declension of adjectives before a plural noun

Mallarme

Senior Member
AmEng., "lapsed" Korean
Hello,

I read two different things about the declination of adjectives before a plural noun in two different German lesson sites.

One site said that the adjective takes an -en ending in the accusative when there is an indefinite article. For example:

Ich habe keine neuen Bücher.

Another site said that the adjective takes an -e ending. For example:

Ich sehe einige blonde Kinder.

Which is correct? :confused:

---------

Vielen Dank im Voraus!! :)
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Both. :) But the following one isn't.
    One site said that the adjective takes an -en ending in the accusative when there is an indefinite article. :cross:
    Indefinite articles do not exist in the plural. I have never seen a grammar reference that would recognize "kein" as an indefinite article.

    Plural without a definite article:
    1. neue Bücher
    2. neuer Bücher
    3. neuen Büchern
    4. neue Bücher
    Also: viele, einige, numbers, ...

    Plural with a definite article:
    1. die neuen Bücher
    2. der neuen Bücher
    3. den neuen Büchern
    4. die neuen Bücher
    Also: keine, beide, alle (mostly), welche (mostly), possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, ...

    Read the following:
    Starke Flexion
    Schwache Flexion
    Gemischte Flexion (watch out - some pronouns use one declension in the singular and another in the plural)
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Both. :) But the following one isn't.
    Indefinite articles do not exist in the plural. I have never seen a grammar reference that would recognize "kein" as an indefinite article.
    I have, and I've got the books to prove it.;)

    Here is a paradigm from the 1948 edition of Longman's Complete German Grammar:

    Declension of the Indefinite and its Negative

    ....M .........F...... ...N ..... M ...... F....... ...N....... ...Pl
    N. ein ...... eine ....ein .....kein ....keine ....kein ......keine
    A. einen ....eine ....ein .....keinen .keine ....kein ......keine
    G. eines ....einer ...eines ..keines .keiner ...keines ..keiner
    D. einem ...einer ...einem .keinem keiner ..keinem .keinen


    In older grammar books it was the usual thing to refer to "ein" and "der" declensions.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi,
    in the negation form, I heard (and used) both forms in colloquial language.

    Ich habe keine neue Bücher.
    Ich habe keine neuen Bücher.

    And now, I become unsure, which is right in standard.

    With "viele" it is very clear:

    Ich habe viele neue Bücher.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Ich habe keine neue Bücher.
    Ich habe keine neuen Bücher.

    And now, I become unsure, which is right in standard.
    It's definitely "keine neuen Bücher" in standard German.

    Like Brioche, I am familiar with "ein words" and "der words."
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    But it is in another example: Ich möchte keine neue Bücher, sondern alte.
    Ich möchte keine weitere Bücher.
    Ich würde in beiden Fällen ein -n dranhängen.

    Aus dem Duden:
    Die früher im Nominativ und Akkusativ Plural gelegentlich vorkommenden starken Formen sind heute veraltet. Es heißt also: Es waren keine guten (nicht mehr: gute) Aussichten. Er hat keine schönen (nicht mehr: schöne) Bilder gemalt. Es gab keine kommunalen Beamten (nicht mehr: kommunale Beamte).
    (c) Dudenverlag 1998
    Unfortunately, I do not understand what you mean here, elroy.
    That's ok. :) As a native, you don't have to worry about it. ;)
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Das Duden-Zitat erklärt mir, wieso ich beide Formen kenne, aber unsicher war - gleichzeitig zeigt es, warum beide Formen in der Umgangssprache zumindest regional noch vorkommen. Danke.

    The Duden quote shows why I know both forms and why I was unsure. It also declares, why both forms are used in the colloquial language. It is a sign of language change. The strong declination is fully replaced by the weak form in the standard. In the past, both were used, now the strong form becomes obsolete in the standard language.
     
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