4 minutes reading time (872 words)

New German Lesson: Determiner Endings 1

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We're excited to announce that we've just published "Determiner Endings 1", a new Introductory level German language lesson, on Language Mentor! 

This lesson is the first in a series of lessons that will teach you what ending to use with determiners such as diese, jede, welche, mein, dein, ihr, unser, etc. As the lesson explains, the endings that we use depend on the context within which the determiner is used. For example, if a determiner is used to modify a singular masculine noun in the accusative case then it will end with "en". Diese becomes diesen, mein becomes meinen, etc. When used in other contexts these determiners will have other endings. This lesson covers the singular-masculine-accusative context.

If you aren't clear on what a "case" is, or what the accusative case is, we suggest that you first study our "Pronouns" series which introduces these terms.

Lesson Script

Determiner Endings 1

The German language has a category of words called determiners - words like dieses, mein, jede and unser, which modify the nouns that they precede, and "determine" more specifically, the meaning of these nouns. For the most part, all of these words have the same ending in a given context. For example, they all end with "e" "n" in the singular-masculine-accusative context, i.e. when they are modifying singular masculine nouns like Jungen in the accusative case. There are a few contexts where different determiners use different endings, but in this lesson we focus on the simpler contexts.

Here are some sentences which use determiners in the singular-masculine-accusative context.

She likes my boy.
Sie mag meinen Jungen.

She likes your boy.
Sie mag deinen Jungen.

She likes her boy.
Sie mag ihren Jungen.

She likes a boy.
Sie mag einen Jungen.

She likes our boy.
Sie mag unseren Jungen.

She likes plural your boy.
Sie mag euren Jungen.

She doesn't like every boy.
Sie mag nicht jeden Jungen.

She likes their boy.
Sie mag ihren Jungen.

She doesn't like any boy.
Sie mag keinen Jungen.

She likes his boy.
Sie mag seinen Jungen.

She likes formal your boy.
Sie mag Ihren Jungen.

She likes this boy.
Sie mag diesen Jungen.

In the singular-feminine-nominative context, i.e. when using singular feminine words like "die Uhr" in the nominitive case, all determiners end with "e".

Formal your clock is brown.
Ihre Uhr ist braun.

Your clock is black.
Deine Uhr ist schwarz.

A clock is green.
Eine Uhr ist grün.

This clock is green.
Diese Uhr ist grün.

His clock is orange.
Seine Uhr ist orange.

My clock is red.
Meine Uhr ist rot.

Their clock is purple.
Ihre Uhr ist lila.

Which clock is blue?
Welche Uhr ist blau?

Plural your clock is blue.
Eure Uhr ist blau.

No clock is white.
Keine Uhr ist weiß.

Not every clock is purple.
Nicht jede Uhr ist lila.

Her clock is yellow.
Ihre Uhr ist gelb.

Our clock is gray.
Unsere Uhr ist grau.

In the singular-feminine-accusative context, all determiners also end with "e".

She likes my clock.
Sie mag meine Uhr.

She likes her clock.
Sie mag ihre Uhr.

She likes your clock.
Sie mag deine Uhr.

She likes a clock.
Sie mag eine Uhr.

She likes our clock.
Sie mag unsere Uhr.

She likes plural your clock.
Sie mag eure Uhr.

She doesn't like every clock.
Sie mag nicht jede Uhr.

She likes formal your clock.
Sie mag Ihre Uhr.

She doesn't like any clock.
Sie mag keine Uhr.

She likes his clock.
Sie mag seine Uhr.

She likes their clock.
Sie mag ihre Uhr.

She likes this clock.
Sie mag diese Uhr.

In the plural-nominative context, all determiners also end with "e".

Her marbles are yellow.
Ihre Murmeln sind gelb.

Our marbles are gray.
Unsere Murmeln sind grau.

Formal your marbles are brown.
Ihre Murmeln sind braun.

Your marbles are black.
Deine Murmeln sind schwarz.

These marbles are green.
Diese Murmeln sind grün.

His marbles are orange.
Seine Murmeln sind orange.

My marbles are red.
Meine Murmeln sind rot.

Their marbles are purple.
Ihre Murmeln sind lila.

Which marbles are blue?
Welche Murmeln sind blau?

Plural your marbles are blue.
Eure Murmeln sind blau.

No marbles are white.
Keine Murmeln sind weiß.

In the plural-accusative context, all determiners also end with "e".

She likes formal your marbles.
Sie mag Ihre Murmeln.

She doesn't like any marbles.
Sie mag keine Murmeln.

She likes his marbles.
Sie mag seine Murmeln.

She likes these marbles.
Sie mag diese Murmeln.

She likes their marbles.
Sie mag ihre Murmeln.

She likes my marbles.
Sie mag meine Murmeln.

She likes your marbles.
Sie mag deine Murmeln.

She likes our marbles.
Sie mag unsere Murmeln.

She likes plural your marbles.
Sie mag eure Murmeln.

She likes her marbles.
Sie mag ihre Murmeln. 

About Language Mentor

You can study this lesson, and many others, using Language Mentor - an audio-centric app that is designed to be used while your hands and eyes are busy doing other things. You can download it at the Android Play Store and the iPhone App Store.

Creative Commons License

This article and the lesson that it presents are both licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
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