adjectives following etwas/alles

< Previous | Next >

Kay Champs

Senior Member
japanese
I do not understand the rule as to the form of the adjective that follows "alles" and "etwas": when the adjective should start with a capital letter, and when the adjective should end with "e" or "es" or no suffix.
I show examples below:

1) dass alles medizinisch Mögliche getan wird;
2) damit der Patient noch etwas Leckeres schmeckt;
3) Alles Gute!;
4) Alles übrige kommt nicht in Frage.
5) Das ist mir alles fremd.
 
  • Shiratori99

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    "Alles" requires the accusative case (alles Gute), while "etwas" requires the genitive (etwas Gutes).

    The adjectives are being nominalized here, so they should all start with a capital letter.

    4) Alles übrige kommt nicht in Frage.
    This is wrong. "Übrige" has to be capitalized too (this rule was changed recently, so your sentence is probably from before the change).

    5) Das ist mir alles fremd.
    This is a different construction with a different meaning from the above.
     

    ayuda?

    Senior Member
    I do not understand the rule as to the form of the adjective that follows "alles" and "etwas": when the adjective should start with a capital letter, and when the adjective should end with "e" or "es" or no suffix.
    I show examples below:

    1) dass alles medizinisch Mögliche getan wird;
    2) damit der Patient noch etwas Leckeres schmeckt;
    3) Alles Gute!; [capital "A" because it begins the expression]
    4) Alles üÜbrige kommt nicht in Frage.
    5) Das ist mir alles fremd. [simple use of an adjective (no suffix) vs adjectival noun]
    In brief, what is involved here is that you are forming a noun from an adjective [therefore the capitalization].
    The grammar involves cases also.
    It is used in an abstract sense.

    Since the explanation is complicated, the three links I included should make things clearer to you:

    https://blogs.wellesley.edu/ger23201fa13/files/2013/10/232-Adjectival-Nouns.pdf [ a good general explanation and examples with alles, etwas, etc .]
    http://marathonsprachen.com/german-family-vocabulary-german-adjectival-nouns/ [good examples of what you referenced—neuter adjectival nouns]
    http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_nouns03.htm [more examples]
     
    Last edited:

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Actually, no. But it's definitely a different case from "alles".
    No, it's not! In
    Ich wünsche dir alles Gute!

    both alles and Gute is in the accusative case. Alles works as a determiner (Artikelwort) here. Unlike with etwas (indefinite quantity) with alles there is no exception (definite quantity), so alles behaves like the definite article while etwas behaves like the zero article.

    So that brings us to

    Etwas/ein Gutes hat die Sache.
    Ich wünsche dir alles
    (das) Gute (zum Geburtstag).
     

    Shiratori99

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    No, it's not! In
    Ich wünsche dir alles Gute!

    both alles and Gute is in the accusative case. Alles works as a determiner (Artikelwort) here. Unlike with etwas (indefinite quantity) with alles there is no exception (definite quantity), so alles behaves like the definite article while etwas behaves like the zero article.

    So that brings us to

    Etwas/ein Gutes hat die Sache.
    Ich wünsche dir alles
    (das) Gute (zum Geburtstag).
    Ah, you're right. That makes sense. Sorry for the confusion.
     

    Kay Champs

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Thank you for your comments.

    Come to think of it, 5) is obviously irrelevant to the problem under discussion.

    As yet, I do not fully understand the rules but I will refer to the Websites ayuda? kindly let me know. When I still have some questions, I will get bak to this thread.
    Thank you very much, all of you.
     

    Kay Champs

    Senior Member
    japanese
    I think I got the rule!

    Gernot says that "alles behaves like the definite article while etwas behaves like the zero article" as they under go the change according to the case. This says it all. Plus, all the adjectives of the type under discussion begin with a capital letter.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    "alles" and "etwas": when the adjective should start with a capital letter
    Concise answer to sum it up:

    After "alles", "etwas", "wenig" und "nichts" adjectives are used as nouns and thus capitalised. That rule is easy.

    etwas Grünes, nichts Wichtiges, alles Gute, wenig Neues

    Please note: The orthography reform introduced this new rule and many natives still know this former exception and write adjectives after "etwas" with small letters. This will also be the case in most older German literature. I guess, this is what irritates you.
     

    Kay Champs

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Thank you Kajjo for additional advice as to the new rule that was introduced with regard to the capital letter.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    After "alles", "etwas", "wenig" und "nichts" adjectives are used as nouns and thus capitalised. That rule is easy.

    etwas Grünes, nichts Wichtiges, alles Gute, wenig Neues

    Please note: The orthography reform introduced this new rule and many natives still know this former exception and write adjectives after "etwas" with small letters.
    I can't remember any time when adjectives following allerlei, alles, etwas, genug, nichts, viel, wenig were not capitalized. They were capitalized before and after the spelling reform of 1995.

    Rule 65 of my old Duden says
    Duden 19th edition 1986 said:
    Adjektive und Partizipien werden vor allem dann groß geschrieben, wenn sie mit
    allerlei, alles, etwas,
    genug, nichts, viel, wenig
    und ähnlichen Wörtern in Verbindung stehen.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top