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Declension of German Nouns


See the following sentence:
Ich gebe dem Studenten den Kuli. (I give the student the pen.)
"Studenten" can't be a plural noun here because its article is "dem". It is clearly a dative, singular masculine noun. Then what is this ending "-en"?

Some masculine nouns add an ending "-en" or "-n" in the accusative and dative cases. These are:

Examples

Sie erzählt einem Jungen eine Geschichte. (She tells a boy a story.)
erzählen (to tell somebody something), der Junge (boy), die Geschichte (story)

Ich erzähle Herrn Meier die Wahrheit. (I tell the truth to Mr. Meier.)
die Wahrheit (truth)

Ich erkläre dem Menschen das Problem. (I explain the problem to that person.)
As German demonstrative pronouns are the same as definite articles, so "dem" can have meanings of "the" and "that".
erklären (to explain something to somebody), der Mensch (person, man) plural: die Menschen, das Problem (problem)

Similarly, all the examples with definite articles from the last lesson can have two meanings:

Ich zeige der Frau das Auto.
(I show the car to the woman.)
(I show the car to that woman.)
zeigen (to show somebody something)

Ich schicke dem Mann ein Geschenk.
(I send the man a gift.)
(I send that man a gift.)
schicken (to send somebody something), das Geschenk (gift)

Ich kaufe der Frau das Brot.
(I buy the woman the bread.)
(I buy that woman the bread.)
kaufen (to buy), das Brot (bread)


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