The Amazing "DER/DIE/DAS" Tables!

(German noun gender and cases/adjectives endings)

Adjective endings are highlighted red

PDF versions of this table and its notes for printing: [PDF logo] black&white (47 Kb) or colour (51 Kb)

Presented here with gratitude to C Gosling (© 1996); web-formatting by D Nutting

| Nominative | Accusative | Dative | Genitive | Notes |


NOMINATIVE CASE (subject of a sentence / labelling)

After the verb "sein" (to be) - e.g. Er ist ein netter Mann.

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Plural

der rote Wein

die frische Milch

das deutsche Bier

die kalten Getränke

ein roter Wein

eine frische Milch

ein deutsches Bier

meine kalten Getränke

roter Wein

frische Milch

deutsches Bier

kalte Getränke

Pronoun

er

Pronoun

sie

Pronoun

es

Pronoun

sie

Relative Pronoun

der

Relative Pronoun

die

Relative Pronoun

das

Relative Pronoun

die

[exclamation mark - animated] Practise it! Do this practice exercise on German noun gender (Nominative).

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Werbung mit Nominativ-Beispiel]

An example of Nominative [subject] case and a neuter noun: "The revolutionary low-energy house!" (Austria)

ACCUSATIVE CASE (direct object / movement)

With the prepositions: durch (see photo example below), für, gegen, ohne, um (see photo example below), bis, entlang

With 'two-way' prepositions (see Note 2)

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Plural

den roten Wein

all same as Nominative

all same as Nominative

all same as Nominative

einen roten Wein

roten Wein

     

Pronoun

ihn

     

Relative Pronoun

den

     

[exclamation mark - animated] Practise it! Do this practice exercise on subject (Nominative) and object (Accusative).

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Protestplakat mit Akkusativ-Beispiel]

An example of Accusative [direct object] case and a masculine noun: "Farmers need a fair price" (Germany)

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Werbung mit Akkusativ-Beispiel und Präposition]

An example of an Accusative preposition and a masculine noun: "Without freezing through the winter" (Switzerland)

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Schild mit Akkusativ-Präposition]

An example of an Accusative preposition and a feminine noun (Ecke): "around the corner [first floor]" (Germany)

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Plakat mit Akkusativ-Präposition]

An example of an Accusative preposition (für) and a masculine noun (Sommer): "for the summer" (supermarket in Switzerland)

DATIVE CASE (indirect object / location)

With the prepositions: aus, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu, außer, gegenüber, entgegen

After the verbs: danken, helfen, folgen, drohen, glauben, gehören, begegnen

With 'two-way' prepositions (see Note 2)

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Plural

dem roten Wein

der frischen Milch

dem deutschen Bier

den kalten Getränken

einem roten Wein

einer frischen Milch

einem deutschen Bier

meinen kalten Getränken

rotem Wein

frischer Milch

deutschem Bier

kalten Getränken

Pronoun

ihm

Pronoun

ihr

Pronoun

ihm

Pronoun

ihnen

Relative Pronoun

dem

Relative Pronoun

der

Relative Pronoun

dem

Relative Pronoun

denen

Notice: nouns in Dative plural get an -n added on if they don't already happen to have one.

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Strassenschild mit Dativ-Beispiel]

An example of a preposition with Dative case and a feminine noun: "Cyclists permitted on Station Street" (Austria)

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Wahlplakat mit Dativ-Beispiel]

An example of a preposition with Dative case and plural noun: "In difficult times, in good hands" (an election campaign poster in Austria)

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Warnschild mit Dativ-Beispiel]

An example of a preposition with Dative case and plural noun. (Jungfrau Mountain, Switzerland)

GENITIVE CASE (possession/ownership)

With the prepositions: statt, trotz, während, wegen, innerhalb, außerhalb, an Stelle

Notice: add "es" or "s" to masculine or neuter nouns.

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

Plural

des roten Weines

der frischen Milch

des deutschen Bieres

der kalten Getränke

eines roten Weines

einer frischen Milch

eines deutschen Bieres

meiner kalten Getränke

roten Weines

frischer Milch

deutschen Bieres

kalter Getränke

Relative Pronoun

dessen

Relative Pronoun

deren

Relative Pronoun

dessen

Relative Pronoun

deren

[exclamation mark - animated] Practise using the genitive case: "Kaufen Sie dieses Haus!" - cloze reading text

[Foto (copyright: D Nutting): Werbung mit Genitiv-Beispiel]

An example of Genitive [possession] case and a feminine noun: "Today is the most beautiful day of the week" (Austria)

Notes

NOTE 1: Same table, same patterns

a) Use the der/die/das (the) rows of the table for the following:

dies- (this), jed- (every [singular]), solch- (such), welch- ?(which?), jen- (that), alle (all [plural])

In the case of viele (many), mehrere/einige (several), wenige (fewer/less): they operate as ordinary adjectives, i.e. other adjectives coming after them have the same adjective ending.
(E.g. Nominative: dieser lustige Mann / diese lustige Frau / dieses lustige Buch / diese lustigen Clowns)

b) Use the ein/eine/ein (a/an) rows of the table for the following:

kein (no/not a), mein (my), dein (your), sein (his/its), ihr (her/its), unser (our), euer (your: referring to more than one) and Ihr (Your: polite).

NOTE 2: "Two-way" prepositions: Accusative OR Dative

vor (in front of), hinter (behind), über (over/above), unter (under, below), zwischen (between), neben (next to), in (in), an (on/against), auf (on top of)

[icon: post-it note]Use the Accusative when there is movement involved

e.g. Ich stelle die Vase auf den Tisch. (Describes the process of being moved)

Ich gehe über die Brücke. (Describes movement over the bridge)

[icon: post-it note]Use the Dative if no movement is implied

e.g. Die Vase steht auf dem Tisch. (Describes the location of the subject / where it is)

Ich bin/stehe auf der Brücke. (Describes where I am / no movement)