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Der- and Ein- Words ("Limiting Words")

Der- and Ein-words together make up a class of words called "limiting words", because in some ways they "limit" the scope of the noun that follows them. The presence or absence of a "limiting word" in an adjectival phrase makes a big difference in the ADJECTIVE ENDING that you will need!


Der words include:
 
  1. All the words for "the" : der, die, das, den, dem, des
  2. Plus: dies- , jen- ,  jed- , solch- , all- , manch-  , welch-
Der words always have "endings".   The words for "the" have the endings built into the word itself, the other der-words have theendings added at the end of the "root" (eg. "dies-") of the word. The endings for the various cases/genders are:
 
Masc.
Neut.
Fem.
Plural
Nom.
-er -(e)s -e -e
Acc.
-en -(e)s -e  -e
Dat.
-em -em -er -en
Gen.
-es -es -er -er

Dieser Mann ist mein Vater. Mit welcher Frau sind Sie verheiratet?
Solche Leute würde ich lieber Vermeiden. Das Haus ist rot.


The Ein-words include:
  1. ein, kein
  2. Plus all possessives: mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, Ihr
 
Masc.
Neut.
Fem.
Plural
Nom.
NONE NONE -e -e
Acc.
-en NONE -e  -e
Dat.
-em -em -er -en
Gen.
-es -es -er -er
NOTICE: Ein words have the SAME ENDINGS as der words, except in the three cases where they have NONE: (Note the difference in the der word and ein word endings here:
Dieser Mann ist mein Vater. (both Masc./Nominative)
Das Haus ist wie ein Schloss. (both Neut./Nominative)
Ich liebe das Kind wie mein eigenes Kind. (both Neut./Accusative)
** It should be obvious then that constructions like "das ist einer Mann" or "ich sehe eines Kind" are IMPOSSIBLE constructions resulting from putting DER-Word endings on Ein-words!

* If you get the endings WRONG here, you will also invariably also get the ADJECTIVE ENDINGS wrong as well, so make sure you know this well!


Copyright © 2017 Will Lehman. All artwork copyright © 2017 Milo Schuman.