The genitive in German

The genitive case shows possession—expressed by ‘of’ or an apostrophe in English. It is also used with genitive prepositions, as well as some verb idioms. The genitive is more commonly found in written German, because it can generally be replaced with von plus the dative in spoken German.

Definite Articles
  Nominative Accusative Dative Genitive
Masculine der den dem des
Feminine die die der der
Neutral das das dem des

Indefinite Articles
  Nominative Accusative Dative Genitive
Masculine ein einen einem eines
Feminine eine eine einer einer
Neutral ein ein einem eines

While you add either –es or –s as an ending to masculine and neutral nouns in the genitive, feminine and plural nouns do not change.

After a preposition

The prepositions außerhalb, diesseits, infolge, innerhalb, jenseits, längs, oberhalb, trotz, unterhalb, während and wegen all result in the genitive.
  • Längs der Straße stehen Bäume.
  • Trees stand along the road.
Exceptions: trotz is sometimes followed by the dative
  • trotz allem (despite everything) ; trotzdem (despite)

After a verb

After some verbs, the genitive case is required.
  • Er bedient sich eines Beispiels.
  • He uses an example.

After an adjective

Some rare adjectives involve the use of the genitive (bewusst, sicher, würdig, etc.)
  • Ich bin mir des Problems bewusst.
  • I am aware of the problem.
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The German genitive

Complete these sentences to check your knowledge of the genitive!


Questions:

8

Level:

4-Expert