saxon, Bavarian), religious and philosophical persuasions, occupations, and animals make up most of the list.

Suffixes that follow the n-noun pattern are listed below.

Suffixes that follow the n-noun pattern:
Suffix Example n-nouns
-ạnd/-ạnt Fabrikạnt, -en, -en
Protestạnt, -en, -en
-ạrch Monạrch, -en, -en
Oligạrch, -en, -en
-ạst Enthusiạst, -en, -en
Phantạst, -en, -en
-at Automat, -en, -en
Diplomat, -en, -en
-aut Astronaut, -en, -en
Kosmonaut, -en, -en
-e (terminal, unstressed) Franzose, -n, -n
Rụsse, -n, -n
Löwe, -n, -n
-ẹnt Studẹnt, -en, -en
Präsidẹnt, -en, -en
-ese/-iese Chinese, -n, -n
Portugiese, -n, -n
-et Athlet, -en, -en
Prophet, -en, -en
-graph Choreograph, -en, -en
Photograph, -en, -en
-ịst Journalịst, -en, -en
Polizịst, -en, -en
-it Israelit, -en, -en
Satellit, -en, -en
-krat Aristokrat, -en, -en
Demokrat, -en, -en
-nom Astronom, -en, -en
Ökonom, -en, -en
-ologe Radiologe, -n, -n
Urologe, -n, -n
-ot Patriot, -en, -en
Pilot, -en, -en
-soph Philosoph, -en, -en
Note: Emphasis and vowel quality are marked with underline or underdot.

Although there are hundreds of n-nouns in German, there is a key handful that beginning students can focus on:

Core-vocab n-nouns:
der Franzose, -n, -n Frenchman
der Journalịst, -en, -en journalist
der Jụnge, -n, -n boy; young man
der Kollege, -n, -n colleague
der Mẹnsch, -en, -en human being
der Nạchbar, -n, -n neighbor
der Name, -ns, -n name
der Polizịst, -en, -en policeman
der Rụsse, -n, -n Russian
der Soldat, -en, -en soldier
der Studẹnt, -en, -en student
der Tourịst, -en, -en tourist
der Zimmerkollege, -n, -n roommate
Note: Emphasis and vowel quality are marked with underline or underdot.

I would improve this article's coverage of n-nouns, but free time is lacking. The tables above could be incorporated if anyone has time. — ¾-10 22:46, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

der Mann, des Mannes, dem Manne, den Mann[edit]

In the article it is said that in dative and genitive forms, the "e" falls out of use - which is definitively NOT correct. Ok, sure you don't have to say "Ich gebe dem Manne das Buch" (I give the man the book; it sounds more educated), you can also say "Ich gebe dem Mann das Buch", but sentences like "Das ist des Manns Haus" (That's the man's house) sound quite incorrect and a bit too sloppy. It is nearly always "Das ist des Mannes Haus/Das ist das Haus des Mannes" - with E.

The "e" in the dative isn't obligatory (except in phrases like "im Sinne" / "in diesem Sinne", "im Falle", "zu Hause", "im Grunde", "das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten", "in aller Munde" etc..), but the genitive-e has to be used in nearly all one-syllable-words (Gottes, Bundes, Landes, Volkes)!

In fairy tales, the dative's e is even more common, but they are their own category (in real fairy tales you would also say "ward" instead of "wurde", which is antiquated in everyday language.

So this passage in the text has to be changed. Greetings -- User:Cristiano_16 20:11, 07/30/11, London —Preceding undated comment added 19:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC).

The -e is dropped from both the Dative and Genitive forms most of the time. The only time that the -e is retained is in monosyllabic words in Genitive. So maybe it should be clarified for that instance. Mochattez 07:37, 21 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mochattez (talkcontribs)
Er, no. The e is always retained in the Genitive where it occurs (after the most words with more syllables you speak of, it never occurs in the first place), and can be retained in the Dative (need not, though it is fairly common in "zu Hause"). -- (talk) 10:11, 30 March 2012 (UTC)


All German nouns are capitalised. This applies even to infinitives used as nouns. It should be noted that in German there is a technical distinction, which is not widely known even among native speakers, between Substantive and Nominative. The former are noncomparable nouns to be used with an article, are capitalised, while the latter class, which includes adjectives for example, may not be. (talk) 23:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Is this trying to tell me that an adjective, in fact, is a Nominative Because it isn't. -- (talk) 02:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the above: adjecitves are adjectives, and they aren't nouns.
On the other hand, in German, adjectives can be converted into nouns, but then they are not adjectives anymore, so do not call them that.
Here are some example: die Arme (the poor), die Kranke (the sick), die Gute (the good), die Böse (the bad) und die Hässlich (the ugly).
Sorry, but I have been reading about "Spaghetti Westerns" by Sergio Leone: "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". (talk) 23:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Declension of Jesus[edit]

Usage of the Accusative is outdating, usage of the Vocative is only obligatory for traditional (not self-formulated) prayers and invocations. Example: Die Kreuzigung Jesu "Jesus' crucifixion".

This seems to suggest that this is an example of the vocative. However, it's an example of the genitive. Also, "outdating" is not the right word. It should be "outdated". I've fixed "outdating", but I've left the example as-is, so that someone else can double-check it and fix it if you agree. Omc (talk) 21:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree about "outdated". I also find it to be amazing when foreigners (those who don't usually speak English) want to make up and use "words" that are not English words at all. I have never seen "outdating", and I am a widely-read college graduate from the United States, whose mother was a high school English teacher. Also, the verb "to outdate" is a rarely-used one, though the adjectival form "outdated" is common.
You just cannot "make up" words in English. If there is the slightest doubt, use a good English dictionary. Furthernmore, common nouns in English are not capitalized, except at the beginning of a sentence and in some other special cases (e.g. book and movie titles). Hence, write "accusative" and "vocative" in the above comment, and in the rest of these comments write "subjective", "nominative", "objective", "genitive", "dative", "substantive", and "nominative". It might be difficult for people whose native language is not English, but remember that German is the only language left in which all nouns are capitalized. The last two others, Danish and Norwegian, abolished the practice in about 1947. Naturally, after their occupation during World War II, those two countries wanted to become as little German as possible. Since those are both monarchies, maybe the change was made by royal proclamation. Also, the King of Denmark died in 1947. (talk) 23:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
@Omc: In "die Kreuzigung Jesu" it's a genitive, but nevertheless the words Jesus and Christus still have a vocative case: Jesu Christe (also: Jesus Christus). Earlier they also had an ablative, though in this case it's equals the dative (it's already that way in Latin). Not sure, whether or not these words should here be omitted. On one side the words aren't pure German words and there are other foreign words which are irregular, but on the other side it's an example for vocative (and ablative) in German, 2 cases which are (too) often omitted. -21:04, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

The insertion of "s" in some compound words in German[edit]

Pronunciation is a primary reason for the insertion of the "s" in some compound words in German. My source: my four professors of German in college in the United States, all of whom were native speakers of German. Also, some of these taught me more than one course.
This article said absolutely nothing about this, and in fact, it stated that then inserting (or not) of the "s" is frequently arbitrary. Not So!
Here is a favorite word of mine: Die Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie.
"probability theory"
You might dream up other reasons for that last "s", but it is certainly true that the "s" makes the word easier to say. It also prevents the "double t".
Likewise for die Relativitätstheorie = Theory of Relativity (talk) 23:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Ordering of cases[edit]

The table with the cases is great, but in my opinion is the ordering wrong. The order in the table is: N A D G but it should be: N G D A In German elementary school (at least when I visited it some years ago) these cases are not called my their Latin names "Nominativ", "Genitiv", "Dativ" and "Akkusativ" but they are simply numbered as first case, second case, third case and forth case i.e. "1. Fall","2.Fall","3.Fall" and "4.Fall" and the second case is the Genitiv and the forth case Akkusativ, so the "correct" order of cases should be: N G D A. A friend who learned German at school also remembers that she had to learn by heard things like: "die" "der" "den" "die" (Plural). She cannot really use it, but still remembers the words in that order, which shows that this order is also used to teach German to non-natives.--Do ut des (talk) 13:18, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm considering doing something about this. I'm British and most grammar textbooks here prefer N, A, G, D and M, F, N, Pl. As this is on the English-language Wikipedia, I would prefer it to sync with current textbooks used by English learners of German-I plan when I have more time to look at some American and modern British textbooks to make a decision on order, but I don't think there's any automatic requirement to match German-language school textbooks. In any case, numbers are not very helpful as language-learners need to remember meaning and function of cases-but I might put in a table showing the difference to help, say, someone planning on working in a German school. Blythwood (talk) 23:39, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

-s, -e[edit]

-s, -e Lehrling Lehrling Lehrling Lehrlings Lehrlinge Lehrlinge Lehrlingen Lehrlinge der Lehrling,
des Lehrlings,
die Lehrlinge

des Lehrlinges and dem Lehrlinge do exist (nowadays maybe less common, but it's still non-Early Modern High German), so Lehrling is a bad example for this declension class. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:07, 27 January 2016 (UTC)