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The genitive case (1)

This table shows the use of the genitive case with definite and indefinite articles.

Number "the" "a"
singular, male des großen Mannes eines großen Mannes
singular, female der alten Frau einer alten Frau
singular, neuter des kleinen Kindes eines kleinen Kindes
plural, all genders or mixed der schönen Frauen n.a.

Please note:

If the genitive case is used without definite or indefinite article, the adjective endings are different from what is shown above. Please see “The genitive case (2)” for more information.

As in the dative case, all the articles are different from the nominative form. And again, 'der' und 'einer' are used for female nouns, what some learners may find difficult, since these articles are usually associated with the male gender.

However, as in the dative case, the adjectives always end in -'en'.

Male and neuter nouns can get different endings, too. Often you add -s or -es, as in the table above, sometimes -n or -en. ("des großen Mannes, des älteren Herrn"). The table above does not indicate when and how this is done; please see "The genitive case (2)" for more information.

Use of the genitive case:

>>> It is used to indicate possession or close belonging .

>>> It is used after certain prepositions, such as trotz or anhand.

>>> It is used in more situations; please see “The genitive case(2)”


Der Gehstock des älteren Herrn ist ganz aus Holz, genau wie der meiner Mutter.

Das neue Auto des Geschäftsführers ist teurer als das des Prokuristen.

Jeder ist seines Glückes Schmied.

Anhand der alten Schatzkarte hofften wir, den Schatz des berüchtigten Piraten
zu finden.

Trotz heftigen Regens wollte sie einen Spaziergang machen.


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