German Weak Nouns


German Weak Nouns

German nouns can change according to their gender, case and number. This is called “declension”. Some German masculine nouns have a weak declension – this means that they end in -en, or if the word ends in a vowel, in -n. This happens in every case, except in the nominative. Here is a table to illustrate this:

Singular Plural
Nominative Case der Neffe die Neffen
Accusative Case den Neffen die Neffen
Dative Case dem Neffen den Neffen
Genitive Case des Neffen der Neffen

Weak masculine nouns include:

  • Those that end in -ant and -and like:
    – der Elefant (elephant)
    – der Diamant (diamond)
  • Those that end in -aph (-af) or -oph like:
    – der Paragraf (paragraph)
    – der Philosoph (philosopher)
  • Those ending in -t, like:
    – der Astronaut (astronaut)
    – der Komponist (composer)
  • Those that refer to a masculine person or animal ending in -e, like:
    – der Franzose (Frenchman)
    – der Junge (boy)
    – der Löwe (lion)
  • Here are some other common masculine nouns that have a weak declension:

    der Bär (bear)
    der Bauer (farmer)
    der Held (hero)
    der Herr (man)
    der Mensch (human being)
    der Nachbar (neighbour)
    der Name (name)
    der Ochse (ox)
    der Prinz (prince)
    der Spatz (sparrow)

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