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The Genitive Case: Possessive Adjectives Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Grammar, Language

In German, there are eight adjectives that show possession: mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, and ihr. Possessive adjectives agree in number, gender and case with the noun (the thing being possessed) they are describing. Today, we have a closer look at the genitive case declension of these possessive adjectives.

 

In order to decline these possession adjectives, you only have to add an particular ending at the end of their stems, which are:

mein- (my)

dein- (your; informal sgl.)

sein- (his)

ihr- (her)

unser- (our)

euer- (your; informal pl.)

Ihr- (your; formal sgl. and pl.)

 

And the particular ending is always –es for masculine and neuter nouns, and –er for feminin nouns. That results in:

 

Masculine Feminine Neuter
meines Mannes meiner Frau meines Kindes
(of my husband) (of my wife) (of my child)
deines Mannes deiner Frau deines Kindes
(of your husband) (of your wife) (of your child)
ihres Mannes ihrer Mutter ihres Kindes
(of her husband) (of her mother) (of her child)
unseres Gärtners unserer Köchin unseres Abkommens
(of our gardender) (of our cook; fem.) (of our arangement)
eu(e)*res Vaters eu(e)rer Mutter eu(e)res Kindes
(of your Vater; pl.) (of your mother; pl.) (of your child; pl.)
Ihres Mannes Ihrer Frau Ihres Kindes
(of your husband; fml.) (of your wife; fml.) (of your child; fml.)

 

* You can choose whether you would like to spell this word as eueres or eures, both are correct. Most Germans usually opt for eures or eurer because it is easier to pronnounce than the other one.

 

As you can see in the table, you also have to add the ending -es to the masculine and/or neuter noun as well. Feminine nouns are usually not declined (with a particular ending) in the genitive case.

 

Example sentences

1. Das ist die Uhr meines Mannes. (That’s my husband’s watch.)

2. Das ist die Tasche meiner Frau. (That’s my wife’s bag.)

3. Das ist das Spielzeug ihres Kindes. (That’s her child’s toy.)

4. Das ist der Chef seines Sohnes. (That’s his son’s boss.)

5. Das ist der Geburtstag eurer Mutter. (That’s your mother’s birthday.)

6. Das ist das Werkzeug eures Vaters. (That are your father’s tools.)

 

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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


Comments:

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